Equine Veterinary Services

Whether you’re riding pastures, jumping fences, cutting steers, or performing a piaffe, we strive to partner with you to provide for your horse’s diverse needs.
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Services Offered

We provide Equine Services to Midwestern Ontario from our offices in Listowel and Mount Forest. Heartland Animal Hospital and Veterinary Services offers many different services for equines. See some of the services below or contact us for more information.

Equine Reproduction
Our veterinarians at Heartland look forward to breeding season every year and are dedicated to providing a wide range of reproductive services:

  • Breeding soundness examination
  • Estrus synchronization
  • Ultrasound examination for heat detection and pregnancy diagnosis
  • Artificial insemination with fresh chilled semen
  • Post-breeding evaluation and therapies (uterine flush/treatment)
  • Dealing with the infertile mare (uterine culture/cytology)
  • Hormone analysis and supplementation protocols
  • Pre- and post-foaling preventative health care
  • Foaling assistance
  • Neonatal care
  • Foal and weanling management programs
  • 24-hour emergency service

Equine Dentistry
Horses only get one set of teeth that continuously erupt throughout their lifetime. For this reason, dental care is an important part of your horse’s overall preventative healthcare plan. As horses’ teeth erupt and wear, they can form sharp enamel points that cause ulcers on the cheeks and tongue. Dental problems can lead to poor performance, discomfort, weight loss, and other health issues. Signs that your horse may have a dental problem include difficulty chewing, dropping feed, head-shaking, problems with the bit or bridle, as well as weight loss and colic.

For adult horses, a dental exam is recommended every year as part of the annual wellness exam. Younger horses, senior horses, performance horses, and those with pre-existing dental issues may require more frequent exams. Dental exams and dental floats are performed under light sedation with a variety of specialized dental instruments, including a full mouth speculum, a bright light source, a battery-operated Powerfloat, and hand floats as needed.

Equine General Herd Health
General herd health includes regular wellness exams, parasite management, nutrition, and choosing a vaccine schedule that addresses the individual needs of each horse. Wellness exams and herd health visits are recommended on an annual basis to identify and address health issues.

Parasites are very common in horses and are transmitted primarily through grazing and pastures. Parasites can cause numerous health issues, including weight loss, ill-thrift, diarrhea, colic, and, in severe cases, death. We encourage the use of fecal egg counts along with pasture management and judicious use of conventional deworming medications to address the emerging resistance issues amongst equine parasites.

Nutrition is important, whether for young, growing foals or to support the health and well-being of your senior horse. Our veterinarians will help you make feeding decisions to complement your management situation and help you to reach your performance goals.

Vaccination is an important part of your horse’s preventative health care program. Routine vaccination of all horses against Rabies, Tetanus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), and West Nile Virus is recommended on a yearly basis. Protection with additional vaccinations may be considered based on an individual horse’s lifestyle or risk assessment. Additional vaccines offered include Equine Influenza, Rhinopneumonitis, Strangles, and Potomac Horse Fever.

If you intend to travel with your horse to other parts of the country or into the USA, please consult with our veterinarians about the disease risk for that particular region. Additional vaccinations may be required to keep your equine companion healthy and performing well.

Equine Diagnostic Imaging
Heartland Veterinary Services offers portable/on-farm digital radiography (x-ray), digital ultrasound, as well as upper airway endoscopy.

Digital radiography is ideal for imaging bones and joints. With the assistance of a veterinary technician, we can image your horse in the comfort of his or her own barn. Our digital system is ideal for imaging the limbs, skull, and teeth. These images are then evaluated by our veterinarians so that a diagnosis and individualized treatment plan can be implemented for your horse.

Digital ultrasound is ideal for imaging soft-tissue structures. Like our digital radiography unit, our digital ultrasound machines are portable, and ultrasound imaging can be performed on-farm. For lameness evaluation, we can image tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules. To assist with the diagnosis of respiratory conditions and colic, ultrasound is a useful tool for the superficial abdominal structures and the lungs. Finally, ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice for breeding soundness exams, heat detection, and pregnancy diagnosis.

Upper airway endoscopy is utilized to evaluate for health conditions and functional issues affecting the nasal passages, larynx, pharynx, and upper trachea (windpipe). Upper airway endoscopy can be performed on-farm in a horse at rest and/or following vigorous exercise to better evaluate dynamic structures like the larynx.

Equine Pre-Purchase Exam
Whether you have purchased a horse before or are seeking your first equine companion, a pre-purchase exam is a valuable undertaking. Our pre-purchase exams can be tailored to your individual needs. Generally, they consist of a thorough history and an in-depth physical examination, followed by gait analysis and flexion tests. Digital radiographs, digital ultrasound, breeding soundness exams, and bloodwork are some of the additional options available at the time of the pre-purchase exam. Together with the assistance of our veterinarians, you can feel confident making an informed decision regarding your purchase.
Equine Lameness Exam
Lameness exams generally involve a detailed history, physical exam, gait analysis, and diagnostic imaging, through which our veterinarians can assist you in identifying the underlying cause and an individualized treatment plan to address your horse’s lameness issues. A thorough orthopedic exam is generally followed by gait analysis during exercise. Flexion tests and nerve blocks may also be performed to aid in localizing the problem area. Diagnostic imaging, including digital radiography and ultrasound, can reveal further detail and these tests and findings ultimately lead to a discussion regarding available treatment options. Through a comprehensive lameness evaluation, our veterinarians will help you make the best choices for your horse’s treatment and ongoing care.
Equine Emergency & Medical Care
If you are a client of Heartland, our team of Equine and Large Animal Veterinarians has your horses covered for emergency and medical management 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether your horse is unwell, injured, or in need of more urgent care, our reception team will triage calls to ensure your horse’s health issues are addressed appropriately. After hours, you can leave a message with our answering service, and one of our veterinarians will return your call promptly to provide advice or an on-farm visit as required.