Phone us on 03 5448 5331 (including emergencies)
Our veterinarians are available for consultations and minor surgical procedures at your property, including routine consultations, dentistry, wound repair, castrations, vaccination, microchipping and initial investigations into medical or orthopaedic disorders. The areas serviced for Ambulatory Appointments can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.
More in depth examinations and surgical procedures, as well as hospitalisation of more severely affected horses may need to be performed at our hospital (the Bendigo Equine Hospital). We also perform mare reproductive work on individual owner’s properties but ask that you have the appropriate facilities (a crush with a closed in back door) to ensure safety of our veterinarians.
Diagnostic imaging is a critical part of equine work. At the Victorian Equine Group no expense has been spared in the acquisition of the very best equipment available, to allow superb quality images to be obtained.
We provide a team of vets 24 hours a day, 365 days per year to cover equine emergencies presented to the Bendigo Equine Hospital. A veterinarian is always available to speak to you and help you decide if your horse needs to be seen and whether that should be done on the property or in hospital.
If your horse requires admission to hospital, this can be easily arranged. Our emergency team usually consists of a minimum of three veterinarians; allowing us to evaluate and treat your horse that is injured, unwell or requires an emergency surgery. These services are available to both primary clients in the local area, or as referral cases from other veterinarians.
We are extremely fortunate to have access to the specialised skills of Dr Reinder Schurmanns. Dr Reinder’s chiropractic sessions involve a thorough examination and manual treatment of the horse, focusing primarily on the axial skeleton (the neck and spine). Like other joints in the body, the joints in these areas can have reduced mobility. Reduction of natural mobility leads to altered biomechanics of other areas as they compensate for it. In longstanding cases, these altered biomechanics place undue strain, and eventually injury of other structures.
The aim of the chiropractic treatment is to treat area of reduced spinal mobility early, to restore normal function, and encourage efficient, safe movements and maximise performance. These consultations are available following referral to Dr Reinder Schurmanns after being examined by our other veterinarians.
Dr Steph Brooder, a member of our veterinary team, has a special interest in equine dentistry. Routine dental care is essential to your horse’s health and we offer a range of preventive and remedial dental treatments to assist in maintaining your horse’s wellbeing.
Dental examinations can be performed both on the farm or at the hospital and it is recommended that all horses should have dental examination annually. During the oral examination any corrective dental work can be performed either using hand tools or a dental power float.
Internal medicine cases (abdominal and thoracic disorders, cardiac disease, skin disease, ophthalmic problems) are common disorders evaluated at the hospital. Specific examples of diseases are colics, weight loss cases, horses with diarrhoea, horses with pneumonia or respiratory allergies and eye injuries. In select cases, further specialist examinations may be necessary, and these can be accommodated at the hospital. Specialists that routinely visit the hospital include Dr Laura Nath who performs echocardiographic (ultrasound scanning of the heart) examinations and complex cardiac work ups, and Dr Simon Hurn a specialist ophthalmologist from All Animal Eye Services.
Our hospital is equipped and able to perform all types of elective and emergency surgeries, including arthroscopic surgery, laparoscopic procedures, upper respiratory tract surgery, fracture repair and colic surgery. Most surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia, but some surgeries (some laparoscopic procedures, some reproductive surgeries, some eye or sinus surgeries) will be performed with the horse standing.
If your horse is scheduled for surgery, please take as much time as necessary to understand and discuss the procedure and attending risks. Our veterinarians will be very happy to discuss everything with you at length and some your questions may be answered under Frequently Asked Questions.
All surgeries are overseen by Dr Sarah Jalim and each surgical team consists of equine surgeons, anaesthetists and a team of veterinary nurses.
Our hospital admits in excess of 100 sick neonatal foals over the course of the breeding season. These foals commonly suffer from conditions such as neonatal septicaemia, neonatal maladjustment (“dummy foal”) syndrome, and other gastrointestinal and urogenital problems. We have excellent purpose built intensive care facilities for mares and foals that to allow mares and foals to be separated so that they can be given continual intravenous fluids, continual oxygen and assisted feeding. We have an excellent team that allows us to provide the highest level of intensive care.
Examinations commonly include mortality insurance, foal mortality insurance, and suitability for syndication certification, loss of use insurance, and veterinary reports for brood mares for sale examinations.
Lameness is an extremely common problem amongst all disciplines and therefore one of our highest caseloads. Although initial examinations can be performed on your property, we encourage clients to present for more in depth lameness investigations to the hospital and take advantage of the state of the art diagnostic tools such as digital radiology and ultrasound machines.
Lameness examinations will usually consist of a thorough examination of the resting horse and an assessment at the walk, trot, on the lunge (and sometimes whilst being ridden). Flexion tests are often performed.
We also commonly use the “Equinosis”; cutting edge equipment that allows us to objectively measure horses movement through a set of systems. In some cases, the location from which the lameness is originating will be easily apparent, and diagnostic imaging will be recommended at that point. In other cases, we may recommend diagnostic analgesia (also called nerve blocking). This means we inject local anaesthetic solution around a nerve or directly into a joint to desensitise an area of the limb. Following injection, if an improvement in the horse’s lameness is observed, we can determine that the injected part of the limb was painful and contributing to lameness.
The Equinosis is sometimes very useful in measuring the degree of improvement after nerve blocking, or between revists so we can quantify whether any ongoing lameness is improving or deteriorating.
Once the cause of your lameness has been diagnosed, we have the ability to offer you a range of treatments including surgery, regenerative therapies, or remedial farriery work. In addition, we offer complimentary therapies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ECSWT or “shockwave”) and selective chiropractic work.
Orthopaedic injuries, joint disease and soft tissue injuries (such as tendon damage as suspensory ligament injury) are an unfortunately common occurrence in many performance horse disciplines.
Biologic therapies are now commonplace treatments for these injuries. Examples include IRAP therapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment and intra-lesional treatment with autologous stem cells or bone marrow extract.
In horses that are underperforming, common procedures that will need to be undertaken include thorough clinical and lameness examinations, electrocardiographic (ECG) examination, upper airway endoscopy, broncholaveloar lavage (BAL), and dynamic respiratory endoscopy (also known as overground endoscopy. The latter procedure involves placing a small endoscope into the horse’s throat, and recording the appearance of the throat at exercise, to detect abnormalities which only occur at high speed. These examinations can be performed at the Bendigo racecourse opposite us, or the Bendigo Harness racing track, situated 4 km away. It can also be combined with exercising ECG examinations.
The Victorian Equine Group recommends a pre-purchase examination prior to purchasing any horse. A pre-purchase examination involves a thorough evaluation and aims to identify any detectable abnormalities that may influence your decision to purchase. The examination incudes checking the horse’s identification, eyes, teeth, heart, lungs, skins and feet. In addition to the clinical examination, other diagnostic tools such as radiographs, ultrasonography, endoscopy, reproductive examination and bloodwork can provide valuable insight to assist with your purchase decision which can evaluate problems with joints and tendons.
The examination is performed for, and requested and paid for, by the purchaser. Examinations are conducted both on properties and at our hospital. Examinations are recommended at our hospital where the vets have greater access to diagnostic equipment. To book a pre-purchase examination please contact our office to request a pre-purchase examination form and discuss your requirements in more detail.
We accept a large number of referral cases from a large geographical area. These referrals may take the form of elective surgeries, complex medicine cases or horses requiring intensive care. Emergency referrals are welcome 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
Remedial farriery work is available at the Bendigo Equine Hospital following diagnosis by any of our veterinarians. We also offer combined consultations with a veterinarian and our farrier. We find working together at the same time, and re-evaluating horses together has given us the best success in returning your horse to optimum performance.
About our Farrier, Nathan Monk: Our specialist veterinarians utilise the services of Nathan in all cases where corrective trimming and shoeing are required. Nathan works closely with our vets to provide a combined vet/farrier approach to most foot related lameness. His skills are used on a daily basis to treat acute and chronic laminitics, sports horse injuries and navicular disease. Following any foot surgery such as infected pedal bones and keratoma removals, Nathan helps us design and apply the appropriate shoe for rehabilitation. Nathan performs our remedial work at the Bendigo Equine Hospital.
The Victorian Equine Group provides the full range of sales work required for all major sales. This includes the initial survey radiographs and endoscopic examinations, the pre-sale radiographs, repository endoscopy examinations at the sales complex, and pre-sale breeding examinations of the mare for sale.
Equine reproduction forms a large part of the Victorian Equine Group. Reproductive services are carried out in all areas and for many different clientele.
For further information on these services please call the office on 03 5448 5331 to discuss your needs.
Phone us on 03 5448 5331 (including emergencies)