© 2019 by Peninsula Equine Medical Center

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Annual Wellness Exams

There is more to preventative care than vaccines.  As a part of our goal to keep horses happy and healthy, we recommend annual wellness exams along with keeping up to date with vaccines. Having one of our amazing doctors going out at least once a year to check on your horse can help focus on prevention or early detection of diseases that could be detrimental to a horse’s future health. A wellness exam includes checking all of your horse’s major functioning systems.  A check of the teeth helps determine if the horse is chewing properly and can indicate if a dental would be necessary in the future.  We highly recommend calling the office and checking in to see when your horse was last seen, as well as when its last dental was done.


Vaccinating your horse on a regular basis is important to prevent your horses as well as other horses it may come in contact with from getting preventable and sometimes life threatening diseases. Depending on where your horse lives, their age, profession, any pre-existing health conditions and how often they travel, putting them on the correct vaccination schedule can be very beneficial. Vaccines are categorized based on level of protection, ranging from herd outbreak mitigation to actual prevention of infection.  We base our recommendations on prevention of disease signs that can be detrimental to your horse’s health.  Please remember to provide information to us on your showing schedule and FEI passport status, so that we can keep your horse current for any USEF or FEI vaccine requirements for competition.

Most of our vaccines offer a Zoetis Immunization Support Guarantee.  What this means is that if any veterinarian suspects your horse has become ill from a disease that we have administered vaccines for, the vaccine manufacturer will pay for diagnostics to assess the problem, even if it turns out that it was not one of those vaccines.  This amazing support program shows how vested we are to providing only the most trustworthy, reliable products for your horse's care.  More information can be found here:

Shoeing Radiographs

Often underappreciated, proper shoeing can make a significant difference in preventing lameness issues.  To fully understand the best shoeing angles for your specific horse, we must visualize the coffin bone within the hoof.  Shoeing radiographs are incredibly important when it comes to determining if your horse is in proper balance. Our vets work with the farrier side by side to correct and ideally prevent lameness issues. Taking radiographs of the foot is the first step in managing the trimming and or shoeing of a horse. This makes it easy for a farrier to correct minor angle abnormalities before improper stress to attached soft tissue structures results in soft tissue damage.  It also helps to assure proper sole depth when trimming.  This proactive approach to shoeing provides a superior level of preventative care for the equine athlete.

Geriatric Care

As a horse ages, organ systems are not working at their ideal capacity.  Our geriatric patients have special needs and certain diseases that become much more prevalent.  Yearly exams are the cornerstone to catching disease processes early in their manifestation.  Often, bloodwork is recommended for older horses to ensure proper hormone balances.  Certain diseases such as Cushings are very common – as many as three quarters of geriatric brains assessed post mortem have changes to the pituitary gland, the gland responsible for control of the adrenals and, ultimately, cortisol levels circulating in the horse.  Horses at this age can also be prone to dietary concerns.  Often as horses age, changes in type and consistency of diet may be necessary to maintain optimum health.  Also, as teeth reach expiration, mastication issues can compound the problem, leading to pain when chewing, weight loss, and/or colic.

Health Certificates and Coggins

When traveling with your horse, whether it be to a show, for training or a new permanent home, they are most often required to have a current health certificate and coggins with them to cross state and international borders. Depending on different state requirements, the hauler must have at least these two documents with them to show at the border. What are these two documents and how are they obtained?

Heath Certificate: A health certificate is a document that is required to enter a new state or country. They are typically good for 30 days from the date of the physical exam performed by the vet, denoting that the horse is carrying no communicable diseases across state lines.  Please call the office at least a week (2-3 weeks + for international health certificates, depending on location) before departure to make sure that your horse meets the entry requirements of the state they are heading to, and so we can schedule the exam and get all state paperwork finished prior to your departure.  Finished documents will be available for pickup at the front office.  Things to have ready for a health certificate examination: Horse’s barn name and show name, age, sex, breed, boarding location address, owner’s address, owner’s phone number, address of where the horse is going, day the horse is leaving, and the name, address and phone number of the hauler hauling the horse.

Coggins: A coggins test is a test for the disease Equine Infectious Anemia.  Although rare in our area, this disease is passed by insects and has no known cure, so a joint effort by state departments of agriculture to identify and mitigate spread of disease has been instituted.   A simple blood draw is sent to a lab that usually takes 2-3 business days to return with results.  The results are necessary to provide a complete health certificate for most states, and we cannot send a horse with an incomplete health certificate.   Because these tests are typically good for 6 months to a year, depending on states, this test can easily be performed far in advance of transport.  Please call the clinic to arrange this test to be performed as soon as you know you will be travelling.

**More documents may be necessary based on different state or country regulations.  Please call the office to discuss your horse’s travel plans further.**

Menlo Park

100 Ansel Lane

Menlo Park, CA 94028


Gilroy Gaits

7777 Frazier Lake Rd

Gilroy/Hollister, CA 95023


Mailing Address: PO Box 7297, Menlo Park, CA 94026


8:30am to 5pm

Monday through Friday