Clinical Services


Sports Medicine

Lameness/Performance Evaluations 

All of the veterinarians at Rhinebeck Equine LLP are experienced in lameness diagnosis and performance evaluation. This highly specialized area of practice requires a good grasp of anatomy, a keen eye for gait analysis, and sensitivity in detecting subtle abnormalities. Thorough history taking, observations of work under saddle or on a lunge line, and a combination of diagnostic nerve and joint blocks are often required to determine the cause of unsoundness.[/one_half_last]

Experience in the use of and interpretation of diagnostic modalities such as radiography, ultrasound, and nuclear scintigraphy is essential. After diagnosis, our veterinarians will recommend treatment that may include therapeutic joint or tendon sheath injections, focused shock wave therapy, arthroscopic or other orthopedic surgery, acupuncture or chiropractic sessions, or a multitude of other options.

Flexible endoscopes are used widely in veterinary and human medicine.  They are chiefly diagnostic tools – either for direct viewing of otherwise inaccessible areas of the body, or by allowing collection of small tissue samples for biopsy (by passing special forceps down the “biopsy channel” of the scope).  However, flexible endoscopes are also utilized therapeutically, either in conjunction with a surgical laser (“transendoscopic laser surgery”) or for endoscopically guided injections (“intralesional injection”) for treatment of certain masses or tumors.
Basic endoscopes are what are termed “fiberoptic”, meaning the image is transmitted to the eyepiece of the scope by bundles of flexible optical glass fibers.  These are typically what most ambulatory veterinarians carry on their vehicle for portable use in the field.  Only the operator (examiner) can see the image.  Videoendoscopy involves the use of a video monitor (TV monitor) to display an enlarged image, which can be viewed by multiple people during the procedure.  This can be as simple as connecting a video camera to the eyepiece of a fiberoptic scope.  The most advanced type – like our Pentax® system – utilizes a specialized “video image” endoscope that has a photosensitive microchip at the tip and produces images electronically.  Image capturing devices attached to the processor enable documentation of the examination findings in, both, still and video (moving) images.
The standard 1-meter videoendoscope is commonly used for examination of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract.  Longer videoendoscopes (ranging from 2.5-3.0 meters or longer) are used in equine medicine for examination of the esophagus and stomach (“gastroscopy”) and the lower respiratory tract (“bronchoscopy”).  Our clinic has both a 1-meter scope and the longer gastroscope for diagnosing ulcers, tumors, and other conditions of the upper GI tract.

  • Therapeutic Injection of Joints and Spine
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Prepurchase Examinations
  • Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma

Stem Cell Therapy

Autologous stem cells refer to stem cells that are derived from a horse’s own tissues. Stem cells are cells that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body, depending on the local environment they are placed in. When placed into a damaged tendon or ligament, stem cells develop the ability to make collagen, which is the primary elastic component of a tendon or ligament. In addition, they make growth factors, which stimulate healing and regeneration. Stem cells can be found in adult horses in their bone marrow as well as in their adipose tissue (fat!). Bone marrow injections have been used to help heal tendon and ligament injures for quite some time, but the bone marrow must be obtained with the horse under general anesthesia. By using adipose tissue as a source of stem cells, the cells can be obtained by taking a sample of fat from a standing, sedated horse with just a local anesthetic. The process of isolating stem cells from a horse’s adipose tissue and packaging those stem cells for injection into a damaged tendon or ligament was developed and patented by a company called Vet-Stem. The process takes a total of three days: the adipose tissue sample is removed from an area next to the tail head on day 1 and sent to Vet-Stem for processing. On day 3, the prepared stem cells arrive for injection into the injury site. The incisions at the adipose tissue removal site are small and typically heal without scarring. The stem cell injection is performed under ultrasound guidance, so that the cells can be placed in the exact location of the injury. This procedure is typically performed here at the clinic, where we can assure sterile conditions are maintained at both the adipose tissue removal site and the stem cell injection site.

Prepurchase exams

Prepurchase exams  are an important service that our veterinarians provide, and can be invaluable in making a decision about the purchase of a new horse. A comprehensive physical exam, soundness evaluation, conformation analysis, and health history compose the typical exam. Specific concerns of the prospective owner are addressed, with close attention paid to the intended use of the horse. Radiographs, blood work, drug screens, endoscopy, and breeding soundness exams are additional components often recommended by our veterinarians or requested by prospective owners.

Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma is a component of blood that has been used to accelerate wound healing in people and horses. Platelets are small particles within the blood that contain numerous growth factors. Growth factors help to stimulate collagen production by cells in the area of injury, thereby helping the damaged tendon or ligament regain elasticity. They have also been shown in numerous scientific studies to expedite the wound healing process. A process has recently been developed to take a blood sample from a horse and process it in a special type of tube that allows the growth factor-containing platelets to be separated from the rest of the blood. A 60-milliliter blood sample yields about 5 or 6 milliliters of platelet-rich plasma with this method. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected, under ultrasound guidance, into the site of the injury. The process takes about 30 minutes, and can be performed in the standing horse with sedation and a local anesthetic. It can be performed here at the clinic or at the farm. Platelet-rich plasma injections may be combined with other types of therapy, such as shock wave, depending on the severity of the injury. Because the platelet-rich plasma is derived from a horse’s own blood and is injected under sterile conditions, it is considered very safe.

Diagnostic Imaging

  • Radiology – including back, pelvis, chest and abdomen

Digital and conventional radiography are available at our hospital. Our powerful 300mA hospital X-ray machine enables us to obtain radiographs of shoulders, backs, chests, pelvises and other areas that are difficult to image with portable equipment. In addition, Rhinebeck Equine has the Eklin Digital Radiography system available to all of our veterinarians.

  • Ultrasound – musculoskeletal, thoracic, abdominal

Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology allows the examination of the internal structure of the body. Our veterinarians use ultrasound frequently to diagnose injuries to tendons and ligaments, as well as to examine lung tissue, umbilical remnants, abdominal structures, and unusual swellings. In addition, ultrasound is used extensively in reproductive evaluations.
The hospital is equipped with the advanced Biosound Megas ultrasound unit, which allows comprehensive and detailed evaluation of body structures with enhanced resolution, whether the problem is in the abdomen or the tendons of the limb.

  • Cystoscopy
  • Videoendoscopy
  • Videogastroscopy

Flexible endoscopes are used widely in veterinary and human medicine.  They are chiefly diagnostic tools – either for direct viewing of otherwise inaccessible areas of the body, or by allowing collection of small tissue samples for biopsy (by passing special forceps down the “biopsy channel” of the scope).  However, flexible endoscopes are also utilized therapeutically, either in conjunction with a surgical laser (“transendoscopic laser surgery”) or for endoscopically guided injections (“intralesional injection”) for treatment of certain masses or tumors.
Basic endoscopes are what are termed “fiberoptic”, meaning the image is transmitted to the eyepiece of the scope by bundles of flexible optical glass fibers.  These are typically what most ambulatory veterinarians carry on their vehicle for portable use in the field.  Only the operator (examiner) can see the image.  Videoendoscopy involves the use of a video monitor (TV monitor) to display an enlarged image, which can be viewed by multiple people during the procedure.  This can be as simple as connecting a video camera to the eyepiece of a fiberoptic scope.  The most advanced type – like our Pentax® system – utilizes a specialized “video image” endoscope that has a photosensitive microchip at the tip and produces images electronically.  Image capturing devices attached to the processor enable documentation of the examination findings in, both, still and video (moving) images.
The standard 1-meter videoendoscope is commonly used for examination of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract.  Longer videoendoscopes (ranging from 2.5-3.0 meters or longer) are used in equine medicine for examination of the esophagus and stomach (“gastroscopy”) and the lower respiratory tract (“bronchoscopy”).  Our clinic has both a 1-meter scope and the longer gastroscope for diagnosing ulcers, tumors, and other conditions of the upper GI tract.

Images:

  • Laryngeal hemiplegia
  • Subepiglottic cyst
  • Ethmoid hematoma (with injection)
  • Bladder stone
  • Bladder tumor
  • Ruptured bladder
  • Gastric ulcer

Specialized In-Hospital Care

  • 24-hour Intensive Care & Monitoring
  • Climate Controlled Stalls
  • Diagnostic Laboratory

IV Fluid Therapy & Supportive Care

While in the hospital, your horse will receive round-the-clock care and attention.  Healthy horses arriving for an elective procedure may be simply monitored with vital signs several times a day, while our critical patients are provided the highest level of intensive care 24-hours a day. We recognize that high-quality perioperative care is as important to a successful outcome as the surgical procedure itself.  Our caring and compassionate staff of surgeons, veterinary technicians, and barn attendants treats each patient as though they were their own horse.   Our stalls are immaculate and of comfortable size, with Dutch doors and screens that can allow the horse to feel almost as though they are outside. In addition to the high quality hay and feeds we provide, each patient is groomed daily and most are generally “spoiled” with treats once they are eating and drinking normally. Owners are encouraged to come during visiting hours to assist in the healing process by providing comfort and familiarity. Each patient has their own grooming tools, feed and water tubs, and cubby for personal belongings.

Our goal is to provide “State of the Art” care from the moment each patient walks in the door, until they are discharged.