Merck Animal Health and EquiManagement have teamed up to bring equine veterinarians and their staffs information on a variety of topics designed to help encourage communication with clients and business growth through Merck Health Matters.
One of the most recent presenters was Fairfield Bain, DVM, MBA, DACVIM, DACVP, DACVECC, a member of the Merck Animal Health Equine Veterinary Technical Services team, discussing Biosecurity.
He focused his video presentation on three areas: the use of vaccines as part of the biosecurity program, looking at horse traffic and how it can influence biosecurity, and having the biosecurity conversation with your clients and your staff to make a biosecurity program successful.
“You as the veterinarian in your practice, and your practice members, are viewed as the credible authorities in dealing with and setting up a plan for preventing disease—preventing infectious disease specifically,” said Bain. “Have the conversation, starting with the owners and the people who work on the farm or ranch, and put into place mechanisms that are workable for their facilities, because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of biosecurity program.
“You are the one who is on and off their premises,” he continued. “You know them well. You know their activities and how they handle their horses. So you can create value and add to that relationship by starting to have the conversation before an event occurs.”
He said that the second component of looking at biosecurity in general is horse traffic. “We think about how these infectious disease events start, and oftentimes horse traffic is really the first entry point of an infectious disease into a group,” noted Bain. “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of looking at horse traffic and how you segregate the different populations that have different levels of risk factors.”
Bain said that veterinary practice should know the resources that are available to them before a disease outbreak occurs. “One very valuable resource is Merck’s biosurveillance program that we do in conjunction with the faculty at the University of California, Davis,” noted Bain. “That’s where we support the PCR swabs looking for respiratory pathogens, and we monitor these pathogens around different regions of the country. We make that information available back to the practitioners so that they can be aware of what’s going on in their areas.
“The bottom line is that Merck takes this very seriously,” stressed Bain. “We have a team of experts that can be a valuable resource to your practice. And we’re always ready to talk to you, to help you design a program that will work for your clients and for your practice.”
Click here to download a complete transcript of Bain's Biosecurity video.
Click here to download an infographic on disease spread.
Editor’s note: “Merck Health Matters: To You, Your Clients, and Your Business” is a new section on EquiManagement.com sponsored by Merck Animal Health. There you can find videos as well as downloadable/printable infographics, client information documents and supporting materials on biosecurity, equine influenza and other topics that will be covered in the months to come, including Parasites with Dr. Wendy Vaala; Immunology with Dr. David Horohov; and Geriatrics with Dr. Lois Toll. Make sure to check back on EquiManagement.com/HealthMatters often to see what new educational videos and supporting materials have been added.