Internal Medicine Services

RCVS Accredited Equine Hostpital

Chine House offers a specialist led equine internal medicine service providing the highest level of service to our clients and referring veterinary surgeons.

All services can be delivered in the hospital or at your clinic or yard. We have access to the latest diagnostic equipment from endoscopy to ultrasound and critical care.

Equine Cardiology

Using the latest in mobile ultrasound technology alongside ECG equipment we are able to provide answers when cardiac murmurs are detected, whether as part of a routine examination, such as a pre-purchase examination or when assessing horses with poor performance.


We are also able to undertake the latest treatments for horses with atrial fibrillation, an important cause of poor performance in the horse.

Cardiac Ultrasound

Cardiac ultrasound (Echocardiography) allows us to evaluate the structures of the heart, as well as how blood flows through them.


The images here show a ventricular septal defect (hole in the heart) of a young racehorse that was poorly performing. The green colour shows how blood shunts from the left side of the heart to the right, while the graph below demonstrates that this is having limited impact on his performance.


Working in collaboration with our team, it became apparent that the horses lameness was much more limiting to his performance than his heart and fortunately much of this could be improved through farrier and medication.

Equine Cardiac Ultrasound
Equine Cardiac Ultrasound


Electrocardiography (ECG) recordings provide a valuable insight into the cardiac electrical activity that coordinates cardiac function.


By recording the ECG both at rest in the stable, we are able to identify occasional changes that may become more important over time or those that might impact on the safety of further ridden exercise.


Atrial fibrillation is an important abnormality of the heart that has affected some very high profile competition horses including Denman. An ECG is required to confirm a diagnosis and demonstrates an irregular rhythm

In horses competing at low levels, this usually is not a problem, however it is important to ensure that the ECG remains stable during exercise.


The example below demonstrates further irregularities in a pleasure horse that made us undertake treatment.

Traditionally atrial fibrillation was treated with drugs, however the latest technique, transvenous electrocardioversion (TVEC) provides an alternative and often safer approach to management of this condition.


By placing wires in the heart under ultrasound guidance our specialist clinicians are able to place the wires across the heart. Once the wires are safely placed, the horse is anaesthetised to deliver the shocks to its heart.

Equine Respiratory Medicine

As well as providing routine methods of assessing the respiratory system, using endoscopes at rest, chine house vets are able to undertake endoscopy at exercise to evaluate the respiratory system at exercise.


This provides valuable information about how the airway functions during exercise.


Thoracic radiography allows us to visualise significant disorders in the horses lungs, however this is often combined with ultrasound to map specific lesions.


Ultrasound normally allows us to only evaluate the surface of the lungs, but in some cases, we can evaluate lung pathology such as abscesses and work with our specialist surgeons to remove areas of tissue or drain these as required.

Equine Opthalmology

Vision is a vital part of our horses lives, but the location of the eyes on the side of the head and their lifestyle around hedges make them prone to injury.


Our medicine specialists have experience in the management of complex disorders of the cornea including penetrating injuries and the local injection of medication to remove clots from the eyes.


The iris, the pigmented part of the eye that surrounds the pupil, contains multiple structures, often at the top of the pupil (corpra nigrans) but horses can develop large iris cysts that sometimes impact on vision.


We are able to assess these and remove them using a minimally invasive procedure while your horse is standing.






Our specialists are also able to offer second opinion on findings identified during pre-purchase examinations, such as cataracts.


Cataracts are any opacity in the lens of the horse, and while these can be disconcerting, many of them do not progress.


Using high frequency ultrasound together with a slit lamp, we are able to identify and characterise cataracts and advise about suitability for purchase.


Surgical options exist for the management of cataracts and we would be happy to advise about this when it is appropriate

General Information


Chine House Equine Veterinary Hospital is a modern, well equipped hospital, accredited by the RCVS.


Below are some of the facilities we offer:


  • Stabling for up to 19 horses with designated stabling for mares and foals, as well as horses requiring isolation or intensive care
  • Two large examination rooms, one of which has indoor stocks
  • Fully equipped equine operating theatre for all types of equine surgery, with excellent aneasthesic equipment and assisted recovery system
  • Hard and soft surfaces for the assessment of lame horses
  • Large sand school that is used for pre-purchase examinations and lameness and poor performance evaluations
  • Outside paddocks are available for grazing hospitalised horses
  • Separate large boxes, paddocks and stocks for artificial insemination cases, designed to cater for the specific needs of mares and foals
  • Our experienced, caring team of nurses provides 24 hour monitoring of all our in-patients

We are equipped to undertake around-the-clock observation and treatment of critically ill horses. Our isolation unit permits the hospitalisation and treatment of horses suffering from contagious diseases. Samples can be rapidly analysed in the on-site  laboratory (in use 24 hours per day).


We have ultrasound, a gastroscope, respiratory endoscopes (including dynamic overground scope), telemetric ECG and digital radiography. Services include, but are not restricted to:


  • Gastroscopy
  • Neurology including headshaking and percutaneous electrical nerve stimulations (PENS) therapy
  • Cardiology including telemetric ECG and echocardiography
  • Muscle disorders
  • Respiratory disease
  • Oncology
  • Foal medicine
  • Endocrine disorders and laminitis
  • GI disorders (recurrent colic, ulcers, diarrhoea, weight loss)
  • Infectious disease and biosecurity
  • Poor performance
  • Overground endoscopy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Hepatic and renal disease


Please contact the surgery with any queries or to discuss your requirements, call the ‘Equine’ service on 01509 812 445 or click to make an enquiry.

Protocol for Referring Vets

Chine House Veterinary Hospital provides a 24/7 emergency service, 365 days a year



The care of your clients’ horse, pony or donkey is the most important thing to us. We employ RCVS specialists in both surgery and internal medicine and our team of hospital vets and anaesthetists are dedicated to providing your clients’ animals with the very best treatment and care.



Our nursing team includes RCVS diploma holders in equine nursing and is highly trained and dedicated to providing 24 hour nursing care. We could cut costs by employing fewer nurses but we recognise that the quality of the nursing team plays a huge part in the overall care that your clients’ animals receive.



Our equine hospital provides stabling for up to 19 horses, 2 isolation units, a large manège and dedicated trot up and lunging areas, fully equipped operating theatre, facilities for standing surgery and equine diagnostic imaging equipment, including digital radiography, videoendoscopy and ultrasonography. There is also a laboratory on site, enabling us to perform rapid testing.



We will send you a detailed report after we have seen the case. If at any stage you would like an update on a case in the hospital, or some advice about a case you are managing, please do call us or send an e-mail. We will fax or e-mail you a copy of the discharge instructions on the day the horse is discharged so that you know the patient has gone home and you will be up to date, should the client contact you before our final report arrives.



We are happy to support our referring vets with readily available advice on cases, even if they are not referred, and free verbal reporting of radiographs.

How to refer to us


We recognise that there are many different reasons to refer a case and we are always happy to discuss a case with you prior to committing to a referral.



Urgent referrals


NOTE — For urgent/emergency referrals, please call the hospital on 01509 812 445 and ensure you have following information available:


  • Referring practice name
  • Referring clinicians name
  • Referring clinicians contact number and email address


  • Clients name
  • Clients address
  • Client contact number and email address


  • Patients name, age, breed.
  • Case details
  • Insurance provider details and policy number (if applicable)



Non-urgent referrals


For all non-urgent referrals, please complete our Equine Veterinary Referral application form or call us on 01509 812 445.


The form should be completed by the referring veterinary practice and only if the referral has not already been notified to us by telephone. Please note that referral applications that are submitted outside of normal hospital working hours may not receive an immediate response and will be dealt with the following working day.


Deposits and fees


Clients should be informed that we require a £500.00 deposit prior to or on the day of the appointment. This is to cover insurance excess and stabling fees and will be re-reimbursed as required.


If the patient is not insured an additional £1500 may be requested and full account balance is to be settled on discharge.




Once a referral has been received, we will book an appointment direct with your client and you will receive a booking conformation email. following treatment you and your client will receive full discharge instructions and a Veterinary Report.


If you wish to refer a case, please contact the office on 01509 812 445, email your enquiry to equinehospital@chinehousevets.co.uk or click here to complete our Equine Veterinary Referral application form

Generally, for non-urgent appointments, we will contact the owners directly to arrange the appointment details. We request that referring veterinarians should provide us with a full case history for any case they are referring, including the results of any diagnostic procedures they have already undertaken and any treatment or medication that the horse has received.


Important — Clients should be informed that we will require a £500.00 deposit prior to or on the day of the appointment. This is to cover insurance excess and stabling fees and will be re-reimbursed as required.


If the patient is not insured, £1500 may be requested in advance and the full account balance is to be settled on discharge.


For further general information or to discuss your requirements, please call the ‘Equine’ service on 01509 812 445 or click to make an enquiry.


We have an experienced team of surgeons, headed by Lewis Smith. Lewis has a particular skill set in surgery for young stock.  He has spent 10 years performing overground endoscopy and airway surgery. He has worked in the UK, USA and Australia. He has published research on a wide variety of surgery topics including fracture repair, joint medications and colic surgery.


Our modern surgical facilities include a large operating theatre and two padded anaesthetic induction / recovery boxes. Our theatre is equipped with a dedicated equine anaesthetic system, including extensive anaesthetic monitoring equipment and a ventilator.


Anaesthetics are always monitored by one of our vets. Some surgical procedures are performed standing, such as sinus surgery and laparoscopy.


We provide a full surgical referral service, including colic surgery, diagnostic and surgical arthroscopy, soft tissue surgery, laparoscopy and laser surgery.



Please contact the surgery with any queries or to discuss your requirements, call the ‘Equine’ service on 01509 812 445 or click to make an enquiry.

Equine Placements

Work Experience


Chine House Equine Hospital offer a limited number of work experience placements of one-week duration to school and college students, over 16 years of age, with a keen interest in equine and veterinary matters. This can be arranged independently, or through your educational institution.


At our hospital, the programme offers students the opportunity to experience life at an equine practice. This will include shadowing our staff with a varied equine caseload and helping our nurses and grooms with their duties, providing students with a useful insight into the work carried out within a busy equine veterinary practice by vets, vet nurses and support staff. For further information about work experience at Chine House please complete the application form below and return it by email to eqplacements@chinehousevets.co.uk


Click for Equine work placement information and application form.





We are able to offer one or two week placements for clinical veterinary students. This placement is varied and offers time within the equine hospital, working in all areas as well as time with the ambulatory team. Placements can be booked up to one year in advance. Please note that we cannot offer farm animal placements.


For more information or to book a placement please email eqplacements@chinehousevets.co.uk

For more about Chine House Vets or to make an appointment…