Medical emergencies such as 'colic' will be attended as quickly as possible by whichever vet is nearest. A lot of information can be elicited on the basis of a clinical examination which may involve a rectal examination or nasogastric intubation ('stomach tubing'). Often cases such as these can be treated successfully with appropriate drugs such as pain killers(analgesia)and spasmolytics which relax the smooth muscle of the gut. However some may require transportation to our hospital facility for further monitoring/ intensive care and supportive therapy such as intravenous fluids.
More chronic medical problems such as the coughing horse or weight loss case can be investigated with the use of diagnostic aids such as endoscopy (eg gastroscopy in the case of gastric ulceration) ultrasound or the collection of appropriate samples for laboratory analysis. We are fortunate to have excellent laboratory facilities which enable us to obtain quick and accurate results for any condition presented.
Dermatology and ophthalmology cases are routinely seen and are frequently successfully treated on the basis of the symptoms displayed but will sometimes require more detailed investigation.
Occasionally we may advise that a horse is admitted to the clinic for a more detailed work up in situations that do not readily resolve. This allows us to use whatever appropriate equipment we may deem necessary and also with our team approach enables other clinicians to help with difficult diagnoses. With the vast increase in horse movement and changing climate, we are always aware of the increased risk posed by infectious disease and we are constantly monitoring any potential situation and how best to advise our clients in its control.