Horse Care

Routine Health Management

Our focus is to provide the best possible care for each and every animal. Whether it is vaccinations or teeth floating, we strive to prevent the onset of clinical signs and diseases. By communicating with stable managers and horse owners, we are able to identify not only individual problems, but also concerns that may affect an entire herd or boarding facility.  We feel that testing and targeted deworming is the best way to manage intestinal parasites in both the individual horse and the herd as a whole.

Equine Wellness Program

Our equine wellness program is designed to be a comprehensive wellness and prevention program for your horse.  We incorporate all of the recommended vaccinations and internal parasite control into the program to help simplify the care of your horse.  There are many conflicting opinions and views of what is considered proper prevention and care for horses in various regions of the United States.  Our veterinarians evaluate the latest scientific data and trends within our area to design and implement the best overall care for you horse.  

The basics of the program include two farm visits, one in the Spring and one in the Fall.  This allows our veterinarians to examine and evaluate your horse on two occasions throughout the year.  During each visit, we perform a physical examination and administer the appropriate vaccinations for our region and time of year.  We also drop off targeted deworming products to be administered throughout the year.  At each visit, we will collect a fecal sample and perform a fecal egg count to monitor each horse for abnormal parasite burdens.  This allows us to further cater the deworming regimen to target the "high shedders" within a herd.  

During the Fall visit, our veterinarians thoroughly examine the oral cavity of your horse.  This lets us to identify and correct any dental problems prior to the winter season, when supplemental feeding tends to increase due to a lack of grass in the pastures.  If corrections are needed, your horse will be given a sedative and his/ her teeth will be corrected using the Powerfloat.  We also perform a sheath cleaning or udder cleaning at this visit.  

Breeding Services

Reproduction is a major aspect of the horse industry. Whether it's breeding to produce a foal from a favorite mare or breeding for show or sale, our veterinarians will determine the best breeding program for your horse.  Our veterinarians are experts, who are able to evaluate your horse via rectal palpation and ancillary services, such as diagnostic ultrasound.  Our veterinarians can utilize reproductive hormones to manipulate the mare's cycle, making timed artificial insemination more likely to be successful.

Each mare's breeding cycle is unique. There is a large variation in the health of the reproductive tract. Previous problems can lead to more problems if not acted upon early in the course of the disease. We can provide breeding soundness examinations to determine the overall reproductive health and ability of your mare to conceive and carry a foal to term.  Please click on some of the links below to find out more about ultrasonography, uterine cultures and uterine biopsy.

Vaccinations

Our veterinarians can assess the risks and needs of your horse and make recommendations on a case by case basis. Some vaccinations are recommended for all horses based upon the area of the country in which they live. Other vaccinations are given only to "at risk" horses. Examples of vaccines include Rabies, Strangles, West Nile, Influenza, Rhinopneumonitis (Types 1 & 4), EEE, WEE, and several others.

Dental Services Featuring Power Float

The veterinarians of the Orrville Veterinary Clinic recognize the importance of excellent dental health in their patients. Dental problems in horses can lead to other health problems.  Like many health issues, early detection is the key to prevention and resolution of problems.  Dental problems are often very subtle and a complete oral examination may require mild sedation. Once your horse is sedated, our veterinarians can perform an oral cavity examination looking for abnormalities, which can be corrected using the Power Float.  The Power Float allows us to correct more dental problems than the "hand" floats that many horse owners are accustomed to in the past.  This is truly the new standard in dental care for horses.

Neonatal Examinations

One of our veterinarians will evaluate your newborn foal. During this visit, he will inspect each foal for birth defects and a general health exam. Every foal is thoroughly examined, focusing on the navel/ umbilical area as this area is a point of entry for abdominal infections shortly after birth.  Each foal is given a vitamin injection to correct for the natural vitamin E and selenium deficiencies that are present in Ohio soils and in the mother's milk. We also are able to evaluate the mare for adequate milk production and trauma as a result of the birth. We may recommend deworming the mare shortly after foaling to prevent an increased worm burden on pasture, as well as decreasing transmission to the foal.  

Radiology

Our mobile x-ray unit gives us the ability to perform radiography in the clinic as well as on farms within the area. Lameness evaluations and pre-purchase exams can be performed using the unit. We can team with your farrier to aide with corrective shoeing. We also have a digital processing unit that allows us to easily refer cases to board certified radiologists to further evaluate your horse.  In the fall of 2016, we added a portable processor.  This allows us to not only capture the films on the farm, but to develop them for evaluation right on the spot.  This helps owners to better understand their horse's condition and aides farriers in a more efficient manner than our previous capabilities.

Ultrasonography featuring Easi-Scan

The ultrasound unit provides us with a non-invasive way of further evaluating many conditions. The most common use of ultrasound is for breeding services. We can ultrasound horses as early as 13 days after they are bred (pregnancy can be detected as early as 11 days in some instances). Ultrasonography also allows us to "look" inside the uterus to determine inflammation or the presence of abnormal fluid. Some limb conditions, such as bowed tendons, bursitis, tendonitis, or hind-limb lymphangitis can be evaluated as well.

The Easi-Scan Ultrasound is designed specifically for portable use on large animals. It features early pregnancy detection (as low as 13-18 days) in horses. The system is battery operated, which eliminates the need for a nearby outlet or a long cord that is in the way.

Uterine Culturing and Biopsy

Uterine culturing and biopsy are critical to a breeding soundness examination. By directly culturing the specific organism that is causing metritis, we can effectively treat and resolve the infection and prevent scarring within the uterus.   Culturing the uterus is also vitally important prior to breeding a mare, whether via natural breeding or through artificial insemination.

Uterine biopsies go one step further in the process of evaluating the breeding potential of a mare.  Over time, the uterus may become damaged from previous foaling, infections, or by urine retention. Using a specialized instrument and aseptic technique, we are able to obtain a small sample of the uterine lining.  This sample is then sent out to a board certified pathologist for evaluation.  This uterine biopsy provides us with the ability to evaluate the amount of scarring that has formed within the uterus. Certain levels of scarring may be corrected if caught early.

24-Hour Emergency Services

One of our large animal doctors is on call at all times. Please call the clinic's main phone number if you have an emergency. We can be contacted at (330) 682-2971 or toll free at 1-800-221-1547 if you are out of the local calling area.

Pharmacy

Our onsite pharmacy is maintained so that we have most of the medications that your horse will need. We offer drop off services and also special orders for medications that are not routinely stocked. These items can usually be available within 24 hours.

In-House Laboratory Services

Multiple tests can be performed within our hospital in Orrville. We perform fecal floatation and fecal egg reduction tests to not only check for the presence of parasites, but also to determine the success of treatment. Failure in treatment may result in resistance within the parasites present on a farm or within a pasture. Our in-house blood analyzers allow us to perform a complete blood cell count and chemistry profiles. These tests determine the overall health of your horse and also aide in diagnosis of many disease conditions. 

Consultations

The veterinarians at Orrville Veterinary Clinic are able to provide consultations and education on a variety of topics including: reproduction, routine wellness, disease prevention, parasite control, neonatal/ foal care, as well as many others. 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the use of small needles that are inserted into "trigger points," which are specific points targeted to simulate the desired healing effects.  Acupuncture cases the release of cortisol and endorphins.  These two substances help relieve pain, decrease inflammation, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and stimulate nerves.  Many conditions respond to acupuncture therapy, including: Osteoarthritis, Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease, seizures, strokes, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, nausea, and many other.  The length and frequency of the treatments varies depending on the underlying condition, as well as the severity of clinical signs.  We will discuss the treatment protocol and expected outcome during your initial consultation. 

Equine Surgical Services

Our veterinarians perform several routine surgeries on the farm.  These include laceration repairs, removal of minor growths and castrations (often referred to a gelding).  In addition, we have a dedicated surgical suite located within our hospital.  This allows us to perform more extensive surgeries.  We are able to intubate horses, maintaining the proper level of anesthesia using anesthetic gas.  This allows us to repair major lacerations, removal larger tumors, perform castrations on horses with retained testicles and to repair hernias.  It also allows us to perform surgeries in a protected environment, when an extensive surgery is required, but the weather is not permitting.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a service that we added in 2017.  This technology uses liqud nitrogen, targeted through a small, handheld device.  The liquid nitrogen serves to "freeze" the target tissue.  This allows us to remove smaller lumps and bumps with little to no anesthesia.

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