LAMENESS DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
Nerve and Joint Blocks
Local anaesthesia is used commonly in the process of diagnosing equine lameness. By blocking specific nerves in the lame limb it is possible to localize the specific area of pain that may be leading to lameness.
Further investigation of the target area using ultrasound and/or radiography can then be performed.
We frequently use ultrasonography in order to scan equine tendons after suspected injuries.
By using ultrasound we are able to provide clients with accurate diagnoses of tendinous injuries, design appropriate treatment regimens, and monitor the healing process. We also use ultrasound to scan the abdominal cavities of horses that present to the clinic with colic.
The CEC now offers Digital Radiography (DR). Instead of using film, the x-rays are converted to a light signal which is digitized in the x-ray plate and sent directly to a computer.
This means improved diagnostic capability, as the image quality is greatly superior to film and images can be manipulated and magnified, as well as increased efficiency, as each image takes approximately 5 seconds to appear on the computer screen for viewing. In essence, with our new DR system, we can diagnose problems more accurately in less than half the time. The rapidity of the system is also very useful for vet checks, where many images of multiple joints are required.
In 2005 a separate air-conditioned suite was built on the premises to house our scintigraphy unit. The process of scintigraphy, or bone scanning, involves injecting a radioactive isotope into the horse's body and observing areas of increased uptake of the isotope using a camera.
The radioactivity is increased in areas of the body that are undergoing inflammatory reactions and/or boney remodelling. Although most of our scintigraphic analyses focus on the skeleton, soft tissues can also be visualized for muscular, tendinous or ligamentous damage.
Scintigraphy is a useful method of resolving more complicated lameness cases when the cause of the lameness remains elusive using radiography and ultrasonography alone.
Joint Therapy (IRAP)
'The Canterbury Equine Clinic offers an exciting new treatment for the management of arthritis and degenerative joint disease in horses. IRAP Therapy is especially useful in horses that either do not respond to, or show decreasing levels of response to, conventional anti-inflammatory joint medication (e.g. Hyaluronic acid/cortisone joint injections).
The Canterbury Equine Clinic offers shock wave therapy as a means of aiding in a horse's recovery from a variety of injuries and ailments. Shock wave treatment is used successfully for treatment of musculoskeletal disorders including suspensory ligament strain, stress fractures, sacroiliac (back) pain, sesamoiditis, splints, navicular syndrome, curb, stifle and cannon bone cysts, tendonitis and muscle strains.
Sampling the fluid that bathes the organs of the abdomen can assist in the diagnosis of many conditions. Our resident haematologist can interpret these samples immediately, allowing fast and accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Using ultrasound we are able to visualize the organs within the abdominal cavity, an important method of diagnosing a variety of ailments from colics to peritonitis.
Stomach ulcers can affect performance and overall condition of horses dramatically. The clinic has a gastroscope that is capable of visualizing the stomach lining. The extent of ulceration can then be photographed and monitored throughout treatment and recovery.
Endoscopy of the upper airway can be performed during ambulatory calls or at the clinic. Each veterinarian carries with them an endoscope in their vehicles. This allows for fast diagnosis of respiratory diseases and conditions, which often necessitates scoping soon after the horse has been worked.
At the clinic a video endoscope is available for scoping and recording structures such as guttural pouches, arytenoid cartilages and nasal passages. It is also possible, using endoscopy, to obtain tracheal wash samples for analysis of bacterial and inflammatory conditions.
Overground Equine Endoscope
Announcing a first for the South Island: While at a recent AAEP conference in Texas, Bill secured for the clinic a new "Overground Equine Endoscope". This allows us to diagnose the cause performance horses with poor performance and abnormal wind noises associated with exercise.
This state of the art tool provides a video of the upper respiratory tract during work, allowing us to accurately diagnose bleeders, roarers, displaced soft palates, causes of pharyngeal restriction and or collapse, and more. This technology has shed new light on some of the respiratory conditions that we see affecting horses, and has resulted in new approaches to some of the treatments and surgery we do.
Our clinic is equipped with an E.C.G. machine, allowing detailed examination of the electrical conductivity of the heart. Heart scores are calculated routinely as a component of pre-purchase examinations.
The video endoscope can be passed into the bladder to visualize bladder stones and other bladder pathology.