We have three doctors dedicated to the health of your horse - they provide timely, high quality, and compassionate care. Our services are listed below with a brief explanation of each area. Please call us if you need more details or wish to make an appointment.
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We have state-of-the-art endoscopy equipment that allows us evaluate the inside of the stomach, bladder, upper airway, and uterus. We also have several portable endoscopes for evaluation of the upper airway on the farm.
We offer care both on-farm and at our state-of-the-art, fully computerized veterinary clinic.
Horses are a big financial and emotional investment. We strongly recommend a pre-purchase exam prior to acquiring any horse, whether it will be used for performance or pleasure. Pre-purchase exams (PPE) are routinely performed by the veterinarians at West Michigan Veterinary Service for a large variety of equine disciplines. This exam will determine if the horse is physically suitable for its intended use, regardless of level.
Each PPE consists of a comprehensive physical exam, conformation analysis, and lameness examination. Examinations can be complemented by our advanced diagnostic equipment, including digital radiography, digital ultrasonography, upper airway endoscopy, and complete laboratory services. Any diagnostic images collected during a PPE are digital, archived, and can be easily electronically shared with other veterinarians if needed.
Health Maintenance Exams and vaccination
We take a proactive and positive approach to maintaining your horse’s health. When treated early, there are issues that can be solved quickly and cost effectively, which is why we’re committed to practicing high quality preventative care.
WMVS recommends twice annual health and dental evaluations. We also customize a vaccine and deworming schedule and give you nutritional recommendations that can meet your horse’s needs.
Protecting your horse from disease is an essential part of his or her overall wellness plan. Vaccinations are vital to protecting against illness, and we will create a vaccination schedule that is right for your horse and situation.
The veterinarians at West Michigan Veterinary Service will work with you to develop a strategic deworming plan for your horse. To do so, Fecal Egg Counts* (FEC) should be performed to determine parasite load.
These allow our veterinarians to determine you horse’s optimal deworming schedule. With this approach, we can effectively reduce the parasite burden in your horse while reducing the risk of parasite resistance and prevent the overuse of dewormers.
*To submit a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) follow these instructions:
Please write your horse’s name and your name on a Ziploc bag (or similar air tight container) with a permanent marker. Find a fresh manure pile (still warm) and carefully place one manure ball into the labeled container. Ideally, bring this sample to our office immediately or you may store the sample in the refrigerator, for up to 24 hours, before your appointment with one of our veterinarians or until you are able to bring it to the clinic.
We always have an equine veterinarian available, 24/7/365, because the worst things happen at the most inopportune times. If calling after regular business hours, someone will speak with you and page the on call doctor.
Please be available to receive a call back.
We have in-house capability to do complete blood counts and basic serum chemistry profiles, as well as a fecal floatation and a McMaster’s equine fecal egg count. When necessary, we use outside laboratories for a more comprehensive diagnostic work-up.
Good dental care starts with a comprehensive oral exam. Dental equilibration and odontoplasty is necessary for your horse’s comfort and performance. Tooth wear is dependent on many factors, including age and breed of the horse, dental conformation, loose or missing teeth, diet (hay vs. pasture and pellet vs. whole grains), and abnormal chewing due to trauma, abscesses/tumors, or arthritis of the TMJ.
For older horses, it is particularly important to maintain dental health, as dental diseases can lead to poor body condition/weight loss, pain, infection, and choke.
We stay on the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving field of equine dentistry by offering complete dental evaluations, digital oral radiographs, extractions, treatment of periodontal disease, molar reductions, incisors reductions, and overall alignments.
We routinely perform most elective surgeries, such as castrations (gelds). These elective procedures can be performed either on farm or in our hospital. We also offer surgical options for the treatment of cryptorchids (retained testicle), flexural and angular limb deformities, laminitis, navicular, hernias, and tumor removals.
Our surgical suite is complete with a hydraulic table, gas anesthesia, blood pressure monitoring, ECG, padded induction and recovery room, climate control, and a wide variety of other medical and surgical equipment. Surgical patients are hospitalized for monitoring and aftercare following any surgical procedure, as needed.
As horses age, their medical and nutritional needs change, however, age in itself is NOT a disease. The incidence of metabolic, dental, and lameness issues greatly increases with age. We will work with you to enhance your senior citizen’s quality of life.
Specialized care for a senior horse includes:
Dental Evaluation and Correction
Lameness Evaluation and Management
Metabolic Disease Screening (for Equine Pars Pituitary Dysfunction "Cushings” or Equine Metabolic Syndrome)
End of life consultation and Euthanasia
When the time comes we will help ease their passing with dignity.
We are staffed and equipped to handle a wide range of medical conditions such as medical colic and other gastrointestinal diseases, renal disease, neurological disease, ophthalmic disease, respiratory disease, metabolic disease, wound management, and many other problems.
Our clinic is equipped with 6 stalls between 2 different buildings. We are able to administer IV fluids and perform in-house bloodwork including a complete blood count and blood chemistry within 20 minutes.
We offer reproductive ultrasounds and mare management involving both fresh-cooled and frozen semen. We have significant experience breeding problem mares and assessing normal and high-risk pregnancies. In addition, we are one of the few practices that can determine the gender of your mare’s fetus with ultrasound. We also provide embryo transfer services. We understand that your breeding needs can have many variables involved. We are happy to work with you to provide the greatest opportunity for success.
Lameness can occur at any time and may be caused by pain, a physical mechanical problem, or a neurological condition. An experienced eye is probably the most important diagnostic tool for lameness evaluation. We augment our expertise by using portable digital x-ray and ultrasound as well as diagnostic nerve blocks to localize the source of lameness. We are able to couple traditional treatment with cutting edge technology such as Pro-stride, a steroid-free joint therapy, to successfully manage your horse. We have veterinarians with a background and training in farriery to assist in the treatment and management of lameness through trimming and shoeing.