Hometown Veterinary Clinic Provides a Full Range of Equine Practice Services
Horses are beautiful, hard-working and intelligent animals and horse-owners are a special breed. Our doctors of veterinary medicine: Dr. Amy McGee, Dr. Amanda Chaney and Dr. Emily Bartlett will help you maintain and improve their health.
We visit you and your horse to observe, diagnose and provide treatment. We also provide consultation and rehabilitation services. Our ambulatory care includes procedures and advanced medical technology you’d expect from an equine hospital but we provide this care right in your stable.
Wellness Program and Dental Care
A Spring and Fall examination of your horse insures early identification of health issues before they become more serious. The Hometown Vet Equine Wellness Program includes:
- Farm call
- Updated health status
- Dental exam or annual float with sedation
- Fecal test for sand/fecal egg count
- Rabies and West Nile virus shots
We offer other preventative care services as needed. These include:
- Sheath/Udder cleaning
- Coggins Test
- Complete Blood Count (CBC), blood chemistry, lameness screening
We’ll vaccinate for appropriate diseases such as Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Rabies, West Nile, Tetanus and Flu. Spring is the time to vaccinate. This insures your horse’s immunity is at a maximum when mosquito activity begins in early summer. It also protects your horses from rabies as raccoons, skunks and other critters get more active in early spring.
Teeth are a good indicator of an animal’s health status. Your horse’s teeth will continuously grow and wear down. This can lead to sharp points, which need to be "floated" or trimmed down. Keep an eye out for:
- A reluctance to eat or chew
- “Quidding” or dropping food during eating
- Bad breath, which can indicate possible tooth decay or gum disease
We recommend bi-annual dental exams for geriatric and young horses and annual dental exams for adult horses.
Reproductive Evaluation, Artificial Insemination, Dystocia Services, and Neo-Natal Care
Do you plan on buying a mare with the intent of breeding? We can help you make an informed decision with a thorough examination of the prospective mare to determine Reproductive capabilities.
Otherwise, the best time to evaluate your mare is prior to the beginning of the breeding season. This allows us to prevent or manage potential complications. Should there be trauma to the reproductive tract during foaling, we recommend an evaluation to determine and prevent future issues.
We also facilitate Artificial Insemination. We ask you to obtain viable semen and we will breed the mare accordingly.
Even though we examine your mare during pregnancy and most births are straight- forward there are rare times, which require immediate action. Dystocia is indicated when the mare is already in intense labor. The cause is typically an abnormal presentation or position. Complications include twins, wry-neck, contracted tendons or unfortunately, the foal may be stillborn. Uterine inertia is another cause of dystocia.
We are prepared to help but immediate action is required and you must be a current client. Call our emergency line at (207) 453-7387.
Once born, your foal and mare can face many challenges. We’re prepared to provide the Neo-Natal Care necessary, including advice, medicine, support and surgery. We’ll provide you with a checklist of items to monitor on both your mare and foal’s condition. And as your mare recovers and your foal grows, we’ll be there to meet their needs.
Geriatric Equine Medicine
Like humans, horses are living longer. Our doctors understand what it takes to optimize the life of an aged horse.
It all starts with nutrition. Older horses lose their ability to absorb essential nutrients because their digestive system is not as efficient or effective as it once was. We’re on the lookout for any metabolic disorders and will treat them aggressively.
- Proper dental care is another important element of our approach. Abnormalities and wear are the norm and we encourage twice a year dental examinations to maintain optimum grind surfaces.
- The immune system of older horses is not as powerful as it once was. We recommend an active program of de-worming and parasite control.
- Lameness is a natural byproduct of a long life. Degenerative joint disease or arthritis is not uncommon. We can provide medicine or supplements to help.
- Hoof health is important. The arthritis we spoke about earlier can alter the horse’s gait and make shoeing and trimming of hooves difficult. Older horses are also more prone to laminitis and hoof abscesses.
Nutrition is critical to maintaining the health of your horse and nowhere is a balanced diet more important than with livestock animals like horses. Most of their nutrition is from pasture or hay. They need a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals to repair tissue, make red blood cells, manufacture amino acids and strengthen ligaments, muscles and tendons.
We offer an assessment of your horse’s diet based on forage analysis and blood septic to determine the best nutritional solution for your animal. Proper feeding doesn’t have to be expensive and it more than pays for itself. You won’t need supplements to patch an inadequate diet or buy medication for issues that are due to a lack of balance in your horse’s diet.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic Services
Our goal is to relieve your horse’s pain. We use Acupuncture and Chiropractic Services as complementary treatment to traditional medicine.
Acupuncture has been in use for over 3,000 years. It relieves pain and restores the body’s ability to heal itself. You can be assured acupuncture is safe when performed by our qualified veterinarians. The AVMA and AAEP recognize acupuncture as an appropriate medical treatment.
The goal of our equine chiropractic care correct and restore normal joint motion of your horse. Chiropractic care focuses on the proper function of the horse’s spinal column and the connecting pelvis, legs and head. Controlled force induces change in joint structures and soft tissue to correct and restore normal motion.
We do provide castration and laceration repair for your horse. We will recommend equine surgeons should your horse require more complex surgery.
Wet spring conditions are the biggest cause of hoof issues. Thrush and abscesses can be quite common. We recommend daily cleaning and an anti-thrush topical treatment until mud season ends and soggy pastures dry out.
Shoeing and Trimming
Horse hooves require trimming about every six weeks. The need for shoes depends on the types of surfaces your horse will be on and the health of their hoof. Spring is a good time to call your farrier to shoe and trim hooves for the coming outdoor season. We can recommend from a list of trusted farriers in the area to assist you.
Water and Nutrition
Spring pasture provides higher nutrients than any other time of year. Gradually acclimate your horse a few hours at a time, providing a turnout where your horse can be out of the stall without being tempted to eat. This a good idea. Should your horse have weight issues or other chronic conditions a discussion on how best to manage their consumption of green pasture is in order.
Hay needs your attention too. Keep an eye out for mold as you get to the bottom of your hay bales. If hay dust makes you cough, it will likely do the same for your horse. You can agitate and soak it in freshwater or choose not to feed it to your horse. When new hay is delivered clean out the storage area of any mold or debris.
Finally, fresh water is always important. As temperatures rise, fresh water will replenish the losses from increased sweat activity. Electrolytes and mineral replacement may be necessary but let’s talk first.
Spring brings longer days and more sunshine, which leads to the shedding of your horse’s protective winter hair coat. Help it along with full body grooming sessions over the course of a few weeks. Lack of nutrients can negatively affect the shedding process and the quality of your horse’s coat. We can help you assess your horse’s nutritional status on our farm visit.
Emergency Farm Calls
Of course, we are always available for any emergency that may present itself. Count on us to be there as soon as possible. Emergency service is for current clients. See more at yourhometownvet.com/emergency.