Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 90

PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY MAY 2016 the practice in November 2015. The vets at NTVH see lots of cutting horses but not exclusively. “A lot of them will start as cutters and become rejects and the next thing you know, they’re turned into rodeo horses,” Dr. Sweatt explained. “Also, my partner will look at eventing-type horses — jumpers, some race horses. Cutters make up the vast majority…. We live in a really good area, lots of expensive horses — yeah, people tend to spend the money. The mare is the first to know, the person watching her is the second and the veterinarian is the third.” Asked if he is seeing more instances of mares carrying twins, Dr. Sweatt said, “Maybe we do, [because] we’re doing a better job of monitoring, you know, from an ultrasound standpoint. We tend to use a lot more drugs now to help these mares cycle. So some of that may be man-induced ovulation — we give the drugs to make them ovulate. Just based on the drugs we use we may see more ovulation, more twins based upon that.” Twins in mares are considered problematic and one of the fetuses is terminated. “We tend to catch it more because we’re ultra-sounding them,” Dr. Sweatt said. “We tend to catch it early, so 88 we’re able to terminate one of those pregnancies fairly quickly. We’re ultra-sounding them fourteen or fifteen days post insemination.” Mares carry their foals about 11 months — 330 days. The good doctor has been here fourteen years, arriving in 2002. He grew up in Plainview, Texas, north of Amarillo on the South Plains. He attended Texas A&M College Station where he completed his undergraduate, masters and vet school work, ten years total. Out of vet school he practiced in Spearman, Texas, in the extreme northern Panhandle from 2000 to 2002. He owned a mobile practice in Parker County before merging with Dr. Hutchins. Dr. Sweatt does what he does because he enjoys practicing ever-evolving medicine. “We get to do things in veterinary medicine that we don’t get to do in human medicine, whether it’s [because of the] FDA or the insurance saying what we can and can’t do. We don’t have those restraints in veterinary medicine,” he said. “We have a little longer leash in veterinary medicine so we can practice medicine … . When your horse has a problem, 95 percent of the time you learn what that horse has, the day you are here … . As a veterinarian you are the OB, you’re the pharmacist, surgeon — you’re pretty much everything. I enjoy that.”