Totally Vets offers a comprehensive on-farm and in-clinic veterinary service. Our branches in Feilding, Palmerston North and Taumarunui complement this service with carefully chosen animal health products and merchandise with up-to-date advice on their use.
Totally Vets provides a comprehensive ambulatory service for you and your horse.
- General health examinations and advice
- Lameness examinations
- Sick horses
- Branding, microchipping and DNA collection
- Reproduction services
- Pre-purchase examinations
During a general health exam our equine vets will assess your horse from head to toe: your horse's mouth, heart, lungs, spine, lameness, Body Condition Score, faeces, etc.
If you think your horse might be lame, or its behaviour under the saddle has suddenly changed, you can have one of our equine vets perform a lameness exam for you. A lameness exam has the following components:
- Observation of the horse's movements on a straight line on a flat, hard surface
- Observation of the horse's movements on a circle (lunging)
- Palpation and percussion of various areas of the body
- Flexion tests: the legs are bent in a certain way one at a time for 1 minute, after which the horse is trotted up
- Depending on the results, the horse may be observed under saddle
- Local nerve blocks, after which the horse is trotted up again, can help confirm in what area the lameness is located
- Radiographs and/or ultrasound if indicated
Do you not have the right facilities for a lameness exam? We can perform the lameness exam at our Awapuni clinic.
Is your horse not behaving as he/she normally does? Is there a loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, abnormal posture, or otherwise abnormality? Our equine vets would be very happy to come check things out for you. Are you just not sure a visit is warranted? Just give us a call for advice. Here are some reference values for healthy horses at rest: Breathing 8-14/minute, heart rate 28-40/minute, temperature 37.4-38.0°C
Horse's teeth erupt continuously throughout their life. That means that it is important that they wear evenly to prevent issues with eating, riding or infection. We advise yearly dental care to make sure you stay on top of sharp ridges, overgrown teeth, damage to the cheeks and tongue, gingivitis and so forth. If you have any questions about equine dentistry, wolf teeth, or to add other services such as cleaning your horse's sheath or vulva, testing for Selenium or PPID, or vaccination, please let us know.
Are you looking to brand, ID and/or microchip your foal? Totally Vets can either use your personal brand or our own.
Castration is usually done anytime at 1-2 years old, depending on their testicular size, behaviour and herd composition. The stallion needs to be in good health, which means a good Body Condition Score, no fever and no infections. Before we castrate, you/we also need to make sure whether both testicles have descended into the scrotum. The time of year can also matter. Because the surgical incisions remain open after surgery to allow drainage of the site, we prefer not to castrate when there are too many flies around that can infect the wound. It can also be beneficial to castrate when outside temperatures are not too high.
For more information on castration, please give us a call.
Our equine vets at Totally Vets offer pregnancy testing, Artificial Insemination (AI) fresh or chilled, caslick, treatment of uterine infections, examination of poor fertility, foal examination, antibody / immune testing of the foal, etc. Read more about pregnant mare management or foaling. If you would like to know more about our breeding mare services, please contact us.
The most regular vaccinations for horses are for Tetanus and Strangles. Totally Vets supplies you with a booklet to keep your horse's vaccination records. To start a new vaccination booster course your horse will need two (tetanus only) or three (tetanus and strangles) shots. After that boosters will be given yearly (strangles and first year for tetanus) or every two to three years (tetanus).
If your horse has injured itself and it hasn’t been vaccinated for tetanus, we can administer a tetanus anti-toxin. This needs to be done as fast as possible after injury. Because the tetanus bacteria (Clostridium tetani) is everywhere in the environment and can get in through the smallest (unnoticeable) wounds, it is best to choose vaccination rather than the anti-toxin.
There are also other vaccines available at Totally Vets. These are especially worth considering if you are breeding a foal. Give us a call to discuss protection against EHV, salmonella and tetanus in your pregnant mare and newborn foal. NB: some of these vaccines need to be started before the fifth month of gestation (pregnancy).
Totally Vets offers pre-purchase examinations (PPE’s). If you are considering buying a horse, our equine vets are happy to assess any possible risks for you. PPE’s can be done either in two or five stages:
- Preliminary examination: this is done in the standing horse and will be focused on ID, the general physical exam, any abnormalities, conformation, …
- Examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing: this also encompasses a trot up and flexion tests to look for lameness. A straight hard surface of 30-40 metres is needed to complete this. The horse is not assessed during lunging or riding.
- Examination during and immediately after strenuous exercise: the horse will be exercised enough to 1) make it breathe deeply and rapidly so that any unusual breathing sounds may be heard, 2) to tire the horse just enough so that strains and injuries and other exercise related problems may be revealed after a period of rest and 3) to increase the action of the heart, so that exercise related cardiac abnormalities may be detected.
- Examination during the period after exercise: breathing and heart rate.
- The final examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing: repeat of stage two.
Available additional tests: radiography, endoscopy, electrocardiography, blood tests for prohibited substances, reproductive examination.
- Tying up
- Eye problems
You can read about the above topics here.
- Faecal egg counting
- Blood testing
- Insulin resistance testing
- Broncho alveolar lavage and trans-tracheal wash
We all want our horses to be good athletes and age healthily. To achieve that we need to make sure we are feeding them the right nutrients, training them well, administering their annual shots and dental checks, keeping worms at bay, etc.
There is a lot to know about nutrition, and it’s not always easy to know whether your horse is actually getting enough of everything or even not too much. Does your horse receive what it needs for the type of work that you do? Or does your retired horse get the right nutrients to age healthily? We can help you answer some of these questions.
If you’d like to know more about this or make an appointment, please give us a call.
Worming can only be done right when there’s knowledge of what’s going on inside your horse and on your pasture. Therefore, our worming recommendations are not the same for every horse. Our recommendations are based on information about your pasture management, whether your horse grazes together with other horses, your horse’s age, any health issues at the time and a faecal exam. The faecal exam shows us what the Faecal Egg Count (FEC) is and which worms are present. This information helps us decide whether your horse needs to be wormed and if so, which product should be used to target the specific worms that were found. This is called “strategic parasite control”. It also gives us information about your pasture, which we can use to help you improve pasture management. By doing faecal exams, worming strategically, and applying the right pasture management, your horse may only have to be wormed once yearly. By doing a Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test regularly, we can keep an eye on any issues with resistance and make sure your horse is actually receiving the right care.
Totally Vets regularly gives seminars on different interesting topics, such as laminitis, dentistry, colic, wounds, worming, etc. Everyone is welcome to attend these seminars, so bring a friend!
To find out about the next seminar, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page. If you have any special requests, you can also let us know.
Everyone who owns horses knows how inconvenient, sad and costly it can be when our beloved horses get sick. Some health issues cannot be prevented, but many can. Having knowledge on proper management surely helps. However, to help owners keep their horses in top shape, we have formulated the Annual Health Plan.
The Annual Health Plan gives us the opportunity to check your horse's health twice yearly, to help pick up early signs of illness, give tips on daily management techniques, monitor long-term health issues and assess performance.
When you become a member of our Annual Health Plan, it offers you discounts and added value, giving you great value for money. We will help you remember when it is time for the next check-up, so you don’t need to worry about things. At the end of each visit you will receive a written summary of the visit and the advice that came from it. That way you can read it back whenever you like. By keeping your visit reports in your Annual Health Plan booklet, you will be able to keep a file of your horse's health history and compare results with previous visits.
Would you like to know more about our Annual Health Plan for horses? Please contact us.
First line veterinary care
- General health examinations and advice
- Lameness examinations
- Sick horses
- Branding, microchipping and DNA testing
- Reproduction services: scanning and AI (fresh only)
- Blood testing
- Faecal egg counting and treatment advice