Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine

Internal medicine services are provided as both an in-patient and out-patient service by Dr. Rachel Gardner, a board certified internal medicine specialist. These services include evaluation of horses with complex respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver, kidney, neurologic and ophthalmic disorders. Evaluations are provided for subtle abnormalities, such as changes in performance, or weight loss. Intensive care with 24 hour monitoring is available for adults and neonates, and an isolation stall is available for treatment of horses with potentially contagious diseases. Cases are accepted on an appointment and emergency basis.

Cardiac Evaluation

A thorough cardiac evaluation including echocardiography and electrocardiography (ECG) can be performed at our clinic.  These assessments can help confirm the cardiac health of a horse prior to undergoing surgical procedures. It’s value also lies in determining cardiac abnormalities in horses displaying clinical signs related to cardiac issues, such as exercise intolerance, loss of body condition, or lethargy. Visualizing the heart with echocardiography can also help identify anomalies of the heart that can be seen in horses such as heart murmurs or degenerative valvular deformities.

Clinical Laboratory

On-site diagnostics aid in quickly assessing a patient’s systemic health by analyzing different samples obtained from the patient. We have the ability to run complete blood counts, serum chemistry, electrolyte panels, muscle enzyme panels and abdominocentesis. Our staff laboratory technician is also able to analyze fecal samples on-site, allowing for faster results at a discount to our clients. For more complex testing (PCR, ELISA, etc), our lab will prepare the proper samples and send them to the correct facility for testing.


Upper airway disorders can affect a horse’s performance and limit their ability to be ridden at competition level. Using state-of-the-art veterinary endoscopic equipment, the entirety of the upper respiratory tract can be visualized and examined for abnormalities. Respiratory disease can also be diagnosed by obtaining samples from the respiratory tract. Endoscopy allows for visual evaluation of structures, such as the guttural pouches, that are difficult to assess using other imaging methods.


Gastric ulcers are present in the majority of performance horses, and clinical signs can vary from change in performance, to weight loss, to recurrent colic. The presence of gastric ulcers is confirmed by examining the stomach with gastroscopy, which requires passage of a thin tube down into the horse’s stomach. The video endoscope allows clear visualization of all parts of the stomach, and the images are shown on a large monitor for close examination.

Neonatal Care

Our understanding of neonatal disease processes has improved dramatically over recent years, and with it, our ability to address conditions that once carried a poor prognosis. A better understanding of neonatal physiology in conjunction with improved technologies has resulted in a rise in survival of critically ill neonates. Intensive monitoring is essential to managing the critically ill neonate. Therapy focuses on intravenous fluid and electrolyte management, antibiotic therapy, immunological support, seizure control and nutritional management including parenteral (intravenous) nutrition and enteral (oral) feeding. Daily in-depth physical examinations and serial analysis of blood and serum samples are some of the parameters interpreted in forming a treatment plan.


Certain ocular disorders, such as corneal ulcers, equine recurrent uveitis, cataracts or glaucoma occur fairly commonly in the equine population and can affect your horse’s quality of life and ability to perform. An ophthalmic examination offered by our internal medicine specialist can offer a definitive diagnosis and lead to a customized treatment plan for each individual case. An example of additional procedures offered include corneal debridement utilizing a diamond burr tip, corneal cultures, third eyelid removal, and sub-palpebral lavage catheter placement.


Physical Exam

A detailed physical examination of the individual body systems aids in determining a concise, focused treatment plan for each patient seen at the clinic. Abnormalities or concerns noted on evaluation of the overall patient can then be addressed through examination of a particular system. An example of this would be the respiratory work-up, in which the upper and/or lower respiratory system is evaluated using advanced diagnostic imaging and laboratory analysis to diagnose various pathologies. An ophthalmologic consult, gastrointestinal work-up or evaluation of other specialty systems may be recommended based on the comprehensive physical examination performed by the veterinarian