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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
1:51 AM Wed, Sept. 26th

Healthy as a horse

PRESCOTT ­ The Prescott Animal Hospital treats animals of every shape and size.

However, treating horses at its Iron Springs Road office is a challenge. Horse owners find it difficult to maneuver their trucks and trailers on the parking lot.

All that is about to change.

The veterinarians at the animal hospital are opening a new equine center at the Prescott Air Park specifically for the treatment of their four-legged patients. It is the first all-equine hospital north of Phoenix.

Drs. Steven Dow and Bryan Nolte will open a new Prescott Animal Hospital Equine Center for the safe and efficient treatment of horses this summer.

Dow said the wide doors and large rooms will allow staff members to walk the horses into the building for exams. The hospital will use state of the art diagnostic equipment including ultrasound and digital radiography.

One of the exam rooms includes a bay door and stocks so horses can enter the exam stall directly from the trailer.

"The stocks provide a safe place to examine and perform procedures," said Nolte. "Stocks are like a gurney is for people."

Adjacent to the exam room and on both sides of the surgery room are padded, post-surgery stalls.

The new center includes a fully functional laboratory. Dow said the doctors do a lot of their own lab work.

"A lot of the lab work is the result of emergencies," he said.

The nine stalls will line the side of the building for overnight stays.

In addition to the exam and surgery rooms, the new equine center will have an apartment for vet students or staff members keeping an all-night vigil on a patient.

Five veterinarians work at the Prescott Animal Hospital. Dow and Nolte both work on large animals, with Nolte doing most of the detail work.

Operating on a horse is not easy. First, the animal receives a pre-anesthetic. The doctors then lay the animal on its side, place it in a hoist and raise it onto a padded table.

Nolte said horses tolerate anesthesia relatively well, but staff members monitor them closely during surgery.

"Operating on horses is an art that requires a padded room," Dow said.

Nolte said the new equine center is not just for surgery.

"This is a full-blown hospital. The need for an equine hospital in this area is great," Nolte said.

People who take their small animals to the Prescott Animal Hospital need not worry that the doctors will abandon them. Dow said the office on Iron Springs Road would remain open for the exclusive treatment of small animals.

Dow said the original plan was to open the new equine center the end of May. However, he said crews still need to finish some of the details and Dow and Nolte want to wait until "everything is perfect."

The new Prescott Animal Hospital Equine Center is at 2611 Avenger in the Prescott Air Park.

Contact the reporter at prhoden@prescottaz.com