Equine Clinic

General Information

The Equine Clinic is situated within the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital at the Faculty of Veterinary Science.  It is a state-of-the-art, custom-designed, purpose-built facility and boasts an enclosed barn with 43 well-ventilated, roomy and well-lit indoor stables. 

Spacious work-up areas for both surgical and medical services are positioned in the front of the clinic.  A dual purpose work-up area is available with a specialised padded crush for the theriogenology department, as well as endoscopy evaluation or standing surgeries (i.e. tie-back surgeries, upper respiratory laser surgeries, etc). Fully padded, air-conditioned induction/recovery boxes, with piped oxygen, ensure the safe induction and recovery of horses undergoing surgeries or computed tomography (CT). 

Another spacious special procedure area is available for special surgical procedures, such as standing laparoscopic nephrosplenic space closures and abdominally retained cryptorchid stallions.  All the work-up areas have modified crushes with rotating sides that aid in ease of treatment and the safety of staff and patients. A ‘Shekel-Merav 2000’ scale provides accurate weights of all our patients to ensure that all of our medical treatments are the best that we can offer.

The barn features 13 Intensive Care stables, 22 General Care stables, 4 Foaling stables and 4 Semi-Isolation stables. Due to the large foal case load, we will soon have 6 foaling stables available. To ensure the safety of our in-house patients we have 2 isolation stables that are located on the perimeter of the hospital to maintain the highest level of biosecurity and prevent spread of disease.

Intensive care and high-risk patients are given specialised attention and extra precautions are taken to ensure their recovery and comfort.  The stables are equipped with piped oxygen, drip hooks and electric points for the use of Braun infusion pumps. Strict biosecurity measures are ensured through the use of barrier nursing (the use of gloves and protective gowns) and the use of footbaths outside high-risk patient’s stables. Disinfectant footbaths are situated at all major entry points to the clinic – this ensures that our clinic is kept as clean and hygienic as possible.

Mares with foals at foot, large breed horses and laminitis cases can be provided with fully-kitted, roomy double-stables with piped oxygen.  Partitions, through which they are able to see and touch each other, can be placed to separate foals and mares when necessary.

Horses suffering from neurological problems are accommodated in comfortable air-conditioned, fully-padded double stables which also have the facility to sling recumbent horses should it be necessary. There is an animal rehabilitation centre on-site with a whirlpool facility available which can be used to aid in the physiotherapy of foals.

Diagnostic procedures available on site including endoscopy (gastroscopy as well as resting and dynamic airway endoscopy), ECG (including Telemetric ECG), ultrasonography, digital radiography, computed tomography(CT), nuclear imaging (scintigraphy) and in the near future magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Veterinary surgeons in the Equine Clinic have high-tech equipment and two state-of-the-art theatres at their disposal with padded induction/recovery boxes.  Full surgical facilities are available 24/7 to perform routine and emergency surgeries which include soft tissue surgery and orthopaedics.

At Onderstepoort we have equine veterinarians who are specialists in the fields of equine medicine, surgery, anaesthesiology, theriogenology and diagnostic imaging (radiography, ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT) and soon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)). The talent and dedication of the veterinarians, nursing staff and stable-hands provide unparalleled care in South Africa. We offer one of the highest levels of biosecurity in veterinary hospitals in the world and we are committed to providing the horse-owning public with the best possible diagnostic and therapeutic care in this state-of -the-art-facility. 

Published by Linda Poggenpoel

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