AMBULATORY SERVICES

Our ambulatory veterinary surgeons provide care to yards and stud farms within a 40km radius of the practice. If you reside outside this limit, you can contact the clinic and we will do our utmost to arrange a call out to you.

This practical approach means we bring the veterinary care to you and you don’t have to worry about transporting your horse. We provide onsite radiography, vetting, endoscopy, foal care, reproduction and much more.

LAMENESS ASSESSMENT

Lameness can be a frustrating discovery but we have the latest technology and techniques to diagnose the problem.

Our aim is to precisely locate the cause of lameness using digital x-ray, ultrasound and even diagnostic nerve blocks if needed. Pin-pointing the cause accurately means we can outline a treatment plan that will optimise recovery time.

ENDOSCOPY

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure, using a flexible tube with a light and camera, to examine a patient’s digestive or respiratory tract. The endoscope is placed through the horse’s nose to give our vets a closer look at the internal structures for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

RADIOGRAPHY

Our digital x-ray system produces high quality radiographs for diagnostic examination. This imaging service is fully portable and can be performed on your grounds or at our practice, depending on the degree of work-up required.

REPRODUCTION

We provide routine reproductive work during the breeding season and pre-season for mares. This service includes genitalia examination to pinpoint optimum covering time, ultrasonographic pregnancy examination, twin reduction, foal care and diagnostic work ups for mares failing to conceive. All the above care is provided on site by our ambulatory vets or at our purpose built equine clinic.

 

VETTING

Pre-purchase clinical examinations are a precaution many people will take before they invest in a horse. This is to assess the horse’s general health and establish any pre-existing health risks that may cause problems at a later time. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘5 stage examination’.

Stage 1 is the preliminary examination of the horse at rest in their stable. The vet will perform a full clinical assessment to check everything from breathing and heart rate to examining the eyes and teeth to determine age. This is followed by stage 2 which involves trotting in a straight line to identify any lameness and conducting flexion tests on the joints.

Stage 3 is the exercise phase where the horse is either ridden or lunged. After, the vet will listen for abnormal heart or wind sounds before proceeding to Stage 4 which is a rest period and re-examination. The vetting finishes with Stage 5, a second trot up to further investigate any areas of concern.

A blood sample is usually collected at the time of vetting and stored to be analysed should any problems present in the proceeding few months after purchase. There is the option of x-rays to be taken at the time of vetting.

LABORATORY

Our laboratory service is split into two categories

Bloodwork

Haematology – this is a full blood count to assess the horse’s cellular health. Our machine will perform a differential white cell count, red cell count amongst other counts to determine if an infection is present and to check for cell related conditions like anaemia.

Biochemistry – this blood panel gives information on a horse’s electrolyte balance, muscle damage after exercise and how some organs such as the liver and kidneys are functioning.

Immunoglobulins – Measuring the IgG levels in a new-born foal determines if there has been a sufficient level of antibodies transferred via the colostrum of the mare. An inadequate result means the foal is at risk of infection. This is treated with a slow intravenous injection of the mare’s plasma to supply the foal with adequate immunity.

Microbiology

Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) – The Veterinary Clinic Ratoath is a fully approved laboratory for processing CEM samples from broodmares and stallions. CEM is a venereal disease and horses must be certified to say they are clean of the infection before covering can take place. We will also certify that the mare/stallion is free from pseudomonas and klebsiella infections.

Skin scrapes – a skin scrape is used to test for parasitic infections, such as ringworm, that may be causing skin problems.

Culturing – we are able to culture samples and analyse the presence of bacteria. An antibiotic sensitivity test is available to determine the most effective antibiotic to treat the infection.

**Any number of tests are available on request, at an extra cost, for external laboratory analysis.**

MEDICINE

Medicine is a blanket term for the therapeutic treatment of a condition. Our vets will perform a clinical examination, combining their findings with the patient’s clinical history and symptoms, to devise a treatment plan. They will instruct you on the administration of medication they prescribe which should be strictly followed.

SARCOID TREATMENT

Sarcoids are the most common skin neoplasia in horses and donkeys. They are usually benign and non-life-threatening and while they are a cancer, they rarely metastasise. We treat sarcoids with cryotherapy which uses liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the tissue.

RESPIRATORY

The upper respiratory tract in a horse is prone to conditions that can physically restrict the amount of air travelling down the windpipe and into the lungs. The larynx is the most commonly affected site.

The larynx opens fully during exercise to maximise the volume of air travelling in and out of the lungs and closes when the horse is eating, to stop food travelling down the windpipe. If the muscles fail to function properly, one side of the larynx will collapse and cover half of the windpipe, reducing airflow to the lungs. Paralysis of the larynx is graded on a scale of 1-5 which dictates the degree of surgical repair needed (see Hobday and Tie-back in Surgical Services).

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