Services

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Tendon and ligament injuries have typically been associated with a poor prognosis for return to full athletic performance. In the case of tendons this is because the tissue that develops to repair the injury is structurally different to the normal tendon tissue. This replacement tissue is made up of shorter, less elastic tendon fibres that make the tendon more susceptible to re-injury.

Platelets are a specialised type of blood cell that have a roll in blood clotting. They also have an important role in the repair process following an injury. Once platelets organise into a clot, they release growth factors that aid injury repair. They also encourage other essential repair cells to move into the injured site. These growth factors help to improve the blood supply into the tendon as it heals.

At KEC we can prepare PRP for use in tendon and ligament injuries. To do this we collect blood from the horse’s jugular vein. The sample is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the red and white blood cells. The remaining platelet rich plasma can then be injected back into the affected area under ultrasound guidance.

PRP has been shown to increase the number of long, more elastic tendon fibres and thus reduce the risk of re-injuring the tendon. At KEC we have had some patients return to full athletic performance following the use of PRP.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is a relatively new procedure that has been found to be effective in the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries, osteochondral defects and osteoarthritis in horses, dogs and cats. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that have the ability to divide, differentiate, and regenerate into many different types of cells.

There are two types of stem cells:

  1. Embryonic stem cells
  • Found only in the placenta and embryo
  • Have the ability to reproduce into any mature cell type and therefore can potentially grow or regenerate into any kind of tissue or organ.
  • There are moral and ethical issues associated with the harvesting and use of these cells in humans and animals.
  1. Adult stem cells
  • Not quite as versatile as embryonic stem cells and not able to create a complete organ.
  • Can differentiate into closely related cell lines such as cartilage or bone.
  • Found in large numbers in bone marrow and adipose (fat) tissue.
  • No ethical or moral concerns with use as the animal is having its own adult stem cells collected and used to treat the area.

Adipose tissue is commonly used to harvest the stem cells as it enables larger volumes to be collected with less pain and risk to the patient. It also provides a greater yield of viable cells.

At KEC the horse is sedated and placed in the crush. A large skin incision is made in the region of the semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles (poverty line area). The adipose tissue is removed from this area and is then processed to harvest the stem cells, and many of the proteins that are needed to encourage bone formation, tissue regeneration, wound healing and cell-regrowth. The harvested stem cells are in a dormant non-dividing state and need to be activated before they can circulate through the body and begin to differentiate into new tissue. This process is performed in our laboratory. The harvested and activated cells are then re-injected into the injured area of the tendon, ligament or joint. The stem cells go to work immediately to begin the repair process.The patient is able to return home on the day and the sutures are removed from the surgical site about 10 days later. Because the cells being injected are derived from the patient’s own body there is no chance of rejection or allergic reaction. Occasionally there can be a mild immune reaction but this usually resolves within a day or so.

This therapy is at the fore front of modern Veterinary medicine and is producing some fantastic outcomes for our clients and our patients.

 

Diagnostic Imaging

Digital Radiography

We have recently purchased a new Computerised Radiology (CR) machine which provides us with advanced digital radiographic imaging. With its anatomical interface we can set the system to produce extremely high quality media of many body parts. After the picture is taken it is processed and transferred to a computer workstation which allows pictures to be viewed in less than 2 minutes. The media can then be adjusted for brightness, contrast, magnified, rotated, reversed to a negative image and adjusted to enhance detail. Once the patient study is completed, the media are transferred over to our network and saved onto the patient history for future reference. The system also allows media to be saved on CD-ROMs or DVDs for owners to keep if needed.

Portable Digital X-ray capabilities

We have portable Digital x-ray units that we use as part of our ambulatory services. These units allow us to bring Digital radiology services out to the client whenever needed.

The units allow us to take extremely high quality images in as little as four seconds from exposure. These superior high quality images assist in more rapid and accurate diagnoses. These images can then be saved onto jpeg images or onto USB, CD/DVD's for referral to specialist centres or for owners to keep if needed.

Ultrasound

All our veterinarians are equipped with ultrasound machines that assist us in the diagnosis of various conditions such as sites with a mass of swelling, abdominal pain, joint, tendon and ligament injuries or to monitor reproductive cycles and pregnancy. We have recently purchased a MyLab system which allows us to provide digital imaging for patients and has ultrasound image recording capabilities. These media can be saved onto a CD-ROM or DVD for owners to keep and we can transfer these media onto our network to be saved onto patient history for future reference.

Surgical Facilities

The clinic has had since 2009 an inbuilt surgery that is equipped with a gaseous anaesthesia and a safe and secure knockdown/recovery box.  This has enabled our Vets to perform minor surgeries within the clinic environment with the assistance of the clinic's Vet nursing staff.  Dr Alastair MacLean also uses these facilities to perform more complex surgical procedures for both day patients and short-term hospital patients.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is an important tool used by our veterinarians to diagnose many conditions in the upper respiratory tract, exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH), guttural pouch, and nasal cavity problems. We have both portable and video endoscope equipment which is attached to a monitor. The monitor gives the veterinarian a better view of these anatomical structures and also allows the clients to see these structures during the examination. It assists the veterinarian in discussions with our clients about their horse's condition and helps clients understand the treatment to be used. The video endoscope has recording capabilities which copies video media for medical records, client's copies or referrals.

E.C.G

The clinic has recently purchased a computerised E.C.G. machine and monitor.  This can be used at an owner's property or at the clinic to diagnose many heart conditions and also to evaluate a heart score value.  It can be used either with the horse at rest or during work to assess changes in heart function during exercise.  The data can then be stored or saved onto a USB, CD/DVD for referral to specialist centre or for owner's to keep if needed.

Ambulatory Service

We provide an excellent ambulatory service on your property in need because we recognise the fact that not all horses can be brought into our clinic. The services we provide include reproductive management, lameness evaluations, wounds, colics, foaling, etc. We provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week emergency service that covers a wide range of areas such as Seymour, Romsey, Whittlesea and surrounding areas. However we do recommend wherever possible that you bring your horse into the clinic where we have the best possible facilities and equipment available to provide the most effective and efficient service. Bringing your horse to us also reduces the consultation fee and of course we do not charge travel because you are coming to us.

Reproduction

We have long term relationships with various breeding studs in the area and provide them and many individual horse owners with reproductive services. We have the equipment needed and our experienced veterinarians provide many services such as monitoring reproductive cycles, stallion collection, artificial insemination of mares with both chilled and frozen semen, attend foaling and post foaling checks. To keep the costs associated with reproduction down we have set cycle fees available for mares that are brought into our clinic for their reproductive work. For more information on our cycle fees, please contact our clinic during office hours.

Pre Purchase Examinations

We conduct Pre Purchase examinations in accordance with the Australian Equine Veterinary Association recommendation which can include the full 5 stages if required. We can also carry out x-rays, endoscopes, ultrasounds, and ECGs if required. These examinations can take place either at our clinic or out in the field depending on each individual situation. We will conduct an examination for any type of horse such as performance horses, competition horses, general riding horses etc. We can also provide the purchaser with a written report upon request on the findings of the examination.

Lameness

Evaluation of any horses that have lameness issues is another service that we provide to all our clients. Our skilled veterinarians work with the horses to quickly ascertain the cause of the lameness, provide the necessary treatment and rectify the problem.

Dental Services

We offer Dental Services both in the clinic or at your property.  We have a Equine Dental Power Float that is a gread aid for Veterinarians, taking the hard work out of the procedure and shortening the duration.  The float is excellent for removing caudal hooks and finishing off upper and lower molars.  The diamond grinding plate enables safe floating of the teeth without causing gum damage.  Horses are routinely sedated for dental floating and tolerate this procedure well.

Shockwave Therapy

We have a Versatron Shockwave machine that allows us to treat a number of areas such as ligaments, tendons, back problems, joint conditions, navicular problems, splint bone fractures and periostitis, and stress fractures.

The machine directs energy-laden sound waves to the affected area which triggers the body's own repair mechanisms. Treatment can be carried out either at the clinic or at your property. The treatment is done on a standing horse and they will generally require sedation.