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  • Dunsborough Veterinary Hospital

Equine Services

Annual Health Checks

 

Just like ourselves, horses benefit from a routine health check to ensure they are in the best of health and to identify any minor problems that we may be able to help with. During these visits we will thoroughly examine your horse and spend some time discussing routine preventative care such as worming, vaccination, and dental care including an examination and dental float where required.
 
As horses are grazing animals, nutritional supplementation is very important as much of the soils of the south west of Western Australia can be deficient in important trace elements and minerals. We will spend some time discussing your horses nutritional plan and offer help where required or when asked.


Generally, we recommend this annual visit occur in autumn at the break of season when the first green shoots are emerging.  This is the optimal time to provide the horse with an annual sand drench to minimize the chance of excessive build-up of sand within the bowel which can lead to sand colic.

Lameness Evaluation

 

Lameness can be painful and debilitating for the horse and sometimes very frustrating for the owner. As many horses are kept for the purpose of racing, jumping or just pleasure riding, lameness can also stop the horse being used for its purpose.

 

During a lameness evaluation we will try to ascertain the cause of your horses lameness as well as offer you options for the treatment of the condition. This will often also involve a discussion about the prognosis of your horse successfully returning to athletic function.

 

In our practice, lameness evaluation will often involve diagnostic nerve blocks and diagnostic imaging such as xrays and ultrasound.

Dentistry

 

As horses teeth continually grow throughout their lives, routine oral examination of the mouth and teeth is recommended. For most horses we recommend this be done yearly and will often include minor floating (mechanical grinding of the teeth) to ensure the occlusion of the teeth is at its best.

 

In this way the horse will eat, chew and grind its food in the most effective and pain-free way ensuring a happy and well performing horse.

Dr Lacey Thompson and Dr Rebecca Houlison have both undergone higher level training in the provision of routine dental care for horses and are available to provide excellent advice and care of your horses mouth.

Fitness & Performance Analysis

 

Where your horse is used for racing, endurance riding or other purposes requiring elite athleticism we often suggest routine blood testing to ensure that your horse is in the best place it can be to reach maximum potential. We can use laboratory tests such as Complete Blood Counts and plasma biochemistry to help diagnose problems that are resulting in reduced performance. In some cases we may also recommend specific testing targeted at body systems implicated in your horses problem such as airway endoscopy and lung wash for respiratory disease.

Breeding & Reproduction

 

We have a genuine interest in all aspects of equine reproduction and are able to discuss breeding options and technologies to best suite your mare. There are many steps involved in breeding your mare from the selection of the stallion, all the way through to the management of the new born foal and beyond.

 

As the gestation time for a mare approximates 11 months, patience is also required! Where needed, we will guide you through the process and have you take an active part in the breeding of your mare. We have extensive experience in dealing with mares who have failed to get in foal and are happy to discuss your mares history with you.

 

We can scan your mare at our hospital or travel to you property providing there are safe facilities for you, your mare and our staff. For any queries regarding breeding then please contact one of our veterinarians.

 

USEFUL BREEDING LINKS

Microchipping & DNA Identification

 

Many breed organizations including the Australian Stud Book for Thoroughbreds require a veterinarian to perform formal identification, DNA sampling and microchipping of horses.

 

We strongly advise the microchipping of all horses regardless of breed requirements as it is the only form of permanent and easy identification of horse and owner. This is a very easy, inexpensive and painless experience for your horse and can be done at any routine visit.

Pre-Purchase Examinations

 

A thorough veterinary assessment and examination should always form part of your knowledge base when assessing a horse for potential purchase. We recommend that the best veterinarian to perform this assessment is your regular veterinary practice.

 

As active members of the Equine Veterinarians of Australia we will recommend the standard 5 stage examination and discuss all other diagnostic options such as radiology with you as well.