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Custom-Tailored Equine Wellness Plans for Our Patients

Routine preventive care is essential to maintaining good health. This isn’t true just for humans; it’s important for horses, too. Every horse is unique and we take the time to create a wellness plan for each horse and owner that is right for them. Wellness plans can be broken into four essential parts.


Preventative Equine Wellness Care at Columbia Equine HospitalWe recommend owners of adult horses have them examined once a year by a skilled equine veterinarian to ensure their overall health. We are fully able to perform a complete physical examination either at our facility or on your farm, whichever is easiest for you. A wellness examination at Columbia Equine Hospital consists of:

  • Complete physical exam
  • Diagnostic test(s) as needed
  • Vaccinations as needed
  • Dental examination

Strategic Deworming

We use an evidence-based approach to keeping our horse patients free of dangerous parasites, allowing for more effective treatment. By doing routine fecal egg counts (FEC), which tell us which parasites are present and whether the burden is light, moderate, or heavy, we can help develop a customized deworming program that will not only cut down on parasite resistance, but may also save your horse from unnecessary treatments.

The four steps to effective deworming:

  1. Your veterinarian will perform a fecal egg count (FEC) to determine your horse’s parasite status. This test should be performed annually, though horses with a higher risk of parasite exposure should have more frequent FECs.
  2. Your veterinarian will perform FECs on the rest of the herd to determine the level of parasite shedding. This will help identify horses that pose the greatest risk of exposing others to parasite infection and provides information needed to form a tailored strategy.
  3. Risk evaluation is critical to establishing the right plan. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your horse’s parasite exposure risks.
  4. Based on the above, your veterinarian will develop a plan to fit the individual needs of your horse. It is important to monitor the success of the plan with regular FECs and risk factor evaluations. This will help detect things like parasite resistance and inform your veterinarian if a change is plan is needed.


Protecting your horse from disease is an important part of his or her overall wellness plan. Vaccinations are essential to protecting against disease, and we will create a vaccination schedule that is right for your horse. Basic "core" vaccinations include:

  • Tetanus—All horses are at risk for this potentially fatal disease. This annual vaccination is a safe and effective way of protecting your horse.
  • Eastern/Western equine encephalomyelitis—Transmission of this is mostly by mosquitoes or other blood-sucking insects. While rare in our area, we do recommend vaccinating your horses annually for this potentially life threatening disease.
  • Equine Herpes Virus
  • Equine Influenza
  • West Nile Virus
  • Rabies—While the incidence of rabies in horses is low, the disease is invariably fatal if acquired; therefore, this annual vaccine is considered to be a core vaccine for all horses.

In addition to the above vaccinations, we also offer other risk-based vaccinations as needed. These may be used to protect against:

  • Equine viral arteritis
  • Potomac horse fever
  • Strangles

Dental Care

Annual, comprehensive equine dental examinations are an important part of your horse’s wellness plan. Our extensive dental care capabilities include dental evaluation, dental X-rays, extraction, corrective floating, and geriatric dentistry. Your horse’s overall health can be directly affected by his or her dental condition. Routine dental care is the key to reducing the risks of tooth loss and diagnosing serious medical conditions like choke and colic.


“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!”