If your horse is in need of urgent care, please call us at 813-643-7177 for immediate assistance.
Brandon Equine Medical Center is the only full service equine hospital on the west coast of Florida. The clinic is located in Brandon, FL and is easily accessible from Interstates 275, 75 and 4; State Roads 60 and 301; and other major roadways. In addition to our clinic inpatient, outpatient and Sports Medicine Complex services, we offer a full range of ambulatory services. Both our clinic and ambulatory practices see emergencies 24/7/365.
Our practice features veterinarians that are ACVS board certified surgeons, ACVIM board certified internist, ultrasound specialists, veterinarians trained in acupuncture, consulting board certified ophthalmologists and dermatologists. In addition to 24/7/365 emergency care, we provide outpatient services by appointment Mondays thru Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. A limited number of evening and Saturday appointments are also available.
Details on our services:
Brandon Equine Medical Center provides 24 hour a day hospital emergency services including surgical cases. Equine ambulatory veterinarians throughout the state of Florida refer cases to Brandon Equine, however a referral is not required for treatment. Brandon Equine sees approximately 500 emergency cases per year and is equipped to manage all emergency conditions.
Common emergencies seen are:
- Respiratory Distress
- Severe Lacerations
Visit our Resources for publications on emergency and non-emergency topics.
Brandon Equine Medical Center is fully equipped to perform emergency and elective surgeries with facilities that include a surgical suite with induction and recovery rooms, as well as a viewing room for those clients who would like to observe their horse’s procedures. Our veterinarians include surgeons that are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Brandon Equine Medical Center offers a variety of services on an outpatient basis by appointment. Day stalls are available upon request. Our outpatient services include:
- Lameness Evaluations and Treatments
- Digital Radiography
- IRAP and PRP Preparation and Injection
- Stem Cell Collection and Injection
- Sterile Joint Injection
- Neurologic Examinations
- Endoscopy for Evaluation of Upper Airway Problems, Gastric Ulcers and Response to Treatment
- Pre-Purchase Examinations
- And more!
Brandon Equine Medical Center offers complete lameness examinations. These entail thorough physical assessment of the horse during static (standing), and dynamic (in motion) examinations. During the dynamic exam, the horse is assessed in hand, on the lunge line and under saddle as needed. Brandon Equine has the ability to video each lameness exam and possesses gait analysis software to more fully assess the horse in motion. This allows the clinician to observe the horse in normal and slow motion, and to assess gait motion and foot fall. This modality takes the lameness exam to the “extra level” in providing a complete and thorough evaluation of the issue at hand.
Flexion tests provide important information towards localizing the source of lameness. Diagnostic analgesia (nerve block) is performed as necessary to help in pinpointing the location of the lameness. With this information, the appropriate diagnostic imaging can then be pursued and a treatment plan formulated.
In May of 2016, our Sports Medicine Center opened at our clinic location. This center features air-conditioned diagnostic imaging and treatment rooms, image viewing and consultation room, day stalls, farrier workstation, lameness pad, and a riding ring for observing movement under saddle.
Adjunctive Therapies (Shockwave)
Extracorporeal shock wave treatment is another adjunct to the treatment of injuries in the horse. Brandon Equine has a Storz® shockwave unit that can be used on many areas of the body. This has emerged as a treatment for navicular pain, back pain soft tissue and joint injuries. This treatment incorporates a high-energy sound wave that can be given at different energy levels depending on the problem being treated. Two theories to its use have been formulated; one is that there is a prolonged analgesic effect thus relieving some discomfort, and the other is that it may improve blood flow to the affected area thereby bringing in the necessary cells to help in healing.
To optimize treatment and rehabilitation of a performance-related injury often requires a change in the bio-mechanics of the affected leg(s). (Reducing stress on the injury, improving foot balance, and improving/enhancing break over) Corrective farriery is an important part of the equation for returning the horse to performance, and in maintaining soundness. Horses that have laminitis (founder) similarly need assistance with corrective shoes and trims through all phases of their treatment and rehabilitation. The surgeons at Brandon Equine work closely with a skilled farrier at the hospital, and are happy to communicate with the farrier of your choice at any time.
IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein)
Interleukin-1 is an inflammatory protein that is produced in an unhealthy joint (e.g.: arthritis). The Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein would normally “balance” this out. But when inflamed, there is an excess of the inflammatory protein produced, which then leads to destruction of the cartilage, more inflammation and lameness. IRAP is produced from the horse’s own blood through a special centrifuging and 24 hour incubation process. This creates an “anti-inflammatory soup” which is injected into the affected joint(s) on three occasions. The results following treatment into affected joints have been promising with marked improvement in the degree of lameness.
PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)
Plasma rich in platelets is similarly derived from the horse’s own blood through a centrifugation process. This process takes approximately 20-30 minutes to prepare and can be injected into lesions within bones, tendons and ligaments using ultrasound guidance. The theory behind this is that platelets help to create a “clot”, as well they promote important growth factors that help to stimulate repair of the injured soft tissue structure. PRP has been developed for the use in horses after initially being developed to fill in bone defects after oral surgery in humans. Again, this is very new, but has exciting potential for use in the horse, not only for soft tissue injuries, but for wounds and bone injury. Brandon Equine has had the opportunity to treat some soft tissue injuries using PRP, and we have been very impressed with the results achieved so far.
These therapies are part of an emerging and rapidly advancing field that offers treatments of musculoskeletal injuries in the performance horse. Regenerative medicine involves using the horse’s own blood or tissue, that is injected into a specific site after it has been processed. These treatments are very new to equine surgery and medicine, and while there are few scientific reports documenting their use, the available reports are favorable. The benefit to using these treatments is that the quality of repair is enhanced and improved over rest alone. (And in some cases horses return to function sooner). Another important benefit is that these therapies use the horse’s own tissue which reduces negative side effects. Surgi-Care has treated several horses using regenerative techniques with excellent results to date.
Stem cells are derived from bone marrow or from adipose tissue (fat) and are similarly used to treat lesions within tendons and ligaments as well as joints and bone. Brandon Equine uses stem cells derived from adipose tissue that are processed through Vet Stem® in California. Fat is harvested from the tail head area, is processed at Vet Stem®, and returned in specified quantities required to inject into a particular lesion. This whole process takes 3 days, which is faster than the bone marrow technique, which can take weeks to produce. Several horses have been treated at Brandon Equine using adipose-derived stem cells with good results, with horses returning to the same or higher level or performance.
Brandon Equine Medical Center has both conventional (films) and digital radiography available to our clients. The large, conventional radiography unit allows imaging of more dense structures such as the pelvis and abdomen. Brandon Equine was one of the first equine hospitals in Florida to acquire a Digital Radiography unit. This unit, made by Eklin Medical Systems®, produces images immediately, and provides finer detail of bone structures than most conventional radiographs. Using digital downloading, images can be put on a CD or emailed to the referring veterinarian.
Recently, digital ultrasonography has been made available to the equine community, and has advanced our ability to accurately diagnose sports medicine-related injuries. Brandon Equine Medical Center has the state of the art, Philips® HD 11 Digital Ultrasound unit. This machine provides improved detail of all the structures imaged. Video and Doppler ultrasound can also be done with this unit. Brandon Equine’s specialists use the ultrasound to image musculoskeletal structures including tendons, ligaments, joints and bone, as well as the abdomen and thorax. These images can also be put on a CD or emailed to the referring veterinarian.
Brandon Equine Medical Center also provides video-endoscopy with our Fujinon® units. Evaluations can be done of both the upper airway using our one-meter endoscope, and the stomach with the three-meter gastroscope. Gastroscopy is most commonly performed for the definitive diagnosis of gastric ulcers, and is best done after the horse has been fasted for a designated period of time so that the stomach is completely empty. The office will provide the preparation protocol for the procedure at the time the appointment is made.
The pre-purchase examination provides the prospective buyer with pertinent information regarding the health and soundness of the horse in question. Brandon Equine Medical Center routinely performs pre-purchase examinations on horses for the prospective buyer which usually include a detailed physical exam of the horse, assessing all the body systems, including heart and lungs, the eyes, and the musculoskeletal system. After the physical exam has been done, the horse is evaluated for soundness. This portion of the pre-purchase exam involves watching the horse in hand with flexion tests, on the lunge line and, in some cases, under saddle. The prospective buyer is provided with a complete, typed report of the clinical findings and assessment as well as a CD of all images taken.
Additional evaluation can be done with standard radiographic views at the owner’s request, or as directed by the veterinarian examining the horse. In some cases, ultrasound and upper airway endoscopy can also be performed to complete the evaluation. Routine blood work, (CBC and chemistry) and drug screening can also be done at the prospective purchaser’s request. Brandon Equine also offers a more detailed examination of the horse’s eyes by our boarded ophthalmologist with certification at a minimal additional cost.
While we can not “pass” or “fail” a horse, Brandon Equine offers a most through and detailed assessment of the horse from which the prospective buyer can make an informed decision.
If you would like to schedule a pre-purchase exam, please call us at (813) 643-7177. Please download and complete our pre-purchase form (pdf) prior to your visit.
An important service that Brandon Equine provides is consultation with your farrier. The surgeons routinely communicate with the farrier involved on the case, either at the time the horse is at the clinic or after the fact. Sitting down and reviewing the exam and diagnostic images as a team can be invaluable in formulating an appropriate shoeing plan which is a vital part of the horse’s rehabilitation.
Brandon Equine also encourages farriers with interesting or difficult cases to arrange to have the horse’s feet trimmed or shod at the clinic. At that time, radiographs can be taken to provide important information regarding foot balance. This then affords the opportunity for the farrier to consult with one or more of the surgeons on staff about shoeing methods and recommendations for that particular horse.