Smoke Gets in Their Lungs: Florida Vet Blogs Horse Help Hints From Under the Forest Fire’s Haze

One of my favorite bloggers is someone who shares my interest in horse health. Alan Weldon DVM, Dipl.ACVIM of Jacksonville Equine Associates in Florida publishes “The Horse Doctor” blog and always seems to have something interesting going on in his life or practice. I highly recommend that you “subscribe” to his blog or add it to your favorites list.

A few weeks ago, the good doctor was stopping by the zoo to help an elephant, but today his post is especially timely. As you may have heard on the national news, Florida is under a haze of smoke from forest fires there and in Georgia. And where there’s smoke…there’s horses with respiratory issues. And there’s also Dr. Weldon, helping a bear and her cub fleeing the flames.

Read Dr. Weldon’s update on the Florida fires and his recounting of a client’s diligence in installing an air conditioner in the stall of her horse to help with respiratory flareups. He also gives instructions for making an ad hoc inhaler.

As the summer goes on, I am sure that we will have plenty of disaster alerts, but hopefully none on the scale of hurricanes or widespread devastation. I think the “citizen journalism” or “we journalism” as it is sometimes called, will be very, very important on a local level. Vet clinics could set up blogs now for possible posting later. Unlike a web site, which needs access to a computer and passwords to the server and admin accounts, a blogger can post on the web from any email-friendly device–even a cell phone or PDA.

With vets like Dr. Weldon out there paving the way, we could have a network to know about health risks before they happen, with tips to care for horses in a given at-risk area because of natural disasters or disease outbreaks. I hope that vet clinics who have created blogs will let me know so I can give them the recognition they deserve.




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