Equine Services

Califon Animal Hospital offers a broad range of equine services, including general wellness, pre-purchase exams, reproductive services, sports medicine, digital radiography and ultrasound, endoscopy, surgery, and emergency treatments at the farm. Our fully equipped veterinary trucks are a frequent sight on local roads. We try to limit our practice to a 20 mile radius of the clinic in Califon, to avoid long delays when clients have emergencies. We have an equine veterinarian on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

General wellness health starts with appropriate vaccine and deworming protocols, and we have recommendations on both here.

Pre-purchase exam

Pre-purchase examinations are comprehensive medical exams performed on a horse that you are considering buying. The buyer should be prepared to present the horse for examination as they intend to use the horse. It is the veterinarian’s purpose to comment only on the medical findings of the exam, therefore you may find it helpful to have your trainer accompany you to evaluate the horse regarding its suitability for your intended uses. A verbal and written evaluation will be prepared for you regarding the veterinarian’s findings.

It is important to understand that the veterinarian performing the pre-purchase exam will not assess the horse a pass or a fail, nor can the veterinarian make any guarantees regarding the future performance capabilities of the animal. Rather, the exam’s purpose is to aid you, the buyer, in making as much of an informed decision regarding purchase as possible.

Components of the Pre-Purchase Exam

  • Comprehensive physical exam: of all readily accessible organ systems.
  • Orthopedic examination: Palpation and flexion of all joints, hoof tester examination of all 4 feet, and observation of the horse at a walk & trot on a firm surface (lunged and/or under saddle).
  • Additional examinations which you may consider for additional fees, include:
  • Radiographs (x-rays): of important joints or those that are suspect following initial exam.
  • Blood tests: may include a complete blood count (CBC), a chemistry panel, a Coggin’s test for Equine Infectious Anemia (all horses must test negative for this viral disease before they can be shown or shipped out of state and in NJ, also within 90 days of resale), drug screens and screening for genetic diseases.
  • Urinalysis: Urine may be collected for drug screening tests.
    Fecal examination: for gastrointestinal parasites.
    Endoscopy of the respiratory system
  • Ultrasound examination: of suspect musculoskeletal areas or for reproductive purposes.


Results of the pre-purchase exam are to be used in evaluating the horse in contemplation of purchase only. The potential buyer has the right to disclose or not disclose the results with others, including the seller. However, we respect the privacy rights of the seller and we urge buyers to do so as well. Thus, results should not be disclosed to third parties or used to defame the horse.

Reproductive Services

Califon Animal Hospital offers a variety of reproductive services from routine breeding soundness examinations, to fertility problem troubleshooting and assisted reproductive techniques. We use state-of-the art ultrasound equipment to assess the mares cycle to ensure optimal timing of breeding or artificial insemination as well as to monitor growth and development of the fetus.

For Mares:

  • Routine breeding soundness exam
  • Reproductive cycle management
  • Investigation & management of sub-optimal fertility
  • Assisted reproductive techniques
  • Artificial insemination
  • Preparation for embryo transfer
  • High risk pregnancy monitoring
  • Assistance with difficult deliveries

For Stallions:

  • Routine breeding soundness exam
  • Semen evaluation

For Foals:

  • Neonatal examination
  • Blood testing to assess transfer of maternal antibodies
  • Pediatric growth & development, and medical follow-ups

Sports Medicine

Whether you use your horse for Jumping, Hunting, Dressage, Three-day Eventing, Driving, as a 4-H pony or for pleasure, your horse’s body performs as an athlete. This work places a variety of stresses on the equine body. Sports medicine addresses the needs of the equine athlete by assessing cardiovascular, respiratory, neurologic, and musculoskeletal function and utilizing medical therapy to decrease symptoms so as to maintain optimal athletic performance.

Musculoskeletal evaluation, including:

  • manual palpation
  • examination of conformation & gait
  • Assessment of Muscular tone and symmetry
  • radiographic examination
  • ultrasound of tendons & other soft tissue structures to diagnose injury and
    monitor healing

Respiratory evaluation:

  • examination of lower & upper airways
  • radiographic examination
  • endoscopic evaluation of upper airway to detect mechanical breathing problems

Neurologic evaluation:

  • Assessment of movement, reflexes and neurologic function

Digital Radiography and Ultrasound

While Califon Animal Hospital has been using ultrasound and radiographic technology as an important adjunct to physical examination for years, we have recently purchased a highly portable state-of-the-art digital radiograph and ultrasound machine with advanced imaging capabilities. The clarity of the images we are now able to obtain on the farm are the best that today’s technology has to offer. This allows for in-depth, accurate assessment of bony and soft tissue structures.


An endoscope consists of a long flexible fiber-optic tube containing a camera. Endoscopy allows our veterinarians to examine internal structures including the guttural pouches, the upper respiratory tract, and the upper gastrointestinal tract. This minimally invasive technique is easily utilized on the farm in a standing animal often with only mild sedation and is invaluable in allowing the veterinarian to directly visualize the area of interest.


Many minor equine surgical procedures including mass removal, castration, and laceration repairs can be performed on the farm as standing surgical procedures. If necessary we can induce general anesthesia on the farm to perform the procedure more safely with the horse in a recumbent position.