We perform castrations routinely in the field under short anesthesia. Our doctors are accompanied by a technician to make this procedure as safe as possible. Cryptorchid castrations are performed at the hospital by a surgeon.
Choke (aka esophageal obstruction)
This is a potentially life-threatening emergency that occurs when food becomes lodged in the esophagus. The horse is not able to eat or drink and frequently saliva and feed material will begin to drain out of the nostrils. Fluids and feed can enter the lungs and cause severe pneumonia. Choke is a common emergency in our practice and we have a number of techniques to remove the food obstruction including stomach tubes, endoscopic removal, and even surgery. Our success rate in resolving this condition is extremely high, but choke is an emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible.
Abdominal discomfort typically causes clinical signs such as pawing, rolling, and a decreased appetite. Colic is the most common emergency that we treat, but many horses improve with a simple veterinary visit including a stomach tubing. Other more serious cases may require hospitalization with IV fluids or even surgical correction. We strive to make an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible and then help our clients decide the best treatment protocol. We have a 24/7 surgical staff on-call at LBEMC if they are required.
Equine dentistry has become an increasingly important aspect of routine veterinary care. Our doctors perform hundreds of routine teeth floats each year and attend continuing education on this ever-advancing field of veterinary medicine. Additionally, our group can provide more specialized dental procedures including x-rays, tooth extractions, and fillings if needed.
Routine and emergency skin conditions are common appointments. Allergic skin disease (hives, rubbing raw skin, etc.) is a frequent reason to seek veterinary care. Our doctors can assist with diagnosis and treatment to provide immediate relief for your horse.
We believe continuing education is extremely important both for our doctors/staff as well as our clients. Our doctors meet frequently to ensure they are providing the highest quality veterinary care. Also, throughout the year we host many opportunities for our clients to come learn the latest information on a variety of topics from our veterinarians.
Primary and back-up veterinarians are on call 24/7 for emergencies to ensure that we can always have a veterinarian on the way to help you.
We frequently perform joint injections with the hock, knee (carpus) and coffin joints being the most common areas that are treated. Steroids are most commonly used with joint injections, but other treatments include hyaluronic acid, IRAP, and stem cells. Many horses receive yearly joint injections for the treatment of arthritis and are able to continue moving and exercising pain free.
We have an in-house laboratory where we can rapidly process many types of samples to help obtain a diagnosis as soon as possible. Commonly run tests include Complete Blood Cell counts, blood chemistry analysis, urine and fecal tests, as well as cytology and parasite evaluation. Samples are also sent to other laboratories for more specialized evaluation as needed, such as endocrine/hormone tests, culture and PCR panels for infectious diseases, biopsies and genetic tests.
Lacerations are the second most common equine emergency (following colic). Many lacerations are simple and may require just a few sutures, but others can be much more complicated due to their involvement with joints or the abdominal cavity. Early evaluation and treatment of wounds tends to give the best chance of rapid and uncomplicated healing. If your horse sustains a laceration, please give us a call so we can talk with you about the location and depth of the wound and can advise you on the best treatment.
Evaluations for lameness are an incredibly important part of equine practice. These exams include detailed palpations and watching the horse move in different conditions, as well as frequently performing diagnostic nerve blocks and imaging using our portable x-ray and ultrasound equipment to obtain a diagnosis. We also have boarded specialists in equine surgery (DACVS) and equine sports medicine (DACVSMR) that are available for consultation or referral in more complex cases.
Founder/laminitis is an important and serious cause of lameness in horses. This condition can be associated with life-threatening emergencies (grain overload, diarrhea) or chronic foot problems. Laminitis can be associated with Equine Cushing’s Disease/PPID and Equine Metabolic syndrome, especially if these horses are allowed to eat too much rich green grass. Screening and treatment for these underlying conditions is always important in these cases. Laminitis should be treated as an emergency when the signs (reluctance to move, difficulty walking, and lameness) are first noticed.
Mare and Foal Care
We are here to help you as your mare and foal go through pregnancy, foaling and development. From a routine post-foaling exam to ensure your foal has a healthy start, to treating a sick foal, to assistance during a difficult birth, there are many ways in which our veterinarians provide extremely important care during this critical time.
Horses frequently present with eye problems that include traumatic injuries (corneal ulcers, lacerations), uveitis (inflammation inside the eye), allergies, and cancer. Our doctors can evaluate and treat many problems in the field, and we also have consulting specialists for more advanced problems.
Due to the size of our medical group, we have an extensively stocked pharmacy with medications that are often difficult to find. We are able to purchase large quantities of common medications (Adequan, Gastrogard, Prascend, etc.) and provide these at lower prices than many of the online sources. If your horse requires long-term medication, please talk with us about potential savings from buying these medications through your veterinarian at Sierra Equine.
We are well-known for our comprehensive pre-purchase exams that include thorough physical examination as well as lameness evaluation. Pre-purchase exams are important evaluations to give you the information you need to decide if a particular horse is the right fit for your needs. We have digital x-ray systems that can be brought to the pre-purchase appointment to avoid delays. Similarly, we can bring ultrasound and endoscope equipment to the appointment if requested ahead of time. We provide a comprehensive written report of the evaluation. If you are considering the purchase of a new horse, please talk with us so that we can help you decide what type of evaluation is best suited for your specific situation.
Our doctors take thousands of x-rays every year to aid in the diagnosis of lameness and a variety of other equine medical problems. The practice has digital x-ray systems that can be used in the field and help provide rapid diagnosis of many conditions.
We offer a variety of equine reproduction services including breeding evaluations and insemination with cooled and frozen semen. Advanced services such as Embryo Transfer, as well as stallion collection and semen processing are available at LBEMC.
The rescue of horses trapped in trailers, ditches, or other precarious situations is a technical and challenging task. Our doctors have specific training in how to safely extract horses from these dangerous situations. Rescue equipment including slings, lifts, and glides are available that can help stabilize and remove trapped horses. Please call if you need our emergency rescue assistance.
Our doctors perform many minor surgeries in the field, such as mass removals and laceration repairs. If more complex conditions are encountered, the staff surgeons at LBEMC are available for consultation or referral.
We perform many ultrasound examinations in the field each year that include evaluations of the abdomen, chest, and legs. Additionally, our doctors use ultrasound for reproductive services such as breeding and pregnancy checks. Ultrasound is a very effective way to diagnose soft-tissue injuries and is an important part of many of our lameness evaluations. For more complex cases, we can facilitate rapid evaluation by a specialist to obtain the most comprehensive diagnosis possible.
Each year, we give thousands of vaccines as part of our commitment to preventative health care for horses. We recognize the importance of vaccination for devastating diseases including West Nile Virus, Tetanus, Rabies, and influenza. We offer a 15% discount for vaccine clinics of 6 or more horses, and we strive to make vaccines affordable to ensure that we can help protect as many horses as possible.