24-hour emergency/critical care includes full medical and surgical services (e.g. management of colic or colitis, trauma and respiratory distress). Advanced intravenous care, parenteral nutrition, blood and plasma transfusion, dialysis, intensive cardio-vascular monitoring, airway support and mechanical ventilation are just some of the treatments our team can offer.
A free-standing isolation unit providing six independent stalls with dedicated treatment spaces ensures unmatched biosecurity for horses. We offer full diagnostic capabilities and intensive care for patients with infectious gastrointestinal (salmonella, rotavirus, coronavirus, clostridia), respiratory (strangles) and neurologic diseases (equine herpes virus). Two stalls are equipped with two-ton hoists for recumbent animals that require sling support.
We are equipped to handle medically complex or special quarantine needs.
In bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), the cells and fluid that occupy the farthest reaches of the lungs are sampled. We usually use a bronchoscope to perform this test, allowing a thorough assessment of the upper and lower airways, looking for any evidence of inflammation, mucus production, foreign bodies or infection before retrieving fluid for cytologic assessment. After we have inspected the airways, a volume of sterile fluid is infused into the lower airways and then retrieved – this can be thought of as a liquid biopsy. The fluid is processed for the types of cells present, and the sample is evaluated on-site by Dr. Mazan, a sought-after speaker and author on the assessment of BAL cytology. Precise treatment plans for the type and extent of inflammation present in the lungs can be crafted after this assessment.
Diagnostic testing is performed for insulin dysregulation (equine metabolic syndrome) and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, equine Cushing’s disease) and other endocrine disorders.
A comprehensive assessment of endocrine risk factors is recommended for horses presenting laminitis. All members of the service diagnose and manage endocrine disorders. Nicholas Frank, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, is a pioneer in researching equine endocrine disorders and is available for consultations and outpatient appointments on Fridays.
The transition from intra- to extrauterine life can be fraught with problems for the newborn animal. Critically-ill foals that come to Tufts Equine Center receive the best care available in New England. In consultation with a reproduction specialist, we can assess the dam during her late pregnancy and be present for the parturition birth.
Tufts Equine Center provides diagnostics and treatment for complex conditions involving the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, cervical vertebrae and peripheral nerves. Advanced diagnostic imaging (myelogram, CT, MRI, radiography, nuclear scintigraphy and ultrasound) and diagnostic testing (cerebral spinal fluid sampling) are available.
Horses are affected by a range of muscle disorders such as polysaccharide storage myopathy, rhabdomyolysis (“tying up”) and HYPP (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis). The Internal Medicine Service can provide diagnostic testing and recommend specific treatment and management plans for these complex conditions.
Cases of diarrhea that once would have been fatal are responding to fecal transplantation. Now Cummings School researchers are working to identify exactly how this procedure can help horses
Against All Odds – Clinician’s Expertise Saves Equitation Star
Last Thanksgiving, Conan, an 18.3-hand Argentinian warmblood, within hours went from being healthy and sound to being on the verge of death. Though the Big Equitation star’s tests were all coming back negative, it was clear he was running out of time—and it was up to the team at Tufts Equine Center to save him.
Equine Clinical Case Challenge: More than Just a Corneal Lesion?
A 17-year-old Quarterhorse gelding was presented for a corneal lesion of approximately five months duration.
Testing a New Therapy for Horses Struggling to Breathe
Cummings School researchers study an inexpensive drug to see if it can offer a new treatment for equine asthma—a common and chronic affliction that’s difficult to manage
Why Are Horses So Fast?
Breathing only through their noses—and having big hearts—give them a boost
The Tufts video series Ever Wonder features faculty and other experts answering questions for the curious about all manner of topics—from how parrots talk to why cats purr.
Why is even a small cough a big problem in a racehorse?
Professor Melissa Mazan, V93, a board-certified internist and pulmonology expert at Tufts Equine Center, explains
Dr. Daniela Bedenice is a veterinary internist and one of the few large animal veterinary specialists in the country who is dual board-certified in both Large Animal Internal Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Bedenice co-leads the Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab and is at the forefront of understanding, diagnosing and treating horses with respiratory conditions. She also provides intensive care for both newborn and adult horses, llamas, alpacas and small ruminant species. Dr. Bedenice grew up in rural Germany where she trained and cared for many horses. After earning her veterinary degree from the Free University of Berlin, Dr. Bedenice initially worked in private practice followed by specialty training in large animal internal medicine, critical care and respiratory medicine after moving to the United States. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School, Dr. Bedenice has published extensively in the field of comparative respiratory medicine and evidence-based therapy, as well as newborn and adult intensive care. She is Course Director of Clinical Pharmacology and leads or contributes to multiple veterinary courses focused on respiratory topics, gastrointestinal disease and neurology, and to clinical services specializing in large animal internal medicine. At home, Dr. Bedenice operates a small farm with thirteen alpacas and three German Shepherds.
Dr. Alisha Gruntman is a veterinary internist and Section Chief for the Internal Medicine team at Tufts Equine Center. Dr. Gruntman commonly treats colic, colitis, enteritis, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, equine asthma, neurologic diseases and many other common and vague illnesses. She was drawn to medicine at Tufts because of the complex challenges treating cases at a high-level university referral practice. Her research focuses on gene therapies for rare genetic diseases in both human and veterinary patients. After completing her veterinary training at Purdue University, Dr. Gruntman completed her internship, medicine residency, and a year of post-doctoral research at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, specializing in Gene Therapy, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is an Assistant Professor with both Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr. Melissa Mazan co-leads the Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab and is a world-recognized expert in the field of equine asthma. Dr Mazan’s work led to the creation of the first clinical lung function laboratory in North America where lung function testing is regularly used to help improve equine performance. Dr. Mazan earned her B.A. at Yale University and her DVM from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She is board-certified in the America College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal). Dr. Mazan teaches courses on respiratory medicine and pathophysiology, as well as exercise physiology at Cummings School where she was drawn by the opportunity to combine research, clinical work and teaching. She also developed the first veterinary telemedicine teaching service in the United States for working equids in Fez, Morocco. Dr. Mazan’s interest in equine health and performance began when she was a member of the Varsity Polo Team at Yale University and the Captain of the Polo Team at the University of Oxford, and when she was managing her own barn and competing as a junior in equitation and Pony Club.