Equine

 

Gippsland Equine Hospital

Gippsland Equine Hospital was opened in July 2011, located at 31 Beet Road, Maffra; Gippsland Equine Hospital is a purpose built hospital complete with operating theatre, stables, crush, day yards and paddocks.

Gippsland Equine Hospital has surgery facilities that enable safe anaesthesia and recovery of horses in a special padded room adjacent to a purpose built surgical suite. There is a set of stocks that allows dental, minor surgical and reproductive procedures to be undertaken under cover. Our digital radiology, endoscope and ultrasound units have been moved to the hospital as well.

There are five stables, all lined with padded rubber to make a comfortable stay for patients. There is also a double sized stable purpose built for mares to foal down in under supervision of our staff that will be monitoring horses via cameras that can be accessed remotely.

The extra area will allow us to run embryo recipient mares so that our embryo transfer program will be more accessible to those mare owners that don’t have their own recipients. Mares staying for reproductive (AI) programs will be able to stay in safe post and rail paddocks for the duration of their stay.

Equine Dental Services

An annual dental check-up brings peace of mind for you and your horse. 
Regular dental examination and treatment is essential for every horse whether it be competing at a high level or just grazing the paddock as a retired pet. Dental treatments performed at least once a year are recommended to prevent painful conditions of the mouth.

Common signs of dental trouble is a change in chewing habits in your horse. Dental issues can include dribbling or dropping feed out of its mouth while eating, holding head to the side or simply refusing to eat hard grain. This can lead to behavioural problems that include

  • Tossing their head when being ridden
  • Pulling to one side when ridden
  • Increased resistance to the bridle
  • Becoming nervous
  • Lunging, rearing and being generally unsettled or unwilling to perform correctly or consistently
It is not uncommon for your horse to show no outward signs of dental issues. Our equine vets are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues and are fully equipped with a powerfloat, dental halter and portable crush, giving you peace of mind.

Equine Dental Services

An annual dental check-up brings peace of mind for you and your horse. 
Regular dental examination and treatment is essential for every horse whether it be competing at a high level or just grazing the paddock as a retired pet. Dental treatments performed at least once a year are recommended to prevent painful conditions of the mouth.

Common signs of dental trouble is a change in chewing habits in your horse. Dental issues can include dribbling or dropping feed out of its mouth while eating, holding head to the side or simply refusing to eat hard grain. This can lead to behavioural problems that include

  • Tossing their head when being ridden
  • Pulling to one side when ridden
  • Increased resistance to the bridle
  • Becoming nervous
  • Lunging, rearing and being generally unsettled or unwilling to perform correctly or consistently
It is not uncommon for your horse to show no outward signs of dental issues. Our equine vets are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues and are fully equipped with a powerfloat, dental halter and portable crush, giving you peace of mind.

Equine Annual Health Program

An annual health check helps to keep your horse performing at its best all year round
Our Equine Annual Health Program includes:

  • Equivac 2 in 1 (Tetanus & Strangles)
  • Dental examination/float
  • Equest wormers x 2
  • 4 x Faecal Egg Counts (per horse per year)
  • Wellness check
  • Additional wormer and vaccine discount of 10%

Equine Lameness

At the Gippsland Equine Hospital we offer a comprehensive lameness exam for thorough evaluation of your horses soundness and performance issues. This can include walk and trot in a straight line and on the lunge, flexion tests, hoof testing, nerve blocks and diagnostic imaging (radgiography/ultrasonography). Horses can also be evaluated under saddle if it is required.

Each lameness exam is tailored to the needs of the client and the direction it takes is dictated by our findings at each stage. For further information please call the Gippsland Equine Hospital and have a chat with one of our staff members.

Equine Reproduction 

At the Gippsland Equine Hospital we provide a number of Equine Reproductive services.

Our purpose built facility includes a dummy for training and collecting stallions for fresh, chilled and frozen Artificial Insemination (AI). Mares can be prepared and inseminated at the Equine Hospital with fresh, chilled and frozen semen. We have semen storage tanks for the storage of your frozen semen. We also offer embryo transfer and have a recipient mare herd which can be lined up to receive embryos from your performance horses and hired until the foal is weaned.

We also offer breeding soundness examination for both mares and stallions including ultrasound of your mares uterus and ovaries and semen morphology for your stallion.

Foaling Down Mare Service 

The team at the Gippsland Equine Hospital also offer foaling down services. Mares are housed in our extra large foaling box, put under cameras where they can be monitored 24/7. We also carry out regular milk testing to ensure we have the best idea of when your mare is going to foal and make sure we are present to help if she requires assistance. Following foaling we carry out routine IgG testing of your new foal to ensure that they gained sufficient immunity from the dam.

Common Conditions

Colic
The veterinary definition of colic is any condition that leads to pain within the abdomen of the horse. This may be pain associated with the gastrointestinal system, or it maybe related to pain associated with other vital organs such as the liver or the kidneys. Commonly we use it to refer to pain associated with the gastrointestinal system.

Mild colic resulting from gut spasm or minor impactions can respond well to medical treatment without the need for surgery. More serious cases arise when pieces of gut are twisted or compromised and these require surgical intervention to correct.

Colic may manifest in your horse as one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pawing the ground
  • Looking at their flank
  • Lying down
  • Restless behaviour
  • Rolling or sweating
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Reduction in faecal output

It is advisable to call a vet if your horse is displaying signs of colic so that we can try to determine if the colic is likely to be medical or surgical. Monitoring of vital signs can give us clues as to the severity of the colic, and the best course of action to take.

Respiratory Disease
Respiratory disease is a relatively common occurrence in the horse. Respiratory disease is defined as a deleterious process affecting any part of the respiratory system; from the nose and sinuses, throat and airways, through to the lungs.

Lifestyle factors such as prolonged periods of travel, stabling and mixing with other horses at competitions can play a key role in the development of respiratory conditions.

Signs of respiratory disease are:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Increased noise on exercise
  • Reduced appetite
  • Swollen glands
  • Noticing if your horse seems dull or flat

If you are concerned that your horse is showing one or more of the above signs call your vet for further advice.

Additional Treatments

Hendra Virus
Hendra Virus infection was first observed in Queensland in the 1990’s. It is spread by bats and causes disease in horses that come into contact with bats (droppings. saliva, and probably urine). The infection is always fatal in horses as any horse that is identified with the disease is to be euthanased to stop infection from spreading, and to reduce disease risk to humans. Humans can be infected from infected horses. Infection in humans causes severe disease and is usually fatal. Humans that recover from the disease suffer illness for many years after their initial recovery.

The infection in horses causes respiratory disease (airway disease) and neurologic (brain disease). A diagnosis can only be made by a specific blood test.

We have not seen any cases of Hendra Virus infection in Victoria, however the bat populations in Victoria carry the virus. The infection may eventually spread from the Victorian bat population to horses given the right conditions prevail.

There is now a vaccine available to prevent disease in horses. This vaccine has been shown to be 100% effective in clinical trials and is safe to administer. I must be given by vets who have completed specific training to use and administer the vaccine. A national registry is kept which includes each horse’s microchip number.

We recommend every horse should get the vaccination. Infection in Victoria is unlikely, but it carries a 100% case fatality rate in horses. Vaccination also reduces the risk of human infection.

Vaccination is a requirement of entry for many horse events in Queensland, and New South Wales.

Stem Cell Therapy
We can provide on site Stem Cell harvesting, processing and treatment options for injuries such as tendon tears and arthritic conditions. Stem cells help tissue repair when infused directly into damaged tissue.

We provide two different stem cell options. One is using fat tissue harvested from the injured horse by liposuction, then stem cells are harvested and activated from the fat, so that they can be used to treat an injury on the same day. Excess stem cells can be sent for banking for future use. We also have an option of using banked stem cells harvested from other horses. The decision of which method we use is case specific.

View a video of Stem Cell treatment

 

Latest News and Events

Keep in touch with all the news from Gippsland Veterinary Hospital. Including staff happenings, events and promotions like Pet Dental Month in August and our mobile equine dental clinics staged at locations throughout the district. Plus we will keep you up-to-date with the latest in veterinary services, diagnostics and products. 

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