Should your horse require more complex care than we can provide in your home environment, we may advise referral to our tier 2 RCVS approved equine clinic at Somerford Park
Louise Salt (head nurse), Louise Pailor (operations manager), Vicki Willis and Kayleigh Crayton are fully trained and qualified Equine Veterinary Nurses. Kayleigh is also a qualified Equine Sports Massage Therapist. They will arrange to meet you upon arrival, and help you unload if necessary. They will then co-ordinate the care of your horse whilst they are in our clinic. Many procedures are done as day cases, so you can stay with your horse whilst they’re with us. But should they need surgery or hospitalisation, our nurses would care for them during this time. You do not need to bring feed or bedding, that’s all provided, but a couple of rugs always come in handy.
In September 2017 we moved into our new purpose built facilities at Somerford Park. The new site is much larger than our previous clinic and has been designed and built by our team to improve our workflow, patient care and give our clients a much needed waiting area.
The new facility offers a number of advantages over our previous site:
· We now have two large treatment rooms, with stocks in each room. This will allow our vets to be working on multiple patients at the same time.
· We have a separate theatre, with two recovery boxes. This will allow us to carry out surgical procedures whilst the day-to-day work carries on in the clinic.
· We have a dedicated laboratory for processing samples and running blood cell and worm egg counts.
· We have a much more comfortable waiting area than previously. In addition we have a consulting room to allow us to talk through your horses’ medical issues with you. For a tour of the equine clinic at Somerford Park please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcL1jg8ewFM&t=1s
What we can offer
We have always believed in providing the highest standard of care for the horses, ponies and donkeys that pass through our door. We feel our new clinic allows us to do this as well as anybody in the UK. We have a great team of Equine vets and nurses, many of whom have further qualifications in particular specialisms such as equine lameness, dentistry and medicine.
We also believe that there are many investigations that cannot be performed on a horse’s home yard with the same degree of quality and attention to detail. A thorough lameness investigation, for example, can involve a large investment in time to observe the patient lunged, ridden and then with various nerve and joint medications to assess their efficacy. X-rays and ultrasound scans can be performed on yards with our new modern digital equipment, but on their own they don’t tell the whole story. Horses visiting our facility will benefit from this high quality of care that will ultimately result in a better outcome for the patient and a faster return to work for the rider.
Of course we know most owners don’t want their horses to end up having to come to the vets. However, there are many occasions that we are necessary to provide medical assistance to get our patients back to their best. We think our new clinic is the best place to provide this care.
We may ask for you to bring your horse in for lameness investigation. At Somerford we have all the facilities for trotting, lunging on different surfaces and riding your horse so we can properly assess their gait. We may then perform nerve blocks. This involves injecting a small amount of local anaesthetic at strategic points in the limb, and then trotting the horse up again to see if there are any improvements to the lameness.This helps us pin point the problem area.
It is much better to perform nerve blocks in a clean clinic environment to prevent possible complications. Once we have found the suspect area, we may suggest digital X-rays to look for bony problems, or ultrasound to best assess the soft tissues. Our X-Ray machine is more powerful than standard veterinary machines allowing us to image backs and stifles when required. The images are stored digitally for later manipulation, so they can be emailed or archived onto disc.
We have a 1.3 metre video endoscope. This is used for imaging the equine upper respiratory tract, larynx, and trachea. The images are shown on a laptop and both photos and videos can be taken and stored to aid diagnosis. In addition a 3.0 meter endoscope is used for gastroscopy – looking for gastric ulcers in the stomach.
Mark Tabachnik and Nic Harries are both qualified Equine Dental Technicians. As such, we are perfectly placed to provide your horse with all their dental healthcare requirements, from routine rasping to more complex corrections and extractions. We also deal with referrals from vets and other equine dental technicians. We have an oral endoscope and regularly treat special cases such as diastemas and fillings.
To see an interesting dentistry case, a horse called Polly who was suffering from food pocketing between her teeth called 'diastemas', please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX35lBZoZYg&t=4s
Somerford Park is a BEVA approved Artificial Insemination (AI) clinic for both chilled and frozen semen. We have room for visiting mares and a set of stocks for routine examinations. We offer stud packages for getting mares in foal both at the clinic and at your yard. Claire Hodgson is the practice lead for all our fertility work.
Surgery & Anaesthesia
We have a knock down / recovery box system, a dedicated operating suite and a fully padded operating table. Claire Phillips is our main surgeon and we regularly perform both standing and general anesthesia surgeries.For more complex procedures, we bring in specialist surgeon, ECVS Diplomat Graham Munroe.We take a lot of care and attention over our equine anaesthesia, using multiple monitoring systems to help ensure the safest anaesthetic possible for your horse.
To see a behind the scenes tour of equine anaesthesia at our Somerford Park Clinic, you can follow the case of Potts who came in for an anaesthetic, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t77LC7XQZx0
Work on your Yard
We accept that not everyone is in a position to bring their horse in to the clinic. We do feel that for many problems, work in the clinic environment will produce the best quality results for you and your horse. However many procedures and tests can be performed safely and effectively at your yard. We are happy to discuss this with you on a case by case basis.
Attention to Detail
We pride ourselves on offering a great service to our equine clients. From keen, enthusiastic vets who turn up on time and who you can speak to directly on their mobile phones, to well maintained up to date kit. We strive to offer an excellent service to all our clients.