For our regular clientele, Drs. Olenick and McDonald are available for emergencies, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a horse owner, it is important to know what constitutes an emergency. While we have made efforts to make the following list of emergency situations and their symptoms complete, horses are always finding creative ways to injure themselves. Please do not hesitate to call if you are worried for your horse’s immediate health and safety.

  • Colic: pawing, rolling, flank watching, sweating, trembling, inappetence, depression, repeated laying down, or general agitation (horses may exhibit only one or a few signs)
  • Choke: extended head and neck, anxiety, saliva and/or feed coming from mouth and/or nostrils, palpable mass in the jugular groove over which the horse may be sensitive to touch
  • Non-weight bearing lameness in any limb
  • Wounds requiring sutures, occurring within 12 hours
  • Any deep cut or puncture wound over a joint or tendon sheath
  • Severe swelling or very painful eye: squinting, excessive tearing, or thick discharge.
  • High fever (normal temperature is 37.3-38.3oC or 99-101oF)
  • Sudden onset of neurological signs: marked weakness, loss of coordination, or head pressing
  • Cast horse
  • Severe allergic reactions: facial swelling, difficulty breathing, significant/full body hives
  • Down horse unable to rise
  • Laminitis: unwillingness to walk, saw-horse stance, laying down excessively, sweating or trembling
  • Significant nose bleeds
  • Sudden joint swelling
  • Sudden onset of significant diarrhea
  • Foaling time longer than 30 minutes
  • Placenta not passed within 6 hours of foaling

If you have an emergency, please call (250) 588-9438. If you reach the voicemail, state clearly that you have an emergency, and a veterinarian will call you back within 15 minutes.  Do not email or text.  Emails and texts are not checked after regular business hours.

View our list of Equine First Aid Kit contents.