Piedmont Equine Practice

by Chloe M. ’21

On January 22nd, several fellow Animal Science concentrators and I visited the Piedmont Equine Practice in The Plains, VA to participate in a seminar led by equine veterinarian Dr. Amy Polkes. She spoke about her experiences in the study of equine cardiology, and she answered many interesting questions from the audience.
The two main topics that she covered during the seminar were murmurs and cardiac arrhythmias in horses. She defined murmurs to be “a disturbance in the blood flow” and cardiac arrhythmias as “a disturbance in the heart’s electrical activity.” Dr. Polkes also shared some intriguing case studies which highlighted her experiences with horses suffering from these health issues. We were presented with graphs, charts, and audio recordings to further explain the dangers of the two health concerns discussed during the seminar. Dr. Polkes also presented some photographs of her work and findings through her years of working as an equine veterinarian.

Not only did we learn about these two health problems found in horses, but we also gained an understanding of how to resolve various medical issues and what exams and evaluations must be performed. Dr. Polkes showed images of exams in progress and spoke about the proper way to ensure the horses’ safety during examination. She also shared some of her experiences with past horse patients, their examination outcomes, and their overall evaluation results.

After the presentation, Dr. Polkes took questions from the audience, and we heard about her treatment recommendations for certain scenarios. It was very interesting to learn about Dr. Polkes’ approach and her resolutions. All who attended from Foxcroft enjoyed hearing from Dr. Polkes, and we hope to bring her to Foxcroft to teach a seminar with one of the School ponies.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.