Blessed Are The Broodmares, second edition
–M. Phyllis Lose, VMD
First published in 1978, this book was the first of its kind: a single source containing a wide range of information on the care of the breeding mare – from mating, through gestation, to foaling and nursing, to care of the foal. This was one of many “firsts” developed and written by M. Phyllis Lose, V.M.D., internationally respected for her knowledge and expertise in equine medicine. Several years later, the author revised and updated her book with a second edition (1991), taking into account the improvements and changes that had taken place in equine pediatrics since the first edition was published. The second edition includes updated information on drugs, medications and immunizations, plus a new chapter on difficult births (dystocia). Dr. Lose explains the problems that can arise and how one can safely intervene and safeguard the well-being of the mare until the veterinarian arrives. Even those with years of experience can still learn from this book, with its seventy-five new photographs and drawings; 288 pages. The book is still a valuable reference guide for all aspects of mare care.
Dr. Lose, retired from practice, has led a distinguished career. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school in 1957, one of only two women in a class of 50. She became the first woman equine veterinarian; also, the first woman to build an equine surgical hospital.
At fifteen, she began exercising racehorses at the track. Within a few years, she was able to convince the track stewards to let her certify to become a trainer, and at 19, she became the third woman in the country to hold a horse trainer’s license – and the youngest racehorse trainer in the country.
Throughout her strenuous studies, managing a barn, and training and exercising racehorses, Phyllis still found time to train a show jumper, and won many prizes on her own horses as well as riding for clients. In 1952, she rode her own mare, Cassadol, to victory in the Devon Horse Show Open Jumper Class.
At her surgical hospital, Lose developed a procedure that transects the check ligament sheath, which released the tendon and resulted in nearly 100 % success in every club-footed horse she tried it on. She prides herself on never having an animal with a post-op infection, which she credits to her obsession with cleanliness and sterilization.
Some of her other accomplishments: she established the Equine Veterinary Medical Museum, the first museum of its kind. She was the first woman member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). She diagnosed and confirmed the first case of equine encephalomyelitis in Pennsylvania. She developed surgical procedures for the correction of club-footed foals, the removal of ovarian tumors, and the removal of urinary bladder stones. She developed techniques for cataract removal in foals and geriatrics, bilateral guttural pouch patency, and for treating navicular syndrome.
In 1999 at age 73, she relocated to Florida, where the state required her to take her veterinary board exams again. “I was the oldest person there,” she told Veterinary Practice News. “I had to take them on the computer, and I was still the first to finish.” She then worked as a track veterinarian for many more years.
As one can tell, Lose is the kind of woman who accomplishes whatever she sets out to do. Perhaps her story is best told in her autobiography No Job for a Lady as told to Daniel Mannix (co-author). Lose’s other books include Blessed Are The Foals (1987, 1998) and Keep Your Horse Healthy (1986).
Read more about Dr. Lose at the Brandon Equine Medical Center website: http://brandonequine.com/in-the-news.php
More information at Veterinary Practice News: http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/March-2013/First-Woman-Equine-Veterinarian-Reflects-On-Her-Career/
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