Open house guests
Open House attendees learned how to listen to a horse's gut sounds and heartbeat.

The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) opened its doors to members of the local community for its third annual Open House on Saturday, Oct. 6. During the event, board-certified specialists in sports medicine, internal medicine, and surgery gave demonstrations on equine care, specifically tailored to horse owners and handlers.

Attendees had the opportunity to interact with two horses—Secret and Hustlin’ Henry—during the first demonstration entitled “Before You Call the Vet: Physical Exam and Vital Signs,” by Krista Estell, clinical assistant professor of equine medicine. Estell showed the proper way to take a horse’s vital signs, as well as walked through best communication practices for contacting a primary care veterinarian for an equine emergency. She also gave an overview of the essential items needed for an equine emergency first aid kit and provided the opportunity for attendees to listen to the gut sounds and heartbeats of the two horses.

For the event’s second presentation, Maureen Kelleher, clinical assistant professor of sports medicine and surgery, spoke about at-home equine wound care. She reviewed best practices to assess a horse’s injury, what steps to take to mitigate further injury or discomfort, and described what types of injury can safely be handled at home, compared to those that require immediate veterinary assistance.

Guests then toured the 70,000 square foot facility before gathering for lunch in the EMC Memorial Garden.

Jennifer Barrett, the Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery and a leading authority on equine regenerative medicine treatments, gave the day’s final demonstration, which covered proper bandaging techniques for various injuries and areas of the horse. Horses can be bandaged for a variety of reasons including for support after injury, for injury prevention, and to maintain cleanliness. Barrett explained that attention to detail in bandaging is paramount to ensure that the horse remains comfortable while wearing the bandage.

Each presentation was followed by an interactive question-and-answer session that allowed attendees the opportunity to gather and share information on issues and difficulties regarding personal experiences with their horses.

Before departing, attendees were provided with a gift bag containing a stethoscope or digital thermometer, a co-flex bandage, and a first aid and bandaging tutorial informational sheet.

“The equine community is well ingrained into the culture of Northern Virginia and we want to both showcase our state-of-the-art facilities and connect with these local enthusiasts,” explained Michael Erskine, EMC director. “We are proud to serve as an educational resource for clients, horse enthusiasts, referring veterinarians, and future veterinarians and we value the opportunity to connect with the community through events such as the open house.”

Founded in 1984, the EMC is a premier, full-service equine hospital located in Leesburg, Virginia, and one of two hospitals of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. The center offers advanced specialty care, 24-hour emergency treatment, and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses, and treats over 2,500 patients annually.

Published October 2018