BARTA Presentation 2017
Dr Emma Punt is the research lead for the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) as well as being a McTimoney equine and canine chiropractor for more than 12 years.
BARTA’s mission is to advise, direct and train personnel involved in fire and rescue situations, to safeguard public and emergency responders and to improve the welfare and viability of animals in emergency situations.
Emma shared her vision for how vets and McTimoney therapists should rethink how they approach post-trauma care. Emma presented her “Golden Time” concept at BARTA’s 2017 conference at University College Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, California in October. The 2-6 weeks after the incident is the ‘Golden Time’ when a horse would hugely benefit from being assessed by a vet and a physical therapist such as a chiropractor in order to improve outcomes and manage owner/rider expectations. This is the period when Emma believes a partnership approach between vets and chiropractors could make a huge difference.
Emma also presented preliminary results from a UK wide survey that she initiated with Nottingham Trent University. Up to 52% of transport accidents resulted in a horse being hurt with 30% of those injured being left with chronic issues.
“In recent years I’ve seen increasing numbers of horses with musculo-skeletal issues caused by transportation accidents. This inspired me to look at how vets and McTimoney chiropractors could work in partnership to offer enhanced rehabilitation after the accident, to improve outcomes for both horses and owners.”
“Today, when a horse is rescued, it might be considered viable on first inspection at the roadside, but it may never return to work. It may even end up being put down at a later date. We should recognise that during an incident the horse is full of adrenalin and stress hormones. The horse has probably been sedated in order to enable to a rescue, and it wouldn’t be safe to trot the horse up on the road.
So a roadside assessment may not show all or any of the injuries the horse has sustained. These might even be fatal, result in the horse being put to sleep, have a detrimental impact on the horse’s ability to work, or mean that the horse cannot reach the same level of performance enjoyed before the accident or that the horse is left unsound and needs to be retired”.
Taking a different approach to assessing the viability, and in particular, any hidden injuries such as musculo-skeletal issues that can be treated with McTimoney, in the weeks AFTER the accident could revolutionise follow-up care. This would ensure more horses can return to work.