Large Animal Services - Equine and Bovine


Equine Services:

We provide a wide range of services for our equine patients. We are committed to first class care of our equine companions.  We support a wide range of equine athletes and strive to help them compete successfully and safely. Our veterinarians work with you to come up with a plan to keep your horse in good health. Below is a breakdown of the services we are here to provide.

Bovine Services:

We are dedicated to helping producers thrive economically through value added services and herd health training which results in a healthy, nourishing product for the public. With open, good communication we strive to educate our clients with reliable, accurate information so they can make good decisions and provide better care for their animals. Below is a breakdown of the services we are here to provide.

Equine Preventative Health Care:

Our veterinarians work with you to come up with a plan to keep your horse in good health. We will review your horse's needs and risks and set up a vaccination plan to protect your horse against diseases that could seriously affect their health or their ability to compete. We can also review your pasture management and perform fecal exams to determine an appropriate deworming program. We will also go over dental care, weight management, joint health and other areas that may affect the overall health of our equine patients.

Equine Medical Services:

Our caring staff will take their time in examining all unwell or injured animals. Our hospital is equipped for treatment and the hospitalization of your horse. We care deeply about their comfort and your concern for their wellbeing. Our equipment, including an in house blood analyzer, digital x-ray, endoscope and ultrasound machines, allow for quality patient care.

Equine Surgical Services:

We take pride in both the range and the quality of surgical services provided. We perform routine surgeries such as castrations and caslick sutures. Our vets and assistants work as a brilliant team and patients are monitored during the entire surgical procedure as well as during their recovery. We also offer more advanced surgeries including palmer digital neurectomy, urogenital surgeries (such as bladder stone removal), corrective hoof resection, cryptorchid castrations, hernia repairs and more. We have a blood analyzer in clinic so you have the option of having bloodwork done on your horse prior to surgery to check their general health and the health of their kidneys and liver. We have a patient warming system that will help foals stay warm and comfortable during a procedure. Our veterinarians and our support staff attend continuing education and we do in clinic training to ensure we are current and up to date in our procedures. All of these factors minimize the risks that may be involved with anesthesia and surgery.

Equine Dental Services:

Regular dentals play a major role in maintaining the health of your horse. Sharp tooth edges may cause sores in the mouth, leading to discomfort, training difficulties and reduced efficiency in obtaining nutrients from the feed. Timely dentals will keep your horse's mouth balanced, resulting in improved health, performance and efficiency. More serious dental issues such as tooth root infections, sinus infections and fractured teeth may also require veterinary care. Our large animal veterinarians have taken additional training in equine dentistry and regularly attend the American Association of Equine Practitioners annual conference where there is up to date training and information on equine dentistry. The clinic also gets a subscription to the Journal of Equine Dentistry which also contains current information. Our veterinarians perform dental exams on over 700 horses a year. Both Dr. Mike Ross and Dr. Christa Harder are very interested in equine dentistry and have performed advanced equine dental procedures.

Equine Laser Therapy:

We are very proud to offer laser treatment at Dawson Creek Veterinary Clinic. Laser therapy is a specific class of laser beam that is used to treat a patient for an injury or inflammation. Depending upon what we are treating, we usually will do a series of 6 treatments. All patients will respond differently but if we use this to treat a chronic condition like arthritis, we may need to do a follow up series in 6 months' time. Generally there will be 3 sessions in the first week, 2 sessions in the second week and 1 session in the third week but this will vary from case to case. Some cases may require more routine maintenance such as weekly therapy. Laser therapy is a non-surgical treatment that requires no sedation. There are no side effects and you will be able to see rapid results in your pet and their healing process. Laser therapy helps treat arthritis, acute and chronic pain, back injuries, tendon and ligament injuries, swelling, inflammation and wounds. It is alternative or adjunctive to pharmaceutical pain management.

Equine Diagnostics:

While a thorough physical exam and getting a good history from our clients can sometimes be enough for a vet to figure out what is bothering your horse, getting to the bottom of a disease or problem with your horse can often be challenging. We have some valuable tools that can help our veterinarians to diagnose what is wrong with your horse, which will then allow them to work with you to come up with a plan to treat your horse and give your horse the quality of life it deserves. We have an assortment of tools including an endoscope, ultrasound machine, x-ray machine and an in house blood analyzer.Our x-ray machine is a CR (Computed Radiography) unit which allows us to take an x-ray and develop it into a computer image. This allows us to adjust the image, email it to specialists, and compare it with other images.Our ultrasound machine has three different probes allowing for us to use it on multiples species of animals and on various areas of the body. While X-rays can often only identify problems with bones, ultrasound can be used to examine soft tissues. We commonly use it to examine tendons and ligaments in your horse's leg. We can also diagnose pregnancies with it or evaluate your horse's reproductive tract. Our endoscope is a small camera that can be used to look in your horse's nose and throat area and can be used to diagnose guttural pouch infections, dorsal displacement of soft palates and laryngeal problems. We can also use the ultrasound machine and endoscope to evaluate your horse's urinary tract. Our in house blood analyzer allows us to do a variety of common blood testing procedures including checking red blood cell counts, white blood cell counts, clotting times, electrolyte levels, and various other blood chemistries.

Equine Reproductive Services:

Artificial insemination in horses can be relatively simple or quite complicated depending upon the mare, the type of semen used (fresh, frozen or chilled) and where the semen is coming from. There are additional tests that can be done prior to breeding which will help us determine whether mares are good candidates for breeding and if any additional treatment will be needed. These tests include ultrasound exams of the reproductive tract, uterine swabs and uterine biopsies. Stallions can be collected here at the clinic and semen can be immediately put into a mare that is in heat or it can be chilled and shipped to mare owners in other areas of the country. Artificial insemination can be safer for both the mare and stallion and can minimize the number of times a mare is bred and the degree of contamination of her uterus which can interfere with conception. Fresh semen is the best and conception rates can be well over 75 or 80% with fresh semen.

Equine Microchip Identification:

Microchips are small capsules that contain a computer chip that can be injected under the skin of an animal. They are safe and can be read by a scanner that is passed over the site of the microchip. There is a special code that is unique to that chip and that animal to assist in identifying the animal.

Bovine Prepurchase exams, lameness exams and joint health:

Our veterinarians can perform pre purchase exams prior to you buying a new horse. We will evaluate the animal's personality, conformation and general health and look for any areas of unsoundness.
Our large animal veterinarians also have training in how to evaluate lameness in horses. We use a number of tools and tests including observation of a horse on a variety of footing and in a variety of gaits to identify the lame leg. We then can perform flexion tests, local nerve blocks, ultrasound, and xrays to determine what the problem might be. We then work with you to come up with a plan for appropriate treatment. We also have a number of products and procedures which can help with joint health including the ability to do intra-articular injections. We carry Legend' and Adequan' as well as other products including Back on Track, glucosamine, supplements and liniments.

Bovine Preventative Health Care:

The Dawson Creek Veterinary Clinic strives to provide top quality herd health recommendations to our cattle clients to help them have optimal herd health, success and profitability. Vaccinations are constantly being changed and improved. Part of our strategy is to review these changes to determine what products are the most scientifically sound while still being cost effective for our clients. We have changed our herd health protocols and recommendations as a result of some of the changes that have occurred in vaccines over the last few years. Our veterinarians also work with our bovine clients to evaluate other health concerns and management practices to help our clients have productive and profitable businesses. We have annual herd health seminars and send out monthly emails to keep our clients up to date and current with new products, disease outbreaks, nutrition and management practices.

Bovine Surgical Services:

Our veterinary clinic is set up with safe handling facilities and our veterinarians are confident in performing a variety of surgical procedures including calvings, caesarian sections, calf umbilical surgeries, urinary tract surgeries, eye enucleations, dehorning and castrations. We are also willing to travel to client farms to perform a variety of procedures.

Bovine Medical, Herd Health and Reproductive Services:

Our veterinarians are experienced in bovine pregnancy diagnostics (both by palpation and with ultrasound imaging) as well as breeding soundness evaluations in your bulls. We will also work with you to identify any problems in the reproductive performance in your herd such as poor conception rates and help you to resolve these issues.
Having problems with your herd health (scours, pneumonia, etc.)? Our veterinarians will work with you to get to the root of the problem and come up with recommendations to treat the existing problem and also make recommendations to prevent it from occurring in the future.

Bovine Diagnostics:

We use herd history, physical examinations, post mortem examinations and various testing (both in the clinic and at labs) to diagnose various diseases.

Bovine Exporting:

There are many steps that are to be taken in order to export your animals out of Canada. Ask our vets or receptionist for more details on how the process works. Our veterinarians are certified to perform export exams on a variety of animals including cattle, reindeer and horses.

Bovine BVD Testing:

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus) is an expensive disease to have in your cattle herd. Proper vaccination is important to keeping this disease at bay but you may already have infected animals in your herd. Dawson Creek Veterinary Clinic offers BVD herd screening to help you identify persistently infected (PI) animals in your herd that may be spreading the disease to others. Bring in an ear notch (or skin sample) 1-2 cm in size to the Dawson Creek Veterinary Clinic. This sample can be frozen until it is convenient for you to drop it off. We will send these samples off in group packages to get you the best possible testing price. This is a very inexpensive way to determine if you have BVD in your herd. We recommend sampling any sick or dead animals.

Bovine Johnes Disease:

Johnes Disease is a disease that typically presents as chronic diarrhea and severe weight loss in adult cattle. It can also affect sheep and goats. Calves are usually infected with the bacteria (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) through the ingestion of water or feed contaminated with manure from adult cattle that are carrying the bacteria or from milk or colostrum from infected animals. The bacteria then usually hang out in the intestines of the animal for years (anywhere from 1-10 years) before it becomes active and clinical signs are seen. Typically clinical signs are seen in cows three to six years of age. Cows will show signs of weight loss and watery diarrhea but still seem bright and have a good appetite. Signs can sometimes wax and wane. Unfortunately once the bacteria become active, they cause the intestinal wall to thicken, preventing absorption of nutrients and fluid. Cows typically lose weight until they waste away and can no longer function. Cows can shed the bacteria in the manure prior to showing clinical signs and in doing so infect calves. Unfortunately there is no effective or practical treatment or vaccine at this time. This is a disease we see in a lot of herds in the Peace Country (and all across Canada). It can be economically important to producers. It can be a difficult and often expensive disease to test for depending on the number of animals tested and the type of test performed. If a producer has a goal to eliminate this disease from their herd, annual testing and culling can be done along with management changes, but it can be a long process. Some simple management changes can help control the spread of this disease within your herd. Your veterinarian can do an on farm risk assessment, which will assess your herd's chance of getting or having various infectious diseases that can limit your production and profit. Your veterinarian can also help you implement any management changes that will help prevent or control the spread of disease in your herd.