We offer hospitalization &
24 hour emergency service.
A horse may be examined in hand or under saddle in order to best evaluate lameness. Certain joints may be flexed (flexions) and/or local anesthesia may be injected (blocks) to further isolate the location of the lameness. Additional diagnostics such as digital radiographs or digital ultrasound may be performed to make a final diagnosis. Appropriate treatment may involve joint injections, shockwave, stem cells, IRAP, etc.
Horses that are not obviously lame but that are not performing up to their potential are observed and their body examined for inflamed areas (swelling, heat, etc). Usually joint injections are done to enhance performance. Other therapies are discussed and the appropriate treatment plan is implemented.
Pre-purchase exams are performed prior to buying or sometimes leasing a horse. A complete physical exam is done (including heart, lungs, eyes, skin, etc.) as well as watching the horse move. Flexions of joints are performed to help pinpoint areas of soreness. Additional tests including: upper airway endoscopy, gastroscopy, coggins, drug testing, ultrasound, or radiographs can be performed for an additional charge. A Pre-Purchase examination is not intended to predict future performance, but is aimed at finding medical issues that may limit performance.
Synovial joints are injected with a high quality hyaluronic acid such as Hyalovet, Hylartin, or Hyvisc, an antibiotic (amikacin), and a long acting steroid (triamcinolone). These injections help to reduce pain and inflammation, minimizing chronic damage to the joints to promote better performance.
IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein)
Blood is drawn from the horse’s vein and incubated with beads for 24 hours. This incubation removes the horse’s own inflammatory mediators in the blood leaving the “good” anti-inflammatory mediators. The finished IRAP is sterilely injected into the synovial joints or tendon sheaths to reduced inflammation associated with osteoarthritis (joint disease) or synovitis (inflammation of joint or tendon sheath fluid).
Bone marrow is harvested from a sedated horse’s sternum using a bone marrow needle. The stem sells are isolated and grown in culture to obtain adequate cell numbers. It takes about 3 weeks for them to process the bone marrow and grow stem cells from the sample. Once they return, they are injected into the affected area. The stem cells help to increase healing properties by bringing new cells and healing mediators to the area. The goal is for the new cells to help repair the damaged tissue with better quality cells and less scar tissue.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy produces acoustic (sound) waves that cause transient high and low peaks of pressure. It is thought that these changes in pressure increase energy flow to the area promoting healing. Shockwave is commonly used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, often in conjunction with other treatments such as stem cell and PRP.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
Blood is drawn from the horse’s vein and spun down in a centrifuge to harvest the platelet rich plasma from the blood. This substance is then injected into an injured tendon or ligament. The platelets bring anti-inflammatory and healing mediators to the injured site.