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Surgical Services

Surgical services at Vermont Large Animal Clinic - Equine Hospital are performed by Dr. Philip D. van Harreveld, who is Board Certified in Equine Surgery and Dr. Elsa Ludwig. The surgical suite is complete with a hydraulic table, gas anesthesia with positive pressure ventilation, blood pressure monitoring, EKG, blood gas monitoring, medical and emergency support, padded recovery room, climate control, and a wide variety of other medical and surgical equipment.  Please refer to our list of surgical services below, and don't hesitate to contact Dr. van Harreveld or Dr. Ludwig for surgical consultation or referrals.


Soft Tissue Surgical Services

  • Abdominal Surgery: Colic surgeries; exploratory celiotomies; ovariectomies; C-sections
  • Airway Surgery: tie-back and vocal chordectomy; epiglottic entrapment; nasopharyngeal polyps; guttural pouch surgery
  • Castrations: Routine castrations; cryptorchid castrations
  • Mass Removal
  • Reparative Surgery: Skin grafting; wound revision
  • Reproductive Surgery: phalectomy (penile amputation); recto-vaginal fistula/tear repair; ovariectomies; castrations


Orthopedic Surgical Services

  • Arthroscopic joint, tendon sheath, and bursa procedures
  • Fractured splint bone removal
  • Sequestrum removal/debridement

General Surgical Services

  • Dental Surgery: Tooth extractions and surgical repulsions; wolf tooth removal; fractured jaw wiring
  • Emergency Surgery: Colic surgeries; lacerations; septic joints; C-sections
  • Neonatal Surgery: Umbilical cord resection; umbilical and inguinal hernia repair; ruptured bladder repair; periosteal stripping or transphyseal bridging (angular limb deformities) 
  • Ophthalmic Surgery: Trans-palpebral lavage system placement (to administer eye medication); enucleation; third eyelid resection; surgical and medication consultation with Dr. Sarah Hoy, ophthalmologist at Vermont Veterinary Eye Care
  • Podiatry Surgery: Penetrating injury to the foot; neurectomy; heel bulb lacerations and casting; canker; proliferative pododermatitis; standing deep digital flexor tenotomy for laminitis

What to expect when your horse comes to VLAC for surgery:

  • We may provide you with specific feeding or medication instructions prior to your arrival. 
  • For elective procedures, horses are typically admitted the day before the scheduled surgery.  You will be greeted by our office staff, technicians, and doctors if possible, and your horse will be settled into one of our spacious stalls.  Please be sure to provide all up-to-date phone numbers and an email address, so that we can keep you up to date after surgery and during your horse’s stay.  Before leaving, we will ask that you read and sign a form consenting to treatment of your horse and our payment policy.
  • While your horse is hospitalized, we ask that you observe standard visiting hours, which are between 9am to 5pm.  If you are unable to visit during these times, please schedule a time with the doctors taking care of your horse.  While visiting, please check in with our office staff before going to your horse’s stall.  Please do not give your horse any food or treats without first checking with our technician or doctors. 
  • Discharge from the hospital typically takes place during business hours or at a mutually agreed upon time after hours or on weekends.  Your veterinarian will provide you with detailed discharge instructions and will be available for follow-up after your horse arrives back at home.
  • Our payment policy is that you will be asked to make a deposit when the horse arrives.  All remaining hospital charges must be paid in full upon release from the hospital.  Payment may be made by cash, check, credit card or Care Credit.  If your horse is insured, please contact the insurance company prior to surgery, and submit your claim to them for reimbursement of your charges.