Tryon Equine Hospital P.L.L.C




Internal Medicine


Internal Medicine

Tryon Equine is available 24 hours a day to provide advanced diagnostics and intensive care treatment for medical cases. Depending on the disease process, some medical cases may be seen on an outpatient basis while others may require hospitalization and constant monitoring. Some of the more common cases we treat include:


From hives to hair loss to fire ant attacks, skin issues can cause major irritation to horse and owner. A thorough history and examination, along with cytology, fungal and bacterial culture, allergy testing, skin scraping, and/or biopsy, can provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan to get back on course.


Video endoscopy is used to diagnose diseases of the head and respiratory tract. An endoscopic exam is indicated for horses exhibiting nasal discharge, epistaxis (bleeding from the nose), coughing, head shaking, respiratory noise when exercising, and exercise intolerance. The endoscope is also used to visualize the urinary system and the reproductive system. Biopsies may also be collected via endoscopy.

Gastrointestinal Disorders (Choke, Colic & Colitis)

Choke/Esophageal Obstruction – Food or foreign material (wood, shavings) can get lodged in the esophagus. Affected horses will drool, and may act anxious. Horses get quickly dehydrated and aspirate feed contents into their lungs, causing severe pneumonia.
Colic - The most common GI disorder that we treat is acute abdominal pain, or colic. Most cases of colic can recover medically if treated early and aggressively. A diagnosis is established with a thorough physical exam, possibly aided by abdominal ultrasound or abdominocentesis (sample of fluid surrounding intestines). A treatment plan specific to the problem is initiated immediately to maximize the chances of a positive outcome for your horse.
Colitis – Horses suffering from colitis may have severe diarrhea, causing extreme fluid and protein loss. Colitis also causes acute abdominal pain, and can have disastrous side effects such as laminitis or death.


Gastroscopy utilizes an endoscope that is 3 feet in length to examine the entire equine esophagus and stomach. Gastroscopy is the gold standard to diagnose EGUS, or equine gastric ulcer syndrome, which is extremely common in performance horses. Gastric ulcers can cause weight loss, poor performance, and colic symptoms. Keep in mind that horses need to be taken off of feed 24 hours before being scoped for the best results. Contact us with any questions or to schedule.


Laminitis or “founder” is an extremely serious and life-threatening disease in the horse. Laminitis can occur secondary to obesity, metabolic diseases, change in feed (high volume of grain, lush pasture), lameness in other legs, fevers, or systemic diseases. Prompt and intensive treatment is necessary to try and minimize rotation of the coffin bone within the hoof capsule. Follow-up podiatry work with your farrier is also critical to optimizing recovery from laminitis.


There is nothing more fun than a healthy foal. However, when foals are not thriving, they can become extremely ill very quickly. Foals that don’t get adequate colostrum from the mare within the first 12 hours of life are at increased risk for severe illness. We commonly see foals for this failure of passive transfer (FPT). Premature/dysmature foals or foals that experience oxygen deprivation or other birthing trauma require 24-hour nursing care. Foals also commonly require veterinary attention for pneumonia, diarrhea, umbilical infections, and septic joints.


Neurologic disease can be difficult to diagnose in the horse. A thorough neurologic examination helps to localize the area of the nervous system that is affected (brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves). Ancillary diagnostics include blood work, cervical (neck) radiographs, or collection of spinal fluid. Common causes of neurologic disease include EPM, Wobbler’s syndrome, trauma, and cervical arthritis.


Excessive tear production, light sensitivity, a cloudy appearance to the eye, or a laceration anywhere near the eye should always be taken seriously, and horses exhibiting any signs of eye discomfort should be seen immediately by a veterinarian. Inflammation from an ulcer/scratch on the cornea or an underlying disease can cause permanent blindness. An untreated ulcer can also become infected with bacteria or fungus, and can be difficult to treat once infection is established. For complicated ocular cases, a subpalpebral lavage system can be placed to allow aggressive medication and improve the chances of maintaining a visual eye.


Common respiratory illnesses include allergies, pneumonia, pleuropneumonia, sinus infections, strangles, and respiratory viruses. A respiratory exam may include an airway endoscopy or an ultrasound of the lungs. We commonly perform trans-tracheal washes – cells are collected from the airway for microscopic examination and culture, to direct specific and appropriate therapy.