Took my 18 year old draft x gelding there in May - removal of growth in his ear. Found staff and vets to be efficient and courteous. Was kept abreast of what was going on at all times. In residential area - that was odd - but once at the center lots of space for trailer parking. Nice facility.
Cost for anesthesia/surgery was ~$550. MUCH more reasonable than any small animal vet!
Hope you find a reason for your horses discomfort. Sending you and your guy - positive thoughts.
Have taken my own horses for lameness diagnostics and have accompanied other people with their horses for this and also different procedures (most recently removal of a nasal mass).
In every instance, I have found it to be a most positive experience in every way, from ease of parking, to courtesy and consideration from all staff, to technical expertise from the medical professionals, to the wide array of available diagnostic approaches. I also love that you typically have more than one professional looking at your horse, and also students, so it becomes a learning experience for the horse owner, as well.
And they start with the low-tech (less expensive) and never pressure you to do more / spend more than you planned.
That said, over the years I have twice gone the full workup route: physical exam, x-rays, ultrasounds, and nuclear scintigraphy. Worth every penny to me for how thorough it is in disclosing everything that may or may not have an impact on soundness. However, the times I have been there without the full workups I've been just as impressed!
Seriously - I consider myself very fortunate that my horses are less than a two-hour drive from Leesburg.
I have had two horses have surgery there and have several friends who have had surgical procedures done of varying complexity. I'd agree with the previous posters; they are professional, competent, and approachable. Certainly talk to them about cost as I am sure they are happy to present you with options where they exist, especially if you don't have insurance.
I go somewhere else for lameness workups but not because of any negative experience with Leesburg; just a question of having started with another practice and being happy with them.
My mare's been there twice, once for an MRI of her foot, once for colic surgery. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of care there! They're very willing to work with you on cost, and provide options for you as far as treatment. Every morning when they called me with a post-surgery update on how the horse was doing, they also kept me up to date on what the running care total was, because for me, even with insurance, cost was a factor, and they did their best to keep things reasonable without compromising care. All of the staff were incredibly professional and helpful, from the surgeons to the receptionist, and they were happy to answer followup questions I called with after the horse was discharged as well.
Though hopefully we won't need to visit them again any time soon (ever!) I'd recommend them, and go back again if necessary.
Let me start out by saying that I am a practicing equine vet. I unfortunately did not have a good experience. I sent I horse that I had in training near there for a swollen but not painful leg. I live a considerable distance from there and was not able to get there myself. What I was told, in no way seemed plausible to me and they wanted to do surgery. The surgeon was very rude especially in light that I am a fellow veterinarian. I had the horse picked up and brought home to me and he recovered with medical treatment alone. I was not happy. I fully understand that there is more than one way to treat a case and I am also aware that we all make mistakes. It was the manner that I was treated that really rubbed me the wrong way. This occurred over ten years ago and it still gets my dander up thinking about it. That being said it was just that surgeon I had a problem with not the staff or rest of the institution.
Entropy Farm www.entropyfarm.com
Home of Roc USA
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
They are great.
I have had a horse have surgery there, have a several day treatment of traumatic injury, have an MRI, have scintigraphy, and have a full lameness work up. Every experience has been a good one.
The folks I have dealt with there were professional, communicative and compassionate
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
Mixed bag - I had a not so great experience, but know others who have liked them.
I sent a horse there with a right hind suspensory injury for surgery. They did the surgery on both hind legs, without telling me first. I learned that they cut into both hind legs when the intern/resident called me to tell me the horse was coming out of anesthesia fine. The intern had no explanation for the change. It took two days for the surgeon to be able to reach me directly to discuss (thankfully, my go-to lameness vet had been able to sort through what happened and explained the issue to us), and in the meantime, the hospital refused to let our groom in to see the horse at all, despite our repeated express authorization. That being said, the horse had a spectacularly good result, came out of surgery looking fantastic, and recovered very well.
After all of that, I'm wary, but would still send a horse to have surgery there again (this time writing on the horse in sharpie something like "this leg only"). For lameness diagnostics, I use VEI and love love love them, but they're not cheap. Other kinds of diagnostics, I might consider Morven but would also think about if someone like Spurlocks could better pinpoint the issue.
I have accompanied a couple of friends with their horses and they have been very happy with the treatment they received.
I took my own mare this past fall for an exam and maintenance and loved my vets conservative approach. He did a lot of flexions (high and low) and deemed her a normal 12 year old hunter. Could have sold me some high tech diagnostics for sure but said nothing more was needed. I highly recommend them.
I didn't have the greatest experience. Horse went in for a myelogram (the vet doing this was noncommunicative before and then after I got the bad news--by the way, the ultimate diagnosis was wrong, but I don't blame them for that), I brought him home after 3 days, and within an hour of being home I could see something was very wrong (104+ degree temp). I called my vet and then called the clinic to talk to a vet there. I was told to bring him back right away (about 50-min trailer ride, so not far).
When we got him settled into a stall, the first thing brought up was vet wanted to charge me a $500 emergency fee because it was after 5 p.m. I was unwilling to sign the form (I picked him up at 2, got home at 3, put him back on the trailer a little after 4, and got back there a little after 5). She gave me a hard time, and then I gave her a hard time. I ultimately won (not that day), but I was peeved to say the least that she was pushing for me to agree to an emergency fee under those circumstances.
He had developed pneumonia and stayed for 2 weeks. The care was excellent, abeit expensive, but that was OK (except for the emergency fee).
I brought him back twice to have chest x-rays, while I treated him at home. The 2nd set of x-rays showed a pocket of infection in his lung. They said I could stop treatment, but I was not sure that sounded like the greatest idea. After talking to three different vets there, they persuaded me that he didn't need anymore treatment.
He developed pneumonia for a second time shortly thereafter (very serious); this time, I treated him at home for six weeks (which was hell and still very expensive because of the cost of the drugs) under the guidance of my own vet. My horse did recover, but afterward, my vet said he never expected him to survive.
I'll say this: The care they gave and the people who took care of him while he was there were very good. But, I'll always feel that they dropped the ball in several ways.
And maybe the moral of the story is ask lots of questions (some vets want to tell you everything; others just don't think about it), really keep on top of your horse's care, and also ask about costs upfront. I guess you can say that about anything involving your horse.
I've used the EMC for diagnoses that could not be done "in the field" and for emergency care for the last 25 years...with a lot of horses.
Nat White, Martin Furr, Scott McKenzie and Ken Sullins are some of the best in the country (internal medicine, lameness, repro, neonatal care...not necessarily in that order).
So if you are not "in tune" with your attending vet (often "residents" on your case, or you have questions that you feel are not being answered to your understanding, then just ask to speak with these head honchos, directly as they supervise all cases.
They're the best! Okay, so Sullins may not have the best bedside manner with you, but don't take offense. He can be bristly, but he's really quite the master and calls a spade a spade. I like that kind of honesty.
I have no doubt these guys are good vets; mine was Furr, and he. would. not. talk. to. me. I sat with him (all of 5 min--that's all I could get out of him) and tried to think of every question I could think of about my horse's situation. I asked him open-ended questions, and still . . . not forthcoming.
Maybe I got him on a couple of bad days--I don't know.
I've had a decent experience with a horse who gashed open his hock (luckily didn't tear joint capsule). He stayed for a couple days, vet who worked on him was very helpful, answered questions and was gorgeous as a added bonus haha. The stitches weren't that great, hard to get out and left a zagged scar but at least he healed well!
I almost took a friends horses there for colic but was quoted 3k right off the back! We took him to Piedmont instead and even with Dr. Byron's emergency fee it came out to half to what we were originally quoted. Whew!
Both of my experiences I had at the center were pleasant. The vet techs were very helpful and courteous. Always called me back personally when I had a question. The problem I had was with the Opthalmologist Dr. Lynch. I spent a butt load of money for her to sedate the hell out of my horse, scare the crap out of me and then get the diagnosis wrong. I don't feel this reflects on the hospital though...
Last edited by BoyleHeightsKid; Feb. 14, 2011 at 10:19 AM.
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason "Once you go off track, you never go back!"