Specialty Services

Lameness and Podiatry

The majority of ailments in the horse is in their feet. Published podiatry literature cites as high as an 89% incidence in foot abnormalities in the horse!

“No foot, No horse,” is a phrase with undeniable truth throughout history as horses were critical in battles as noted in this poem:

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

This poem was traced back to the fall of Rome finally ascribing it to a blacksmith oversleeping one morning!

Undeniably, history truly shows how the foot of a horse is still as important now as it was in the past.

The nervous system is the most important system in any species, and in the horse, most of the nerves are in the foot.  (As opposed to the human where the brain has that honor.)

The experience and educational background of our veterinarians allows for a more in-depth approach yielding greater success on podiatry cases at Colorado Equine Clinic.  Our process is to gather detailed history from you as the owner and your farrier about your horses’ environment, exercise and use, lameness, changes in hoof capsule shape or form, and shoeing frequency and history.   With this information,  your horse will receive a thorough clinical examination of all four feet for shape and size, then will be tested for pain using hoof testers and percussion.   Then, an assessment of how your horse’s foot accepts load and moves through the air is evaluated on a special concrete motion analysis site designed by Dr. Page to incorporate sound of load with the visible evaluation.  Movement at a canter will be done in the outdoor arena.  Additional diagnostics including diagnostic nerve and/or joint blocks, and leverage tests are done if needed.  Radiographs are evaluated using podiatry radiographic software provides an improved understanding of which tissues are pathologic.

The most successful treatment occurs when options are discussed among you, the farrier, and the veterinarian with your horse at the consultation.  Once options are decided, trimming and shoeing with considerations from all parties and the data provided by the examination is done.  Changes in the horse’s movement and demeanor are evaluated throughout the trim and shoeing process.  Adjustments can be made at that time if needed to obtain as much normal function of the foot as possible.

Much of the success with podiatry comes because the CEC team assures all three functions of the horse’s foot are considered and incorporated into the treatment.  This is accomplished first through the trim.  The shoe is then chosen which will contribute to the function of life needed by the horse and not provided by the pathologic foot.

Dr. Page works closely with our farrier, Mike O’Donnell, to ensure the best shoeing decisions are made for your horse.

For more information, please refer to the website for the International Foundation for Equine Podiatry Research (IFEPR.org) Dr. Page founded to promote education and research on the equine foot.


Gastroscopy and Endoscopy

Colorado Equine Clinic can facilitate either gastroscopy or upper respiratory endoscopy with our endoscope, a flexible tube with a camera at the end.

Gastroscopy is an important tool to diagnose equine gastric ulcer syndrome. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome is an ulcerative disease of the stomach.

Common symptoms include:

  • Discomfort ie. Being cinchy/girthy, grinding teeth, reluctance to be groomed, having colic episodes
  • Inappetance
  • Behavior changes ie. getting nervous, aggressive, depressed
  • Poor performance

Gastroscopy is a procedure where the endoscope is passed through the horse’s nose down to the stomach. This allows us to visualize the inside of the stomach. We can visualize the type, location, and severity of the ulcers which will help guide us in our treatment plan.

**Important considerations for Gastroscopy**

For a successful gastroscopy to be performed your horse needs to be fasted for at least 10 hours. We recommend your horse stay at the clinic overnight before the procedure to ensure proper fasting.

Upper Respiratory Endoscopy:

Upper airway endoscopy is a procedure where the endoscope is passed through the horse’s nose up to the larynx and guttural pouches. This is an important diagnostic tool for horses with upper respiratory disease. With endoscopy, we can monitor the function of the upper airways and collect multiple samples if needed.

Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy

This type of complementary medicine is like animal chiropractic. Horses, dogs, and cats are assessed for areas of pain, restricted motion, and hypomobility within joints which can be caused by adhesions within the joint, inflammation, or scar tissue. When these areas of hypomobility are adjusted, the corresponding nerves are stimulated which in turn stimulates the brain. Appropriate stimulation, along with oxygen and glucose are required for nerves to be healthy and maintain proper function. When scar tissue or inflammation are present, this can compress blood vessels and decrease the delivery of nutrients to the nerves. Blood flow is required to bring this oxygen and glucose to the nerves and thus allows them to remain healthy and stimulate the nerves further down the line and maintain their health. What this all means is that VSMT (similar to animal chiropractic) can improve motion within joints but also allow for proper blood flow and stimulation to nerves to maintain nerve health.

Why is it important to have a veterinarian assess and treat your family members with complementary medicine? We are trained to recognize disease and pathologies that may be present and know when further diagnostics or other treatments may be necessary. Often, we will be able to do this same day and then discuss the treatment options without needing referral, which will prolong diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Holly Gauld is certified through the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy and is also a member of the College of Animal Chiropractors. The Healing Oasis Wellness Center provides a rigorous 5 month program to veterinarians and chiropractors only. The focus of this program is on neurology and how improving motion in joints and improving blood flow to nerves can promote nerve, spine, and brain health.

If this is something you would like to discuss, please call us to schedule a consultation to determine if this is something that may benefit your beloved family member.


Wellness Programs

Please click here to enroll in a 2024 wellness program: https://www.coequine.com/2024-wellness-program-sign-up/

Optimum Wellness Progam:

  • Comprehensive Physical Exam – Spring & Fall
    • A thorough examination of the following system is performed: ophthalmic, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, dermatological, and palpation of muscles and joints.
  • Body Weight & Nutrition Consultation – Spring & Fall
    • Includes weight-taping
  • Oral Examination & Teeth Floating – Spring & Fall
    • Sheath cleaning is included for an additional charge
  • Eastern & Western Encephalitis, Tetanus, West Nile Virus – Spring
  • Rabies Vaccine – Spring or Fall
  • Fecal Testing – June through October
    • Testing for parasites and sand
  • Two Paste Dewormers – Spring & Fall
    • The appropriate dewormer will be administered in the spring and fall
  • 5% Discount on Additional Professional Services
    • An additional 5% discount on all additional professional services outside of the wellness program services offered in 2023
  • No trip charge for Wellness Program Visits
    • There is NO trip charge for the two included wellness program visits. However, any trips outside of the wellness program will be charged for.

Geriatric Wellness Program:
In addition to all of the same services offered by the Optimum Wellness Program, we are please to offer the following testing for your older horses. Horses 16 years old have a 10% increased incidence of Cushing’s and an 8% increase in blood abnormalities. Both of these percentages increase with age.

  • ACTH/Insulin Blood Test
  • Complete Blood Count & Blood Chemistry Test

Elective Services:

In addition to the above options, we have revamped our wellness programs to be able to offer the best, individualized care for your horses. We made the following elective services available for you to choose from.

These services are offered at a 15% discount.

We recommend these services for horses who travel, perform, trail ride and are in other similar situations. These services must be selected at the time of enrollment and cannot be added on at a later date.

  • Influenza/Rhinopneumonitis – Spring & Fall Dose
  • Coggins Test
  • Chiropractic Adjustment
  • Soundness Evaluation
  • Radiographic Evaluation of Front Feet
  • Farrier Consultation

Stem cells and Regenerative Medicine

Have you ever wondered how the body heals from a cut, a fracture, or a stomach upset?

The body has a tremendous capacity to heal (there are more cells in our bodies whose job is to heal the body than any other cell type!) and does so throughout the lives of all living creatures.  Even amoebas, a ONE cell creature, can repair themselves faster than they break down.  Think of the capabilities of the mammal!

When do we not heal?  If there is a mechanical interference to healing.  Examples are a fractured bone when the fracture ends are not opposed or when a splinter embeds into the tissue, or a viral, bacterial, fungal or cancerous disease.

Our job as caregivers for our pets is first to identify any mechanical interference, remove that interference, then amplify the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

The Body’s natural healing mechanisms:

  1.  Chemicals to decrease inflammation  (alpha macromolecules found in plasma)
  2.  Cells and cell products which stimulate growth of new cells (platelets and stem cells)
  3.  Tissues to transport such chemicals and products to the area of need (blood stream)

While we know not all of how the body heals, we DO know that promoting blood flow increases healing.

How do we increase blood flow?  We walk our horses if they are colicy.  We massage the swelling in a dog’s limb.  Good, but now, there is more!

Now we can concentrate the healing agents in the blood, both the anti-inflammatory molecules and the growth promoting agents and directly insert such concentrated natural agents into areas needed healing.

Promoting healing, not just temporary pain removal has been our quest and our success for 15 years.  We employ the following modalities:

Stem cells:  these are withdrawn from the patient, processed in our lab, re-injected into the patient the same day!

Platelets:  These are concentrated from the blood of the patient by machines using centrifugal process and meet the highest standard of equipment in their ability to concentrate the most platelets with the fewest white blood cells.  These products are platelet rich plasma (PRP) or autologous conditioned plasma (ACP).  Both have been scientifically proven to decrease pain and improve the cartilagenous and synovial and extracapsular tissues in joints.

IRAP:  This is the plasma from the blood which has undergone special processing to concentrate anti-inflammatory proteins.

Collagen and amniotic membranes:   These products are applied to open wounds.  The healing rate and quality of healing is greatly improved.

Contacts:  made of regenerative components, the speed of healing of corneal ulcers is greatly improved decreasing scarring of the cornea, improved sight by the animal, and decreased time by the owners.

Hi-Intensity Laser:  Laser increases blood flow by increasing ATP production in cells.  Hi-intensity laser increases the depth of penetraion of this healing modality.  Scientifically proven to decrease  time of healing of tendons, ligaments and muscle injury by two times, we use this for soft tissue damage.

Small Animal Surgeries

We believe in utilizing the highest level of medical technology, and our surgeons are experienced and highly trained. We also realize that it can be stressful to have your pet undergo surgery. We want to assure you that your pet is in good hands and that we will do everything to provide the best care possible. We will communicate with you about the things you need to know before, during, and after your pet’s surgery. It is our goal to make the entire process go smoothly and to eliminate the stress and worry of surgical procedures.

Currently, we offer procedures such as spay and neuter, dental cleanings and extractions, mass removal, and gastropexy.

Our clinic also works with Dr. Jeremiah Moorer to perform a wide range of orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. He became board certified in small animal surgery in 2014 and started Trek Veterinary Surgery in 2019 to provide high-quality mobile surgical care to Denver and beyond.