Due to staff additions since last year, there has been a significant expansion in the services offered at the Performance Equine Vets facility near Aiken.
“Now we are essentially a full referral hospital with a full team of specialists,” said Dr. Sabrina Jacobs, founder and business owner.
Emergency operations can be performed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Previously, “we operated on an elective surgery basis,” Jacobs said. “We did a few colic surgeries, but not a lot because we had to have a surgeon available and everything would have to match.”
As a result, horses were often transported to the University of Georgia or Tryon, North Carolina, when their abdominal problems were serious enough to require surgery.
New group Save Historic Aiken supports preservation with a focus on horses
Such trips, which lasted several hours, “were not in the best interest of the horse and in many cases, the horses did not survive,” Jacobs said.
In addition to emergency surgeries, intensive care medicine is now available for equine patients undergoing procedures, and there are also more options for diagnosing and treating complicated health issues.
“We have a lot of heart monitoring equipment,” Jacobs said. “We can do EKGs (electrocardiograms) and echocardiograms.”
The newest members of the Performance Equine Vets team include Drs. Stephanie Caston, a board-certified veterinary surgeon formerly based at Iowa State University.
She earned her veterinary degree from Texas A&M University.
Caston said he enjoys the challenge of performing a variety of surgeries, including airway, abdominal and arthroscopic procedures.
Another recent arrival is Dr. Alanna Farrell, who completed her surgical residency at Iowa State after receiving her veterinary degree from Washington State University.
Equine Rescue of Aiken breaks ground on new farm rescue center
“My main interests are lameness surgery and sports medicine,” Farrell said.
Dr. Rachelle Thompson, who is an internal medicine specialist, came to Performance Equine Vets from Cornell University in New York, where she completed her residency.
She is a graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
Thompson said she enjoys working with newborn foals who need intensive care.
“This is my passion,” she said.
The Aiken area has been known as a horse haven for many years, so the horse population in the area is large. Some of the animals compete nationally and internationally.
“We’ve had a real strong need for these types of advanced medical procedures in our local market for a long time,” Jacobs said.
Daybreak Farm owner retires from ‘devastating’ fire, competing at Bruce’s Field
So far, the response has been positive to the increased services offered by Performance Equine Vets.
“The area has been welcoming and very supportive,” Jacobs said. “We get a lot of referrals locally and a lot of referrals from the Lowcountry. It’s great to see that horse owners are able to work with their primary care veterinarians and then come to us for specialty procedures. Then primary care veterinarians can get back to caring for their horse.”
Performance Equine Vets is also known as Performance Equine Veterinary Services.
For more information, visit performanceequinevets.com or the Performance Equine Vets Facebook page.
Performance Equine Vets Hospital is at 3827 Charleston Highway.
The facility has a total of eight veterinarians on its staff, including Dr. Douglass Berry, a part-time surgeon.