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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Veterinary Care for Horses at the University of Tennessee

One of the strengths of the CEVR is that its researchers are also specialists in clinical medicine and surgery. These faculty members work in our Veterinary Medical Center and provide specialist care for horses in the areas of medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, theriogenology, ophthalmology, and radiology. They are experts in their field and several of our researchers are nationally and internationally known for their clinical work, as well as their research.

Three clinical services operate within the equine hospital at the University of Tennessee Emergency and Critical Care, Medicine, and Surgery. Each service is supervised by specialists in medicine or surgery and these faculty members contribute to the CEVR by performing research. Residents are also important part of the clinical team. A resident is a veterinarian that is enrolled in a 3-year training program to become a specialist. Residents have spent one or two years at another teaching hospital or private practice before coming to the University of Tennessee. Both the specialist and the resident work with final-year veterinary students to provide the best possible care for our patients. Education is one of the primary missions of our hospital, so specialists and residents teach students as they examine and treat patients. Student activities are supervised by the resident or specialist to ensure that the highest standard of care is maintained.

Emergency and Critical Care Service

Dr. Melanie Perrier is the emergency clinician for our equine hospital, which provides 24-hour care for horses. Patients are received at night and on weekends and veterinary students spend two weeks of their final year working on this service.

Equine Medicine Service

Three specialists certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine supervise this service on a rotating basis Dr. Carla Sommardahl, Dr. Melissa Hines and Dr. Karen Kalck. These clinicians are experts in general medicine, including intestinal, respiratory, liver, kidney, and nervous system disease. Foals are also seen by the Equine Medicine service and intensive care is provided to these patients.

Equine Surgery Service

Three specialists certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons are available on this service Dr. Jim Blackford, Dr. Steve Adair, and Dr. Jim Schumacher. Each surgeon has extensive experience with general surgery and performs surgeries relating to colic, lameness, and respiratory problems. This service also examines horses for lameness and performs prepurchase evaluations. Dr. Jim Schumacher is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in sinus and dental surgery, surgical procedures of the larynx, and reproductive surgery. Dr. Steve Adair has additional expertise in the areas of laminitis and physical therapy and rehabilitation. He has worked with Dr. Dennis Geiser to develop the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at the University of Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee is nationally recognized as a center for the diagnosis and management of laminitis in horses. Mr. Dudley Hurst is a specialist farrier who works on site to provide custom shoeing for horses with laminitis. A team approach is used in our equine hospital to provide horses with state-of-the-art care. Dr. Steve Adair and other clinicians on the Equine Surgery service use their knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to make shoeing recommendations to the farrier. Dudley then draws on his own experience and knowledge to arrive at the best possible solution for the problem. At the same time, clinicians from the Equine Medicine service consult on the case to determine whether there are any underlying medical problems that might have led to the development of laminitis. A stall with special rubberized flooring is available for laminitis patients and an Anderson sling can be used to support horses during farrier work. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also available for use in our equine hospital.

Our Equine Surgery service is also known for the dental, sinus, larynx, and reproductive surgeries performed here. Dr. Jim Schumacher is a recognized expert in these areas and often travels nationally and internationally to perform these surgeries.

Other Specialists

Dr. Tom Doherty is an anesthesiology specialist certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists who supervises general anesthesia in horses.

Reproductive issues of horses such as birthing problems are addressed by our theriogenologists Dr. Tulio Prado and Dr. Brian Whitlock, who are both certified by the American College of Theriogenology.

Dr. Dan Ward and Dr. Dianne Hendrix are specialists certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists that provide medical and surgical care of eye problems in horses.

A dermatologist is also available for consultation. Our dermatologists are certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and Dr. Linda Frank has a specific interest in equine dermatology.

Other University of Tennessee specialists include radiologists, clinical pathologists, anatomic pathologists, parasitologists, and pharmacologists.

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