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We Are Here for You in Any Equine Emergency: 7 Days a Week, 24 Hours a Day

We pride ourselves in providing our clients with extremely reliable emergency services. We are equipped to handle most cases either at your farm or at our hospital. To reach a veterinarian for an emergency, just contact us.

Veterinary Equine Emergency & Critical Care From The Staff at Columbia Equine HospitalThe best way to handle any emergency is to be prepared. We strongly recommend that all horse owners maintain a first aid kit for potential emergencies such as colic, lameness, foot injuries, wounds, and so on.

First and foremost, be sure to keep our phone number handy: (503) 663-1515

We always recommend that you do your best to remain calm when facing an emergency situation and assess your horse’s condition as best as you can prior to calling your veterinarian. The information you give us will help us to be better prepared to provide prompt and efficient service.

Below are some indications that your horse may require veterinary attention:

  • Not eating—Do you notice that your horse is picking at feed or not chewing when he or she takes a mouthful? Is your horse drooling excessively or is there a foul odor coming from his or her mouth? These could be signs of a problem requiring medical attention. Be sure to take your horse’s temperature, check water consumption, remove food, and call your veterinarian.
  • Colic—Indications include your horse pawing the ground, curling his upper lip, sweating, hard or fast breathing, or possibly lying down and rolling. Some horses may become anxious or even violent. If your horse shows any of these signs, be sure to remain safe and call your veterinarian. If possible, take your horse’s temperature and start walking the horse in an open area with soft footing.
  • Nasal discharge—Watch for blood or pus, feed material, or saliva coming from one or both nostrils. Take your horse’s temperature and feel your horse’s throat area and under the jaw for swelling or tenderness. Try to keep your horse calm and call your veterinarian.
  • Swollen eye—Signs can include your horse’s upper and/or lower eyelids being swollen, tears or discharge coming from the eye, or squinting in the sunlight. If you notice any of these signs, first remove your horse from the bright sun and apply a cold compress. Then contact us.
  • Sudden leg swelling—While your horse may or may not appear lame, one or more legs will have become swollen. Be sure to take your horse’s temperature and look for scabs or cuts on the swollen leg. Cold hose the leg and apply a standing wrap, then call your veterinarian.
  • Sudden lameness—Signs include your horse not able to bear weight on one or more legs, an unwillingness to move, or appears very tender footed. If your horse demonstrates any of these signs, it is important not to move the horse and to look for obvious swelling in the affected leg. Also be sure to check your horse’s foot for nails or other foreign objects. If you find a nail, do NOT remove it. Please contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Lacerations—If your horse is bleeding, contact us immediately for instructions on what to do. We will want to know if you saw the injury happen, how big the laceration is, and if it is clean or dirty.
  • Allergic reaction—This can occur if your horse was recently vaccinated, dewormed, or given medication. It can also occur as the result of a snake or insect bite. You may notice swelling or hives at the injection site, or your horse may become very stiff and be unwilling to move. Make sure to call us as soon as possible, especially if breathing is a problem. Upon noticing a possible allergic reaction, you should remove any food and move your horse to a cool location if possible.

In some instances, we will determine that it is necessary to come to you rather than try to transport your injured horse to us. We are pleased to provide on-farm services to all of our clients, whether in an emergency or for other medical needs.

Healthy Vital Signs

  Temperature Heart Rate Respiratory Rate
Adult Horse 98–101.5°F 30–44 beats/min. 8–16 breaths/min.
Newborn Foal 99–102°F 60–100 beats/min. 20–40 breaths/min.


“Competent and helpful.”

“Professional and compassionate.”

“I have been using CEH for years, and I have 100% faith in them.”

“I always have a great experience with them.”

“I recommend them for all your horses medical needs.”

“We always have a good visit when we take our horses to Columbia Equine!”

“Columbia Equine has a wonderful staff of professionals & state of the art equipment.”

“They're focused on the well being of the animals more than anything else. They educate the customer and are helpful in many aspects, I recommend them all the time!”

– Marlene

“Blessed am I to have this great vet team behind me and my pony thank you Columbia Equine Hospital! You rock!”

– Lauren

“Thank you for the great addition to your already top notch staff at Columbia Equine. We love you guys!”

“Amazing vets and beautiful facility. I've had my horses under their care before and they do an awesome job! I would recommend any of my fellow horse friends to take their horses there.”

“I can not begin thank Dr. Hanson and staff for the amazing care they gave my horse...”

“My initial conversation was with Alexis, me asking a lot of questions, she providing a lot of professional answers and setting up an appointment for a farm visit later that day, to Dr. Rioux-Forker showing up on time, listening to the problems we are having with our OTTB, Leon, asking thoughtful questions, and suggesting helpful solutions, we were very happy with every interaction we had with the staff at Columbia Equine Hospital. Very helpful. Very professional. Very experienced. And reasonably priced. Thank you!”