The opening this week of Adelaide’s new $A10 million equine hospital brings a comprehensive range of veterinary services to horse in South Australia and beyond.
Based at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus, the Equine Health and Performance Centre brings together a wide range of equine specialist services for the first time in the state.
It will be staffed by veterinarians specialising in equine surgery, sports medicine, internal medicine and reproduction, and is expected to attract leading researchers and veterinarians from around the world.
The hospital has world-class facilities for complex diagnostic and surgical procedures, medical investigations and rehabilitation, isolation and treatment of contagious disease, and for advanced reproductive technologies.
Professor Kym Abbott, Head of the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, said that with the new facility, the University of Adelaide’s vet school will be able to offer a broad range of services, including some that haven’t previously been available for horse owners and veterinary professionals in South Australia.
“The hospital will also serve as an outstanding teaching facility for the University’s veterinary students. These facilities compare favourably with any of the world’s leading vet schools,” he said.
The Equine Health and Performance Centre will have the capacity to manage horses with severe neurological problems (muscular and nervous system) in a padded stall equipped with a lifting mechanism. The hospital has separate dedicated soft tissue and orthopaedic operating theatres. Two dedicated surgical recovery stalls with catwalks on either side will allow horses to get back on their feet safely after surgery, with staff able to observe and assist, when necessary, from the top.
The hospital will be able to admit horses with potentially contagious diseases and manage them safely in an isolation facility, well away from any other horse.
The reproductive unit includes a laboratory for embryo transfer and artificial insemination and a purpose-built covered collection yard. For day patients there are outpatient stalls, a standing surgery room and a work-up area for lameness examination. The medical and surgical wards include a four-stall intensive care unit with air conditioning and oxygen and dedicated mare and foal stalls. For diagnostic imaging, the hospital has advanced ultrasonography – high-powered radiography that can x-ray a horse’s pelvis, back or neck.
There is a 1.6 tonne gantry unit for lifting horses; the ceilings in the surgery area are 5.2 metres high and combined oxygen, suction and power units drop down from the ceiling in the operating theatres to keep equipment out of the way.
The Equine Health and Performance Centre is the latest in the $A37 million expansion of facilities for Roseworthy Campus, adding to the Companion Animal Health Centre, Production Animal Health Centre, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Aquatic Biosecurity Centre and the Bevan Park Dairy Practice Teaching Unit. The Veterinary Health Centres also offer mobile services for horses and production animals.