“The majority of our patients are pleasure or companion horses along with race horses during the racing season,” said Dr. David Wong, professor of veterinary clinical science. “But we also see draft horses, competition animals and a variety of different breeds.”
Those cases primarily come from Iowa but horses from Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota regularly seek treatment from Iowa State.
“Our caseload has been pretty consistent through the years even after we built the new hospital a few years ago,” Dr. Wong said.
The new facility translated into a much better medical and working environment. The lighting is significantly improved and the patient flow is now much better than previously. The hospital have several different wards for surgical, medical and intensive care patients.
The Equine Hospital sees between 2000 and 2400 patients each year. The facility has three dedicated surgeons and two internists on staff along with theriogenologists (reproduction specialist), ambulatory veterinarians and a staff farrier.
Veterinary medical students in their fourth year can participate in rotations in the Equine Hospital focusing in on surgery, clinical skills, dentistry, internal medicine and field services.
The rotations are used as an introduction to equine veterinary practice to some students and as in-depth training to those interested in pursuing a career as an equine or mixed animal veterinarian.
"We try to focus on educating students so they are competent when they leave here,” Dr. Wong said. “Only about 10 percent of our students each year have an interest in practicing equine medicine whereas a larger number of mixed and small animal students exist.
“We make sure that group of students gets the technical skills that will be necessary in an equine practice.”