Equine Sports Medicine and Lameness

Whether your horse is an athlete or your favorite trail riding partner, having their body feel the best it can is our priority. So many factors can be attributed to poor performance or discomfort under saddle and we can systematically work through your horse to determine if any lameness or illness needs to be addressed. Lameness is one of the primary reasons for the early retirement of horses and we would like to keep them at peak performance as long as possible. Our equine veterinarians have a thorough understanding of the importance of detecting, diagnosing, and treating lameness as early as possible in horses.

Annual Lameness Evaluation

Jackpot Veterinary Center offers routine lameness exams prior to the beginning of show season. This gives us the opportunity to evaluate your horse prior to an incident of lameness and prevent lost time in the arena, track or trail. Part of this evaluation includes radiographs of the front feet to give your farrier more information so a better job can be accomplished. Annual lameness checkups enable our veterinarians to detect potential issues before they cause significant problems and intervene early in the process. This helps ensure your horse has a long and comfortable athletic career.

Lameness Examinations at Jackpot Veterinary Center

Lameness examinations include several parts such as:
Pinpointing lameness can sometimes become complicated. Several issues in horses can cause similar symptoms in similar locations, which can make it difficult to determine the exact cause or location of the horse’s lameness.
At Jackpot Veterinary Center, we take a thorough approach to lameness examinations, using a variety of diagnostic testing capabilities in addition to strategic blocks that can help us pinpoint the exact location of a horse’s lameness. Additionally, our indoor treatment room is specifically set up to accommodate lameness examinations that require additional levels of diagnostics like sterile blocks and/or joint injections for effective treatment.
Once an area(s) of lameness has been identified an appropriate treatment plan can be developed. We offer a variety of therapies that vary from systemic, regional, and/or joint injections. In the last 10 years, steroid injections have been proven to be often less effective than the regenerative therapies that have been adapted from human medicine. We offer a variety of Regenerative and Non Regenerative Therapies

Regenerative Therapies

All of these products utilize the horse’s own blood to harvest anti-inflammatory and regenerative components that are then injected back into a specific location. With some of the modalities multiple doses are obtained from one blood draw and can be frozen for future use.

Non-regenerative Therapies

Having a variety of regenerative and nonregenerative options means that we can choose the best therapy for your horse at any given time.

What Are Equine Joint/Tendon Sheath Injections?

Equine joint injections are the act of placing one of the therapies above in a specific joint or tendon sheath. This is performed with a sterile technique and is preferred to be done in a clean and controlled environment. Some joints are easily palpated and injected. However, others may use radiography or ultrasound guidance to ensure the therapy is injected appropriately.
Joint injections are only performed after a lameness exam to ensure the appropriate joint is injected. Commonly injected joints include:


Is an alternative treatment for equine pain management. It uses 3-5 intradermal needles at a time to deliver anti-inflammatory therapy to an area to reduce inflammation, pain and swelling. This therapy has been very beneficial for back pain.
With the addition of Alpha 2M to the practice, mesotherapy is now being used over suspensory ligament branches in the case of trauma or DSLD.

Class IV Laser

This is a non-invasive treatment modality that is very helpful for wound healing, back pain and tendon/ligament injury. There has been a lot of research on the benefits of phototherapy and is a great tool to have within the practice.

Our Equine ICU and Hospital Services

At Jackpot Veterinary Center, we were proud to expand our practice with the construction of a brand-new equine hospital and ICU facility in 2019. Our equine hospital provides our experienced veterinarians with the ideal location for examining horses, diagnosing their illnesses, evaluating injuries, and providing comprehensive treatments in a safe, sterile, and climate-controlled environment.
With our equine hospital facility, we’re fully equipped to provide our equine patients with a variety of advanced services including:

ICU Stalls and 24/7 Patient Care

When a horse has a medical emergency, our veterinarians provide 24/7 patient care, monitoring, and treatment from the comfort and safety of our ICU horse stalls. While we’re fully equipped to handle a variety of delicate, urgent medical situations, these stalls are often used to treat patients with colic, critical wounds and other illnesses.
24/7 care means that your horse can be kept hydrated and comfortable for medical management of colics that is difficult to manage in the field. Each horse that is hospitalized has a tech/doctor team that work around the clock to provide intravenous therapy (hydration, pain management, electrolytes, vitamins). Decompression of the stomach and ongoing diagnostics (blood work, ultrasound, abdominocentesis)

Advanced Equine Diagnostics

When a horse is sick or injured, it’s essential to evaluate the injury or diagnose the underlying cause of illness as soon as possible so that we can provide the horse with safe and effective treatments designed to mitigate symptoms while also addressing the underlying condition.
Our hospital is fully equipped with advanced equine diagnostic tools including digital x-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, gastroscopy, and laboratory testing.

Wound and Injury Care

Our equine hospital provides the perfect environment for cleaning and repairing wounds and injuries in a clean/controlled environment. Having your horse’s injury or open wound tended to in our hospital reduces the risk of infection while improving patient outcomes.
This is very helpful when serial regional limb perfusions are the treatment of choice to get antibiotics concentrated over a specific wound/joint/sheath site. This also allows us to help our clients with the initial difficult bandage changes and promote healing with the cold laser.

Equine Surgery

Full surgical suite and recovery room is present and awaiting an equine surgeon to begin offering services. COMING SOON!

Complete Equine Veterinary Care in Tucson

In addition to our equine hospital and ICU, Jackpot Veterinary Center also has an on-site, haul-in clinic available for examining and treating horses in a clean environment, free from dirt and debris and sheltered from the elements. In addition to being highly experienced with handling equine emergencies, our equine veterinary crew is fully equipped to provide wellness and preventative care, thorough lameness examinations, sports medicine, equine podiatry, alternative therapies, and more.
To learn more about the complete equine veterinary care services available at Jackpot Veterinary Center or to schedule an appointment for your horse, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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