For the good of our regional equine industry, Thal Equine’s main purpose is to complement the services of other area veterinarians. We do this by providing specialty hospital and referral services not provided elsewhere in the region.
We also do continue to provide primary care and emergency service for select clients and horses in the field.
We regularly perform a variety of elective operations, including arthoscopic surgery, in our fully-equipped equine surgical suite. We use isofluorane general anesthesia and a ventilator for most longer procedures.
During anesthesia, our trained team monitors EKG, blood gases and direct arterial blood pressure using state of the art equipment.
Our experienced staff sees to your horse’s excellent care from their arrival and pre-operative evaluation to surgical preparation, anesthesia and surgery, and the post-operative period.
Arthroscopy: An OCD flap on the patella of a horse
Arthroscopy: The OCD flap removed and the defect being curetted.
A bladder stone removed surgically from a horse that had difficulty urinating.
A sheath squamous carcinoma prior to surgery. There were more squamous cell carcinoma tumors on the other side of the sheath. There were enough that reefing was the best way to go.
A reefing procedure used to remove a ring of tissue from the sheath, including multiple squamous cell carcinoma tumors.
Thal Equine has provide professional, reliable and effective after-hours equine emergency service since the late 1990’s. Dr. Thal has been performing emergency colic surgery in this practice since 2000. We have a trained and experienced, on-site and on-call team that is quickly assembled for these emergencies.
Dr Thal has been doing colic surgery in this practice since 2000. Here are a few articles he has written about it.
A dead piece of small intestine at colic surgery. The intestine had to be removed and re-attached.
The large colon of this mare, which we just corrected after displacement, is a lot larger than Tomas!
This horse had colic surgery 12 hours prior and is feeling great. Colic surgery is expensive and stressful but it is the only option for horses with certain conditions. Those conditions must be diagnosed quickly and surgery must be done in a timely way for the best possible results.
And of course, horses are experts at traumatizing themselves. When they do, we can usually do a pretty good job putting them back together!
A head wound with a crushed bony orbit. Some bone was removed, other fragments fixed back into position. The outcome was great.
A better way to recover horses….
While an intern at Littleton Large Animal Clinic in 1993, Dr. Thal invented an innovative tail-hoist recovery system for safer recoveries after surgery. (He should have published a paper at the time but didn’t !!) That used a block and tackle from a sailboat to much more aggressively support horses to their feet.
Dubbed the “Thal-Master”, the system he developed at Littleton is still used nearly 30 years later to recover horses!
In 2005, a paper was presented by faculty at Texas A&M University detailing the use of Dr Thal’s method. Since then, it has been incorporated in a number of equine hospitals internationally. We use a variation on that system here and it works very well.
Performance Horse Lameness and Pre-Purchase Exams
We regularly perform thorough lameness exams and diagnose performance problems on both English and Western performance horses, and we also see horses that have been referred by other vets.
We have the facilities, experience and quality diagnostic tools to make the right diagnosis, and to provide appropriate treatment options and a management plan.
We prefer to do lameness work here at our facility. Our clinic grounds are well suited for lameness work and purchase exams. As of 2020, we have incorporated the Equinosis Lameness Locator into our exams. Here is an article Dr Thal wrote about his approach to lameness diagnosis.
Thinking of purchasing a horse? We provide comprehensive pre-purchase exams, and strongly believe in the value of this service. Most of these exams are scheduled here at the clinic.
We recommend the Lameness Locatorby Equinosis as an addition to these exams. Here is an article Dr Thal wrote about the Purchase Exam.
Complex Podiatry Cases
Working with farriers, we regularly apply modern podiatry principles and techniques to treat a variety of foot disorders- laminitis, palmar foot pain and navicular conditions, negative palmar angle syndrome and others. My staff and I often apply the wooden shoe ourselves, enabling us to make fine adjustments and modifications in-house. Once a horse is stable and improving, we work with farriers to carry on treatment at home.
We have a top-of the line 14x17 modern cesium digital plate and digital x-ray system- the Next system by Sound. It is one of the finest equine digital radiograph systems available. Digital X-ray produces fantastic images that appear within seconds of being taken, allowing for real-time adjustments in x-ray technique, to get the most information possible. DR also allows us to develop an immediate treatment plan following diagnosis. We can produce high quality images of difficult-to-image areas such as the shoulder and neck with our system.
Diagnostic X-rays of the large parts
A clinic based, more powerful x-ray generator allows us to generate diagnostic quality radiographs of the abdomen, back and pelvis. We are the only practice in the region equipped to do this.
Advanced Dentistry, Dental Extractions, Dental and Sinus surgery
Our veterinarians are very experienced in corrective and routine dentistry. The practice uses state-of-the-art motorized, water-cooled performance dentistry equipment for addressing almost any dental need.
We address performance- related dental issues and can help older horses with dental problems: conditions like periodontal disease, diastema, and loose and missing teeth.
We do lots of oral and sinus surgery at Thal Equine. Here we are extracting an infected cheek tooth.
Some chronically infected cheek teeth need to be taken out in multiple fragments.
Dr Thal regularly takes dental and sinus referral cases from other vets, for standing dental extraction and surgical treatment of sinusitis and other sinus disorders. We routinely use sinoscopy to aid in sinus diagnosis and treatment.
We do lots of sinus surgery and sinoscopy here. This is a patient with a chronically infected sinus. These can be stubborn and frustrating cases.
A fractured cheek tooth crown, as seen by the oral endoscope.
A day never goes by when our practice isn’t using an ultrasound. We have a high-performance digital ultrasound system that we use for a wide variety of things. Over the course of my whole career, I have become very reliant on the ultrasound for almost all cases of colic, abdominal and thoracic disease. We diagnose tendon, ligament and joint pathology with the ultrasound. We do ultrasound-guided injection, allowing us to precisely deliver medications at a site of injury. We ultrasound wounds in order to determine involvement of critical structures like tendons, joints and ligaments. Of course, we also use ultrasound extensively for mare reproduction.
This is an ultrasound image of a blood clot in the aorta of a horse with recurring hind limb lameness. The clot drastically reduced blood flow to the right hind limb.
We use thermography in our practice as another way to look at a horse. It looks at heat patterns on the skin. It is another useful diagnostic for a variety of purposes, especially lameness conditions.
A thermography image of the same horse with clot in aorta and iliac artery shows a cool right hind leg with poor blood supply.
Pyloric ulcers near the outflow of the stomach.
We perform endoscopy of sinuses, the bladder, upper respiratory tract, and uterus in mares.
In 2020, we added an oral endoscope to better document oral and dental conditions and document response to treatment.
Mobile Ambulatory Service: Routine & Preventative Care, Farm Emergencies
We have a fully equipped mobile unit, and regularly schedule farm calls by appointment.
That said, as time has passed, Thal Equine has become primarily a hospital/ referral practice. We still do farm visits and routine exams and preventative care for some clients. Please call our office for details.
On our farm visits, we provide all aspects of preventative medicine including consultations on equine health and management, nutrition, and behavioral modification.
Intensive Care and Isolation Barn
We are fully equipped to provide intensive care to critically ill horses and foals. We have video-monitored stall and trained staff that live on-site and supply excellent care for these demanding cases. Dr Thal oversees critical care- he has no life!
We have a full laboratory for rapid diagnostic information, and a quarantine barn that allows us to safely care for horses with potentially infectious disease. We use this mostly for colitis (diarrhea) cases.
No, having a horse here is not the same as a mobile vet hanging a couple of IV bags in your barn!
When a horse is in our hospital, we perform the diagnostic tests necessary to make a correct diagnosis, and the ongoing monitoring to make good clinical treatment decisions. Sick horses here are constantly monitored and their treatment adjusted accordingly.
Yes, it is more expensive, but this is what gives the horse the best chance of survival.
Our intensive care and isolation stalls are video-monitored. We live on site and manage sick horses 24/7.
Critically ill colitis case at risk for laminitis. These are state of the art ice spa boots from Softride.
Pleuropneumonia case with chest drain
In-House Laboratory & More
- We have a fully equipped in-house laboratory that is critical for monitoring intensive care cases. This includes indices of inflammation (SAA and automated Fibrinogen) and blood gases.
- We are well-equipped to provide emergency and general internal medicine.
- Cryotherapy and local chemotherapy for skin tumor treatment.
- Freeze branding and microchip implantation for identification.
- Two isolation stalls for potentially infectious cases, mostly colitis cases.
- IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) & PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma).
We offer spinal surgery for Equine Wobbler’s Syndrome with visiting surgeon, Barrie Grant DVM MS DACVS MRCVS. We have done a number of cases and most have been career-saving. For more about Wobbler’s Syndrome and Dr. Grant, please visit his website: http://www.equinewobblers.com/.
Reproduction: Mares and Attended Foaling
We provide artificial insemination with transported cooled and frozen semen, pregnancy diagnosis by rectal palpation and ultrasonography, breeding and soundness exams, and treatment of reproductive problems in mares and stallions, including surgery.
Dr. Thal and trained staff live on-site, and can attend and monitor foaling at any hour. We use the FoalAlert system link to https://foalert.com/ and video monitors. Our foaling stall is a large, bright, roomy and comfortable living quarters for mares and their newborn foals, and it is heated in the winter. We provide resuscitation and emergency treatment to foals as needed.
Caption: A birth at Thal Equine. A miniature mare with newborn foal. We regularly foal out mares for clients seeking peace of mind in the foaling process.
On-site boarding, rehabilitation
We regularly board horses that are rehabilitating from a variety of conditions. Our trained and experienced staff can deliver complex and consistent daily care and any medications needed.
Katrin Silva Dressage and Training
We are proud to have Katrin Silva running her training program from our facility. She is a super-energetic, talented, hard-working and dedicated person- an outstanding rider and trainer with a very loyal following. Katrin believes that dressage principles should be used in every discipline. She recently wrote a book, Dressage for the rest of us. Learn more about Katrin’s program at katrinsilvadressage.com .