Tick time!

Finally the weather has warmed up and we are all spending some much needed time outside. Our parasite ‘friends’ are also thrilled that we are out hiking with our dogs and riding our horses.

The most common tick in Montana is the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick. (See pictures)

Even at our high elevation in Red Lodge, we begin to see ticks in mid-March or even earlier depending on weather. Ticks do not jump or fly (luckily), instead they lie in wait on vegetation and climb on to your pet or horse as they pass by and attach to the body.

It is important to check your horse routinely and your pet thoroughly after being outside. Pay close attention to the under belly, under the neck area, behind (and inside) ears and the head. Ticks can even be found inside you pets mouth attached to the gums!

There are several diseases that can be transferred to both humans and pets from our local ticks, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Black Legged Tick which carries Lyme’s Disease is not known to be found in Montana.

Even without disease transmission a large infestation of ticks can cause lethargy, anemia and other health concerns.

Removing ticks:

– Use tweezers and grasp the mouth parts as close to the skin as possible, pull directly away from your pet or horse.

– Do not twist as you pull as you may break off the mouth parts under the skin and this can lead to irritation and infection at the bite site.

– Do not crush the ticks while they are attached to prevent disease transmission.

– Place them in rubbing alcohol to kill before disposal, or burn them.

– Wash your hands thoroughly after handling ticks.

We have multiple options for preventing ticks and other external parasites on your horses and livestock – each product last approximately 2 weeks per treatment:

– Equi-Spot – Topical oil based drop that is applied to the body
– Topical Dusting Powder for Ticks and Lice – Applied to the mane and tail head
– Pour on – Clean Up II – Applied to the base of the mane and tail head
– Topical Fly Spray – Endure

Here is a good article about tick control in horses:

AAEP – Tick Control in Horses

For pets we carry the following products:

Effitix Plus or Effipro Plus – Topical drop applied once per month
Credelio (dogs only) – Oral tablet given once per month
Bravecto (dogs only) – Oral tablet given every 3 months

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
Itchy Horse

Call us today for more information! 406-446-2815

COVID-19 Protocol Update

First, we would like to thank our clients for being flexible and understanding over the last 6 weeks. Since March 23rd we have been operating with a curbside only service approach.

Starting today, May 6th, we will be giving clients the option of accompanying their pet/horse inside the clinic/equine exam room for their exam and treatments. 

That being said, we are still reducing the amount of traffic into the building to one client / patient at a time. Please see our new protocol below:

WHAT TO EXPECT – Large and Small Animal appointments:

Small animal clients, please park beside the clinic closest to the front of the building.

Equine and large animal clients, please drive around the cul-de-sac at the end of the road and park your trailer in the gravel parking lot.

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here.

We will ask if you would like to come in for your appointment, wait in the vehicle, or drop off your pet and come back at a later time.

As before, if you would prefer to wait outside or drop off, Dr. Gruber will discuss exam findings either in person (outside) or by phone. We will then proceed with treatments as decided by you and Dr. Gruber. 

If you accompany your pet into the exam room, we will have our technicians and Dr. Gruber handle your pet, to reduce close contact with multiple clients. We will maintain a 6ft distance from you as best as we can. We will continue cleaning high traffic areas, door handles, counter tops, merchant machines etc. between each client to help reduce transmission. 


When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here. We will let you know if you can come in and get them (if the reception area is clear of other clients / patients). If not, we will bring them to your vehicle as before.

We can take payment over the phone and are still accepting credit cards, cash or checks.

We appreciate your cooperation as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID19 and other illnesses. Please call the clinic if you have any questions or concerns 406-446-2815. We look forward to getting back to ‘normal’ and ‘Together, We Can Do This!”








Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic’s – New COVID-19 Curbside/Carside Service Protocol

Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation throughout our state, country and worldwide. In order to reduce the number of people entering our hospital, we have decided to only allow patients, and employees into our facility. This will reduce exposure to our clients, staff and facility. We really appreciate everyone’s help with social distancing. We are still offering ALL of our regular services, and look forward to assisting you.


Small Animal Visits

What to expect:

Please stay in your vehicle and call us at the office, (406) 446-2815, when you arrive to the clinic. We will come out to your vehicle and bring your pet in for their examination and treatments. Dr. Casey Gruber will discuss the exam findings and treatment options (if applicable) by phone. Once we are done, we can collect carside/curbside payment at that time, or can process payment over the phone. All medications, products or food will be brought to your vehicle.


Equine In-Clinic Visits

What to expect:

When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle and call the clinic at (406) 446-2815. We will come out and bring your horse to the exam room. Dr. Casey will discuss the exam findings and treatment options by phone. When we are done, we will bring your horse back to your trailer. We can collect carside/curbside payment at that time or take payment over the phone. We will bring all prescription medications or products to your vehicle.


Medication Refills, Food or other Products

One our team members will bring your products out to your vehicle when you arrive, to limit the number of people entering the hospital. Please call ahead to give us time to get your products ready, and also when you arrive.

These are uncertain times for all of us, and we ask for your patience and understanding as new information is continuously reported and new protocols are established.

As always, it is our priority to keep your animals healthy. Now, we are doing our part to make sure you stay healthy too!

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (406) 446-2815 and we will address any concerns you may have.

Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic


Coronavirus Update – RLVC Protocol

We are OPEN and providing our same level of service

We understand the concern in our community due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We want you to know that we are taking the risk seriously. Most important, we hope you, your family and your pets are staying healthy during this challenging time.

We are writing to let you to know the steps we are taking to continue to provide quality care for your pets, while keeping you and our team safe.

In addition to our regular cleaning and disinfecting protocols, we have also increased the frequency of disinfecting high traffic areas, such as, reception counter tops, door knobs, exam room seating, tables, credit card machines and bathrooms. We are following the CDC recommendations to keep our team and clients healthy.

We have extra hand sanitizer in all areas of our hospital that we request you use on arrival and on your way out. We support our team and ask they stay home if they are not feeling well.

If you are showing symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19

If you are showing symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, have traveled to a high-risk area in the last 14 days, have been in contact with someone who has been showing symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. We request to reschedule non-urgent medical care for your pet(s). If your pet requires a visit, or we cannot reschedule for medical reasons, we ask that you have a healthy friend of family member bring your pet in.

If you are not unwell, but are concerned about exposure

Please call the clinic when you arrive and we can come out to your vehicle and bring your pet in. We will discuss the exam findings by phone and proceed with treatment as requested.

For all others bringing their pet(s) in we ask that you follow these recommendations to reduce potential exposure:

  • Limit the number of people bringing your pet into the clinic for care.
  • Stay 3-5 feet away from others while waiting in reception. If preferred, after you check in, you may wait in your vehicle and we can call you when we are ready for you to come in.
  • Use hand sanitizer in exam rooms, bathrooms, and reception.

Equine and Large Animal Appointments

Follow the same protocols as listed above. If you are concerned about exposure, call us when you arrive and we will come out and meet you at your truck/trailer.

After-Hour Emergencies

Dr. Gruber will still be providing emergency care after-hours and on weekends. If you have been symptomatic, or directly exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you have a healthy friend or family member bring the patient in for care. if this is not possible, make sure that Dr. Gruber is aware of your situation, and we will do our best to help your pet(s) while reducing exposure to our doctor and staff.

We can bring medications and food out to your vehicle.

We carry many medications and pet food in-clinic. If you are concerned about exposure, you can pay over the phone and one our team members can bring your products out to your vehicle when you arrive. Please call ahead to give us time to get your products ready, and also when you get here.

We offer Home Delivery

Please use our online store to order medications, over-the-counter products, pet food and more Delivered directly to your door! Click the link below to get started.


How is COVID-19 affecting pets?

The latest information does not show evidence of any risk to pets in contracting COVID-19 or being able to transmit the disease to humans.

What if my pet is coughing, sneezing or showing other COVID-19 symptoms?

As with any virus, we ask that your pet stay in the vehicle until we are ready to see them. Please check-in with reception and we will ensure that your pet does not have contact with other pets. Dogs and cats can contract other illnesses that produce the same symptoms, such as Bordetella Bronchispetica (kennel Cough), Canine Influenza, Feline Herpesvirus etc.

We are doing everything we can to continue to provide service to the community while following recommended guidelines to prevent transmission of COVID-19. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates if changes to our protocol is necessary.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns. 406-446-2815 or

Please follow these links for updates:







POSTPONED – SAVE THE DATE – Equine Educational Seminar 2020 – April 15th


** THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED ** We hope to reschedule at a later time this year. Please check back!

Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic is proud to host our 3rd annual Equine Educational Seminar. Thanks to the help from our sponsors MWI Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica we are once again able to offer this informative event at no charge to you! The location of the event is the Bull N’ Bear event room (upstairs) on Wednesday, April 15th. Doors open at 5:30pm, talks start at 6:00 pm and will go until 9:00pm. Food and drinks will be provided.

We are passionate about educating horse owners and enthusiasts on some common and not so common areas of interest. In the past we have touched on topics such as PPID (Cushings Disease), laminitis, lameness, vaccinations and infectious diseases. Stay tuned for this year’s topics! Follow our event on Facebook for updates! 3rd Annual Equine Seminar – FB Event

Please RSVP by April 5th. 406-446-2815 or email us at The previous events have ‘sold-out’ and we had a wait list. So RSVP early to ensure a seat! We look forward to seeing everyone on April 15th. 

Save The Date!


Vetsource Online Pharmacy

We understand how important home delivery and online shopping is, which is why we’ve partnered with Vetsource, the industry-leading Home Delivery pharmacy provider to offer you this convenient service. 
Our partnership with Vetsource means that we can continue to supply you with quality products sourced directly from the manufacturer and have them shipped right to your front door with no shipping charges.* 

Ordering is easy! Click HERE to check out our online pharmacy.
Utilizing our online pharmacy is beneficial to both you and us as:
– Time saving: We can approve prescription requests faster and keep better track of our pets medications with our Vetsource online dashboard. Allowing your pets prescriptions to get on their way sooner!
  – Convenient: We can approve multiple refills with Vetsource which means you to set up auto-ship, so your pets medications and pet food arrives before you even think about it!  
– Quality and reputation: Vetsource is a reputable pharmacy that backs all of their products. They have a licensed pharmacist on staff AND double check all of the prescriptions before they leave the distribution center! Check out this FDA report on choosing a reputable pharmacy: FDA Document Re: Online Pharmacies
– You are supporting a LOCAL BUSINESS. By using our online pharmacy, you are helping us stay in business and continue to provide high-quality valuable services to the Red Lodge and surrounding areas. 
 Save Money! Each week receive special coupon codes for additional 10-25% off your order!
Click here HERE to get started today!  
You can also order over the phone! Call our office at 406-446-2815 or the Vetsource Pet Owner Care team at (877) 738-4443 Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

*Free standard shipping applies to all AutoShip, RemindMe and food orders, and all orders over $49.

Your pets health is our utmost priority, and helping you find easier more convenient ways to accomplish that is our mission!
Please contact us with any questions or concerns 406-446-2815.

Dental Month – February 2020

Equine Dental 2020

In February we will once again be offering a 20% discount on equine dental floats. In-clinic appointments only. Call us today 446-2815 to reserve your spot.


Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort.

For this reason, periodic dental examinations performed by your equine veterinarian are essential to your horse’s health. It is important to catch dental problems early. If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems should be considered as a potential cause. Waiting too long may increase the difficulty of remedying certain conditions or may even make remedy impossible.

Look for the following indicators of dental problems from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to know when to seek veterinary attention for your horse:


  1. Loss of feed from mouth while eating, difficulty with chewing, or excessive salivation.
  2. Loss of body condition.
  3. Large or undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure.
  4. Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit, or resisting bridling.
  5. Poor performance, such as lugging on the bridle, failing to turn or stop, even bucking.
  6. Foul odor from mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth.
  7. Nasal discharge or swelling of the face, jaw or mouth tissues.


Oral exams should be an essential part of an annual physical examination by your veterinarian. Every dental exam provides the opportunity to perform routine preventative dental maintenance. Mature horses should get a thorough dental exam at least once a year, and horses 2 –5 years old should be examined twice yearly.


Learn more about proper dental care at



The cause of gum disease is the same in cats and dogs as it is in people. Gum disease is an infection resulting from build-up of soft dental plaque on the surfaces of the teeth around the gums. The bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gum tissue if plaque is allowed to accumulate, which often leads to infection in the bone surrounding the teeth. Hard dental tartar (calculus) consists of calcium salts from saliva deposited on plaque. Tartar starts to form within a few days on a tooth surface that is not kept clean, and provides a rough surface that enhances further plaque accumulation. Once it has begun to grow in thickness, tartar is difficult to remove without dental instruments. – From VOHC.

Once tartar forms on the teeth, mechanical removal with an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments followed by high frequency polishing is required to return the teeth to a health state. Annual or bi-annual prohylactic cleaning is recommended to prevent the advancement of periodontal disease. 

Contact us today to learn more! 446-2815

Q & A Swelling in the Girth Area

Article by Dr. Casey Gruber – Originally posted on


My horse is swollen under his girth area on both sides of his body. There isn’t a sore; the area just seems very tender when I groom it. The girth does not seem to be rubbing. What could be causing this problem?


This is not an uncommon finding you are describing with your horse but one that can be a bit tricky to figure out.

Though you mentioned it does not appear to be the result of rubbing, I would check your tack closely to make sure that excess pressure in the cinch or girth is not occurring at the swelling site.

If you ride in a western saddle, the length of the cinch can sometimes create pressure at the “D” ring where the latigo attaches to. Even an otherwise properly fit saddle can create “hot spots” or pressure sores in the girth region related to the contact site with the cinch.

These scenarios are less likely to occur with an English saddle, but still worth a closer inspection.

I have also seen horses develop allergic reactions (contact dermatitis) to a cinch based on their makeup (cotton, neoprene, etc.).

During this time of year, a horse’s longer coat can trap in moisture underneath tack leading to higher incidence of skin reactions or dermatitis. Sometimes an obvious rash is not always present. Even irritation from tack pulling on the coat can lead to inflammation and irritation of the area. This will hopefully improve within a week or two if the horse is not saddled during this time.

It is also recommended that you contact your local veterinarian to get his or her advice. A bacteria or fungal infection is possible in that location (including ringworm) and treatment will depend on many variables, including the horse’s general health, age, and geographic location. Please have your veterinarian examine the horse if you continue to have concerns.

FAQs – Equine Vaccines

Q: I just purchased a five year old horse with unknown vaccination history, what does she need?

A: Vaccinations for horses are split into 2 groups: core and risk-based vaccines. The type and number of vaccines needed will be determined by the horses age, health status, anticipated use and management practices. Horses that either have never been vaccinated or their vaccine history is unknown should receive the initial priming vaccine followed by a booster in 28 days before they go on an annual vaccination to schedule. This schedule maximizes the efficacy of the vaccine and strengthens the horse’s immune system.

Q: My horse travels to shows in and outside of the state, are there any other vaccines I should be giving?

A: Vaccination against contagious diseases such as influenza, equine herpes virus (rhinopneumonitis) and strangles should be considered for horses traveling, boarding at horse barns, show horses and for horses managed at other at high-risk areas. Risk of disease may vary throughout the year or based on the horse’s health status. Contact our office at 406-446-2815 to set up a customized vaccination program for your horse

Q: My mare just foaled out, when does the foal need its first vaccines?

A: The answer depends on if your mare was fully vaccinated before and during pregnancy. Typically your foal will not need a vaccine until 4-6 months of age. 

Q: I have a stallion and a mare that I would like to start breeding, what shots do they need and when?

A: If you plan on using your horses for breeding, please contact the clinic at 406-446-2815 so that we can discuss a vaccination program specific to your horse.

Q: Can I administer vaccines to my horse myself or does a veterinarian need to do it?

A: The Rabies vaccine is the only vaccine that state and federal laws require a veterinarian must give. All other vaccines can be administered by non-veterinarians. However, administering vaccinations incorrectly may create health problems or limit the effectiveness of the vaccine. Additionally, many of the pharmaceutical companies the produce vaccines provide assurance guarantee programs for their vaccines if administered by a licensed veterinarian. This means that if a reaction or side-effect occurred from the vaccine and it was administered by a veterinarian, the pharmaceutical company would help support the owner financially in seeking medical attention for their horse.

Please contact Dr. Casey Gruber at 406-446-2815 for a personalized vaccination program for your horse.