Rocky Bay Equine Newsletter, May 2014 
In This Issue
Amber is the prototype for motherly instinct.  If saintly status can be conferred to a horse, medallions will be made in her likeness.
Dr. Weeks says, " It is soooo hard to impress upon people, even experienced horse people how unusual it is to find a mare that will simply say, 'oh ya, I want this foal', and allow it to snuggle and nurse without intervention.  Makes me very happy."
Miracle Baby
Meet Tessa, this month's featured multi-miracle baby. Read the first chapter of her story column right. 
Word of the Month
"words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand"
Jargon is everywhere in the horse industry and sometimes it's not just outsiders that have difficulty communicating! For instance, there are many colloquial terms used for equine body parts that are not well defined.  What you think you're describing may be totally confusing to other people when non standard terms are used. If you ever wonder about that quizzical, cross-eyed look you get from someone (like your vet) about a jargon term you're using in reference to your horse's body parts, check out the standardized terms for all animal anatomy, set out by the International Committee on Veterinary Gross Anatomy in the book  Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria.  
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Dr.Bo Weeks
Dr.Crystal Williams
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We certainly did have our share of April showers, but the rewards are obvious, with brightly abundant flora and a bzillion greens growing everywhere.  A fitting month indeed to honor mothers of all species, cheers to you! 


Don't let your horses turn into balloons, or worse, founder on all that green horse candy!  Read on and learn how to use a weight tape to keep tabs on the indulgences of spring.  We hope to see you at our nutrition symposium on May 21st.  Take a walk around the Theler Center Nature Trails and then come listen to Dr. Steve Duren meld our minds about equine nutrition.... Please let us know if you plan to come and don't forget your light sabers!

May the HORSE be with you,

Dr. Bo Weeks, Dr. Crystal Williams, Linda Weeks
and all the other Jedi warriors at Rocky Bay Equine
Knowledge is POWERFUL! 
Our second evening symposium is coming up on May 21st. Meet with us 6:30 pm at the Theler Center just off Highway 3 in Belfair.  Click here for directions.  This venue is larger, it's easy access and has wonderful nature trails to burn off dinner calories if you have some extra time. Our speaker will be Jedi knight and nutrition specialist, Dr. Steve Duren.  The RBE gang will be there, including Luke & Lia, Wooky and Yoda, always prepared for dueling with alien invaders... or at least ready with the refreshments!  To help with aforementioned preparations... please let us know (phone or email) if you plan on coming.  Hope to cross light sabers with you there!  

Wait, Weight, do tell me
One way to monitor your horses' health is to check their weight.  A simple way to accomplish that is to use a tape measure or weight tape.  It's true that the number you get is just an estimate, but real value lies in repeating the measurement and comparing the results over time.  We think it's important to include (and record) weight estimates in every wellness exam.  It helps as we consider each horse's overall health and body condition and it gives us a better-than-guesstimate for drug dosages and other treatments that might be indicated. 
It's easy for you to do this too!  Some feed stores sell weight tapes that are already calibrated in pounds, or just use a normal tape measure and do your own conversions.  Here's the formula;  girth x girth (girth squared) times length, divided by 330 = weight in pounds. 
Tessa's Story, chapter one
It goes without saying that birth, any birth, is miraculous. Usually everything goes just fine, but when things go off script, survival is at stake. Our drama begins in the 3rd trimester of Zuzu's second foaling with hints that something might be awry. She was placed on hormone therapy and antibiotics but her script read; deliver foal at 320 days. (instead of the usual 330-345) The plot thickens with her second off script challenge, a dangerous breech (butt first) presentation. Discovered early, Dr. Bo was on hand for a successful assist in the "cliffhanger" delivery. A limp, but alive filly, coal black and floppy as a rag doll arrived with yet another plot twist. A real twist this time, as in an umbilical cord twisted around itself so tightly that had birth started any later the foal surely would have died. Our heroine, named Tessa, was clearly determined to live and gained strength with round-the-clock doctoring and nursing care. Human intervention is not without consequences however, a normal mother-foal bond was not to be and just as she's strong enough to stand and nurse, Tessa is abandoned by her birth mother. Enter, our own "Mother of the Year", Amber. It was love at first nicker, Amber walked by and baby Tessa's story changed again. So that's what, 3 or 4 miracles so far? But wait, our heroine is not out of danger yet.... what will the winds of change bring for Tessa?

Stay tuned for "Windswept" the next chapter of her story. (insert dramatic music here 
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