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The Equine Medical Center offers routine and specialized surgical procedures performed by faculty who are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

  • Colic
  • Hernia repair
  • Laparoscopy

Surgeons at the Equine Medical Center use laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure performed through small incisions using specialized instruments, to assist horses requiring soft tissue surgery. The center's state-of-the-art laparoscopic equipment includes a vessel-sealing device, which allows surgeons to perform procedures more efficiently without the use of suture or other foreign materials traditionally used to control bleeding.

Common laparoscopic procedures

  • Surgical removal of pathological ovaries in mares.
  • Retrieval of retained testicles.
  • Investigation of a variety of conditions, such as intermittent low-grade colic and suspected abdominal tumors.

Benefits of laparoscopy

  • Minimal scarring and less pain.
  • Significantly reduced recovery time.
  • Faster return to exercise and performance.
  • Upper airway surgery
  • Sinus surgery
  • Guttural pouch surgery

The Equine Medical Center uses the latest advancements in anesthesia to ensure safe and effective medical treatment and pain management for horses. Our specialists, residents, and staff provide special evaluation for patients before, during, and after anesthesia, which includes monitoring blood pressure and blood gas concentrations, and vital heart functions via electrocardiograph. We use analgesics to keep post-operative pain at a minimum and padded recovery stalls to make the recovery environment as comfortable and as safe as possible.

About general anesthesia

  • General anesthesia, which is defined as controlled unconsciousness, can be safely administered to horses for pain-free surgery and medical treatments.
  • Many of the newer anesthetic drugs used for humans are used for horses, and they offer the same benefits.
  • General anesthesia is safe for horses, even those critically ill with colic. Horses undergoing general anesthesia for emergency abdominal surgery often wake up from anesthesia in much better condition due to the physiologic balancing that takes place while they are unconscious, and their medical problem is corrected.
  • Pain relief using analgesics is commonly used to balance the horse’s physiologic responses without causing decreases in blood pressure or lung ventilation. This is particularly critical when horses require surgery for colic and are compromised.
  • Tooth extractions
  • Infundibular caries
  • Restorations
  • Endodontic treatment

To provide the least painful and most accurate treatment for a variety of soft tissue issues and injuries in horses, specialists at the Equine Medical Center use laser surgery, which delivers light or heat to incise, coagulate, or vaporize tissue.

Conditions treated with laser surgery

  • Laryngeal hemiplegia (roaring).
  • Dorsal displacement of the soft palate.
  • Epiglottic entrapment and arytenoid chondritis.
  • Sarcoids and melanomas.
  • Eye diseases.

Benefits of laser surgery

  • Surgical sites bleed and swell less than conventional surgical wounds.
  • Procedures performed with lasers can often be performed on standing horses on an outpatient basis.
  • Horses leave the hospital with no external wounds.
  • The carbon dioxide laser, which creates a clean, bloodless incision and also vaporizes tissue masses, is so controlled that corneal tumors can be vaporized from the surface of the eye.
  • Diode lasers can be utilized with video endoscope for upper airway surgery.
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Uveitis
  • Cataracts and glaucoma
  • Eye trauma treatment
  • Fracture repair
  • Arthroscopy
  • Ligament and tendon repair
  • Flexural and angular limb deformities
  • Laser surgery
  • Foot surgery 

Horses sustain fractures during work and racing and when kicked by other horses; they sometimes injure themselves when turned out alone.

Using a full complement of state-of-the-art equipment, our board-certified surgeons can pinpoint the injury, assess the severity, and repair the fracture, collaborating closely with your referring veterinarian to ensure the most appropriate treatment for your horse. We focus on excellent post-operative care, paramount for successful fracture repair and patient recovery.

Specialized treatment

Our surgeons specialize in the following:

  • Repairing both chip fractures, often removed or stabilized with a bone screw, and long bone fractures, which must be restored to weight-bearing using bone plates, casts, or splints.
  • Using fluoroscopy to align and accurately reconstruct disrupted joint surfaces during fracture repair to prevent long-term osteoarthritis.
  • Employing minimally invasive procedures, such as arthroscopy and tenoscopy, to treat horses with chip fractures, infected joints, cartilage erosion, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), and tendon lacerations.

Specialized equipment

State-of-the-art, high-definition arthroscopic equipment provides Equine Medical Center surgeons with sharp, wide-angle views of joints and tendon sheaths, and allows them to operate without disturbing critical structures.

Benefits of arthroscopy and tenoscopy

  • Minimal scarring.
  • Decreased recuperation time.
  • Improved performance and mobility.
  • Dystocia
  • Post natal repair (urogenital)
  • Fertility
  • Cryptorchid and castration surgery
  • Tumor removal
  • Wound repair
  • Sarcoid and melanoma removal
  • Laser surgery

Appointments and referrals:

To schedule an appointment, refer a patient, or inquire about our clinical services, please call 703-771-6800 or email

surgery team