We provide medical care for problems such as respiratory infections, abscesses, small airway disease, colic, laminitis, and endocrine problems.
Fecal floats are now done right at our clinic—to test parasite levels and determine the need for deworming.Bloodwork is sent out daily to Idexx Labs, and we often have next day results when possible.
Wellness Care & Exams
The goal of wellness visits are to keep your horse in its best condition for performance, whether your discipline is riding, driving, racing or breeding. We can help you design a nutrition, deworming, vaccination and management plan that is tailored to your horse’s needs and your needs. Wellness exams range from a simple physical exam, to more detailed work-up including dentistry, bloodwork, xrays, or more.
Routine dental care has become an important part of maintaining your horse’s good health.We recommend an annual dental check-up for all horses, minis, donkeys and mules.Some will require “floating” to eliminate sharp enamel points which can irritate the cheeks and tongue.Others will need more extensive dental equilibration to balance the mouth and enable the horse to chew and use its jaw better.We use a combination of manual (hand-float) dentistry and electrical (powerfloat) tools to complete the procedure.Every animal is different. Some will need dental care every 6 months, others only every few years. Several factors are involved, including age of horse, bite (how the teeth meet together) and use of horse (performance versus pleasure). We can help design a program that best suits your horse’s needs. Young horses sometimes have wolf teeth, which, depending on their location, size and the horse’s use, may need to be extracted.Young horses also lose their baby teeth, called deciduous teeth, up until about 4 ½ years old. They should come out naturally (often found in the feed bucket!) but sometimes are retained or impacted, called “caps”. These caps should be removed, to allow the permanent tooth underneath to come in/erupt normally.The presence of caps can be detected on a veterinary dental examination. Many people don’t realize that donkeys and mules need dental care too. They may or may not ever have to wear a bit and bridle, but regular dental assessment and care will ensure that they can eat normally into their older years. Keep in mind that donkeys can live well into their 40’s, and will be much healthier with a happy mouth. Miniature horses are also very prone to dental abnormalities due to the small size of the mouth.They should be treated regularly and assessed beginning early in life (as early as a year of age) to prevent future problems.
Reproductive (Breeding and Foaling mares)
We offer reproductive services on farm, including broodmare and prenatal care, care for newborn foals and breeding with fresh-chilled shipped semen.
Our foaling and breeding facility is now at the same location as our clinic.
We offer full foaling-out services and monitoring of both normal and high risk pregnancies. We encourage clients to bring horses to the clinic for ultrasounds and artificial insemination, as they can be closely monitored for optimal time of breeding. Mares can be bred with shipped, fresh-cooled semen or with frozen semen. We have several storage tanks for frozen semen as well, and offer short and longterm storage of semen.
The breeding and foaling program is completely veterinary supervised, with 24-hour staff on the premises and every foaling stall on camera.
We offer group or individual turnout and a custom feed program.
Foals at the farm are handled daily, halter broke and trained to lead.
Short and long term boarding of broodmares is available.
Basic lameness exams may include palpation, flexion, hoof testing and gait assessment. Lameness may be assessed in hand, on the lunge line, or under tack (riding or driving). Further workups may include diagnostic blocks (freezing certain parts of the leg to localize pain) and/or radiographs (xrays) and ultrasound. We offer digital radiography, which allows us to see the xrays immediately on the screen and tailor a plan for the horse right on the farm. Digital xrays can also be emailed for the owner to keep or for a second opinion if needed.
Sometimes radiography and ultrasound do not provide the answers we need, especially with foot lamenesses, and we can provide referral for standing MRI or nuclear scintigraphy.
Treatment modalities for lameness that we offer are: joint injections, Cryotherapy, as well as oral and injectable joint and bone supplements. We have good working relationships with several local alternative practitioners (for chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy) and local farriers. We believe that a horse should first be diagnosed by a veterinarian and then treated with the appropriate therapy. These practitioners work with us, sending us regular updates, and keeping us informed of each case. We believe it is very important to work as a team for your horse’s health!
Minor surgeries can be performed on farm or at our clinic, with the horse under general anesthesia (laying down asleep) or sometimes with simple sedation. Minor surgeries are biopsies, growth removal, wound repair and treatment, and young horse castrations. Castrations can be done as early as 4 months (with foal still on mare) depending on the veterinarian.
We perform routine castrations on all ages of colts and stallions. “Routine” castration means that the horse is healthy, up-to-date on vaccines and deworming, with 2 descended testicles (that we can feel in the scrotum). All of our castrations are done with the horse under general anesthetic, with the cords sutured to help minimize post-operative complications.
We do prefer to castrate older stallions at the clinic, as we can provide 24 hour monitoring for complications. Usually they would stay 3-4 days before returning home. In some circumstances, older stallions can be done at home, so long as the appropriate monitoring and environment is available.
“Cryo” is a term used to describe freezing an area with liquid nitrogen. This treatment may be used in different ways:
- To numb the nerves in an area, and encourage the circulation and scar tissue buildup. This is often used on racehorses in order to accelerate healing. Examples include cryo-ing a splint, a bowed tendon, or a suspensory ligament tear. This leaves a white scar and may not be suitable for show/performance horses.
- To kill tumour tissue. Cryo-ing can be used to treat non-invasive skin tumours such as sarcoids. The affected area is put through three full freeze-thaw cycles per treatment. Over the next few weeks the tissue will die and be replaced with new, healthy tissue. Horses must be sedated for cryo as it is mildly painful.
Note: There are other options available for tumour treatment, such as injecting the tumour with chemotherapeutic agents or using topical creams. Talk to us if you have any questions!
An endoscope is a camera on the end of a long, narrow, flexible tube. The tube is passed up the horse’s nose, and then can be passed into the trachea (and down into the bronchi). It can also stop at the throat to have a look at important structures such as the epiglottis, soft palate, and arytenoids, or be used to examine the guttural pouches. Typically, respiratory endoscopy is used to assess horses with either throat problems or breathing problems, in order to more appropriately direct treatment. It can be used to diagnose the cause of a bloody nose or bloody nasal discharge. A scope may be suggested if your horse is noisy while exercising or coughs but doesn’t have any other symptoms.
We provide emergency services 24 hours a day for our regular clientele. Clients living outside our emergency service range are welcome to bring their horses to our clinic for treatment. Please call the regular office number for emergency service. After hour calls will go through the answering service and they will forward the information on to the veterinarian on call.
PPE’s are performed to identify any pre-existing medical or soundness issues in a prospective purchase, and to provide an opinion on how these issues might affect the horse in its’ future use. Prepurchase exams are done on all types of horses, from backyard trail horses up to high-end performance horses.Remember, the initial cost of the horse is but a small investment compared to the time, energy and money you will put into your horse in the future. The basic prepurchase exam involves a full physical health exam, soundness assessment, hoof tester response,and flexion tests. Additional testing may involve: radiographs, endoscopy and/or bloodwork.
Miniature horses and donkeys
We regularly do veterinary work on miniature horses, donkeys and mules. It is important to know that minis tend to need specialized dentistry, and donkeys also need regular vaccinations and dental check-ups.
There are lots of donkeys populating our practice area, and we believe they should receive the same excellent veterinary care as their horsey friends! We provide veterinary services to the Primrose Donkey Sanctuary in Roseneath and we are happy to help you with any of your donkey questions or concerns!