The Equine Medicine service at Newnham Court Equine Clinic is led by Katie Snalune, and supported by our interns and nursing team. Katie is an Advanced Practitioner in Equine Internal Medicine and Equine Soft Tissue Surgery, and is happy to see referrals or second opinion cases. The clinic caseload comprises horses of all types and disciplines. The equine medicine service offers around the clock care, and is equipped to deal with a variety of medical problems, from emergencies to detailed elective investigation of more chronic medical disorders, and to provide the most up-to-date treatment. In addition we have state-of-the-art ultrasonography, endoscopy and diagnostic imaging equipment that play an important role in the evaluation of medical cases. We maintain close contact with consultant pathologists both in private practice and in University departments, allowing the accurate and speedy interpretation of biopsies and other samples taken from our cases. 

Oncology

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Katie Snalune has a special interest in all aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of equine oncologic cases. Katie organises and speaks on the BEVA Equine Clinical Oncology course and is an author of the first ever Clinical Equine Oncology textbook.

We work closely with external specialists in oncology, diagnostic imaging, surgery (laparoscopy and surgical oncology), clinical pathology (including flow cytometry) and histopathology (including immunohistochemistry), to accurately diagnose and formulate the best treatment plan for the individual case.

  • Surgery –Complete excision, where possible, is the best approach, and assessment of margins by specialist pathologists enables rapid planning of the necessity for adjunct radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy – numerous cytotoxic agents are used in equine medicine for the local and topical treatment of tumours, but most frequently for cutaneous tumours. These cytotoxic agents are very dangerous to the internist, surgeon, and handler. We follow strict human and ECVIM-CA guidelines on the safe use of cytotoxic agents, and have all the facilities for safe preparation, handling, transport and administration of cytotoxics and care of patients receiving these drugs.
  • If you think you may have an oncology case that we can help you with, please contact Katie Snalune on 01622 737884 or email case details with photographs to katie@newnhamvets.com.

Weight loss, diarrhoea, chronic and recurrent colic

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    • COLIC – we deal with all colic referrals, from emergency investigation of acute cases to detailed investigation of chronic and recurrent colic cases. Horses with recurrent or chronic colic are admitted for observation and detailed investigations.
    • WEIGHT LOSS – diagnosis of causes of weight loss can be problematic as they may be related to the gastrointestinal system or to other body organ systems, such as the liver, kidneys, lungs or endocrine system. Investigation includes detailed history, clinical and dental examination, rectal examination, blood sampling, gastroduodenoscopy, rectal/duodenal biopsies, dynamic absorption tests, faecal analysis and ultrasonography of the abdomen/chest. Where necessary or appropriate, standing surgical biopsies of the intestine may be taken or full surgical exploration of the abdomen may be performed.
    • DIARRHOEA – although mild diarrhoea is a common event in adult horses and frequently associated with stress or change in diet, severe diarrhoea can be life threatening and requires rapid intensive care and treatment. Horses with diarrhoea are admitted into the isolation unit, as some causes of diarrhoea, such as Salmonella, can be transmitted from horse to horse or horse to person. These horses are managed intensively with intravenous fluid therapy. The support of our on-site laboratory ensures rapid frequent monitoring of patients. These patients also frequently require assistance with nutrition. This can be aided by the dedicated care of our nursing team, and the provision of enteral or parenteral nutrition.

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Neurological and neuromuscular disorders

We investigate and evaluate horses with suspected neurological and neuromuscular diseases. Neurological diseases in the horse can be very subtle. Careful and thorough neurological examination is required to determine the anatomic localisation of the lesion. Ancillary diagnostic procedures available for assessment of these cases include:

  • Collection and analysis of CSF (CSF requires immediate analysis as it does not store well. This can be performed immediately at our on-site laboratory)
  • Head and vertebral digital radiography
  • Cervical Myelography
  • Blood biochemistry and serology
  • Nerve and muscle biopsy
  • Guttural pouch endoscopy
  • Padded box with overhead hoist for lifting, slinging and management of the severely ataxic or recumbent horse

Liver disorders

Liver disease in horses often has an insidious onset with vague clinical signs, and is detected on routine blood sampling. It may also present acutely with neurological signs of hepatic encephalopathy, requiring emergency treatment. Initial diagnostic investigation involves results of blood sampling and liver function tests. Further diagnostics include ultrasonography of the liver and collection of biopsy specimens for histopathology

Lower respiratory tract disorders

The medicine service may investigate and diagnose many lower respiratory tract disorders, including inflammatory airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction, pleuropneumonia and thoracic neoplasia. Many mature and geriatric pleasure horses have mild coughing at exercise that is infrequently investigated, and considered normal by the owner. At Newnham Court Equine Clinic, we encourage owners to investigate these cases, to improve athletic capability and quality of life of these mature horses, to enable them to keep active for longer. Diseases of the lungs are investigated by detailed clinical examination, thoracic auscultation and percussion, digital radiography and ultrasonographic examination of the thoracic cavity. Videoendoscopy allows visualisation of the trachea and major bronchi, and collection of samples of fluid for cytological and bacteriological examination in our on-site laboratory. In horses presenting with pleural effusion, samples of fluid may be taken from the thoracic cavity and lung biopsy performed where appropriate, to allow definitive diagnosis. Management of these cases, including selection of appropriate inhaled medication can be advised upon. Repeat evaluations, to assess response to treatment, is encouraged.

Urinary tract disorders

Disease of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra are rare in horses. However, horses occasionally present with clinical signs such as polyuria/polydipsia (increased urination and drinking), discoloured urine, urinary incontinence and stranguria (difficulty urinating). These presenting signs may be associated with primary renal diseases, endocrine disorders, urolithiasis (stones), infection, neurological and neuromuscular disorders, coagulopathies (bleeding disorders) and neoplasia (cancer). At Newnham Court Equine Clinic, we investigate these cases by performing detailed ultrasonographic examination of the urinary tract, both transabdominally and rectally. Blood and urine samples are analysed in our on-site laboratory. Videoendoscopy is available for examination of the urethra, bladder and lower ureters in foals, ponies and horses.

Endocrine and metabolic diseases

With up to 89% of first opinion and field cases of laminitis being caused by an endocrinopathy, we are able to investigate cases of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, Equine Cushing’s disease) and Equine metabolic syndrome, and advise on treatment plans, including dietary management.

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Investigation of Skin diseases

Newnham Court Equine Clinic offers a dedicated equine dermatology service. Skin diseases in horses can be difficult to diagnose and frustrating to manage, frequently because they have been present for some time and received multiple treatments prior to investigation. We investigate a full range of presenting signs such as recurrent urticaria (hives), pruritis (itching), scaling and crusting, nodular diseases and alopecia and pigmentary disorders, and investigate and manage all types of dermatological disorders, including neoplastic, immune-mediated, infectious and miscellaneous conditions. Patients can be seen as an outpatient or admitted for more detailed investigations including Intradermal allergy testing and skin biopsies.

Cardiac disorders

Newnham Court Equine Clinic sees cardiology cases for assessment of murmurs detected at pre-purchase examination and evaluation of arrhythmias, including poor performance issues. Loss of performance in a competition horse can occur for many reasons, including low grade lameness and neurological disorders, back pain, muscle disorders, gastric ulcers, upper and lower airway disorders, cardiac abnormalities, or tack/rider/training issues or lack of ability. This can be challenging diagnostically. We take a multidisciplinary approach to these cases and are fortunate to have Dr. Lesley Young, a RCVS recognised specialist in Equine Cardiology, providing specialist consultancy to the clinic, so that our patients can be managed at home or at the clinic.

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Poor performance investigation

Newnham Court Equine Clinic sees cardiology cases for assessment of murmurs detected at pre-purchase examination and evaluation of arrhythmias, including poor performance issues. Loss of performance in a competition horse can occur for many reasons, including low grade lameness and neurological disorders, back pain, muscle disorders, gastric ulcers, upper and lower airway disorders, cardiac abnormalities, or tack/rider/training issues or lack of ability. This can be challenging diagnostically. We take a multidisciplinary approach to these cases and are fortunate to have Dr. Lesley Young, a RCVS recognised specialist in Equine Cardiology, providing specialist consultancy to the clinic, so that our patients can be managed at home or at the clinic.

Infectious diseases

Whilst many contagious disease outbreaks can be managed on the yard, problems such as Strangles and diarrhoea can cause severe illness in horses, requiring intensive care and management. At Newnham Court Equine Clinic, we have dedicated isolation facilities, with round the clock CCTV monitoring, and access to all diagnostics.