We all hope our horses will never need prolonged veterinary care, but should this happen you can feel reassured that Abbey Equine Clinic is able to provide them with comfortable, safe surroundings and professional medical and nursing attention.
Our large, airy loose boxes are located within a cosy American barn-style yard. This is adjoining the main building so we can monitor all the horses closely. Our experienced nursing team are responsible for stable duties, feeding and general care of the horses. We have facilities for I/V fluid therapy and intensive care where required and an on-site laboratory for immediate blood test results. All of this means that each horse has continuous care by the same people so any problems can be immediately spotted and dealt with.
Anaesthaesia and Surgery
We have the facilities to perform general anaesthesia for routine and emergency surgery. The specially designed anaesthetic box has thickly padded walls making knock-down and recovery as safe as possible.
What happens if my horse has to have an anaesthetic?
For planned anaesthetics, its best to remove all feed from the horse the night before the anaesthetic, but always leave them water. We shall probably ask you to bring the horse in the day before the operation and leave them with us for the day or several days depending on the operation for example some castrations or minor operations may be managed as day patients.
They will have a health check and heart examination, have a catheter placed in the vein so we don’t need to use lots of needles, and are given a sedative about half an hour before the operation. Just before the surgery, we take them into the padded box, and give more sedative and an anaesthetic drug into the catheter which sends them to sleep. A tube is then placed via the horse’s mouth into the windpipe, a gas anaesthetic and oxygen mixture is given continuously, and the horse is monitored constantly throughout the operation. The anaesthetic gas is switched off towards the end of the surgery, and the horse is kept still as long as possible until he is awake enough to stand up on his own.
Horses are then walked back to a comfy stable to recover quietly and are given feed and water as soon as they are fully awake. One of the team will give you a ring as soon as the horse is up to let you know that everything is OK.
Gastroscopy is a procedure which is used to diagnose gastric ulcers by passing an endoscope (tubular instrument with a high quality camera at the end) to allow internal visualisation. We often carry this procedure out at our clinic for use of the stocks and nursing assistance. Prior to this, horses must be starved for at least 12 hours- we are more than happy to admit these patients the night before, so we are seen as the starving bad guys rather than their owners!
Visiting Referral Specialists
We regularly have visiting specialists allowing us to carry out referral level surgeries and procedures. These include further dental work such as major extractions, laser sarcoid removal and orthopaedic surgeries.
Lameness and Poor Performance Investigations
We like to be thorough with our lameness workups completing all the necessary nerve blocks and imaging to get you the most detailed answer into what is causing the problem. This however can take time and hence we prefer our more complicated lameness work ups are admitted into the clinic. This also gives us a good facilities in order to appropriately assess the lameness including a firm trot up, soft arena and hard lunging area.