Skip to Primary Content

Willow Springs Veterinary Clinic

Equine Hospitalization

As equine veterinarians, we do everything we can to treat horses at home or at the farm, but in some cases, it is necessary to hospitalize a horse for an overnight stay or sometimes even longer.

What might warrant a hospital stay for your horse?

In this section, we’ll give you some basic information about conditions that might lead your horse to require a hospital stay. In some cases, these problems won’t require hospitalization, but this depends on the specifics of the horse and the situation. This is not a complete list, so be sure to check with your veterinarian if you have any questions.

  • Diagnoses: Some horses will require hospitalization overnight to undergo certain diagnostic procedures. These procedures generally include those for which the horse needs to be fully anesthetized, such as MRI and CT scans, among others.

  • Acute injury or sudden severe illness: If your horse is injured suddenly or becomes very sick without warning, you may need to take it to the emergency veterinarian. It may also require a trip to the equine hospital, depending on the severity of the condition. These situations vary greatly from horse to horse and depending on the cause of the problem as well.

  • High-risk pregnancy: Some mares may be high-risk pregnancies. If this is true of your mare, she may need to be hospitalized for the delivery of the foal and may also require hospitalization for a portion of the pregnancy itself. Your veterinarian will be able to give you more information about the specific needs of your mare.

  • Dehydration: If a horse is severely dehydrated, it will need IV fluids. Since horses require such a high volume of fluids in order to stay healthy or get back to normal health after becoming dehydrated, it’s usually a good idea for them to stay in an equine hospital throughout the process.

What can horse owners expect during a hospitalization?

  • Our hospital staff will contact you with an update at least once a day. You may always call us at any time for updates even when it isn’t your scheduled time of day to receive a call. Just remember that it may take us a little while to get back to you, depending on how busy we are at the time.

  • We will call you with any changes as soon as they occur, regardless of the time. We will always make sure you are well aware of everything going on with your horse, whether it is good or bad.

  • Owners may visit horses during visitation hours.

  • Horses are carefully watched and vital signs are monitored at all times. Hospital staff understand what to look for in horse vitals and know how to respond if something goes wrong. There will always be a staff member available to help your horse if anything occurs with their vital signs while they are in the equine hospital.

  • Highly trained medical professionals in the field of equine medicine will regularly check your horse during rounds. They will update you with any information they find and make changes to your horse’s treatment as needed, with your permission. They also work closely with your regular veterinarian to make sure your horse is receiving the right type of care to meet its needs.

  • Our hospital is very professional and will ensure your horse is cared for as well as possible. We will also keep your horse comfortable and may even provide some paddock time, supervised by a well-trained staff member, for horses who are well enough to go outdoors.

Armed with this information, you can now rest assured knowing your horse will be well cared for during its stay in the hospital. Of course, if you still find yourself wondering what to expect or unsure about some of the details, you can always ask us for more information. Choosing to leave your horse for a hospital stay can be a difficult decision to make, but when you know what to expect, you can remain calm throughout the experience and help your horse recover successfully, too.