Navigating Lameness Prevention and Treatment
Owners and riders have the responsibility of making sure their horses are healthy and sound. Horses are incredible athletes both in and out of the show ring, so it is important that they are cared for like any elite athlete. Non-equestrians do not equate performance horses to football players, marathon runners, or gymnasts, but horse owners and veterinarians know the same level of commitment is required to keep equine athletes in optimal health and fitness.
The goals of Sport Horse Medicine are to keep horses feeling and performing at their best, detect subtle changes, appropriately address underlying issues, and correctly diagnose and treat injuries to get horses back to optimum health. Despite being powerful and strong animals, horses are relatively fragile. One day they are competing in perfect form, and the next they might walk out of their stall lame. Thus begins the process of addressing the issue and determining a treatment plan.
Lameness can manifest itself in different ways, from subtle decreases in performance to severe and obvious signs of pain. Lameness is not a diagnosis or disease; it is the symptom of an underlying issue. Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, FL, has a team of veterinarians who specialize in Sport Horse Medicine and are skilled at diagnosing and treating the root causes of lameness. Pinpointing the underlying issue is the crucial first step in proper rehabilitation.
Understandably, practicing proactive prevention is the best approach to avoiding incidents of lameness. It is important to do what we can to prevent serious incidents such as falling, missteps, and accidents with other horses. Key to these efforts is detecting signs of lameness as early as possible so underlying issues do not exacerbate or cause longer-term lameness. Prevention techniques combined with proper training and rest, high-quality nutrition, and correct and balanced farrier work, help reduce usual wear-and-tear injuries.
Catching Lameness Early
Early recognition of the signs of lameness may help prevent more serious injuries from occurring. A firm understanding of what is “normal” for your horse is crucial to identifying subtle changes in behaviors, movement, or body conditions.
Once a day, do a hands-on leg check. During this exam, compare opposite legs to detect signs of heat, swelling, or sensitivity. While exercising the horse make sure you are aware of a shortness of stride, decrease in performance, reduced stamina, or changes in attitude. If you suspect a problem, give the horse a few days off. If the signs return when work is resumed ask your veterinarian to examine them. Remember that a mild problem can turn into a career-limiting condition if left untreated.
Scheduling routine performance evaluations with your veterinarian can also help catch signs of lameness early. Thorough evaluations often consist of:
• History from rider and trainer covering the how, what, when, and why of the perceived lameness
• Physical examination and limb palpation to detect swelling or soreness
• Lameness or motion examination, both in hand and under tack, to see how the horse moves and may be compensating
• Flexion testing to narrow down the problem area
• Diagnostic analgesia (nerve blocks) to pinpoint the specific area causing pain
• Isolation and confirmation of the problem area
• Diagnosing underlying issues through imaging such as a radiograph (x-ray), ultrasound, nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), magnetic resonance imagining (MRI), or computed tomography (CT)
• Specific identification of the lameness or performance problem
Even with preventative care, we cannot avoid all injuries. Therefore, it is important to work with your veterinarian to develop the best treatment plan for when an injury occurs. There are a wide range of traditional treatment methods including conservative treatment (rest, ice, compression), medical management (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids), intra-articular medication (joint injections), soft tissue treatment (self-derived biologic therapies such as stem cells or pro-stride and shockwave, laser, and ultrasound), and as a last resort, surgery.
Veterinary practices like Palm Beach Equine Clinic also offer a holistic treatment approach through the use of Alternative Therapies. Often used in conjunction with traditional medicine, these therapies can be uniquely tailored to enhance a horse’s performance and overall health. Alternative Therapies include acupuncture and electro-acupuncture, veterinary medical manipulation (chiropractic adjustments), laser therapy, shockwave treatments, and Chinese herbal medicine.
Many causes of lameness are not intuitive, which makes them difficult to diagnose without the knowledgeable eye of an experienced Sport Horse Medicine veterinarian. At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the goal is to get horses “back in the game” and keep them safe throughout their athletic careers.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians and staff strive to be a vital part of the equine athlete’s support team and are committed to delivering comprehensive care specialized to the individual horse’s career, discipline, performance level, and training demands. Contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic today to make sure your horse is in optimal health.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), an exceptional equine healthcare facility, will return as the Official Veterinarian of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) running through April 3, 2022, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL. PBEC also provides Official Veterinarian services for the 2022 season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing top equine health care to both the year-round residents as well as horses coming for the winter season. The state-of-the-art facility is located at the intersection of Southfields and Pierson Roads in the center of Wellington, right down the road from PBIEC, the Equestrian Village, and the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
The team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic includes more than 35 veterinarians and provides expertise in almost all areas of equine health and treatment. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers specialized sports medicine with trusted veterinarians and staff that understand the commitment it takes to care for a high-level equine competitor. The talented team offers a wide variety of services such as internal medicine, emergency care, reproduction and fertility, alternative medicine, regenerative medicine, dentistry, podiatry, and more.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides cutting-edge technology paired with knowledgeable and dedicated staff. The facility offers advanced diagnostic imaging with board-certified radiologists on staff as well as surgical services with three board-certified surgeons. Additionally, all primary veterinarians can refer clients to Palm Beach Equine Clinic for their innovative imaging technologies and surgical center.
In addition to the full-service equine clinic, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be on the showgrounds at the annex office located adjacent to the WEF stabling office on the PBIEC showgrounds. Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be onsite daily during WEF and AGDF to assist all competing horses throughout the shows with performance evaluations, diagnostics, and treatments, as well as emergency care and standard horse care needs.
“It’s always an honor to take care of the best horses in the world that come to Wellington each winter,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “Being on-site at the showgrounds really allows us to provide high- quality and immediate veterinary care for all of the horses competing.”
Offering exceptional knowledge, capabilities, and commitment, the team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic is thrilled to once again help equine athletes perform to the best of their abilities during the Wellington winter show season and beyond.
What To Expect After the Unexpected Strikes
Featured on Horse Network
Every owner dreads having to decide whether or not to send their horse onto the surgical table for colic surgery. For a fully-informed decision, it is important that the horse’s owner or caretaker understands what to expect throughout the recovery process.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) veterinarian Weston Davis, DVM, DACVS, assisted by Sidney Chanutin, DVM, has an impressive success rate when it comes to colic surgeries, and the PBEC team is diligent about counseling patients’ owners on how to care for their horse post-colic surgery.
“After we determine that the patient is a strong surgical candidate, the first portion of the surgery is exploratory so we can accurately define the severity of the case,” explained Dr. Davis. “That moment is when we decide if the conditions are positive enough for us to proceed with surgery. It’s always my goal to not make a horse suffer through undue hardship if they have a poor prognosis.”
Once Dr. Davis gives the green light for surgical repair, the surgery is performed, and recovery begins immediately.
“The time period for the patient waking up in the recovery room to them standing should ideally be about 30 minutes,” continued Dr. Davis. “At PBEC, we do our best to contribute to this swift return by using a consistent anesthesia technique. Our team controls the anesthesia as lightly as we can and constantly monitors blood pressure. We administer antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-endotoxic drugs, and plasma to help combat the toxins that the horse releases during colic. Our intention in the operating room is to make sure colic surgeries are completed successfully, but also in the most time-efficient manner.”
Colic surgery recovery often depends on the type and severity of the colic. At the most basic level, colic cases can be divided into two types – large intestine colic and small intestine colic – that influence the recovery procedures and outlook.
Large intestinal colic or impaction colic is characterized by the intestine folding upon itself with several changes of direction (flexures) and diameter changes. These flexures and diameter shifts can be sites for impactions, where a firm mass of feed or foreign material blocks the intestine. Impactions can be caused by coarse feeds, dehydration, or an accumulation of foreign materials such as sand.
Small intestinal colic or displacement colic can result from gas or fluid distension that results in the intestines being buoyant and subject to movement within the gut, an obstruction of the small intestine, or twisting of the gut. In general, small intestinal colics can be more difficult than large intestinal colics when it comes to recovery from surgery.
“Many people do assume that after the colic surgery is successfully completed their horse is in the clear,” said Dr. Chanutin. “However, during the first 24 to 48 hours after colic surgery, there are many factors that have to be closely monitored.
“We battle many serious endotoxic effects,” continued Dr. Chanutin. “When the colon isn’t functioning properly, microbial toxins are released inside the body. These microbials that would normally stay in the gastrointestinal tract then cause tissue damage to other bodily systems. We also need to be cognizant of the possibility of the patient developing laminitis, a disseminated intervascular coagulation (overactive clotting of the blood), or reflux, where a blockage causes fluids to back up into the stomach.”
Stages after surgery
While 30 minutes from recumbent to standing is the best-case scenario, Dr. Davis acknowledges that once that time period passes, the surgical team must intervene by encouraging the horse to get back on its feet.
Once a horse returns to its stall in the Equine Hospital at PBEC, careful monitoring begins, including physical health evaluations, bloodwork, and often, advanced imaging. According to Dr. Davis, physical exams will be conducted at least four times per day to evaluate the incision and check for any signs of fever, laminitis, lethargy, and to ensure good hydration status. An abdominal ultrasound may be done several times per day to check the health of the gut, and a tube may be passed into the stomach to check for reflux and accumulating fluid in the stomach.
“The horse must regularly be passing manure before they can be discharged,” said Dr. Chanutin. “We work toward the horse returning to a semi-normal diet before leaving PBEC. Once they are at that point, we can be fairly confident that they will not need additional monitoring or immediate attention from us.”
Drs. Davis and Chanutin often recommend the use of an elastic belly band to support the horse’s incision site during transport from the clinic and while recovering at home. Different types of belly bands offer varying levels of support. Some simply provide skin protection, while others are able to support the healing of the abdominal wall.
Two Weeks Post-Surgery
At the 12-to-14-day benchmark, the sutures will be removed from the horse’s incision site. The incision site is continuously checked for signs of swelling, small hernias, and infection.
Once the horse is home, the priority is to continue monitoring the incision and return them to a normal diet if that has not already been accomplished.
The first two weeks of recovery after the horse has returned home is spent on stall rest with free-choice water and hand grazing. After this period, the horse can spend a month being turned out in a small paddock or kept in a turn-out stall. They can eventually return to full turnout during the third month. Hand-walking and grazing is permittable during all stages of the at-home recovery process. After the horse has been home for three months, the horse is likely to be approved for riding.
Generally, when a horse reaches the six-month mark in their recovery, the risk of adverse internal complications is very low, and the horse can return to full training under saddle.
When to Call the Vet?
Decreased water intake, abnormal manure output, fever, pain, or discomfort are all signals in a horse recovering from colic surgery when a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
Dr. Davis notes that in a large number of colic surgery cases, patients that properly progress in the first two weeks after surgery will go on to make a full recovery and successfully return to their previous level of training and competition.
Depending on the specifics of the colic, however, some considerations need to be made for long-term care. For example, if the horse had sand colic, the owner would be counseled to avoid sand and offer the horse a selenium supplement to prevent a possible relapse. In large intestinal colic cases, dietary restrictions may be recommended as a prophylactic measure. Also, horses that crib can be predisposed to epiploic foramen entrapment, which is when the bowel becomes stuck in a defect in the abdomen. This could result in another colic incident, so cribbing prevention is key.
Generally, a horse that has fully recovered from colic surgery is no less healthy than it was before the colic episode. While no one wants their horse to go through colic surgery, owners can rest easy knowing that.
“A lot of people still have a negative association with colic surgery, in particular the horse’s ability to return to its intended use after surgery,” said Dr. Davis. “It’s a common old-school mentality that after a horse undergoes colic surgery, they are never going to be useful again. For us, that situation is very much the exception rather than the rule. Most, if not all, recovered colic surgery patients we treat are fortunate to return to jumping, racing, or their intended discipline.”
For Immediate Release
Wellington, FL – March 21, 2022 – Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) announced the addition of the innovative care program AcutePlus™ to its cutting-edge suite of client services. A long-time leader in equine veterinary care, PBEC is the first veterinary clinic in the United States to offer the service designed to help eliminate barriers to treatment and minimize risk of ownership related to veterinary care.
AcutePlus™ is a wellness-centric preventative care membership program focused on delivering excellence in horse health through preemptive treatments, essential care, and access to acute care.
“We believe that AcutePlus™ is a game-changer for horse owners,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “With this innovative program, they can be assured that they have the ability to make the best heath care choices for their horse.”
“We are innovators at VenturePlus™,” said Ghen Sugimoto CEO of AcutePlus™. “It has been a great pleasure to work with such like-minded individuals at the top of their field at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to help them develop a program that further allows them take the very best care of their patients. AcutePlus™ puts Palm Beach Equine clients in the best position to care for their horses particularly on the worst days, when it matters the most. Additionally, we are proud to be able support Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s efforts to mentor up-and-coming veterinarians through donations from our AcutePlus Foundation™.”
PBEC will offer four tiers of AcutePlus™ membership protection to meet the level of coverage needed by each client. AcutePlus™ plans provide a range of concierge member support, customary care benefits, acute medical benefits, and mortality benefits along with exclusive member opportunities, loyalty points, and more.
Signing up is simple at AcutePlus.com.
The AcutePlus™ membership plans have two categories of benefits: customary care and acute medical care and mortality. Customary care benefits cover routine care costs like farm calls, routine vaccinations, dental floats, physical exams, microchips, complete blood counts, and Coggins tests.
Acute medical care is an important component of the extensive benefits offered through AcutePlus™. A platinum membership provides up to $10,000 per year in financial support for acute care medical bills such as surgical and non-surgical colic, choke, lacerations, eye injuries, acute onset laminitis, bowed tendons, fractured leg, and other urgent medical issues. Advanced diagnostics such as MRI and CT scan benefits are also included under the acute medical benefits portion of the plan. If the unthinkable happens and a member horse’s life is lost, AcutePlus™ can also provide up to $150,000 in equine mortality benefits.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic clients enrolled in AcutePlus™ can utilize their benefits with any licensed veterinarian anywhere in the world, not only when using PBEC’s services directly. After enrolling in AcutePlus™, when you use Palm Beach Equine Clinic for services, you maximize your benefits, and they will automatically apply a credit directly to your bill. Your membership benefits will travel with your horse around the globe, no matter how far away from Wellington you travel – extending your world-class veterinary care anywhere in the world.
Please visit AcutePlus.com for additional information or to activate your membership. Whether your horse is a competitor, a companion, or a world champion, there is an AcutePlus™ plan designed for you.
For questions regarding AcutePlus™ at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, call Dr. Scott Swerdlin at 561-793-1599.
About Palm Beach Equine Clinic
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is a full-service medical facility offering care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Equipped with a surgical center, advanced diagnostic imaging units, laboratory, pharmacy, reproductive station and breeding shed, recovery stalls, and isolation unit, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the necessary tools for diagnosing and treating a variety of cases. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is ideally based in the international hub of elite equestrian competition, Wellington, Florida, and is within riding distance of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Global Dressage Festival, and International Polo Club. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to care for all horses, whether they are an Olympic level athlete, trusted show pony or reliable trail horse.
AcutePlus™ benefits vary by membership plan. Benefits referenced in this article reflect the AcutePlus™ Platinum Membership offered through Palm Beach Equine Clinic. Terms and conditions apply. Please visit AcutePlus.com to review all terms and conditions.
Dr. Jorge Gomez and Dr. Christopher Elliott were amongst the over 100 veterinarians on the ground supporting the equine athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Jorge Gomez, MVZ, MS, DACVS, served as the Official Veterinarian for the Mexican Show Jumping Team and is a surgeon with Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and Chris Elliott, BVSC, MRCVS, MANZCVS, DACVSMR, served as Veterinary Services Supervisor and is an associate veterinarian for Palm Beach Equine Clinic. We spoke with each of them about their experiences at this unprecedented international event.
What were your expectations for Tokyo, and did the Games live up to those expectations?
CE: Tokyo 2020 reached far beyond my expectations. The ability to achieve such an elite level of equestrian competition in the face of COVID-19 restrictions is remarkable. The whole Olympic organizing committee should be proud of this achievement.
JG: We all knew of the existing restrictions in place for COVID-19. There were mobility limitations in place to decrease the chances of spreading the virus, however, the Games were very well organized. The competition and training arenas were state-of-the-art facilities, and the stables were all under air conditioning, so those amenities couldn’t have been better.
Dr. Chris Elliott concludes the 2020 Olympic Games with Miraitowa (the Olympic mascot).
What did you enjoy most about your time at the Olympics?
CE: Having a front row seat to the Olympic Games has been an honor and a privilege. I have most enjoyed working alongside my veterinary colleagues from across the globe. The Games spirit was strong among all the vets at Tokyo 2020.
JG: Most definitely the level of competition. We had the opportunity to watch the best athletes in all three disciplines dressage, eventing and show jumping.
What was the experience like of working with such a diverse group of veterinarians?
CE: It’s always great working alongside veterinarians from all over the world. Veterinary medicine transcends language and cultural barriers and bonds us all in the goal of preserving equine health and welfare. In the face of many extreme challenges surrounding these Olympic Games, the professionalism, dedication, and efficiency of all vets at the event rose to the fore to ensure the very best in equine health, welfare, and performance.
JG: The experience is always nice and an honor to be a part of. There’s a group of us that have been at many of the international competitions and Olympic Games for years. Then, there are also new faces, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us all to meet. We share difficult cases from our practices as well as talk about new techniques and treatments.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic extends congratulations to all of the athletes that represented their respective countries at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. While challenges were abundant, the events were awe-inspiring and the best of equestrian sport was on display.
PBEC also extends a special congratulations to our friends Dr. Mike Heitmann and Alice Womble, the owners of Sanceo, ridden by Sabine Schut-Kery. Sanceo was a part of the U.S. dressage team that won silver and had two personal best scores at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Dr. Christopher Elliott, BVSC, MRCVS, MANZCVS, DACVSMR, is an associate sports medicine veterinarian with Palm Beach Equine Clinic who has served as an FEI Official Veterinarian for elite international events across disciplines. Most notably, he has worked for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, as well as numerous 3-day events including Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide in Australia, and Badminton and Burghley in the United Kingdom. Dr. Elliott has been in Tokyo since early May making preparations for the Olympics as the Veterinary Services Supervisor, and he has given us an inside look into the heat and humidity safety measures for equine athletes.
Tokyo temperatures in July and August can reach as high as 105º Fahrenheit (41º Celsius), so cooling measures are crucial to preventing overheating for all athletes, both equine and human.
Safety measures include:
- Cooling tents have been made easily accessible throughout Equestrian Park. The cooling tents are well stocked with water troughs, which are monitored by a team of volunteers who use ice blocks to keep the water at 59º Fahrenheit (15º Celsius).
- Misting fans in cooling tents are on for the duration of training and competition times.
- Training is halted from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. which are the hottest times of the day.
This is not the first time extreme heat has caused concern for equestrian athletes at the Olympic Games, and significant research has been conducted to increase athlete safety when temperatures are high. Dr. Elliott published clinical insights regarding research studies between the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Dr. Jorge Gomez to Serve as Official Veterinarian for Mexico Show Jumping Team
Dr. Jorge Gomez, MVZ, MS, DACVS, is the Official Veterinarian for the Mexico Show Jumping Team at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Dr. Gomez, originally from Colombia, joined PBEC in 2011 and has since served as an Official Veterinarian at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“It is an honor to have been chosen for this responsibility,” said Dr. Gomez. “I have had the fortune of serving in two previous occasions and am grateful for the opportunity to return as a veterinarian for the Olympics.”
There is a tremendous amount of work and attention to detail required in preparing and maintaining an Olympic-caliber equine athlete. Over the past six months, Dr. Gomez has been working closely with the Mexico Show Jumping Team horses and riders. The Team just concluded a European tour, competing in three highly renowned Nations Cup competitions in Rome, Italy, St. Gallen, Switzerland, and La Baule, France. During these events, Dr. Gomez pays very close attention to the horses by examining them each morning, evening, and observing them during training. The horses’ veterinary care and overall health will remain Dr. Gomez’s utmost priority well after the Olympic cauldron is lit as competition begins at the Equestrian Park.
“The Olympic Games bring together the best athletes in the sport. In our case, the best horses and the best riders. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to watch and learn from the top combinations in the world. For myself, it is also a unique opportunity to share time with fellow team veterinarians from around the world,” said Dr. Gomez.
On-Site Veterinary Care Available at PBIEC Showgrounds Annex Office
Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the premier equine veterinary hospital, will return as the Official Veterinarians of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) running through April 4 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s world-renowned facility is conveniently located at the intersection of Southfields and Pierson Roads in the heart of Wellington, just minutes from PBIEC, the Equestrian Village, and the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is comprised of more than 35 veterinarians, including board-certified surgeons, internists, and a radiologist. The team provides expertise in nearly all aspects of equine health and treatments, such as regenerative therapies, alternative medicine, dentistry, podiatry, and reproduction, and are supported by a dedicated, robust team of technicians and staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers exceptional veterinary care and innovative, individualized care designed to help each horse achieve its full potential in and outside of the competition arena.
With the health and welfare of equine athletes a top priority for the upcoming winter show jumping and dressage competition seasons, Palm Beach Equine Clinic will continue more than three decades of service to both the year-round residents and visiting horses of south Florida. In addition to the full-service equine hospital, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be available each week for all competing horses at WEF and AGDF thanks to a convenient annex office located adjacent to the WEF stabling office on the PBIEC showgrounds. Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians are onsite daily at the annex office to assist competitors throughout the shows with performance evaluations, diagnostics, and treatments, as well as emergency and standard horse care needs.
“Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing services and care to any and all equine patients, from performance-related injuries and sports medicine to colic and internal medicine cases,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “The Winter Equestrian Festival and [Adequan®] Global Dressage Festival attract some of the world’s best equine athletes to south Florida. Whether we are treating Olympic-level athletes, or a trusted companion pony, they will receive the most advanced, dedicated care from our veterinarians. It takes a team to achieve that level of service, and we offer the most talented and devoted veterinarians in the business.”
Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinary advances – available to new, returning, and referred clients – include:
- Board-Certified Radiologist on Staff
- Standing Computed Tomography (CT) Machine
- Standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan)
- Digital Radiography and Ultrasonography
- Three board-certified surgeons
- Recessed surgical suite for standing surgeries and procedures
- Top-of-the-line operating suites
- Internal medicine specialists
- Respiratory evaluations
- Cardiac evaluations
- Gastrointestinal evaluations
- Neuromuscular evaluations
- Acupuncture and electroacupuncture
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Laser therapy (Photobiomodulation)
- Extracorporeal Shockwave
- Regenerative therapies
- Isolation facilities with individual air flow systems
- Renowned sports medicine specialists
- On-site hospital with 24-hour staff
- Dentistry, podiatry, reproduction, and fertility expertise
For more information on what Palm Beach Equine Clinic has to offer horses competing at WEF and AGDF, stop by the annex office located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds or call 561-793-1599.
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One of the world’s premier veterinary facilities, Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), has signed on to support M & R Equestrian’s Training Days as a sponsor of the pioneering event operating at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, FL.
Founded by Olympic veterans Alberto Michan (ISR) and Juan Andrés Rodriguez (GUA), M & R Equestrian’s Training Days are held weekly from November through April, and offer riders of all levels the opportunity to school over a full course of show-quality jumps set by FEI course designers.
Every Tuesday, three arenas—two jumper rings and an arena with hunter courses—are available and set at varying heights throughout the day to accommodate horses and riders of all ages and levels. Training Days were created as a means to prepare young horses for the show ring, scout up-and-coming sale prospects, practice horse show elements like open water jumps, and to enjoy a relaxing, confidence-building experience for an affordable price.
“Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to play a role in supporting the equestrian community in our area and around the globe. This training series is another tool that riders can take advantage of to prepare their horses for competing on the main stage, and our veterinary team is here to support the equine athletes in that pursuit. A few of our team members may even be spotted riding their own horses there throughout the series.”PBEC President Dr. Scott Swerdlin
Dedicated to caring for equine patients
PBEC’s mission is to provide exceptional veterinary care for the horse and the team is committed to strengthening their relationship with clients and the community. Established in 1981, PBEC has earned a reputation across the nation and around the globe for providing the highest quality of healthcare for all horses, from Olympic caliber athletes to pasture pets. With over 35 distinguished veterinarians and a robust team of technicians, surgical, pharmacy, and hospital staff, PBEC is able to care for equine patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Participate in M & R Equestrian Training Days
M & R Equestrian Training Days will expand to a two-day schedule for 12 weeks beginning in January 2021, with Mondays featuring a one-of-a-kind opportunity to school under the lights during the evening. Each entry awards a horse and rider combination two minutes and 30 seconds in the arena, allowing them to jump as many fences or courses as they’d like while providing the perfect horse show dress rehearsal. For more information about M & R Equestrian’s Training Days, including updated weekly schedules and timing, find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Equine Veterinary Care Available at PBIEC Showgrounds Annex Office
One of the world’s premier veterinary facilities, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, will return as the Official Veterinarians of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) running January 8 through March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
With the health and welfare of equine athletes a top priority for the upcoming winter show jumping and dressage competition seasons, Palm Beach Equine Clinic will continue more than three decades of service to both the year-round residents and visiting horses of south Florida. The clinic’s world-renowned facility is conveniently located at the intersection of Southfields Road and Pierson Road in the heart of Wellington, just minutes from PBIEC, the Equestrian Village, and the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Palm Beach Equine Clinic comprises over 35 veterinarians, with board-certified surgeons and internists, and robust support by knowledgeable technicians and staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers exceptional veterinary care and an innovative approach to help each horse achieve their full potential in and outside of the show ring.
In addition to at the full-service equine hospital, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be available each week to all competing horses at WEF and AGDF thanks to an annex office located adjacent to the WEF stabling office on the PBIEC showgrounds. Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians are on call daily at the annex office to assist competitors throughout the shows with diagnostic evaluations and treatments, as well as emergency and standard horse care needs. Equestrians are always welcome at the annex, where they have the opportunity to discuss their horse health needs with Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
“Combining the unique offerings of our imaging department, renowned surgical talent, diverse veterinary expertise, and overall high standard of treatment allows us to provide services and care that are akin to the Mayo Clinic for human patients,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “The Winter Equestrian Festival and [Adequan®] Global Dressage Festival attract some of the world’s top horses to south Florida. Whether we are treating Olympic level athletes or a trusted companion pony, they will receive the most advanced, dedicated healthcare. It takes a team to achieve success in the competitive arena, and we provide one of the best in the world at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.”
Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinary advances – available to new, returning, and referred clients – include:
Advanced Diagnostic Offerings
- Computed Tomography (CT) Machine
- Standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan)
- Board-Certified Radiologist on Staff
- Digital Radiography and Ultrasonography
- Three boarded surgeons skilled in performance-related injuries
- Standing surgery pit
- Surgical residency program
- Advanced surgical suite
- Internal medicine specialists
- Quarantine facilities with secure isolation and individual airflow systems
- Alternative medicine specialists focused on chiropractic, acupuncture, and Chinese herbals
- Renowned sports medicine specialists
- On-site hospital with 24-hour staff
- Dentistry, ophthalmology, and farriery expertise
In addition to being the Official Veterinarians of WEF and AGDF, Palm Beach Equine Clinic will again participate in WEF’s popular Lunch & Learn education series during the 2020 season. Mark your calendars for a presentation entitled “Modern Medicine for the Competitive Sport Horse: How to Gain and Maintain a Healthy and Sound Show Horse” on Thursday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. in The Wellington Club at the WEF showgrounds. Admission to the Lunch & Learn series is free for riders, trainers, and owners and includes the opportunity to learn how to help the competitive sport horse achieve and maintain optimal health through advanced technology, innovative approaches, and specialty therapies; a buffet lunch; and a chance to win exciting prizes.
For more information on what Palm Beach Equine Clinic has to offer horses competing at WEF and AGDF, stop by the annex office located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.