Winter Checklist

Winter is here - make sure you get your your horse and barn ready for the cold weather months.

- Check water heaters to make sure they work and there is no stray voltage. Check buckets/troughs for cracks. Consider an emergency water source
if the electricity goes out.
- Check, repair and clean all blankets.
- Store plenty of hay, check hay barns for water leaks (these could cause mold), clean gutters so they don't freeze with ice and leak. If feeding round
bales we recommend getting the botulinum vaccine. Use a hay feeder or a hay net to conserve hay and keep it cleaner.
- Reduce rodent risk in your barn/feed room: plug holes, caulk edges, get a cat.
- If riding in the winter talk to your farrier about snow shoes, caulks, etc. Or consider pulling shoes for the winter.
- Keep a snow shovel and animal-friendly ice melt handy
- Check your own winter riding clothes for wear and fit.
- If you horse is thin, start to increase quality and quantity of feed now to help them gain some weight before winter.
- Have your horse's teeth checked if they have trouble gaining or keeping weight.

New Tick Species in the U.S.

Excerpts from dvm360 December 2018

The Asian longhorns tick is native to East Asia and is a significant invasive species in New Zealand, Australia, some Pacific islands and , now, the United States.
In 2017, the Asian longhorns tick was first confirmed in the U.S. in New Jersey but it was later determined through archived tick samples to have been in the country
since 2010 or earlier.

What are they like?
An adult Asian longhorns tick is dark brown with no distinct markings and is approximately pea-sized when fully engorged. Compared to other ticks, unfed adult
Asian longhorns ticks are fairly small, measuring approximately 3 to 4 mm.
Haemaphysalis species ticks are in ornate, have festoons and do not have eyes; the
second segment of the palpi extends past the rectangular basis capitulum.

The tick species is able to survive in cold and warm climates, increasing its ability to expand its range to the rest of the U.S. I

Do they carry disease?
The Asian longhorns tick is able to transmit diseases of medical and veterinary importance, including anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, theileriosis
and a variety of viruses. The largest threat from Asian longhorns ticks in the U.S. is the risk they pose to livestock. Infestations on livestock can cause stress,
decreased growth and production, exsanguination or death. The tick has already infested numbers host species in the U.S. including sheep, cattle, horses, dogs,
cats, opossums, raccoons and deer.

What can we do to stop them?
At this time, standard tick preventions and treatments are thought to be effective for livestock and pets. Typical tick prevention methods on feedlots and pastures are
encouraged, including trimming grass and weeds and eliminating brush.

Dr. Richard Gerhold works in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee.