Yes, #5 in this prestigious certification program. While recuperating from my Achilles surgery, I certified in this challenging program-underscoring my commitment to bring advanced lameness diagnosis to you. I am now back in action and ready to show you the many benefits that the Lameness Locator provides in the overall care of your horse. However the best part of becoming an Equinosis Certified Practitioner happened when I submitted my case study. Read on for the details.
To certify as "Equinosis Certified Practitioner", I completed about 100 hours of coursework, watched many recorded webinars, researched, passed a series of quizzes, and passed a final exam. Additionally, I had to produce a comprehensive case report for publication.
My surgery downtime allowed me to take a deep dive into 2 of my favorite subjects: the Equinosis Lameness Locator (EL2) and my wife's horse, "Prince Zuko" (10yo, bay, OTTB, infrequent low level hunter/jumper). No better case to report than one's own horse. And better yet, Zuko's case is very interesting.
Here is the background: you may recall that we had several social media posts in the past 2 years to introduce Zuko and discuss his overall performance. Zuko always had a very subtle, but serviceable, right hind asymmetry. My wife described him as "hitchy", "slightly off", and "swaps hind leads" (btw: we veterinarians love these terms). Over the years, we collected EL2 data and administered shockwave, laser, and injected his "uncomfortable" places to keep him comfortable.
For the most part, treatments affected a change in him, but something about his presentation never sat right with me. As an experienced lameness clinician, I coupled my experience with diagnostic results with tools like nerve blocks, radiographs, ultrasound, and the EL2 to come up with his best therapeutic plan.
As we increased Zuko's level of work and frequency, he would become increasingly "off". He remained serviceable in work, but not quite right. We would treat, and he would get better, until we pushed harder. He was never outright lame and he remained usable but he couldn't progress further.
Something wasn't right; something wasn't adding up. The clinical picture seemed a little worse than the EL2 data and diagnostics. My clinical experience was telling me something was different but I wasn't able to root out the anomaly in the data. Therefore, Zuko became my interesting case report for this comprehensive certification.
I submitted my case study to a team of national lameness experts. After a couple weeks of evaluation, they focused on a series of computer program anomalies that resulted in a subtle misdirection of the focus of Zuko's lameness.
Lo and behold, Zuko's case study brought a previously not addressed use front and center and made it a programming priority for the Equinosis team. As a result of my meticulous documentation and case report, Zuko's case led to a company-wide software upgrade. They called this programming update, "Hind Limb Outliers". Going forward many veterinarians and horses will benefit from this change. That's exciting stuff!
My winter of limited duty was nice to explore some more nerdy interests and dig deeper into a topic that I find very stimulating. Horses are truly amazing, and everyday there is more and more to learn and explore. Such fantastic creatures that thousands of horse veterinarians devote their lives to researching and treating so these horses can live and compete more comfortably.
From this process came 3 interesting take-aways:
1. I published a case study for hundreds of other lameness horse vets to read, review and learn.
2. Zuko's data prompted a computer software change in 2018.
3. I became an Equinosis Certified Practitioner.
You can read Zuko's case study, here.
You can read about the announced software upgrade about "Hind Limb Outliers", here.
You can see my name amongst the world's vets using this system as a standout in between Certified Users and Equinosis Certified Practitioners, here.
I like lameness. It's not an easy skill to acquire. You can't just watch a video or read a book to get really good at it. It's a challenge and it takes a dedication to this art to become proficient. Dr Hyman and I actively attend conventions, meetings, and forums. We do everything we can to continually improve, to be the best, and to incessantly follow current research in order to provide the best opportunities for your horse to stay sound or get sound.
In the short period of my certification, Equinosis has solicited my feedback regarding their limb flexions module of the programming and upcoming software upgrades, and on another matter regarding the validity of the data when compared directly against experienced lameness veterinarians.
YES! Our "Performance Horse Wellness Package" has always included not only a comprehensive examination and Equinosis Lameness Locator computerized gait evaluation, BUT IT ALSO includes annual routine services like Spring and Fall vaccines, dentistry, Coggins, and fecal egg counts. The Package also includes 10% off all other services throughout the year like emergencies, farm call fees, and diagnostics. All of this, not just an examination, for just over $650.
Total Equine Vets has the specialization and a long history of providing this comprehensive review in order to keep your athlete in tip-top condition throughout the year. This is a solid program with great value, especially when the athletic review is done just prior to your training /competition season.
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Purchasing products and services at our TotalEquineVets.com website saves you money! AND if you order both Spring & Fall Wellness packages together, or one of our total care packages you will receive 10% off your other services for that horse for the rest of 2018!
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