We endeavour to provide the best possible level of care to every horse in our practice, in the most cost effective manner. Sometimes we can get all the answers we need from a physical exam, but other times we need to pull out some of our 'toys' to have a better look! We are fully equipped with modern, portable diagnostic imaging machines and can therefore carry out xrays, ultrasounds and endoscopic examinations at your horse's house, or you can bring your horse to our house if you would prefer. Here are some, but not all, of the services that we offer....
We have 2 digital xray machines (including a wireless one!), letting us take diagnostic, high quality xrays at the horse's side. These xrays allow us to make a diagnosis there and then, to take additional images if required, and to start a treatment plan at the same time the xrays are taken. We are also able to do full sales xrays series for Thoroughbred and Standardbred sales, and full Hong Kong series pre purchase xrays. The magic of digital is that these images can be sent anywhere in the world if requested by you, or sent back to you to enable you to keep the xrays on your home computer as well.
Each one of our vets has a portable 'scope with them on most farm visits. We use it to visualise parts of the respiratory system and nasal passages: allowing us to recommend correct treatment or surgical options for conditions affecting these areas. Racehorses often get "scoped" at the sales or prior to purchase to ensure they are able to breathe maximally when at high speeds. Horses that make unusual breathing noises may also benefit from an endoscopic exam, as may coughing horses or those with nasal discharge or nosebleeds. We are part of the vet team providing this service at the Canterbury Sale Yards.
Ultrasound gives us valuable information about soft tissue structures, which we cannot visualise on xray. We use different types of ultrasound for examination of the reproductive tract (for timing of ovulation/breeding and for diagnosis and monitoring the health of a pregnancy) and for examination of the tendons and ligaments of the limb. A correct diagnosis can save thousands over the course of treatment, and gives your horse the best chance of making a full recovery.
Our portable ECG is used to assess the horse's heart rhythm and electrical conductivity. Our vets may decide to perform an ECG following examination for poor performance, exercise intolerance or as part of a prepurchase examination. A heart score can also be calculated, if desired, on horses prior to purchase.