Cedarbrook Veterinary Care Services:

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care, the foremost holistic equine clinic in Western Washington, is staffed with renowned doctors who are highly respected in their specialties and on the cutting edge of holistic medical procedures and treatments.

When you choose Cedarbrook Veterinary Care for your horse, you are assured that every medical condition, from critical care to routine, will be handled by outstanding doctors who have been recognized as the best in their fields.

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care's doctors and staff either own horses themselves or have worked alongside them for much of their lives. For them, caring for horses is a natural extension of the bond they have with their own animals. Treating pleasure horses, performance horses and every horse in between is more than just a chosen career for the doctors...it is their passion.

Our doctors specialize in virtually every area of equine medicine with the exception of reproduction work. Please explore the different services that we provide below.

Please keep in mind that many equine services can be done during farm calls, which allow horses to be evaluated in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for them. Cedarbrook Veterinary Care also offers a wonderful facility should you wish to haul-in where you can be safely out of the elements and save the expense of a farm call or so your horse can staf for ongoing treatments or rehabilitation.

As always, feel free to call us at (360) 794-9255 with questions or to set up an appointment.


"I have had the pleasure of having Dr. Hannah Mueller as my equine veterinarian since 2008. In that time, I have not only needed her for regular annual equine care, but for emergency care as well. Regardless of the situation, Dr. Hannah brings with her a sense of calm, caring and reassurance for both the “patient” and the human.

One of my horses has been a very challenging horse since he was brought home at 6 months old. Not only is he accident prone, but we have worked through some very serious aggression issues, as well. Dr. Hannah never gave up (on either of us!) and not only provided expert veterinary care, but also provided additional training for both my horse and myself. My horse has had several “stays” at Dr. Hannah’s facility for various injuries and he has had amazing care (at a reasonable cost) during every stay. The entire staff has always gone the extra mile to make my horse’s stay as comfortable as possible, and has also done an extraordinary job at keeping me informed of his status between my visits to see him.

I highly recommend Dr. Hannah Mueller as an equine veterinary care provider. Her knowledge, care and compassion are second to none."

~ Cami Machado

Dr. Hannah doing Acupuncture on a Client

Acupuncture rests on the belief that health requires a balanced flow of Chi, a life energy which flows throughout the body along major energy pathways or channels (meridians). This flow of energy consists of both positive (Yang) and negative (Yin) forces which travel through these meridians. Imbalances between the Yang and Yin result in blockages of the meridians and allow pathologic conditions to begin.

Simply depicted, acupuncture is a powerful type of physiotherapy which influences the activation of the central nervous system and the spinal cord. Interestingly, acupuncture can alter the physiologic state in virtually all body systems in the horse. It is also an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and immunosuppressant. Not only does it have an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle (alleviating the signs of colic for example), but also influences microcirculation and glandular secretions.

Acupuncture is a technique that has been practiced in China for thousands of years to treat many different conditions. During an acupuncture treatment, needles are placed at desired locations in the body (acupuncture points), to cause a desired healing effect. Today, acupuncture is being used all over the world both by itself and in conjunction with western medicine, to treat many different problems and as a preventative health care program in both small and large animals.

Acupuncture Can Promote Healing and Pain Relief

In western terms, acupuncture stimulates nerve impulses that travel via the spinal cord to the brain and causes release of many different chemicals such as endorphins, muscle relaxants and histamines that promote healing and pain relief in the body. In Eastern terms, disease is the result of an imbalance in energy (Qi) flow in the body. Acupuncture works to balance the energy flow that enables the body to heal.

Acupuncture can potentially be utilized for all problems in animals. In horses, acupuncture is used most commonly for musculo-skeletal conditions such as sore backs, lameness conditions and neck pain. Other common reasons for utilizing acupuncture in horses are neurological conditions (e.g. Nerve paralysis), respiratory problems (e.g. Heaves and bleeders), gastrointestinal conditions (e.g. colic, ulcers) and other disorders. Many horse owners will use acupuncture as a routine part of training to try and prevent sports injuries.

Additionally, acupuncture is a cinically tried and proven modality that increases the release of natural painkillers such as endorphins, encephalin and serotonin, which act on the pain pathways in the brain and spinal cord and can block the transmission of incoming pain signals.

Call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 to set up a consultation appointment with one of our certified veterinary acupuncturists, to discuss whether acupuncture is a modality you would like to explore for your horse.

Dr. Hannah, one of our specially trained AVCA veterinarians, 
			performs an adjustment of the horse's neck to aid in movement and 
			improve motion.

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care’s veterinarians are American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) trained veterinarians who can evaluate and perform adjustments on your horse.

Veterinary Chiropractic (often described as spinal manipulation therapy) is a holistic approach to healthcare that is based on symmetry and freedom of movement. It does not replace traditional medicine and surgery but works in conjunction with traditional veterinary medicine to improve the health and movement of all the joints in the body, but especially the spinal column. When used concurrently with traditional medicine, many of your horse's musculoskeletal conditions respond dramatically and rehabilitation can take place quickly and efficiently.

The Spinal Column

Chiropractic care focuses on the health and proper movement of all joints in the body, but especially, the proper functioning of the spinal column.

The spinal column is made up of bones (vertebrae), muscles, ligaments, spinal cord and nerve roots. It functions to support the body and serves as an attachment for the paraspinal muscles. Nerve roots exit the spinal cord between vertebrae and communicate information to the entire body. When two adjacent bones (vertebra) come together they form a joint and there are over 175 joints in the spinal column.

When these joints are moving normally, the horse is flexible, happy and healthy. When these joints are not functioning well, the animal becomes stiff, inflammed, and the nerves that exit the spinal column through these joints become impinged upon, creating pain and illness. Over time this pain worsens and we start seeing other signs including muscle loss, postural changes and lameness.

Subluxation

When used by chiropractors, the term subluxation is used to describe a very specific condition, or disease, of the spinal column in which one or more of the joints are not moving properly. When the horse's bones are "stuck", so to speak, this condition causes a nerve to be "pinched" or compromised. Even if only one of the many joints of the spine is "stuck", the entire spinal column will lose flexibility and the horse will become stiff, resistant, and begin to show signs of poor performance and/or health.

Keep in mind that nerves branch off the spinal cord and travel through these “stuck” areas. Misaligned and "stuck" vertebral joints can affect the nerves as they exit. These nerves are the communication lines between the brain and the rest of the body, carrying impulses both to and from all of the structures in your horse, down to every last cell. When a horse has a subluxation, it affects those lines in a detrimental way.

Every movement, from simple swishing of the tail to the piaffe in dressage, requires a constant synchronization of many muscles, some contracting, some relaxing. The communication lines that allow this precision motion are the nerves. If these are “pinched”, incoordination will result. Major, long-term interference can cause lameness, while minor interference may cause only minor, almost imperceptible changes. More importantly, lack of coordination in these movements can cause missteps, or improper gaits, that can lead to damage in the remaining healthy joints such as stifles, knees, or elbows. In addition, "pinched" nerves are painful, no matter how slight. Pain will also prohibit your horse from working to his maximum potential.

Adjustments to Improve Motion

Chiropractic evaluates the entire spinal column looking for vertebrae that are not moving well. When these areas are identified they can be adjusted with very specific rapid thrusts to improve the motion at that particular location.

A veterinarian trained animal chiropractor should make final diagnosis of subluxations. Once identified, the doctor will attempt a correction of the subluxated or "stuck" vertebra. This correction is called an adjustment. An adjustment is performed onto a vertebra in a very specific direction (line of correction) that will restore movement to a fixated joint. Improper or forced adjustment can be harmful to your horse. Working with a properly trained bodyworker with the accountability that comes with credentials (i.e. a veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic) is important!

Chiropractic is very specific, and adjustments are made on each vertebra directly. Jerking on legs or tails is not an adjustment. A proper examination and evaluation by the doctor is necessary to determine what needs to be adjusted, and more importantly, what not to adjust. While delivering an adjustment the doctor uses a controlled force. Large horses don't necessarily need more force than very small ones. Each joint of the spine is moveable, and if the correct angle is used and the patient is compliant, the adjustment is relatively easy using low force.

While an animal chiropractor will pay particular attention to the spine, they may also adjust the joints of the jaw, legs, pelvis, or skull.

Please call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 to see if chiropractic is right for your horse.

Equine client receiving SCENAR therapy

SCENAR therapy (Self-Controlled Electro/Neuro Adaptive Regulator - pronounced “Skenar”) is a form of electro-stimulation that is non-invasive, non-toxic, non-manipulative, gentle and soothing. This innovative device, which works alongside mainstream medicine, is used as an alternative therapy in pain management and musculoskeletal conditions that has shown proven results in the area of pain management.

SCENAR therapy works through interacting with the body’s nervous system and acupuncture channels. It utilizes a mild electrical signal which is applied to the body where areas of pain or dysfunction have been noted. From there, dermal nerve receptors send signals through the central nervous system triggering the release of waves of neuropeptides. These are natural healing and regulatory substances, including some of the strongest known painkillers (endorphins).

While similar to the TENS unit, SCENAR has a stronger ability to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal which aids in both pain management as well as correction of the underlying problem. In animals, it can also be used diagnostically to help locate the source of pain based on the readings of electrical impedance. The specific electrical waveform stimulus the device emits is based on the constant information it is reading from the body. It both mimics the electrical waveforms of a healthy parasympathetic wave (causing a feeling of wellbeing) and stimulates fibers of the nervous system which directly activate the area in the brain responsible for homeostasis and overall perception of pain. This stimulation also causes a local release of pain relieving peptides such as endorphins, which in turn, relieves pain and resets the pain cycle.

The effects of SCENAR are shown to be deep, cumulative and lasting. However, overall health, quality of diet, past injuries, stress/work levels, and the nature of any previous treatments will all affect how quickly the body responds, especially with chronic conditions.

If you are looking for integrative options for your animal’s pain management or looking for a complimentary therapy to include in your animal’s health care regime, you might want to give SCENAR therapy a try.

Call Cedarbrook Vet at (360) 794-9255 to learn more!

SCENAR Testimonials

"We started using Scenar on my 14 year old Maddie in conjunction with her acupuncture. Afterwards I noticed how much more playful and spunky she was being. We started doing only Scenar to see the effect and it was amazing. I was able to lengthen the time periods (had been every 2 weeks) between treatments with no negative effect. Even after 4 weeks she will still be out digging holes and romping through the woods! Scenar has made such a positive impact on her quality of live, its like a second adolescent. She may still have a limp but she is in no pain and I have to hold her back sometimes!"

~ Rita L. - Monroe, WA

"I tried SCENAR Therapy on my mare when she presented strange lameness issues after a long trail ride. After three treatments I had my horse back! Instead of being cranky, popping at a trot, and just plain not being herself, the SCENAR treatments worked wonders!"

~ Jennifer W. - Kirkland, WA

Canine Client

Chiropractic, acupuncture and SCENAR therapies for pets work hand in hand with traditional medicine to provide companion animals optimum health and well being. The therapies are gentle and specific in restoring joint mobility and function - keeping them pliable so that your animal can have the best possible movement and for enhancing your pet’s overall health.

Chiropractic for Companion Animals

Chiropractic involves musculo-skeletal manipulations and adjustments. This healing art has been practiced for thousands of years, and the techniques are continually being refined as practitioners' knowledge grows.

Chiropractic strives to improve operation of the nervous system through physical manipulations, addressing conditions arranging from pain to crooked spines. These adjustments should not hurt the animals and in fact, most animals find great comfort in the relief of pain. There are ways to restore normal vertebra position varying from using a controlled thrust or typical "adjustment" to gentle massage techniques that restore normal spinal health.

Most people may not be aware of or think about chiropractic care for their pets. However, once they find chiropractic care for pets the positive effects become very apparent. While our doctors and staff love hearing pet parents say that “my dog/cat is back to her old self again” or, “he has so much energy,” those are only two of many benefits.

Other benefits of chiropractic care that pet parents have noted in their companion animal include:

  • A better mood and brighter disposition
  • Improved movement and decreased stiffness
  • Decreased pain and muscle spasm
  • Better athletic performance
  • Decreased anxiety or a decrease in allergy symptoms
  • Improved bowel and bladder control
  • A happier and healthier pet!
Dog receiving acupuncture

Acupuncture for Companion Animals

Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. Interestingly, it's also among the most commonly used, and increasingly so as an adjunct to Western-style medicine.

The term acupuncture connotes procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. These anatomical points are often referred to as acupoints or acupuncture points.

Most acupuncture points are located at the site of major nerve bundles and blood vessels. By inserting needles, nerves are activated with the intention of spurring a healing reaction resulting from invigorated circulation, which releases anti-inflammatory chemicals and natural painkillers.

In 1996, the AVMA formally recommended that acupuncture be an integral part of veterinary medicine. For companion animals and humans, many report acupuncture to be effective as a primary or adjunct treatment for various conditions, from spinal injuries to musculo-skeletal disorders, reproductive issues and neurological problems.

It has been used for treating chronic conditions that less-responsive to conventional medicine, including skin diseases and problems, arthritis pain, allergies, asthma and other noninfectious inflammation, and gastrointestinal disorders. Some animal guardians turn to acupuncture and/or other holistic treatments when conventional medicine has failed.

A dog receiving SCENAR therapy

SCENAR Therapy

SCENAR therapy (Self-Controlled Electro/Neuro Adaptive Regulator - pronounced “Skenar”) is a form of electro-stimulation that is non-invasive, non-toxic, non-manipulative, gentle and soothing. This innovative device, which works alongside mainstream medicine, is used as an alternative therapy in pain management and musculoskeletal conditions that has shown proven results in the area of pain management.

While similar to the TENS unit, SCENAR has a stronger ability to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal which aids in both pain management as well as correction of the underlying problem. In animals, it can also be used diagnostically to help locate the source of pain based on the readings of electrical impedance. The specific electrical waveform stimulus the device emits is based on the constant information it is reading from the body. It both mimics the electrical waveforms of a healthy parasympathetic wave (causing a feeling of wellbeing) and stimulates fibers of the nervous system which directly activate the area in the brain responsible for homeostasis and overall perception of pain. This stimulation also causes a local release of pain relieving peptides such as endorphins, which in turn, relieves pain and resets the pain cycle.

The effects of SCENAR are shown to be deep, cumulative and lasting. However, overall health, quality of diet, past injuries, stress/work levels, and the nature of any previous treatments will all affect how quickly the body responds, especially with chronic conditions.

If you are interested in scheduling a chiropractic, acupuncture or SCENAR treatment for your companion animal, call our office at (360) 794-9255 to schedule an appointment.

Radiograph image

In our ongoing efforts to offer state of the art service for your horse, we offer digital radiography.

Digital radiography allows for faster acquisition of radiographic images. These images are also the highest quality image possible. For those reasons, these images have the ability to have the brightness and contrast manipulated, as well as the image itself enlarged allowing our veterinarians to view small or subtle abnormalities.

This technology helps us detect very small problems which are not visible on traditional x-rays. Under high magnification, images remain very clear and retain sharp contrast. With this ability the doctors are able to measure angles and distances between bones to provide clear diagnoses of problem ranging from acute lameness to minor arthritis.

Our system is capable of obtaining superior quality digital radiographs both in the clinic and out in the field which are immediately available for viewing. In addition, hoof radiographs provide information to your hoof care provider on the angle of the bone in relation to the hoof wall to direct the way your hoof care provider trims your horse.

Digital Radiography Offers:

  • Superior quality
  • Increased diagnostic capability
  • Lasting imaging storage and retrieval

Call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 to schedule your appointment today.

An Equine Client Receiving Dental Care

Horses can suffer from many dental disorders that can affect feed utilization, performance, and general well-being which makes your horse's dental care essential to their well-being. Regular examinations and maintenance on their teeth is especially necessary for today's horses. Maintaining your horse's proper dental care has its rewards with a longer more comfortable future. With proper dental care your horse can utilize feed more efficiently, maintain proper body weight and carry a bit more comfortably when bridled.

Equine dental care can be provided either in the field or at the clinic. Our doctors are fully equipped to offer routine oral health care in addition to the following dental services:

  • Dental x-rays to identify infected and diseased teeth, retained wolf tooth fragments, and sinus diseases
  • Extraction of loose and diseased teeth
  • Geriatric horse dentistry
  • Miniature horse dentistry
  • Performance dentistry including bit seats
  • Corrective floating on abnormal/deformed mouths

Floating Your Horse's Teeth

Floating your horse's teeth is rasping or filing the teeth. Floating balances the dental arcades and removes sharp enamel points that form along the edges of the teeth. These enamel points cause considerable discomfort and even ulceration to the cheeks, gums and tongue. The most common tools used are power floats. A power float is a modified drill with a long shaft and rotary head. The old way of floating was with long handled rasps, or hand floats, that are designed just for filing down the teeth. These are still used for some procedures, but power floats make the job much quicker and gentler for the horse and easier for the veterinarian to precisely sculpt the teeth into balance.

The floating procedure is only one aspect of a complete dental health program. A full dental examination including evaluation of your horse's teeth, palate, tongue, and gingiva should be done yearly, but in some cases a more frequent exam is necessary, even if the horse's teeth do not need to be floated.

The Value of Veterinary Dentistry

You may be aware of 'lay-people' who offer cut-rate tooth floating services in local boarding stables. While this may seem like a cheap way to address your horse's dental maintenance, in the state of Washington it is illegal for anyone other than a licensed veterinarian to perform dentistry on a horse.

It is important to note that lay dentists:

  • Are not doctors and are not qualified to perform a thorough oral examination to look for underlying disease or pathology.
  • Do not have access or proper training for safe use of sedative drugs which are necessary to ease anxiety and relax your horse's jaw for the dental float procedure. Without proper sedation, the procedure can be dangerous and traumatic to horse and handlers and can lead to unnecessary injuries as well as sore TMJ's and masseter muscles after the float.
  • Cannot prescribe analgesics for pain control when it is needed.
  • Do not have specialized training to identify and safely treat dental abnormalities.

In addition, lay dentists cannot:

  • Prescribe drugs to treat oral infections
  • Take x-rays of the jaw when indicated
  • Perform extractions, or if they do, no sedation or nerve blocks are performed beforehand

The veterinarians at Cedarbrook Veterinary Care have a special interest in dentistry and extensive advanced equine dentistry training. Call our office at (360) 794-9255 today to schedule your horse's dental exam and float.

Donkey receiving specialized podiatry care

At Cedarbrook Veterinary Care, we take to heart the old adage, "No hoof, no horse." Dr. Hannah has had extensive equine podiatry training, starting prior to vet school when she worked as an apprentice farrier in order to form a solid foundation in therapeutic and corrective trimming and shoeing. We are dedicated to optimizing hoof care for both prevention and treatment of underlying disease or injury and feel that hoof evaluations are a key element in thorough holistic veterinary examinations. A primary source of lameness can be hoof or hoof related problems and skilled podiatry is an essential component of the treatment of laminitis, navicular syndrome, quarter cracks, and other hoof related lameness.

Some hoof procedures such as hoof crack resection, debridement of infection, soft tissue prolapse, and hoof surgery require a combination of veterinary and farrier expertise which can be provided at our facility. By setting up an appointment with one of our veterinarians you have access to our knowledgeable staff and advanced diagnostic equipment.

When needed, digital radiographs may be taken to not only assess underlying injuries, but also to aid your hoof care provider in assessing hoof balance and hoof alignment. Our digital radiography system enables us to perform a variety of measurement of hoof x-rays. This allows us to determine internal angles and distance relationships within the hoof, which guides the trimming process, as well as providing a baseline for future progress evaluations. These imaging modalities help us to reach a specific diagnosis for the cause of hoof related lameness, and determine the best treatment and trimming techniques on an individual basis.

Optimizing hoof care gives the horse its best opportunity for injury and lameness prevention, it also allows for a more complete recover from an injury in order for your horse to lead a lead a long, healthy and sound life. All ages and breeds of horses are treated, from newborn foals to high-end performance horses.

If equine podiatry is be something you would like to explore for your horse, or if you have any questions, contact Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 so our veterinarians can work with your hoof care provider to create a plan specifically for your horse's needs.

A Happy Senior ClientOur equine wellness programs are on the forefront of veterinary medicine. They are designed to provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your horse(s) are receiving the best possible preventive health care on a regular and timely basis.

Comprehensive veterinary examinations (including dental exam and float, if needed) should be performed once or twice yearly to ensure that your horse(s) remain healthy year-round. We take a holistic approach to our examinations and routinely address nutrition (including supplements and herbal formulas), hoof care, turnout/exercise routines, environment, parasite control, vaccination, and more. In addition to examinations, we recommend chiropractic and/or acupuncture treatments every 1 - 3 months. Bodywork maintenance programs help our doctors evaluate the musculoskeletal system and overall energy balance at frequent intervals and in more depth than what can be done in a wellness examination. Complete bodywork treatments help us identify and treat subclinical lameness or injuries before they become a serious problem as well as address saddle fit problems. With this information we are able to tailor a bodywork program to each individual horse and often recommend other bodywork modalities such as massage, SCENAR therapy, and Healing Touch for Animals to complement the chiropractic and acupuncture treatments we provide. Adding bodywork to your horse's routine is essential for horses being asked to perform at their peak ability and helps senior horses age more gracefully. Preventative care is key to disease prevention and long term soundness. We specialize in maximizing optimal health and longevity for your horse.

Vaccinations and Titers

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care offers a holistic approach to vaccination. Vaccines are not inert, risk free injections and so minimizing the frequency and types of vaccines given at one time is essential to fulfull the veterinary oath of 'first do no harm.' To us, minimizing vaccination means finding a vaccination program to meet each individual horse's needs. If a horse is not traveling or is not in contact with other horses, fewer vaccinations are necessary, while a horse in a training barn who frequents out of state horse shows may require more extensive vaccination. If a horse has an underlying disease or is allergic to vaccinations, they may not be necessary at all. We take into consideration each individual case and adjust the vaccination program for each horse, year to year, as needed.

Our veterinarians also offer vaccine titers in order to minimize vaccinations. Titers are a simple (but expensive) blood test that can be a useful indicator to determine the antibody levels (immune response) your horse to certain vaccines. While vaccine titers are not a black and white guarantee of protection, annual titers are used to help determine if and when a vaccine is necessary for your horse.

Hair Mineral Analysis

Minerals are involved in all body functions and the chemical elements are the basic building blocks in bodies. However, even more telling are the ratios between minerals which represent relationships and balances in the body. Using hair analysis to assess balances and relationships provides information about every body system.

A hair mineral analysis can give us clues about your horse's metabolic rate, stage of stress, immune system status, adrenal and thyroid glandular activity, and more. The chemical imbalance related to many of these conditions often develop years before symptoms show up. Hair testing is one way to find those imbalances, allowing you to correct them and event prevent the disease altogether.

Senior Horse Care

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care also recommends a preventative health care program for your senior horse. Preventive measures for the senior horse allow for the early detection and implementation of a medical management plan to address the changes associated with the aging process in older horses.

Knowing that your older horse is receiving the best possible geriatric preventative health care from knowledgeable veterinarians each year will provide you with peace of mind. Geriatric care aids in the early diagnosis of subtle changes by giving your veterinarian a baseline from which to compare test results. Early detection and appropriate medical treatment will extend the healthy and happy life span of your horse. In addition to senior horse care we also offer loving and compassionate hospice care in-house at Cedarbrook Farms or at your home an dwe are here to help you with end of life decisions when the time comes to say goodbye to your equine friend.

If you are interested in scheduling a health and wellness appointment for your equine partner, call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255.

Dr. Penny doing a Pre-Purchase Exam

Pre-purchase exams can be performed at Cedarbrook Farms or the field by our veterinarians. Whether you are purchasing a family pleasure horse or an upper level performance horse we offer a thorough examination to a life-long commitment to your new equine partner.

Our veterinarians are here to help you be sure you've found an equine partner well-suited to your desired discipline and level. Pre-purchase examinations include:

Full Physical Exam

Every pre-purchase examination begins with a physical exam of the horse. At this stage we assess the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, eyes, teeth, conformation, and palpate the limbs for areas of current and chronic injury. We also obtain a medical and competitive history of the animal. The physical exam includes:

  • Full Exam
  • Opthalmic Exam
  • Dental Exam (not including dental float)
  • Cardiovascular Exam
  • Neurologic Exam

Lameness/Hoof Exam

Following the initial examination, we observe the horse on the lunge line to assess gait, soundness, and level of fitness. The heart and lungs are listened to again after exercise to check for stress related abnormalities.

Flexion tests are performed on the lower limbs. These tests involve bending a specific joint for a set period of time and then immediately trotting the horse off. Arthritic or inflamed joints can be identified this way, as the horse will show stiffness or a slight limp for a few strides.

We also observe the horse's gaits under saddle, when appropriate, and evaluate their temperment and suitability for riding.

A primary source of lameness can be hoof or hoof related problems. For this reason we will also examine the hoof using hoof testers to check for hoof-related lameness issues.

Additional Services Available

If the horse performs well on the above tests, for an additional charge you can request radiographs and blood tests. In some cases we also recommend specialist referral or one month trials with a second evaluation prior to purchase.

Radiographs will examine the bones and joints of the limbs for signs of injury, arthritis, and the potential for future problems. While no horse is perfect, our goal is to help you decide which findings are unlikely to interfere with the horse's soundness, versus those which may become a problem. The past record of soundness, age of the horse, and intended use are obviously important factors in these decisions.

We can also conduct blood tests to check for illness, drug testing and any other abnormalities as requested.

If you are interested in scheduling a pre-purchase exam, call our office at (360) 794-9255 today!

Dr. Hannah Wrapping an Equine Client's Leg

All your performance and lameness needs can be taken care of by the veterinarians at Cedarbrook Veterinary Care. Our field veterinarians have the training and the equipment to diagnose and treat many lameness problems on your farm. Or, you can haul in to Cedarbrook Farms which provides a warm, weather-friendly facility where Cedarbrook Veterinary Care veterinarians can efficiently work up any lameness issue from the simple to the very involved, or work with horses that are referred from outside of our practice area.

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care is equipped with many tools used to diagnose lameness problems in the horse. We also have portable, stall-side digital radiography equipment available for immediate diagnosis of radiographic abnormalities, whether at Cedarbrook Farms or at your facility.

In addition, we here at Cedarbrook Veterinary Care believe in treating for performance as a journey that we experience with our horses and not just for external accolades. It is our desire to work with you to ensure your horse’s optimum performance and to holistically treat any injuries that may arise.

Sports Medicine

Horses have worked side by side with humans for centuries - not only for farming and transportation, but also for sport. Today, there are many different disciplines that we compete our horses in. Most disciplines share the possibility for injury, including one time mishaps or repetitive motion injury.

Sport Horse Medicine addresses the needs of competitive horses with the goal of maximizing their athletic performance and prolonging their competitive careers. Although lameness is typically the number one problem associated with equine athletes, many other medical conditions can impair their performance and quality of life.

In the last 20 years many advances in equine medicine have allowed us to diagnose and treat many once career ending injuries and also to prolong the career of our sport horses in a safe manner. Our societal ethics have also advanced and it is no longer acceptable to 'use' a horse for an end to a means. Rather we work to promote the partnership between horse and rider to maximize the human-animal bond relationship potential and focus on the overall health and wellness of the horse through specific disciplines that are fun and engaging for each individual horse. For this reason, our veterinarians are continually studying improved ways to treat lameness, including training in advanced sports medicine issues and locomotor pathology. Continuing education is important for you as well as and so we also offer Equine Yoga classes to teach you stretch exercises that you can do with your horse as homework for lameness prevention and early detection.

Lameness Evaluations

Lameness problems continue to be one of the most common causes of performance issues in our equine athletes. A thorough exam, which often includes flexion tests and diagnostic nerve or joint blocks, is used in combination with a good history to identify the location of the lameness problem.

Once the area of concern has been identified the next step usually requires some type of diagnostic imaging. When more advanced imaging is necessary for a diagnosis, we work closely with a local equine hospital to utilize their diagnostic imaging equipment should that modality be most appropriate for a patient.

After the images have been evaluated a treatment plan will be designed for your horse and may include acupuncture, joint injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, specific exercises, surgery, or, in many cases, a physical therapy rehabilitation program. Frequently many lameness issues respond well to a combination of therapies to hopefully return the horse to its desired occupation. We specialize in rehabilitation and utilize the state of the art Cedarbrook Farms facility to offer complete rehabilitation services.

If you are looking to attain optimum performance for your horse or are concerned about lameness issues, call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 to schedule your appointment.

The Theraplate is a vibrational therapy treatment modality. It is a platform that the horse stands on (or the dog stands or lays down on) that oscillates at a therapeutic frequency which increases blood flow throughout the entire body (including areas that are getting poor blood flow/perfusion such as injury sites) which improves overall health and helps stimulate healing at injury sites. It has been shown to also increase bone density and muscle mass and can be used as part of a conditioning program.

It is used in humans and there are numerous clinical trials showing its efficacy. Clinical trials in animals are underway but anecdotal evidence has shown it to be very useful in treating laminitis, tendon and ligament injuries, arthritis, navicular disease, colic, respiratory conditions, wound healing, and more.

We all love to use it too along with our horses and dogs!

We chose the Theraplate over other vibration technologies because the 4 Zone Vortex Wave design that provides a zero impact oscillation. This means you get the therapeutic benefits without aggravation or further injury to the problem areas.

Depending on the condition, we recommend daily to weekly use or it can simply be used as an adjunct therapy to monthly or quarterly bodywork treatments. We can also provide you with a Theraplate rental for you to use at your barn if haul in or staying here is not possible.

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Specials

Love Saving Money??

Don't we all?!? For that reason, Cedarbrook Veterinary Care offers a variety of on-going and monthly specials geared to save YOU some of that hard earned money!

Call us today at (360) 794-9255 for more information or see our Specials page for more details on how you can save!

Contact Us

Phone: (360) 794-9255

Email: info@CedarbrookVet.com

Click here for driving directions!