Equine Medicine In-House Service
Medical Emergency, Critical Care and Neonatology
The Medical Emergency, Critical Care and Neonatology Service provides 24-hour access to specialized emergency medical and intensive care services for diagnostic evaluation and management of adult and neonatal equine patients with life-threatening infectious or non-infectious medical illnesses involving all body systems. In addition, this service evaluates and monitors mares with high-risk pregnancies, as well as mares and their foals that have experienced dystocia. In order to maximize the quality of patient care while minimizing the risk of nosocomial infection, patients are received and managed in one of three dedicated ICU facilities, namely the Lucy Whittier Neonatal ICU Unit, the Equine ICU Unit, and the Equine Infectious Disease ICU Isolation Unit, each staffed by well trained teams of ICU nurses. Availability of customized equipment for lifting and slinging recumbent horses, multiple stalls equipped with overhead electric hoists, and a fully padded stall, provide unique capabilities for managing horses with neurologic or musculoskeletal disorders and those that are recumbent for other reasons.
Medicine and Dentistry
The Equine Medicine and Dentistry service provides advanced diagnostic evaluation, therapeutics, and patient care for horses with a variety of infectious and non-infectious medical disorders involving all body systems. Clinicians avail themselves of advanced imaging, laboratory diagnostic, and other support services to address the needs of patients, clients, and referring veterinarians. The service coordinates diagnostic evaluation of horses with neurologic and neuromuscular disorders, including use of electrophysiology studies such as EMG, EEG, and BAER, and immunohistochemical evaluation of muscle biopsies. In addition, the service provides advanced dental procedures including occlusal adjustment (floating), periodontal prophylaxis, restorations, and extraction of incisor and cheek teeth in standing, sedated horses. The Equine Medicine service works with the Behavior, Cardiology, Dermatology, Oncology, and Ophthalmology services to receive, evaluate and treat equine patients requiring these specialty consultations (see below).
Medical Specialty Services
Veterinary behavior specialists who are also experienced horsemen and horsewomen provide consultations to horse owners and veterinarians as part of the nationâ€™s largest veterinary behavior program. The range of equine behavior problems addressed is broad and includes headshaking, head tossing, problems with loading, stall kicking, bucking, aggression, self-mutilation, narcolepsy, and a variety of stereotypic behaviors such as crib biting and weaving.
The Cardiology Service performs in-depth evaluations on large animal patients presented with evidence of congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease or in which cardiovascular disease is suspected based on a history of poor performance or detection of a murmur or arrhythmia during cardiac auscultation. The range of diagnostic services provided includes electrocardiography, echocardiography with color flow Doppler, cardiac catheterization, and angiography.
The Dermatology Service provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for large animal patients presented with acquired or congenital disorders of the integument.
Oncology and Radiation Therapy
The Oncology Service provides contemporary diagnostic and therapeutic options for equine patients with cancer involving the skin and deeper structures. Tumor types commonly treated include sarcoid, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and lymphoma. Treatment modalities may include surgical excision or debulking, intralesional or systemic chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or combinations of these approaches. Radiation therapy is performed in a recently installed, state-of-the-art linear accelerator designed to accommodate horses. Additionally, patients may be eligible for enrollment in one of several clinical oncology trials currently ongoing within the VMTH. Referring veterinarians are encouraged to consult with a faculty oncologist to enquire about such opportunities
The Ophthalmology Service provides a full complement of diagnostic and therapeutic medical and surgical ophthalmologic services to address diseases of the eye and adnexa in horses and other large animal species. Surgical services include installation of subpalpebral lavage systems, repair of eyelid lacerations, excision of neoplastic adnexal, conjunctival or corneal lesions, repair of corneal lacerations, conjunctival grafting for treatment of deep corneal ulcers or corneal trauma, keratectomy, aspiration from or injection into the anterior chamber, cataract removal, laser surgery of the retina, and enucleation.
Neurology, Neuromuscular, and Muscle Disease
See Medicine and Dentistry service, above.