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Category: Facility

Featured Service: The Equine Standing MRI

Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the most advanced state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment available. More specifically, Equine Standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allows Palm Beach Equine Clinic to quickly and accurately diagnose injuries for their clients.

equine standing mri palm beach equine clinic
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Every horse owner dreads seeing signs of lameness or discomfort in any horse, whether it is a backyard companion or a top-caliber sport horse. For performance horses, however, one of the first questions many owners ask upon contacting a veterinarian about a problem is, “Can the horse safely and comfortably return to work?” Using Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s cutting-edge equine standing MRI technology, the clinic veterinarians are best equipped to answer that question.

The equine standing MRI produces highly detailed images in several different planes to capture a complete image of the desired area. An MRI is best used to further define a specific area of bony or soft tissue that has been pinpointed as the origin of lameness. The process can be completed while the horse is in a standing position and requires only light sedation.

equine standing MRI horse palm beach equine clinic

Lameness or performance problems are most frequently approached through routine x-rays and ultrasounds, which can come back normal. Thus, it is difficult to diagnose subtle problems because the most common tools are not sensitive enough to pick them up. At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the Equine Standing MRI gives veterinarians an advantage when troubleshooting a lameness issue and helps them to determine a correct diagnosis in a timely manner.

Hundreds of MRIs are read each year at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. In addition to being a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool, the equine standing MRI technology also affords economic benefits to owners by having their horse’s problem diagnosed and treated safely, effectively, and quickly.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Continues to Expand Capabilities in Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

Palm Beach Equine Clinic prides itself as being a consistent leader in sport horse medicine and continues to expand the diagnostic imaging technologies to provide the best services for clients. In addition to state-of-the-art imaging technology available on-site, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is fortunate to work directly with world-renowned Board Certified Radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski.

palm beach equine clinic bone scan diagnostic imaging
Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan) at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Dr. Sarah Puchalski is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology whose specialty includes the interpretation of diagnostic imaging including Radiographs, MRIs, Nuclear Scintigraphy, and CT scans. Dr. Puchalski’s job requires a high level of specialization to properly review imaging to produce comprehensive written reports for referring veterinarians. In addition to her full-time position with PBEC, Dr. Puchalski reads imaging cases for clinics all over the world. Many veterinarians and owners request a consultation as a second opinion on Pre-Purchase examinations radiographs and ultrasound evaluations.

Pioneering Equine Diagnostic Imaging Modalities

Palm Beach Equine Clinic has always been a pioneer in advances of technology within the equine veterinary industry. Almost 30 years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic bought the first ultrasound for equine practice in South Florida. Twenty-five years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic installed the first Nuclear Scintigraphy gamma ray camera to perform bone scans. Twenty years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic assisted in developing Computed Radiography (CR) for horses. Currently, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the most advanced surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment available, including a standing MRI unit, MiE gamma ray camera, Digital Radiography, Video Endoscopy, and a bevy of additional diagnostic equipment.

“Palm Beach Equine Clinic has a great case population and great equipment, which is a huge bonus for someone doing what I do,” Dr. Puchalski stated. “The equipment is exceptional, the technical staff is excellent, and the case population of the region is obviously amazing.”

Nuclear Scintigraphy Imaging

Palm Beach Equine Clinic proudly offers an updated Nuclear Scintigraphy lab (bone scan) that houses the MiE Nuclear Scintigraphy gamma ray camera. Nuclear Scintigraphy is typically used to diagnosis injuries or bone remodeling within the skeletal anatomy of the horse. This specialized camera is equipped with sharper contours for precise imaging that results in accurate lameness diagnoses. Advanced software provides the ability to acquire high quality images despite small movements from the patient. This feature reduces the time required to complete a study, which provides quicker results.

equine standing mri palm beach equine clinic
Equine Standing MRI at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Bone scans are also very useful in defining multi-limb lameness origins for the hard to diagnose, long-duration lameness cases. Typically, Nuclear Scintigraphy scans isolate points of injury to be identified further with other diagnostic techniques, such as digital radiology and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The clinic offers an MRI lab containing the innovative Equine Standing MRI manufactured by Hallmarq, which scans the equine distal limb in a standing position requiring only light sedation. MRI is very useful to further define a suspected lameness origin by acquiring more defined images of boney and soft tissue structures.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Internship Program Brings the Best to South Florida

Equine Internships and Externships for Veterinary Students and Graduates


palm beach equine clinic wellington florida

While Palm Beach Equine Clinic may be known for the 28 superb veterinarians who call it home, they are also a driving force in educating the next generation of equine medical professionals. Through world-renowned equine internship and externship programs, Palm Beach Equine Clinic molds new veterinarians every day.

Each year, equine interns work with Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians for a 12-month period. Whether from externships that usually last up to two weeks and serve as an introduction to the practice or by references from top veterinarians across the U.S. and abroad, Palm Beach Equine Clinic attracts the most promising young veterinarians in the field.

Educating Equine Veterinary Students and Graduates From Around the World

Currently, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is host to recently graduated veterinary students from Oklahoma, Scotland, and Argentina. According to Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian and board-certified surgeon Dr. Weston Davis who leads the Internship program, South Florida attracts only the best.

Dr. Weston Davis of Palm Beach Equine Clinic leads the Internship Program.
Dr. Weston Davis of Palm Beach Equine Clinic leads the Internship Program.

“We really have the cream of the crop because they have big opportunities here,” said Dr. Davis. “A lot of equine internships can offer work with one or two veterinarians, but what’s cool at Palm Beach Equine Clinic is they can pick from the collection of doctors we have.”

Palm Beach Equine Clinic interns rotate through three phases, including hands-on application of hospital anesthetization, imaging – both from ambulatory duty and elective – and working with a doctor of their choice based on their specific interests.

Dr. Davis has been with Palm Beach Equine Clinic for two years and immediately took interest in making the equine internship program the best it could be. In two years, he has made one of the world’s best programs even better.

Benefits of an Equine Internship

“I wanted to make it as organized and structured as it could be so they can get as much out of that year as possible,” he said. “The general rule is that doing a one-year equine internship puts you three to five years ahead of those that come out of school and start out on their own. Interns come out of school with a handle on book knowledge and the internships give them a good clinical appreciation for those same topics. They see a lot and do a lot under the supervision of seasoned veterinarians while they are here.”

Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian Dr. Santiago Demierre

While Palm Beach Equine internships offer obvious perks for the interns themselves, it also has added benefit for the veterinarians already at the clinic.

“The value for the interns is they get to see a tremendous amount of cases in short time, but it’s also valuable for us because they come out of school with fresh knowledge, new ideas, and keep us current and on our toes,” said Dr. Davis.

Traditionally veterinary students will fulfill their equine internship requirements and move on to find a full-time position at other practices. Dr. Davis himself did just that after graduating from the University of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine and interning at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Oklahoma. But, the experiences available at Palm Beach Equine Clinic keep its interns staying put.

Equine Internships Kickstart Veterinary Careers

History has proven that many interns who work for Palm Beach Equine Clinic as interns go on to accept full-time positions at the clinic. One of those veterinarians is Dr. Ryan Lukens. After earning his DVM from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he began an internship with Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 2012.

palm beach equine clinic ryan lukens veterinarian
Dr. Ryan Lukens of Palm Beach Equine Clinic completed an internship at PBEC before joining as an associate veterinarian.

“I am so pleased that I did my internship with Palm Beach Equine,” said Dr. Lukens. “It was basically another year of school where I got to focus on exactly what I wanted to do.”

Dr. Lukens specialized in sports medicine, lameness, and diagnostic imaging, which is a passion he inherited from his father, a fellow veterinarian. His experience with Palm Beach Equine Clinic solidified that concentration thanks to the latest in veterinary technology.

“When I came to Palm Beach Equine Clinic, I had access to all the newest equipment. That gave me more tools to improve my skills under the direction of a full network of senior veterinarians,” added Dr. Lukens. “When you leave vet school, you have a question every hour of the day, and I had a number of veterinarians who were a phone call away to answer those questions. I never had to second-guess myself because they were there to help me learn. But, there also isn’t always one way to do something correctly. I learned the opinions of so many veterinarians who do things just a little differently, and it helped me to find my own way and what’s best for the horses I treat.”

Thanks to Palm Beach Equine Clinic, horse owners in South Florida and beyond have access to well-educated veterinarians with hands-on experience that is unmatched.


Interested in Applying for an Equine Internship?

Fill out this form to get in contact with the internship and externship department.

  • Please tell us about your educational background including what school(s) you have attended.
  • Please download the extern survey, complete and upload here for review.

The Growth of Palm Beach Equine Clinic

We interviewed Dr. Scott Swerdlin, DVM, MRCVS, and President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s simple beginnings to become one of the largest veterinary practices in the United States.

What was the genesis of Palm Beach Equine Clinic- why was it started, how big was it, how many vets worked in the beginning, what kinds of services were offered?

In 1979, Dr. Paul Wollenman came to Wellington, Florida to principally care for Lion Country Safari’s exotic animals. Dr. Wollenman started to build the physical structure of Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 1981. I joined PBEC in 1983 and it was the beginning of a remarkable partnership. Dr. Wollenman strengths and my strengths complemented each other well. I had recently resigned my Captaincy in the United States Airforce Veterinary Core and was excited to come back to where I grew up.

In 1991, we enticed Dr. Robert W. Brusie to join us from his successful surgical practice in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Brusie joined us to build the modern foundation of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. I was extremely fortunate to have these two extraordinary veterinarians as mentors. Shortly after Dr. Brusie joined us, we had an exceptional surgical service routinely cutting colics and performing orthopedic surgeries. The final piece of the puzzle was to bring on a remarkable veterinarian from the next generation. We found that missing piece in 2003, when Dr. Richard Wheeler joined the team.

When did PBEC evolve into its current state?

The evolution of Palm Beach Equine Clinic has been constant and ever increasing. The growth of PBEC mirrored the growth of the show horse industry through 2005. Ten years ago, we witnessed an exponential growth in the Dressage discipline. From our simple beginnings, we now have twenty eight veterinarians. What I take great pride in in my job is to keep twenty eight veterinarians happy and explore additional opportunities to continue to grow and improve. Almost 30 years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic bought the first ultrasound for equine practice in South Florida. Twenty five years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic installed the first gamma ray camera to perform bone scans (Nuclear Scintigraphy). Twenty years ago, we developed Computed Radiography (CR) for horses. Currently, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the most advanced state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment for the horse. Onsite, we have a Hallmarq standing MRI unit, MiE gamma ray camera, Digital Radiography, Video Endoscopy, and a bevy of additional diagnostic equipment. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional veterinary service for the horse.

What are the most important parts of PBEC?

No question, it is our staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing a culture of respect and excellent communication. Palm Beach Equine Clinic encourages every technician and employee to embrace their position not just as a job, but as a career. Many of our technicians and administration staff have been a part of PBEC for over 10 years. I want every person who works here to feel as though they are part of a team. Unequivocally, the most important part of PBEC is its family of employees.

How was PBEC changed in the past several years?

Over ten years ago, we were fortunate to have Dr. Bill Patterson, Dr. Gary Priest, Dr. Bob Smith, Dr. Hilary Clayton, Dr. Jordan Lewis, and Dr. Kathleen Timmins join Palm Beach Equine Clinic to contribute to the culture and the success that we currently enjoy. In the past several years, we have added multiple, additional extraordinarily talented veterinarians. Dr. Jorge Gomez, Dr. Weston Davis, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, Dr. Bryan Dubynsky, Dr. Janet Greenfield, Dr. Tyler Davis, Dr. Daren Tamplin, Dr. Natalia Novoa, Dr. Ryan Lukens, Dr. Selina Passante-Watt, Dr. Jamie McAnly, Dr. CJ Caniglia and Dr. Sarah Allendorf have all recently joined the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team within the past five years. We have updated all of our technical capabilities and we have added an Annex Office on the WEF show grounds in Wellington, Florida.

What do you see PBEC adding in 2016?

For Palm Beach Equine Clinic, 2016 will be an exciting year for expansion of our physical facility. PBEC plans on adding an additional 4,000 square feet of air conditioned examination areas, an additional surgical suite and recovery stall, as well as climate controlled isolation quarantine stalls. Under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Puchalski, our in house Board Certified Radiologist, Palm Beach Equine Clinic hopes to add the first equine Computed Tomography service (CT scans) to our diagnostic imaging expertise.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Palm Beach Equine Clinic owes all of its success to the horsemen and horsewomen of South Florida. We thank you for trusting our Doctors and staff with your precious family member, your horse. PBEC Veterinarians volunteer their time for many projects in our community. It is our pleasure to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Charity Challenge, One World, and many other local charities. Our Doctors also contribute their time to providing veterinary care for the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival as the Official Veterinarians. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional care to your horse and is committed to improving our relationship with our clients, as well as our community.

Palm Beach Equine Offers New State-Of-The-Art Nuclear Scintigraphy Equipment

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is excited to announce the addition of the most advanced Equine Nuclear Gamma Ray Camera available for Equine Imaging. Last winter, Palm Beach Equine Clinic announced the grand opening of an eleven-stall barn for intensive and postoperative care. Four new offices were built for the additional seven veterinarians that joined the practice. This fall we will complete the renovation of the Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan) lab in addition to installing the new top of the line Nuclear Scintigraphy camera manufactured by Medical Imaging Electronics. 

The new Equine Scanner H.R. designed by MIE reduces the time required to scan the horse and provides more defined images. The new technology behind the Equine Scanner H.R. assists with the ability to produce high-quality images even if the horse moves slightly while taking an image. Image acquisitions will not have to be repeated as frequently which reduces the length of time required for a scan. The camera is equipped with special software that is designed to acquire images with sharper contours for a more precise, effective diagnosis of the lameness or specific point of injury. MIE describes their new gamma-ray camera as “an ingenious combination of mechanics, electronics and special software algorithms, which allows unique scanning on standing horses.” 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is one of very few equine practices in the U.S. with a Board Certified Radiologist on staff. World-renowned Radiologist, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, is on site to read and interpret images immediately so clients have results as quickly as possible. Dr. Puchalski is excited about the renovation and the new Equine Scanner H.R. machine. “The addition of this scanner places Palm Beach Equine at the forefront of diagnostic imaging the world over. Excellent motion correction software and the largest field of view allows for accurate, rapid scanning of large parts such as the pelvis, back and neck in addition to the more routinely imaged limbs. It is very exciting to be able to work with these tools in Wellington,” said Dr. Puchalski.

Often times horses may have multi-limb lameness that makes it difficult for your veterinarian to pinpoint the problem. Dr. Puchalski gladly accepts referrals from other veterinarians and is happy to assist in the specific diagnosis of your horse’s ailments. Palm Beach Equine Clinic has performed over 3,000 bone scans in the last decade. We remain the leader in Equine Imaging. Please contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment with the Director of Imaging Barbara Lanigan at Palm Beach Equine Clinic by calling (561) 309 – 3008 or call the clinic at (561) 793 – 1599.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Announces Clinic Expansion and Welcomes New Veterinarians

Palm Beach Equine Clinic welcomes Radiologist, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, and Surgeon, Dr. Weston Davis to their team of veterinarians. Dr. Puchalski is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology whose specialty includes the interpretation of radiographs in addition to other diagnostic imaging techniques. With Sarah’s addition to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is pleased to be one of the few practices in the country with a full-time board certified radiologist. Dr. Davis is a Board Certified surgeon specializing in equine sports medicine. Dr. Davis joins Dr. Bob Brusie and Dr. Jorge Gomez at Palm Beach Equine Clinic providing exceptional surgical expertise in orthopedic and soft tissue related problems including emergency colic surgery.

In addition to this exciting news comes the announcement of a new expansion to their veterinary hospital located less than one mile from the Winter Equestrian Festival and across the street from the Global Dressage Festival. The expansion includes a new barn containing 11 intensive care stalls capable of providing advanced medical treatment and post-operative care. The added stalls and office space makes Palm Beach Equine Clinic the most progressive, well-equipped facility in the region for equine veterinary care.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is the one of the select few equine hospitals in the country with three board-certified surgeons. With 24 veterinarians on staff, they are the most complete hospital in the southeast United States, ready to handle any emergency as well as elective surgery and preventative care.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic – with locations in Wellington, Florida, Long Island, New York and satellite veterinarians throughout the United States– have been providing exceptional equine medical care with an unwavering commitment to the horse for more than 30 years. Working with patients that range from favorite reliable amateur horses to treasured Olympic athletes, PBEC’s mission from day one has been to provide innovative veterinary services that promote health and happiness in horses while extending their performance careers. With this mission in mind, Palm Beach Equine Clinic remains the leading service provider in equine veterinary medicine.

From December 1st, 2013 through April 1st, 2014, PBEC is pleased to offer tours by appointment. After scheduling an appointment by calling Eques Solutions at 561-227-1537, guests can look forward to a tour of the facility and time to talk with the veterinarians on staff. Tours will include the new hospital, Nuclear Scintigraphy room, and Surgery Center. Visitors will have an opportunity to ask questions and meet all the new doctors on staff. PBEC is located at 13125 Southfields Road in Wellington, Florida.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is respected throughout the industry and well known for their unwavering commitment to the horse and their owners, as well as innovative, advanced medical care. Known as leaders in new diagnostics and therapies, PBEC veterinarians have published numerous articles in equine magazines and journals.

© Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
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Palm Beach Equine Clinic
  • Phone
    (561) 793-1599
  • Fax
    (561) 793-2492
  • Address
    13125 Southfields Road
    Wellington, FL, 33414
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