Equine Sports Medicine

We offer support for your equine athlete by providing services in therapeutic, diagnostic, and rehabilitation medicine. Our methods of care involve the most advanced technology and practices that can be provided for your equine with excellent care from birth to retirement. Equine athletes receive state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and physical therapy to treat injuries and prevent them from reoccurring. Protect your horse through comprehensive sports medicine treatment offered by experienced specialists.

Equine Lameness Evaluations

Lameness describes a structural or functional disorder of the limbs or spinal column that can be observed while the horse is moving and/or standing. The most common causes of lameness are trauma or infection. Should your horse exhibit indications of lameness, we can provide comprehensive lameness evaluations to determine the cause and solution. Evaluations include a thorough history, physical exam, flexion tests and movement observation. Additional diagnostics may include:

  • Nerve and/or Joint Blocks
  • Radiographs
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Neurological Exam
  • Under Saddle Observation

Once the location, nature and extent of the problem is determined by the veterinarian, we will recommend a course of treatment to help heal your horse and allow him or her to return to regular activity. We offer a range of treatments, including (but not limited to):

  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Therapeutic Joint and Tendon Sheath Injections
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic

Pre-Purchase Evaluations

Purchasing a horse is a significant investment. For that reason, we strongly recommend a thorough pre-purchase exam, conducted by one of our highly-skilled veterinarians, for any horse you are considering.

Our veterinarians' pre-purchase exam includes a thorough physical exam, an in-depth motion/dynamic exam, neurologic exam, and an eye exam. A typical pre-purchase exam takes between one and three hours. The exam will always include flexion tests and observation of the horse in hand. Part of the exam is also taking an extensive history of the horse. Observation under saddle is also available.

Our veterinarians will recommend appropriate diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, radiographs (X-rays), blood tests, drug testing, endoscopic examinations, or reproductive examinations following the initial evaluation. We are happy to customize our examination to address your concerns and expectations.

It is important to understand there are limits to what can be determined by the examination. For example, future soundness or athletic ability of the horse cannot be guaranteed. Nonetheless, a pre-purchase examination can be invaluable in helping you with your final decision and future management of your horse to optimize performance. The cost of the exam is small when compared to the cost of caring for a horse that is unable to meet your expectations.

For more information or to schedule a pre-purchase examination, give us a call.

Equine Chiropractic Care

The basis of chiropractic therapy is that proper function of the musculoskeletal system allows the rest of the body, particularly the nervous system, to function properly as well. When this happens, the body is able to heal itself, fight disease, and maintain optimal health.

A chiropractic adjustment is applied to a vertebral subluxation complex, where the joint between two vertebrae has lost its flexibility. The goal of the adjustment is to restore normal mobility to the joint, thereby stimulating normal neurological reflexes and reducing pain and muscle spasm.

Chiropractic should be considered for any horse that suffers from neck or back pain, joint stiffness, poor performance, or an altered gait that is not associated with overt lameness. Chiropractic care is appropriate in the maintenance of joint and spinal health which is important for the equine athlete.

Equine Acupuncture

According to ancient Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy by affecting certain physiological changes with the insertion of needles at specific locations, and thereby assist the body to heal itself. Acupuncture has been used in veterinary practice in China for at 3,000 years to treat many conditions. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones such as endorphins and cortisol, all of which have positive healing effects on the body.

Most equine veterinary acupuncturists use a combination of techniques to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Most animals are comfortable with acupuncture therapy and become very relaxed during treatment.

Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat many acute and chronic conditions including, musculoskeletal problems, such as muscle soreness and back pain, neurological disorders including laryngeal hemiplegia, gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea or impactions, and other chronic conditions. Clinical trials indicate acupuncture may also be effective in performance enhancement and prevention of disease.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine harnesses the natural healing process of the body to help heal damaged tissues. At Temeku Equine, our regenerative medicine therapies include Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), bone marrow derived Stem Cell Therapy, and Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP). Each of these procedures and their benefits will be discussed in detail by your veterinarian on a case by case basis as it relates to the needs of your horse.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy uses stem cells from your horse's bone marrow to facilitate the healing of damaged tissues. Stem cell therapy is most commonly used to treat soft tissue injuries in the horse. Clinical research continues to explore other uses for stem cells, including repairing bone, ligament, and spinal cord injuries and treating kidney and liver disease.

Stem cell therapy is performed by first collecting bone marrow from your horse. The bone marrow cells are then transferred to a specialized laboratory, where stem cells are isolated and cultured. The final stage of treatment is the injection of stem cells into the affected area utilizing ultrasound guidance.

Platelet Enriched Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is created by drawing your horse’s blood and processing the blood with a specialized filtration centrifugation system to create the Platelet Enriched Plasma. PRP is then used to treat soft tissue injuries or in some cases as a joint injection in place of traditional joint medications.

Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP)

Interleukin-1 is an inflammatory mediator that stimulates degenerative processes in the body. To act, this molecule (called a cytokine) must interact with a receptor, in essence switching on a pathway that releases damaging enzymes. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) is another molecule that fits in that same receptor; however, instead of activating the process, it blocks it. By drawing the horse's blood and incubating it in a specialized collection system, this protein can be isolated and concentrated. It can then be injected into arthritic joints in an effort to block some of the major inflammatory pathways and stop the degenerative process. The principles behind the use of IRAP are well established in arthritis models, but not enough work has been done to prove definitive advantage in the treatment of tendon or ligament injuries. It is ready 24 hours after drawing the blood and is typically injected into the arthritic joint(s) once a week for 3-4 treatments, and often monthly thereafter. The injection timeframe is determined on a case by case basis. This treatment will not (nor will any other) reverse damage already done and is best used in the early stages of the disease process.

If you have an emergency after hours, please call (951) 302-6646.