Services Category Archives: Equine Services

Find out about our Equine Services here.

Vets North - Equine Gastroscopy

Stomach Ulcers and Gastroscopy
Clinical Signs:
Stomach ulcers are something we frequently see. Clinical signs of stomach ulcers can be varied and can include the following:
⦁ Weight loss/Struggle to gain weight
⦁ Poor Appetite
⦁ Poor Body Condition
⦁ Decreased Performance
⦁ Behavioural changes
⦁ Girthiness
⦁ Repeated bouts of colic
⦁ Dull Coat

The only way to reliably diagnose stomach ulcers is to pass a videoscope into their stomach and directly look for any changes to the mucosa. Not only does this allow us to diagnose ulcers, but also allows us to assess the location and severity of the ulceration and tailor treatment accordingly.

We perform this procedure regularly at our Kumeu clinic. Please contact them on 094129016 if you wish to book an appointment.

What causes stomach ulcers?
Gastric ulceration in horses can occur in two forms; ulceration of the squamous mucosa (pale pink area) or ulceration of the glandular mucosa (darker pink area). The glandular mucosa is the bottom ⅔ of the stomach and responsible for secreting acid. This mucosa also has a thick layer of mucus to keep it from being damaged by the acid. The squamous mucosa is more delicate and only has a thin layer of mucus.

Ulceration of the squamous mucosa is caused by an increased exposure to acid. Ulceration of the glandular mucosa usually occurs due to a failure of the mucus layer protecting the glandular tissue or a disruption in blood flow to the tissue. Gastric ulceration is graded according to the severity and the grading is different depending on the type of mucosa.

Management Alterations to Help Prevent Gastric Ulceration

Due to a horse’s grazing nature, horses secrete gastric acid continuously. The food horses eat, particularly roughage e.g. grass and hay, as well as the saliva which is produced while eating help to buffer this acid. However, certain feeds such as concentrates and high starch feeds create more acidic conditions. The below recommendations can help:

⦁ Horses should have continuous access to high quality forage.
⦁ Add roughage e.g. Chaff to all meals.
⦁ Lucerne chaff may be beneficial due to the high calcium which helps to buffer the acid.
⦁ Split concentration ration into 2 feeds.
⦁ Corn oil or rapeseed oil (50-100mls once or twice a day) – This could reduce the amount of acid produced and possibly increase the barrier function of the glandular mucosa.
⦁ Feed 1-2L molasses free chaff within 30 mins of exercise. – This may form a ‘mat’ and reduce the splashing of acid to the squamous mucosa.

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Vets North - Payment Support


VetCare Finance

Unexpected vet bills? VetCare Finance knows how stressful it can be when your pet needs veterinary care you just can’t afford.

If you don’t have pet insurance, vet bills can be costly – whether they’re for emergency health care, or important procedures you can’t put off any longer.

VetCare Finance provides fast loans and flexible repayment options, so your furry friend can get the health care they need. They can approve loans of up to $5,000. Application criteria applies, read more here.

Visit VetCare Finance



Pay in 4 easy interest free installments when you set up your Afterpay Card in your apple or google wallet through the Afterpay app.


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Vets North - Export Certification

Export certification for all species


Vets North has staff certified to export any animal, anywhere in the world, be it your horse, cat or dog.

 Please ring the clinic for any information you may need, or an obligation free quote.

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Vets North - Animal Physio

Vet’s North Animal Physio – North West

Vet’s North provide personalised rehabilitation and physiotherapy for all of your animals. Our main priority is to improve their way of life by treating any orthopaedic, musculoskeletal or neurological conditions they may be suffering from. We also offer post-operative rehabilitation and physio to speed up the healing process and prevent future injuries.

Our specialised veterinarian staff work with a broad range of animals, including dogs, cats, horses and many other animals ranging from small to large in size. We’ll even come to you for any of your equine (horse) physiotherapy.

Treatment will generally consist of an initial evaluation, followed by development of a specialised treatment plan. So please get in touch with us today to book an initial consultation.


Our physio site is located at our Waimauku clinic.


Pricing varies widely in this field, however if you call we can give you a quick estimation depending on the type of animal, and types of physiotherapy or rehabilitation services required.

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Vets North - Lameness Evaluations

  • General Lameness examinations
  • Joint and Nerve Blocks
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Vets North - Imaging

  • Pregnancy Scanning
  • Tendon Scanning
  • Digital Radiography (At clinic & out in the field)
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Vets North - Breeding

  • AI (Chilled and Frozen Semen)
  • Normal Pregnancy Management
  • Mare Infertility Work-up
  • Twin Reduction
  • Breeding Soundness Exam
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Vets North - Routine, Medical & Surgical

  • Neonatal Care (Routine & Intensive)
  • Neurological Work-Ups
  • Colic Evaluation and Management
  • Respiratory Evaluations (Inc Endoscopy & Bronchial Lavage)
  • Routine Soft Tissue Surgery (Castrations, Wounds etc.)
  • Ophthalmic Evaluations & Treatments
  • Laminitis
  • Blood Tests
  • Sarcoids Evaluation and Treatment
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Vets North - Pre-Purchase & Insurance

Pre-Purchase Examinations

A pre-purchase examination or ‘vetting’ is a thorough clinical examination of the horse prior to the purchase of the horse. This is carried out on behalf of the prospective purchaser to assess the horse’s suitability for its intended purpose.

The purpose of a pre-purchase examination is to assign a risk to any abnormalities found, and therefore is not to pass or fail the horse but to alert the buyer to any existing conditions. The pre-purchase exam is not a guarantee or an insurance policy, it is an examination of the horse’s health on a particular day.


The Examination:

· Stage 1: Preliminary examination

This is a thorough clinical examination of the horse at rest, including checking the eyes, heart and lungs.


· Stage 2: Examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing.

The horse is walked and trotted in hand on a hard, level surface to detect any abnormalities of gait and action. Flexion tests of all four limbs are then performed, which can help highlight any potential problem joints. It may also be requested to see the horse move on a lunge if the animal and facilities allow.


· Stage 3: Examination during and immediately after exercise

The horse is usually ridden during this phase in walk, trot and canter. This includes getting the horses heart and respiratory rates up to check for any abnormalities.


· Stage 4: Examination after exercise

The horse is allowed to stand quietly following exercise and recovery of vital signs are checked.


· Stage 5: A final examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing.

The horse is trotted in hand again to look for any lameness brought on my exercise. Flexion tests may be repeated at this stage.


Additional Tests

On top of the examination you can also request radiographs, endoscopy, ultrasonography of tendons, ECG, reproductive exam or a blood test for prohibited substances (e.g. bute/anti-inflammatories).



Prior to the pre-purchase examination, we require statements to be completed by the buyer and the current owner. These statements will be emailed to you after booking your pre-purchase appointment. Please ensure they are completed and returned to us before the appointment and all blank spaces are filled in, if you are unsure of an answer please write ‘unknown’.

Please contact us at Vets North if you have any further questions.

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