Equine Medicine

Equine internal medicine is a term that is used for both the treatment and investigation of all diseases that present in the internal systems of a horse. Equine medicine can refer to the ‘internal system’ meaning the liver, heart, brain, airways, circulatory system etc

Just like people, horses get sick or develop issues with their internal organs. Your horse may have a fever, act abnormally, or just seem lethargic or not quite right. Some common internal organ issues include hormonal issues, liver or kidney failure, muscle disorders, heart conditions, digestive tract disorders, respiratory disease or dysfunction, and neurologic conditions. These can dramatically affect the life and performance of your equine partner.

We offer a complete evaluation of your horse’s condition, including a thorough physical examination, appropriate laboratory testing, and other diagnostic evaluation using ultrasound, radiographs, and endoscopy. Once a diagnosis is reached, we will design and provide an appropriate treatment and monitoring program for your horse

Our veterinarians have years of experience in the field of equine medicine. We can provide an accurate, rapid diagnosis through thorough evaluation and assessment of your horse.

We ensure you are kept informed through every stage of the diagnosis and treatment of your horse. In addition to our normal hospital facilities, we have intensive care facilities available for critical patients.

Our in-house laboratory allows us to analyse bloodwork and other pathology samples with immediate results enabling treatment that is more precise and monitoring of intensive care cases Valley Equine

Veterinary Centre offers advanced diagnostics and treatment for a range of diseases and disorders, including neurologic, respiratory, cardiac, ophthalmologic, gastrointestinal, muscular, infectious, hematologic, renal and endocrine disorders.

Advanced imaging of the thorax and abdomen is available through state of the art radiology, ultrasound and endoscopy equipment.

Respiratory diagnostics include thoracic radiographs, ultrasound, arterial blood gas analysis and pulmonary function testing. Pulmonary function testing is performed for the diagnosis and monitoring of performance and pleasure horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and recurrent airway obstruction (Specialists in Ophthalmology and Dermatology are available by referral to consult on cases).

Common cases that we attend to include but are not limited to:

* If it is in tendon/Gastrointestinal disease

* Neonatal foal emergencies

* Endocrine disease (Cushing’s and Equine Metabolic Syndrome)

* Respiratory disease

* Muscular disorders

* Abnormal chewing or swallowing

* Choking

* Chronic or recurrent colic

* Diarrhea

* Exercise intolerance

* Fever

* Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis

* Infectious diseases

* Lack of appetite

* Liver and renal diseases

* Muscle disease

* Neurological problems associated with abnormal behavior, gait change, or paralysis

* Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSM)

* Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (“tying up”)

* Respiratory issues, including coughing, nasal discharge, or respiratory noise

* Sick foals

* Urinary tract disease

* Weight loss

* Poor performance of equine athletes

If your horse has an illness, such as pneumonia or inflammatory bowel disease, we may require thoracic or abdominal radiographs or ultrasound. We maintain top of the line equipment to get the best possible image of your horse’s skeletal or soft tissue issues.

Ultrasounds are used when evaluating your horse’s soft tissues, like internal organs. Illness often leads to damage to these structures which can be visualized using imaging. Digital radiographs give us high quality images of joints, bones, and soft tissue, such as the chest and abdomen. With digital radiographs, the images are available immediately so diagnosis and treatment can often be accomplished in one visit.

Neurological Disorders

If your horse is displaying erratic movements, odd postures, and behaviours that are not normal for them, it may be a sign that they are suffering from a neurologic disorder. Equine neurological disorders are typically caused by an infection or a malformation in the spinal column.

Common neurological disorders in horses include, but are not limited to

Botulism: An infection caused by bacteria that can be found in poorly stored or moist fodder that produces a toxin when consumed, leading to an inability to swallow, hold the head up, and muscle weakness.

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis(EPM): Protozoal parasites attack the central nervous system resulting in muscle weakness, a lack of coordination, a change in gait, and sporadic lameness.

Equine Motor Neuron Disease (EMND): A disease associated with Vitamin E deficiency that causes sweating, weakness, muscle twitches, and restlessness.

Lyme Disease: A tick-borne illness that causes joint pain, incoordination, fever, and depression.

Rabies: A highly infectious, life-threatening disease that can be carried by skunks, raccoons, and bats that can cause convulsions, loss of appetite, incoordination, paralysis, and head-pressing.

Tetanus: Also known as Lockjaw, a disease caused by a toxin that is typically introduced to the body via a wound. Symptoms include muscle spasms, a tense “grinning” face, third eyelid prolapse, and a stiff gait.

Wobbler Syndrome:A narrowing in the cervical vertebrae that causes incoordination.

West Nile Virus: A mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation of the nervous system, leading to fever, weakness, hyper-excitability, and an inability to swallow.

Symptoms of a neurological disorder in your horse can vary depending on the cause, but the most common symptoms include:

* Abnormal posture like the inability to keep limbs aligned, asymmetrical neck and head positioning, or a distorted spine contour.

*Abnormal behaviour like becoming unresponsive, or overly reactive to stimuli like sound

* Stumbling or incoordination

* Muscular weakness

If your horse is displaying worrying symptom, reach out to your veterinarian for an exam. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner your horse can be treated.

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