822 Spring Creek Rd.
Montrose, CO 81403

(970) 249-4490

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Equine Services

Equine Medicine

San Juan Veterinary Clinic is very proud to offer our advanced diagnostic and therapeutic resources to our equine community. Our experienced staff of veterinarians work tirelessly to stay on the cutting edge of equine medicine and we are pleased to house the fullest selection of equipment in our region including:

-In-house blood chemistry and blood cell analyzers. These machines, not possessed by other clinics in our region, are invaluable when assessing any sick horse ranging from an ill foal to a colicky horse or an older chronically coughing horse. We can have blood test results in as little at 20 minutes rather than having to wait up to several days to send the same tests to an outside laboratory.

-Microscopy. Our experienced staff possess the skills and equipment to analyze fecal samples for parasites, fluid samples, skin scrapes for mites and other skin conditions and infections, ringworm tests, and aspirates from skin and soft tissue masses frequently encountered in horses.

-Digital Radiography (x-ray). Modern technology has revolutionized the use and interpretation of radiographs by allowing us to create images of boney and soft tissue structures at a level of detail never before possible. Our caring staff enjoys creating the finest x-ray images of the equine head (teeth, guttural pouches, sinuses), and lower limbs to aid in diagnosing lameness and a myriad of other conditions.

-Digital Ultrasound. Our 2 ultrasound machines allow us to image soft tissues non-invasively, with incredible detail and comparatively low cost. Common uses of this advanced equipment include tendon ultrasound for bowed tendons, joint ultrasound including cartilage, menisci and ligaments of the stifle, imaging the equine eye and structures behind the eye, colic evaluation and diagnosis of other GI tract conditions, reproduction, and evaluation of soft tissue injuries such as abscesses and penetrating wounds.

-1.5 meter Color Video Endoscope. SJVC is fortunate to be the only veterinary clinic in our region to offer endoscopy services. This very unique instrument includes a 1.5 meter long streamline color video camera that can be introduced into the nose and into the esophagus or trachea, a color video monitor with high resolution picture capture, vacuum suction, saline flushing or other liquid medication delivery, and has a variety of specially designed instruments that are able to be fed through the scope itself to manipulate tissues or other structures in otherwise inaccessible places of the Equine head and neck. Common uses of this equipment in our equine patients include upper respiratory tract imaging, obtaining diagnostic tissue and fluid samples from the lungs and guttural pouches, biopsy attainment, assess and relieving choke, diagnosing disorders of the larynx (voice box) such as partial paralysis (also called “roarer”) and inflammatory conditions (so called “hot throat”).

-Hospital Stalls. Our Barn is well equipped to care for horses that require hospitalization for intense management or regularly scheduled procedures. Examples of common treatments include delivering IV fluids and medications to colicky horses, advanced wound care, managing the foundering horse, supporting ill foals, combating severe respiratory disease and advanced breeding management and artificial insemination.

-Class 4 Deep Tissue Therapeutic Laser. Our Companion Animal 15W therapeutic laser is a cutting edge, novel treatment employed to combat inflammation of any type. For more information on this amazing therapy concept see our description and links under the devoted Laser section on the main web page. Common uses in our equine patients typically involve healing recent wounds or helping ease inflammation associated with chronic arthritis. Laser therapy is commonly used after joint or tendon surgery, after traumatic injury to any musculoskeletal structures, and to speed healing of chronic infections.

Equine Dentistry

At San Juan Veterinary Clinic, our experienced equine veterinarians are excited about promoting equine dental health. A commonly overlooked aspect of horse health, dental health has profound effects on the quality and length of your horse’s life. Proper dental evaluation and balancing requires experience, knowledge, passion and advanced instrumentation. Our equine veterinarians, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Green, are well equipped with the latest instrumentation to make your horse’s dental balancing safe and efficient.

Traditionally the task of the farrier, equine dentistry slowly became a routine part of veterinary maintenance in the early 1900’s. Tooth reduction, or “floating” was originally performed with hoof rasps, followed by hand rasps made specifically for teeth, then early motorized equipment including reciprocating devices such as a “sawzall”, and rotary drill powered devices such as the “powerfloat”. All of these devices were improvements on their predecessors but were notoriously traumatic and too bulky to allow access to the smaller parts of a horse’s mouth. Today, we use incredibly efficient, safe and ergonomic instruments designed by leaders in the industry that allow work to be completed quickly and safely with great detail.

An existing misconception about equine dental balancing is that a horse may have excessive tooth crown removed during the procedure leaving them with prematurely worn teeth resulting in expired or worn out teeth at an early age. This concern is understandable and stresses the importance of having an experienced and knowledgeable veterinarian care for your horse; however, experience has shown the opposite to actually be true. Horses which receive regular dental balancing use all of their teeth evenly and more efficiently resulting in greatly extended tooth life span. Common signs of advanced dental pathology that you may notice in your horse include “quidding” or dropping wads of partially chewed hay on the ground, head shaking or excessive yawning, asymmetry of the chewing muscles on top of the forehead and the sides of the cheeks, resentment of the bit, refusal to turn or stop, excessive bit-play, head shyness, antisocial behavior, weight loss, drooling, foul breath, holding hay in their cheeks, dunking hay in the water trough before eating, awkward head posture when eating, refusing pelleted feed or grain, dropping pelleted feed or grain when eating and many more. Beyond the obvious signs of dental pain and disease, an experienced equine veterinarian with a passion for dentistry will routinely inspect for a wide range of more subtle but very important dental diseases including cavities and other forms of tooth decay, periodontal disease, developmental disorders, acquired immune mediated disorders, fractured or missing teeth, retained teeth, extra teeth and many others.

It has been estimated that approximately 2% of the horses in the Unites States receive routine dental care. For roughly the cost of hay for one horse for one month, ensuring your horses teeth will last as long as possible while preventing unnecessary pain is a valuable investment. If you think your horse may have dental discomfort or simply would like one of our experienced veterinarians to assess your horse, please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.