Maintaining your horse’s health through preventive care has benefits that include lower overall veterinary costs and a longer, more active life. Basic preventive care includes:
- Routine examinations: Routine examinations are performed to look for any early signs of illness and assess their body condition score. They may seem healthy at a glance, but with a trained eye we may be able to uncover things that can be missed or just reassure you that you are doing a great job maintaining your horse!
- Vaccinations: We will work with you to come up with a vaccination plan based on what you and your horse do together and any significant risks your horse faces throughout the year. We can discuss why the core vaccines are so important and help you decide which elective vaccines would be good for your horse.
- Motorized dentistry and dental extractions: Routine oral exams are recommended for horses every six to twelve months, depending on the age and use of the horse. Most horses require a dental once a year to help prevent dental problems before they arise.
- Chiropractic/Acupuncture: Use of complementary and integrative medicine can help ensure your horse remains comfortable and pain free. These alternative therapies can also be used for a broad spectrum of medical issues, including diarrhea, laminitis, respiratory illness, to name a few. Call our office to discuss the use of chiropractic and acupuncture for your horse's specific medical needs.
- Wellness: Our equine wellness plans are designed to cover several levels of preventative veterinary care for an entire year, locking in current significant savings. We have three plans that are designed to meet the needs of you and your horse.
- Parasite management plans: A twice yearly fecal egg count helps us develop a personalized deworming program for him or her. In this way, we can avoid the development health repercussions on your horse when not dewormed enough and also prevent parasite resistance when deworming too frequently.
- Microchipping: Microchipping your horse provides a lifetime permanent identification number for your horse that is unique to them, cannot be altered, and eliminates doubt. Microchipping provides proof of ownership, theft protection and recovery, disaster recovery, appropriate identification for health certificates and medical records and travel. **As of December 1, 2017, all horses competing in USEF-licensed and/or USHJA-sanctioned competitions with Hunter, Hunter Breeding, Jumper and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation classes not restricted by breed will be required to be microchipped to receive points. Beginning December 1, 2018, ALL horses competing in these events will be required to be microchipped.** Call our office to schedule your horse to be microchipped with an acceptable chip number.
- Digital Radiography: Our mobile radiography unit allows us to take stall-side images of your horse’s musculoskeletal system to identify problems such as arthritis, OCD lesions, fractures and more. We maintain digital records of all images and can send them to you via email, thumb drive, or CD.
- Digital Ultrasonography: Our mobile ultrasound machine allows us to image soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments to rule out or monitor injuries to those areas. It also can be used to help with broodmare management and imaging of reproductive tracts.
- Digital endoscopy/gastroscopy: Our Locust Grove location has a digital endoscope that can be used to image both the upper airway and the stomach. Upper airway problems such as a dorsally displaced soft palate, laryngeal hemiplegia, and epiglottic entrapment can be diagnosed using this tool. It is also crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of gastric ulcers.
Horses that suffer from a variety of conditions may benefit from the use of integrative medical techniques that extend and enhance the value of more traditional veterinary medical care. Some of the techniques used include
- Chiropractic: Chiropractic techniques are non-invasive procedures that utilize musculoskeletal stimulation to the nervous system to alleviate pain and allow healing. Conditions that are commonly treated with chiropractic include back, neck and pelvic pain, behavioral issues, lameness, TMJ pain, etc.
- Acupuncture and Chinese herbology: Veterinary acupuncture and herbs are useful in the treatment and prevention of many equine ailments and lameness. Common conditions that are seen and treated with acupuncture and herbs include joint soreness, muscle soreness, back soreness, behavioral issues, respiratory conditions, reproductive problems, digestive issues, as well as many other conditions.
- Tui-na: Tui-na is one of the five branches of traditional Chinese medicine. A hands-on bodywork system, it complements and enhances the effectiveness of acupuncture, herbs and chiropractic. It includes acupressure, physiotherapy, osseous manipulation and numerous massage techniques to prevent or aid in recovery from illness and injury.
Lameness Evaluation and Regenerative Medicine
- Lameness examinations and digital imaging: Horses are our companions, but they are also incredible athletes and making sure they are free from pain is a large part of our job. Using a thorough examination, diagnostic nerve blocks and various imaging modalities, we are able to localize the source of your horse’s lameness and decide the best course of treatment moving forward.
- IRAP: IRAP stands for Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein and recently is being referred to as autologous conditioned serum. During joint injury, inflammatory mediators such as IL-1 and other cytokines are released which can lead to further cartilage damage. IRAP was developed to counteract IL-1 that is produced in the traumatized joint and to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. IRAP involves drawing your horse’s blood into a specialized syringe and incubating it for 24 hours. IRAP is then injected into the joint once every 7-10 days for 3-5 treatments.
- PRP: PRP stands for platelet rich plasma and is another product that is derived from your horse’s own blood. Platelets contain numerous growth factors that are released upon platelet activation and can enhance access of healthy inflammatory cells and formation of new blood vessels, connective tissue, and skin. PRP is most commonly used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, but we have also used it in joints for arthritis treatment as well. The goal of treatment is to accelerate and improve the quality of healing.
- BMAC: Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is concentrated bone marrow that provides growth factors and stem cells. It is often used to treat more extensive tendon injuries. We collect bone marrow from your horse’s sternum or hip bone and then concentrate them in a centrifuge. This concentrate is then injected into an injured tendon under ultrasound guidance.
- Stem Cell Therapy: Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to change into a diverse range of cell types such as ligaments, tendons, bone, muscle and cartilage. Mesenchymal stem cells are found in bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. We collect bone marrow from the sternum or hip of your horse and send it off to a lab where it is cultured. After 3-4 weeks, the cultured stem cells are injected into the injured tendon, ligament or joint.
Unfortunately, horses don't always follow a Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm calendar. If you own horses long enough you are likely to encounter a medical emergency at some point. From lacerations to colic and beyond, one of our experienced veterinarians is always on call: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With us, you can rest easy knowing help is just a phone call away.
Both of our clinic locations have heated barns and treatment areas for in-clinic services and some overnight case management. If you would like to save money on a farm call fee, you can bring your horse directly to us instead! The clinics are perfect for dentistry, routine care (vaccinations, wellness checks), pre-purchase exams, lameness evaluations and other procedures. We offer drop off service for the convenience of our working clients.
Some cases that are difficult to manage on the farm may benefit from daily care at our facility. On a case by case basis we offer hospitalization to help ensure a positive outcome for your horse. This may be offered in instances of:
- Wound management
- Intravenous fluid therapy
- Reproductive management
- Medication management
- Artificial insemination and broodmare monitoring: Using ultrasonography, we are able to monitor the reproductive tract and cycle of a mare you are interested in breeding. We can time ovulation and perform artificial insemination with either fresh cooled semen or frozen semen. After insemination, we are able to track your mare's progress from confirmation of pregnancy and ensuring there are no twins to making sure she is on the right vaccination and feeding program. We help ensure the best possible outcome: a healthy foal!
- Dystocia assistance: When things go right, foaling happens very quickly and a lot of owners miss it altogether. When things go wrong, there can be very serious consequences and having a veterinarian out to help is crucial. Call us as soon as your mare starts to foal so we can be on our way in case of a dystocia.
- Uterine therapy: We perform uterine lavages and antibiotic infusions to treat uterine infections in mares.
- Castration: When you have a male horse you aren't planning on breeding, it is recommended to perform a castration procedure to make your stallion a gelding. Not only is it easier for the owner to handle the castrated horse, but it is also safer for the owner and any other horses in the area. We can perform the castration in the field at your farm using injectable anesthesia.
Your horse’s health radiates from the inside out. Internal medicine is the non-surgical treatment of disease. Using diagnostic tools such as a detailed physical examination, bloodwork, and more, we are able to diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of medical problems such as:
- Weight loss
- Respiratory issues including coughing and nasal discharge
- Endocrine disorders such as PPID (Cushing's Disease) or Equine Metabolic Syndrome
- Neurologic problems associated with abnormal behavior, gait change or paralysis
- Urinary tract disease