Endurance veterinarians in New Zealand have a new hand-held blood analysis tool to instantly test equine blood samples at events.
The new EPOC Blood Analyser has been purchased by Equestrian Sports New Zealand’s Endurance board, thanks to a donation from the Dion Latta Estate.
Dion Latta, 15, died in January 2012 after he was trapped under a waterfall in the Motatapu Gorge, near Wanaka. A three-hour rescue operation was unable to save the Otago youngster, who was a popular sportsman and who represented Otago at age-group rugby and coached intellectually handicapped children.
ESNZ’s endurance board thanked Dion’s parents, Suzie and Logan, for the contribution. Suzie Latta is a well known endurance rider in the South Island.
“The machine will assist us in our constant Endeavour to care for and protect the welfare of our endurance horses,” the board said.
The Epoc Machine is a portable blood gas, electrolytes and critical care analyser. It means blood tests can be carried out in the field and the appropriate emergency treatment can be carried out straight away.
The machine runs on rechargeable batteries and does not require a telephone or computer connection, making it ideal for use in remote places. It stores 2000 patient results which then can be transferred via WiFi into computer and further analysed.
The test requires only very small amount of blood – less then 2ml – drawn from jugular vein.
Ashburton veterinarian Kasia Chapman-Labecka will be taking samples at this weekend’s South Island Endurance Championships to establish the normal parameters for endurance horses. Volunteers are sought to have their horses tested before and after the event.
The South Island Championships is also part of the FEI’s Endurance Pilot Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS).
A new vet card will be used for all horses entered in the championships. This will be completed for each inspection at the Vet Gate.
An Equine Injury and Illness Form will also be completed by the Treatment Veterinarian if a horse is sent to the clinic from the Vet Gate.
A special scoring system will be used in log books, and extra scoring parameters may be included. This may include Muscle Tone, which will be referred as (MT) in the log book.