Overview of Equine Veterinary Services



Dr. Johnson and Vet. Assistant Ray ready to go on calls

Ambulatory Services

Recognizing the important need for veterinary services "on location" for horses, Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing ambulatory services throughout Broome and Tioga Counties in New York, Susquehanna County, PA and into Bradford, Wayne and Lackawanna Counties, PA.

Our truck is fully equipped and stocked with most of the medications and supplies found in the clinic to provide routine, emergency and specialty services, including taking X-rays, performing dentistry, ultrasonography, to enable our doctor to deliver effective treatment to the patient at the first visit.

Appointments are scheduled for weekdays and Saturdays as needed. (See Scheduling Appointments). We provide prompt and professional response to emergency calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NPEC will also provide veterinary services at local equestrian events.

Medical Services


Dr. Johnson running blood chemistry
analysis in our In-House Laboratory

If your horse becomes ill, we provide you with the option of medical treatment at your stable, or evaluation and treatment at our clinic where your horse will be closely supervised, monitored, and attended to, or referral to a full-service veterinary hospital if warranted. Upon arrival, your sick horse will be thoroughly examined and a diagnostic and treatment plan will be initiated. Your horse will then settle into one of our very comfortable, completely sanitized, isolation stalls and will receive intravenous fluid therapy with stall heating and closed circuit television monitoring if needed. A centrally-placed, revolving IV set up will allow your horse the freedom to move around the stall while receiving fluids. Foot baths, shoe covers, gloves and gowns are utilized until it can be determined that the sick horse is no longer infectious.

Our In-House Laboratory is equipped with a blood chemistry analyzer, microscopes, incubator and other equipment which enable doctors and technicians to monitor a patient's hydration and protein status, culture bacteria, do urinalyses and fecal examinations for parasites, foal antibody testing, examine smears, etc. and to properly prepare all specimens for referral laboratory testing when needed. Complete blood counts can be turned around in less than 24 hours and will soon be done in-house also.

At NPEC, we welcome such cases as medical colic cases, Potomac Horse Fever cases, eye problems that require frequent monitoring and treatments, which are often impossible for owners to carry out, and any other situation where we may aid in your horse's recovery.

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Surgery and Post Operative Care


Surgery Room

Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic has a 12 ft. x 16 ft., heated surgery/recovery suite with a surgical scrub sink, prep area and operating room with impermeable shock-absorbing flooring, padded walls and a hydraulic surgery table. Wound repairs and general elective surgeries performed include: castrations, tumor removals, umbilical hernia repairs, posterior digital neurectomies, eyelid repair, enucleations (eye removal), periosteal transection, fractured splint bone removal. NPEC does NOT perform colic surgery or advanced orthopedic surgeries. When possible, treatment stocks are utilized for standing surgeries. Wound repairs and castrations are also offered in the field when needed and appropriate.

Dr. David Levine, a Board Certified Large Animal Surgeon from New Bolton Center is willing to provide additional surgical services at NPEC, such as cryptorchid castrations, inferior and superior check ligament desmotomies, conjunctival graphs and other eye surgeries.

Excellent care and monitoring of post-operative patients is provided at NPEC for our own patients as well as patients discharged from referral surgical facilities.

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Standing Surgery Irrigation of Wound Pre-op Eyelid Tumor Ready to go Home

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Natural and Artificial Breeding


Phantom stallion collection mount
adjacent to tease mare stall

Reproductive services offered by Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic include breeding soundness exams, diagnosis and treatment of infertility and other reproductive problems, uterine culture and cytology, uterine biopsy, reproductive ultrasound, estrus detection, heat cycle management, artificial insemination with fresh semen collected on premises, or with cooled shipped semen or frozen semen. We also will provide assistance with in-hand natural breeding if desired. Our clinic is set up with a tease mare stall and a phantom mount for safe stallion collection. Semen can be examined, prepared and shipped from NPEC.

We prefer that clients bring mares to the clinic for artificial insemination. In clinic mares can be optimally monitored and managed, and inseminations optimally timed at a cost savings to clients as compared with multiple farm call fees. NPEC has very comfortable, safe accommodations for broodmares in well-bedded 12 ft. x12 ft. box stalls in a dedicated broodmare section of the clinic. If your broodmare has a foal at her side, you will be pleased with the provisions at NPEC. Weather permitting, daily turnout is provided in a 125 ft. x 75 ft. arena with foal-safe fencing (4 line Flex Rail with top electric wire) or a 60 ft. diameter, 6 ft. high round pen. Mares are examined in a sturdy padded, floor-mounted set of stocks with their foal contained in an adjacent foal-size standing stall.

When selecting a sire to artificially breed to your mare, be sure to determine semen quality. Verify the stallion's age, condition and record of settling mares by AI, collection and shipping schedules, sperm longevity (number of days sperm is viable in shipping container), and that an experienced collector with a good reputation is preparing the semen for shipping and will include a semen report with the sample.

Once a mare is pregnant, we will advise and assist owners in providing an excellent prenatal care program including proper nutrition, preventive medicine, vaccinations, deworming and veterinary examinations.

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Supervised Foaling


Dr. Johnson attends to newborn

Pregnant mares are welcome to come to Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic for foaling, where they will be housed in large, safe, well-bedded stalls in a dedicated broodmare section of the clinic. Broodmares will receive excellent care, nutrition and individual turnout during their stay. As your mare nears foaling, she will be moved in to a 12 ft. x 24 ft. foaling stall with clean straw and placed on a 24-hour foal watch. The foaling process of each mare will be monitored and/or assisted by a veterinarian. In the unusual circumstance of an extremely difficult birth (dystocia) or if Cesarean section becomes necessary, emergency transportation to Cornell is available.

We recommend bringing pregnant mares to the clinic two to three weeks prior to their due date. Pregnant mares need to be up to date on their vaccinations, having received rabies vaccination within the year, the series of rhinopneumonitis vaccinations at months 5, 7 and 9 of gestation and a prenatal veterinary examination, 5-way vaccination and deworming one month prior to their due date. Incoming pregnant mares also need to have a recent negative Coggins test and should be up to date with farrier care.

If you choose to foal out your mare at home, be sure to schedule a prenatal veterinary examination one month prior to your mare's due date. Please carefully review "Notes of Foaling for Horse Owners" and have your questions and concerns ready to discuss with the doctor. On the prenatal visit, your mare will be vaccinated for the unborn foal's protection and the veterinarian will consult with you regarding preparations for foaling.

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Assisted Delivery "Hello Mom" "Where's Dinner?" IV Plasma Transfusion

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Wound Care


Wound from Mountain Lion

Surgical and non-surgical wound care is provided for most acute lacerations, chronic lacerations and puncture wounds. Whether you need emergency care or follow-up visits at your farm or if you will bring your horse to our clinic for outpatient care, short-term or long-term care, we will gladly provide whatever assistance is needed through the wound healing process. If your horse already has proud flesh, we can offer you non-surgical or surgical treatments, as well as skin grafting with punch grafts if needed. If you are not sure what your horse needs, or you simply have some questions, send us a digital photo by email and our veterinarian will provide a complimentary consultation.

Since wounds are one of the most common equine emergencies, learn how to minimize the risk of injury with safe housing, fencing and compatible pasture mates. Refer to our Emergencies section for helpful information on first aid for wounds and have the supplies you will need for wound care on hand. Prepare your own first aid kit or purchase the NPEC First Aid Kit.

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Tissue Removal Wound after Surgical
Closure
Irrigation of Wound Bandaging

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Recovering patient enjoying safe, limited turn-out

Lay-Ups

Lay-up services are provided at Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic where recovering horses will receive comprehensive care by our on-site veterinarian. Excellent care and monitoring of post-operative patients is provided. Stall rest is provided in 12 ft. x 12 ft. box stalls, with or without turnout as appropriate, in a 60 ft. round pen, 125 ft. x 75 ft. outdoor arena or grass paddocks. Hand walking, hoof care and grooming are also provided. NPEC is a conveniently located 20 minutes from Interstate 81, Gibson or New Milford exits, midway between Scranton, PA and Binghamton, NY. Check out our Lay-up services flyer.

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Lameness


Hoof tester examination

Diagnosis and treatment of lameness begins with a good history and a physical examination of the musculoskeletal system of the horse, including palpation of the muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. The lame horse is then observed at the walk and trot in-hand and on the lunge line and under saddle as needed. Flexion tests, regional nerve blocks and joint blocks are used to localize the lameness. The abnormal area is then imaged using our portable, conventional X-ray machine or ultrasound machine. If necessary for a specific diagnosis, patients can be referred for advanced imaging techniques such as MRI, CT scan or bone scan. Treatment plans for lameness offered may include rest, controlled exercise, physical therapy, massage therapy, corrective shoeing, local or systemic anti-inflammatory medications, joint supplements, therapeutic joint or tendon sheath injections, chiropractic, and or acupuncture. Our clinic has a macadam jogging pad, round pen and a 125 ft. x 75 ft. outdoor arena for evaluation of lameness. Lameness examinations are also done off premises and at local facilities with indoor arenas.

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Exam on the Line Flexion Test Exam Under Saddle

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Normal and Corrective shoeing available at our clinic

Corrective Shoeing

Keenly aware of the importance of proper hoof care, trimming and shoeing, our veterinarians work closely and collaboratively with farriers to aid in the treatment and prevention of lameness and to achieve best performance results. Following the diagnosis of the horse's problem(s), our veterinarian will provide therapeutic trimming and shoeing objectives for the farrier.

Farriers services can then be scheduled at our clinic with one of our associate farriers, Bob Burns, Don Light, Sue Cronk or hoof care specialist, Daisy Bicking. Our veterinarian will similarly work with your own farrier at your farm or at our clinic.

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Corrective and Performance Dentistry


Dr. Johnson performs corrective
dentistry with the Power Float

Excellent dental care is emphasized at Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic. Dental care is important to keep your horse healthy and in good body condition with improved utilization of food, to improve your horse's comfort and performance, and may even prolong his or her life by 3 or more years. Dental problems can contribute to choke and colic.

Obvious indicators of teeth problems include:

  • Loss of body condition
  • Feed dropping
  • Grain or long stems in the manure
  • Head tilting or tossing
  • Swelling of the face
  • Bad breath
  • Nasal discharge
  • Some behavioral problems
  • Poor performance

Many horses adapt to their discomfort and chewing limitations and show no noticeable signs of teeth problems. Therefore, teeth should be examined every 6-12 months. Dental examinations and procedures are performed at our clinic or your stable. Routine maintenance of a horse's teeth has been historically referred to as "floating". Floating removes the sharp enamel points. Occlusal equilibration is the term now used to describe floating and correcting other dental problems such as:

  • Sharp enamel points forming on cheek teeth, causing lacerations of the cheeks and tongue
  • Retained caps (deciduous "baby" teeth that are not shed)
  • Discomfort caused by bit contact with the wolf teeth
  • Long and/or sharp canine (bridle) teeth interfering with the insertion or removal of the bit
  • Lost and/or broken teeth
  • Abnormal or uneven bite planes
  • Excessively worn teeth
  • Abnormally long teeth
  • Infected teeth and/or gums
  • Misalignment/poor apposition (bite)
  • Periodontal (gum) disease

Foals should be checked for dental abnormalities existing from birth. Yearlings may have sharp enamel points that damage their cheeks and tongue. Wolf teeth that could interfere and cause pain with the bit, are best removed at this age. Teeth should be floated and retained caps (baby teeth that are not shed) removed before two and three year olds enter training. To prevent problems with eruption of permanent teeth semi-annual exams are appropriate between birth and five years of age. Adult teeth continue to erupt throughout life and are worn down by chewing. Regular examinations and corrections as needed will keep your horse's mouth comfortable and functioning properly and will help prevent periodontal disease and premature loss of teeth. A horse's performance is enhanced with a balanced and comfortable mouth with free jaw movement.

Sedatives, local anesthetics and analgesics (pain relievers) relax and keep the horse more comfortable during floating and other dental procedures. Such drugs should be administered only by a veterinarian. Doctor Johnson and her associate veterinarians have the equipment, knowledge and experience to practice dentistry safely with great regard for the horse's comfort.

Dr. Edward Early of Williamsport PA , a nationally-known equine veterinary dental specialist brings his services to NPEC for cases requiring advanced dentistry such as surgical extractions, medical and or surgical treatment of periodontal disease, or root canals.

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Ultrasonography and Radiography


Taking X-ray of lower limb

Ultrasonography is utilized to image soft tissue structures. With our portable ultrasound machines, ultrasound examinations can be performed in the clinic or at your stable to evaluate:

  • Reproductive tracts
  • Bladders and genitor-urinary tracts
  • Swellings
  • Eyes
  • Tendons and Ligaments

NPEC offers conventional radiography to study the bones and joints of the foot and limbs, up to and including the elbow and stifle, the skull, the necks of smaller patients and chests of foals. Our X-ray machine is portable and can be taken to your stable. The films are then taken back to the clinic to be developed. X-raying patients at the clinic eliminates delays that can occur if additional X-rays are needed and allows our veterinarian to begin appropriate treatment at the same visit.

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Endoscopy / Gastroscopy


Endoscopic Examination

NPEC is equipped with a digital fiberoptic endoscope with a large-screen monitor which is used to visualize internal structures, namely the nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx, guttural pouch, larynx, trachea, bronchi, esophagus, stomach (gastroscopy) and genito-urinary tract. Our veterinarians are also able to take biopsies and remove small foreign bodies with our endoscope.

Examples of problems that can be diagnosed with the endoscope include:

  • Upper respiratory diseases characterized by difficult or noisy breathing, nasal discharge, bleeding from the nose, coughing, etc.
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Swelling in the throatlatch region
  • Cysts, polyps and tumors
  • Foreign bodies
  • Choke and other esophageal diseases
  • Gastric (stomach) ulcers

Endoscopic examination ("scoping") is done in the standing animal in our clinic's safe, padded treatment stocks under light sedation/ analgesia for the patient's comfort.

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Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Massage


Dr. Gellman doing chiropractic work

NPEC is pleased to offer complimentary therapies which are provided at our clinic by affiliated specialists. Chiropractic, acupuncture and massage can be used alone or in combination with traditional veterinary medicine to treat certain ailments, to improve your horse's comfort and to enhance performance.

Dr. Neil Engleman, D.C. provides chiropractic care for all types of horses (show, work, pleasure and race horses.) Dr. Engleman of Bloomsburg, PA, is a human chiropractor, trained and certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1994. Traumatic and work-related injuries, improper saddle fit or placement or even a rider climbing into the saddle the wrong way are common causes for the need of a spinal adjustment. Symptoms include changes in gait, soreness of the back and changes in behavior, attitude, and eating patterns. Dr. Engleman recommends horses are checked for chiropractic problems 2 to 3 times per year. An average examination and treatment lasts approximately a half an hour and patients usually feel the results within a week. Typically two to five visits are recommended to remedy most problems.

Dr. Karen Gellman, D.V.M, PhD, Equine Sports Medicine of Ithaca, NY, provides equine postural rehabilitation, chiropractic and acupuncture services. Dr. Gellman has a special interest in how improper hoof balance and dental occlusion problems negatively affect posture, gait and performance. Dr. Gellman is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society to provide acupuncture treatments to animals, sometimes accompanied by a warming treatment called moxibustion or by electrical stimulation acupuncture.

Audrey Erat, C.E.S.M.T. of New Milford, PA, is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist through the Equissage program in Virginia by Mary Schreiber in 2006. Whether your horse is an athlete or a backyard horse, the non-invasive technique of deep therapeutic massage can improve your horse's performance and comfort by increasing circulation and range of motion and relieving tension and muscle spasm.

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Purchase Examinations


Dr. Johnson evaluates horse under
saddle as part of purchase examination

While many horse professionals can help you evaluate performance or breeding merits, only an accomplished equine veterinarian can help determine the prospect's health, and identify any pre-existing conditions that may affect the life expectancy and intended use of the horse. The investment in a purchase examination will be small in comparison to the long-term cost of keeping and caring for a horse with health problems.

It is important to remember, however, that the purchase examination can only reveal the horse's condition on the date of the exam. While this information is very important in making a decision about whether or not to purchase a horse, it cannot guarantee future health or soundness.

Purchase exams can be tailored to reflect the intended use of the horse and to suit the objectives and budget of the buyer. For example, specialized in-depth examinations are required for breeding horses and high-level competition horses.

At NPEC, our Comprehensive Purchase Examination includes a complete physical exam, hoof tester and hoof structure exam of all four feet, palpation of limbs, assessment of temperament and conformation, exam at the walk and trot on the line, flexion tests, eye exam including fundic or retinal exam, performance exam and a written report. Further diagnostics such as radiography, ultrasonography and endoscopy, can be used to further assess the horse. (Endoscopy is only available in the clinic. We also prefer to do X-ray and ultrasound exams in the clinic when possible.) Laboratory tests such as complete blood counts, general health screens and drug screening may also be desirable.

Clients may choose to have a less comprehensive, less expensive, Limited Purchase Examination for lower risk purchases and/or lower-investment pleasure horses. The limited exam includes a complete physical examination, hoof tester exam of the front feet, palpation of limbs, selected flexion tests, limited assessment of temperament of conformation and exam at walk and trot on the line. While most clients choose one of these two examinations our veterinarians are happy to further customize your purchase examination to meet your needs.

Prior to making an appointment for your purchase examination, we ask that you complete our Prepurchase Exam Form (Word document), selecting the options you prefer. (Costs are included.) The information you provide on this form will help our office schedule your examination and our veterinarian be fully prepared for your appointment.

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Customized Preventive Health Programs

Excellent preventive health care for horses begins with sound management practices and proper nutrition which are described in the prior section. Ideally, an annual veterinary physical exam is very useful for early detection of problems and documentation of individual baseline normals for your horse. At the time of examination or by other appointment, our veterinarian is happy to teach your horse's vital signs and weight, how to do a physical assessment of your horse, and to discuss your questions and concerns. If examination of every horse is not possible, emphasis should be given to patients with predisposing conditions and geriatric patients. We recognize the need of most horse owners to economize.

Parasite Control and Deworming

Equine parasite control is complex and requires consideration of many factors. Parasite resistance to dewormers has been documented in multiple types of worms, largely the result of over-worming horses. Resistance is a growing problem, with no new drugs on the horizon. Modern parasite control involves 1) the identification of the individual horses that carry and shed the highest numbers of parasite eggs, 2) testing for drug resistance, and targeting the specific horses and types of parasites that are identified. Along with improved farm management, the health of the horse is protected without unnecessary exposure to chemicals, and the contamination of your stable area and pastures with parasite eggs is dramatically reduced. Your equine veterinarian is the most qualified to help you select and oversee a program that protects the health of your horses and meets the needs of your own individual horse facility considering:

  • Efficacy and safety of dewormers
  • Identification of high shedding horses
  • Proper rotation of dewormers
  • Development of parasite resistance
  • Consideration of the time of year
  • Specific needs of your farm
  • Use of fecal examinations
  • Access to new research data

Please refer to Winning the Parasite Battle for more information on these considerations, sample deworming programs, customized programs and other important management recommendations to control equine parasitism.

Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic is at your service to help you plan a deworming program that is scientifically based, excellent for the long term health of your horses and cost-effective for you! Start by completing and returning our Deworming Questionnaire. We will give you feedback on what you are doing right now. Ideally then, fecal examinations on each horse would be done when eggs would be expected to reappear after your last deworming. (At least 4 months after treatment with moxidectin, 3 months after treatment with ivermectin, 9 weeks after treatment with pyrantel or a benzimidazole). A customized comprehensive parasite program for the year will then be recommended by one of our veterinarians.

Vaccination Recommendations

Brief descriptions of the equine diseases for which there are licensed vaccinations are provided for your information. The specific immunizations needed by a particular horse or horses depend upon a number of risk factors including the age, use, reproductive status and value of the horse, the environment, management and the geographical location of the farm, and the risk of exposure to contagious diseases especially by traveling horses. We are here to help you make informed decisions regarding vaccinating your horses, prioritizing to work within your budget, and to provide you with vaccinating services by a professional to minimize risks.

Our veterinarians keep up to date on disease outbreaks, changing vaccination recommendations, new strains of infectious organisms, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the many vaccine products available. To begin your planning process, you may refer to specific vaccination guidelines provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Go to www.aaep.org. Click on Guidelines,then Vaccination guidelines, and then in the right column select either Foal vaccination chart or Adult horse vaccination chart.

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Equine Management Consulting


Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic is at your service to help you with management recommendations that have a direct bearing upon equine health, including:

  • Comfortable, protective housing with healthy air quality
  • Safe pasturing and fencing
  • Avoidance of stress and overcrowding
  • Prevention of disease
  • Infectious disease control
  • Introduction of new arrivals to your herd
  • Environmental management for effective parasite control
  • Broodmare and stallion management
  • Good feeding practices and proper nutrition (Described Below)

Nutritional Consulting

NPEC is very interested in assisting horse owners and farm managers in providing healthy, balanced diets for their horses and in avoiding feeding problems. You may simply have a few questions about sound feeding practices such as how to reduce the risk of colic, choke and heaves. You might like a professional opinion on the quality of your hay or other feedstuffs. You may be interested in a complete ration analysis or have a horse with special needs. Contact us and we will do our best to help you.

The majority of horse owners feed commercially prepared concentrates from reputable feed companies which provide feed specially formulated for the horse on the basis of the NRC (National Research Council) Nutrient Requirements of Horses. Those feeds, along with good quality, proper type of hay and/or pasture, plenty of water, iodized salt, sunlight and a well managed feeding system, would meet the needs of most horses. However, not all horses are provided with the above and the following are examples of good reasons for complete diet evaluation.

  • To assure optimal diets, especially for high performance horses, growing animals, breeding stock, pregnant and nursing mares
  • To help avoid dietary excesses which may be harmful and frequently add to the cost
  • To help avoid developmental orthopedic diseases, such as contracted tendons, epiphysitis and OCD (osteochondrosis dissecans) and prevent or manage other diseases with important nutritional considerations such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Equine Cushing's Disease, Equine Motor Neuron Disease, Tying Up, Kidney Disease, Vitamin E and Selenium-Responsive Myopathies (muscle disease) and PSSM (Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy)
  • To determine if feed supplements would be desirable
  • To economize, selecting least-cost, readily-available feedstuffs which would meet your horse's needs
  • To help the novice horseman decide what and how much to feed

Horses of differing sizes, weights, ages, sex and performance levels have varying nutritional requirements. A nutritional analysis begins with determining the individual horse's needs and comparing those requirements with the provisions of the currently used feedstuffs. A complete ration analysis begins with a forage analysis of hay and pasture samples. After dietary excesses and insufficiencies are identified, specific corrections can be recommended. For your convenience, complete and return our Nutritional Evaluation Worksheet to get started. The cost of nutritional consultations will vary depending upon the depth and complexity of the analysis and consultation requested by the client. Cost estimates will gladly be provided upon reviewing your worksheet and discussing your objectives with you.

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AVMA AAEP

Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic, LLC.

4326 State Route 1001, Thompson, PA 18465
Office: 570.727.2868 Fax: 570.727.2935
Office Hours: M-Th 7:30am-4:30pm, F 8am-4:30pm, Sat by appointment

A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)