Equine department

 

Diagnostics

Ultrasound scanners

We have designated linear ultrasound scanners which can be used for examination of horses, ponys and in some cases larger donkeys!  They are used for Tendon Scanning during Lameness work ups and in follow ups, Scanning mares before during and after service to detect any problems and determine if they are pregnant.  We also have access to a sector scanner which enables to scan other areas of the body including the heart, lungs, eye and some parts of the abdomen.  All of our scanners are fully portable so can be used either in the practice or out in the field.

Portable x-ray machine

We have recently acquired a digital x-ray machine which is designed for use both in the field and in the practice. With the digital processor, the images are available within minutes of the x-ray being taken, right there "horse-side" with no need to run back to the surgery. This allows us to come and x-ray horses which are unable to travel into the surgery for examination, including horses with suspected fractures which would be made unstable by transport and laminitics.

Endoscopy

We have a portable endoscope (sometimes called a "magic-eye")which can be used in the field or in the practice.  It allows us to view the larynx and trachea of the horse, and down into the oesophagus. This can be is very useful in assessing horses suffering from poor performance, COPD and broken wind.  The endoscope can also be useful in cases of problem breeders for good visualisation of the cervix

 

Facilities

Stables for patient hospitalisation

The practice has 2 stables to allow for hospitalisation of horses, donkeys and foals which enables us to care for more complicated and difficult cases without having to make multiple visits to your yard.  It also allows us to offer intensive care to the most sick cases, as our nurses are happy to care for them aswell.  The stables are large and spacious with a special rubberised floor making them both comfortable and easily cleaned.  We have facilities which allow for IV fluid administration for our in patients.

Knock down box

The knock down box is used for induction of anaesthesia and we also use it as our operating theatre.  The box is heavily padded and easy to clean and disinfect.  It offers a safe and comfortable environment for your animals to come round from their anaesthetic and they remain in here until they are steady enough to be moved back to their box.

Stocks

Our purpose built stocks provide a safe environment for both horse and vet for assessment of problems.  They are used for Scanning, x-rays, dentistry, injury assessment and standing surgery under sedation.  We find that horses are more settled in them, and we can often undertake procedures which may require heavy sedation out on the yard with minimal to no sedation.

Pharmacy

The practice has a fully stocked pharmacy, and drugs which are not in stock are generally available for collection the following day.  We do ask that you provide us with 24hrs to put repeat prescriptions ready as these have to be dispensed by a Vet.

24hr nurse cover on site

We have experienced nurses on site 24/7 many of whom own their own horses.  They help to vets to monitor the patients over night and aid in their care. 

In house laboratory

We have a laboratory on site which provides use with the ability to run bloods and urine sample on site enabling rapid diagnosis and easy monitoring for both animals on site or in the field.  We can also send samples away to external laboratories to run further specialist tests.  The Lab is also used for Worm egg counting.

 

 

Services

Dentistry

We can undertake both corrective and routine dentistry within the practice, and routine dentistry out in the field.  We have Gags designed for both Horses and ponies, and also undertake dental procedures on donkeys.  Along side routine rasping, we have equipment to enable us to undertake Wolf tooth extraction and molar extractions.  We hold quarterly Dentistry Days in the practice for a set fee.

Castration

These are done standing under heavy sedation either out on your yard or in the practice depending on your personal preference.  We will also undertake Rig castrations in the practice under general anaesthesia.

Reproductive management (mare scanning, chilled AI, problem breeders)

Our vets have experience in scanning mares and Artificial insemination using chilled semen either in the practice, at the stud or on your yard.  We also undertake management of problem breeders using our ultrasound scanners, and endoscope.

Vettings (Pre-purchase examinations)

There are 2 types of vettings, explained below.  We generally undertake these on the yard where the horse is being purchased from.  We can also undertake vettings for insurance. 

2 stage - A 2 stage vetting involves

A thorough preliminary examination: This takes into account not only the obvious points concerning the eyes, heart, lungs (at rest), but also the horse’s conformation and its potential implications, any evidence of previous or current injury, external tumours, skin conditions, dental problems and a whole raft of potential pitfalls.

An examination at walk and trot: Obviously this examines soundness, but also more subtle gait changes and neurological conditions can be detected at this point

5 stage - A 5 stage vetting starts with the 2 stages above but then continues on with

The strenuous exercise phase: The horse is worked so that it is breathing heavily and its heart rate is raised. This also allows a far better examination of soundness in ‘wind and limb’.

A period of rest

Final trot up and foot examination: Occasionally lameness or stiffness can become apparent as the horse cools down, which might not have been noticed initially when the horse had been brought from his stable.

Blood Sampling - During vetting we also take a blood sample which is sent for storage at a specialist lab. In the event of a dispute, for example over whether drugs had been administered prior to the purchase of the horse, this sample can be tested and act as an invaluable safeguard for everyone concerned.

What is the difference between a 2-stage and a 5-stage vetting?

A 2-stage vetting omits the final three stages listed above. The first two stages are conducted just as thoroughly as in the full 5-stage examination; it is important however to realise that some problems simply might not become apparent in this limited version.

What do we need?

For the examination to be conducted properly we require a handler, a level hard surface to trot up on, and a stable or other suitable area that can be darkened for the eye examination. In addition for a 5-stage vetting we normally require a rider, and a level non-slip surface where the horse can be exercised at walk, trot, and canter  – a school is ideal. The horse’s passport should also be available – please note it is now illegal to sell a horse without a valid passport!

Additional examinations

During the examination we may find something that we feel requires further investigation before we can ‘pass’ the horse – or not as the case may be! Insurance companies may also request x-rays before they will insure a horse, especially in more expensive animals. This can be done on-site though when many x-rays are to be taken it is usually most practical to bring the horse into the practice.  It may also be necessary for us to consult specialists if we feel we have discovered anything particularily unusual.

Lameness

The practice is well equipped for lameness work ups with a hard trot up, and soft grass are for trot ups as well as the stocks for radiographs and ultrasound assessment.  We will undertake nerve and joint blocks to establish the position and likely cause of the lameness.  Once the cause is established we can recommend further management, undertake therapeutic joint injections as well as other treatments.  We can also recommend referral to local equine hospitals if we feel further specialist surgical treatment may be required.

Worm egg counting and advice regarding worming protocols

We offer worm egg counting within the practice as an aid to pasture management and to avoid over use of worming drugs when they are not necessarily required.  Once the sample has arrived in the practice it is generally a 24 to 48 hour turn around time for results.  Our vets are also available for advice regarding worming protocols, pasture management and management of individual horses on your premises.