Emergency medical and surgical care are available both on ambulatory and hospital setting on a 24/7 basis. The Roaring Fork Equine Medical Center offers climate controlled intensive care stalls, ICU nursing, on site laboratory and a fully staffed surgical center capable of handling most surgical emergencies.

If your horse is experiencing an emergency, please call us right away at (970) 987-4757.

When is bringing your horse to the hospital best?

Roaring Fork Equine Medical Center offers both ambulatory and in-hospital services. We’d like to bring to certain conditions that are best addressed in hospital. Bringing your horse into the hospital can allow for more extensive diagnostics, prompt treatment or surgical intervention, and a clean/controlled environment to avoid complications. The following are some conditions we may recommend that you come in to our hospital rather than have us come out to you:

What is Colic?

Although some colic can be mild and responsive to a dose of banamine and/or oral fluids, there are some bad colic conditions that warrant more extensive treatment and monitoring. So how can you tell if your horse has one of the bad types of colic? Oftentimes, degree of discomfort and duration of colic will help us to determine the type of treatment your horse may need. So if your horse is showing aggressive or persistent signs of colic, then we will likely recommend that you bring him/her to the clinic so we can either implement immediate medical therapy or possibly take him/her to surgery.

Wounds or Injuries Involving a Joint/Tendon Sheath

If your horse sustains an injury in or around a joint, our greatest concern is that the joint has become contaminated and is at risk of becoming infected. There are certain diagnostics that can be performed to help us to determine if a joint is involved in an injury, but doing these in a clean, controlled environment will help avoid certain complications. It should also be noted, that occasionally injuries involving a joint or tendon sheath require surgical treatment that can only be done in hospital.

What is Dystocia?

If you have a mare who is having difficulty having a baby, it is VERY important that you bring her into the clinic as soon as possible. Every minute counts to save the life of the foal and the mare. An emergency c-section is sometimes needed and can only be done in hospital.

Sick Foals

Foals are very fragile creatures and can develop a variety of illnesses that can rapidly become severe and life-threatening. Younger foals (less than 1 month) are often at greater risk of disease. Foals will also develop various complications associated with illness that could potentially affect their long-term athletic career. If your foal is displaying any of the following, we recommend the foal come into the clinic for medical care:

  • not nursing
  • not standing
  • developing sores
  • colicking
  • limping
  • breathing heavily
  • dull appearance

Eye Injuries

Injuries to the eye, such as corneal ulcers, can rapidly progress and in severe cases, result in loss of the eye.  Therefore, we consider a horse with acute eye pain to be emergent.  In some circumstances, eye injuries can be evaluated in the field; however, in the early stages of disease, frequent treatment and close monitoring may require hospitalization. Please call us immediately if you notice your horse is squinting, has discharge from the eye, swelling around eye, or discoloration of the eye. 

We understand that sometimes hauling into the clinic can be difficult to do under certain circumstances. Although we can’t control the weather, we do encourage all horse owners and managers to have a plan in place for hauling. If you don’t own a truck and/or trailer, we recommend having an emergency haul-in plan. That means finding someone who is either willing to haul for you or is willing to allow you to borrow their trailer. There are some places that offer rentals for horse trailers. Please remember, when we ask you to bring your horse in to us, it is often for the benefit of the horse. If you don’t know whether or not hauling in would be best, just talk to us and we can figure out a plan!

If you have questions about our emergency services, contact us or call us.