From routine checks to complex care

Your horse's complete care, under one roof

Our Services

Our veterinarians make ambulatory calls, carry out in-depth lameness and medical investigations and offer a full surgical service. Our team of vets and support staff are highly trained and our biggest asset. We enjoy collaborating on cases to provide the best outcome for each horse. We also receive complex referrals from other equine vets, with over 80 veterinarians throughout the South Island regularly referring cases to us.

We are the only South Island clinic to provide Nuclear Scintography (bone scanning), and subsequently the complete picture of your horse.


We have excellent surgical facilities at our purpose-built equine hospital. We carry out over 220 surgeries annually in our air-conditioned surgical theatre. Our surgical caseload varies widely and includes respiratory, abdominal (colic), reproductive and orthopaedic surgeries. We are the only equine facility in the South Island to provide a 24-hour emergency surgery service. Anaesthesia is carried out by trained veterinarians with extensive monitoring equipment to ensure the safety of your horse.

Surgical services available:

  • Arthroscopy (joint surgery)
  • Emergency surgery including colics and caesarean sections
  • Respiratory (wind) surgery
  • Fracture repair
  • Laparoscopy
  • Wound repairs
  • Reproductive surgeries
  • Tumour removal
  • Spinal surgery
  • Ocular (eye) surgery
  • Standing sinus surgery
  • Closed castrations

Racing Services

We care for both thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses, from weaning to race day. Our vets visit racing stables daily to provide routine treatments, keeping athletes in peak condition. In addition, we routinely carry out joint medications, poor performance investigations and respiratory endoscopy (including overground endoscopy).

Routine stable visits and healthcare

Our team strive to keep your horse happy and healthy. We can advise you on a horse health care programme, including vaccinations, parasite control and nutrition. We can provide advice on the care of your horse from foal to geriatric, ensuring that your horse is kept in optimal condition throughout their life.

Lameness investigations

Lameness is a very common problem with horses, from performance horses to pleasure ponies. Lameness can vary from a sudden, obvious sore limb to a chronic, low level lameness that causes poor performance. Our team performs in-depth lameness investigations at our clinic in Prebbleton. We start with a thorough clinical examination and a gait assessment of your horse. Depending on the problem, we may then perform nerve blocks to localise the lameness or diagnostic imaging to identify the problem. We offer a full range of diagnostic imaging including x-rays, ultrasound and nuclear scintigraphy (bone scanning). Once the problem area has been identified, our vets will work with you to determine the most appropriate treatment for your horse/pony. The range of treatments we offer includes joint medications, IRAP, shockwave therapy, PRP, remedial farriery and rehabilitation programmes.

Dental services

We offer a full range of dental services from routine annual checks through to advanced dental surgery including tooth removal, diastema treatment and sinus surgery. All dental work is done using a mouth gag, a light source and sedation so that we can fully examine your horse’s mouth. Our vets have undergone further training in equine dentistry so you can be sure you will receive optimal treatment. Routine dental work can be done either in the clinic or at your property. Advanced dental surgery is done at our hospital so that we can provide the best care for your horse.

Pre-purchase examinations

Have confidence in your next horse by having one of our experienced veterinarians examine the horse before you buy. Pre-purchase examinations are designed to identify any issues that may prevent your next horse performing as desired. Our veterinarians are all certified with the NZ VPIS for pre-purchase examinations.

Stage 1-2 examinations include a full clinical examination at rest and a gait assessment including flexion tests.

Stage 1-5 examinations include the above as well as examination during and after exercise. Additional options include upper respiratory tract scope, radiographs, ECG and testing for blood levels of anti-inflammatories.

Nuclear scintigraphy

We are the only equine facility in the South Island to provide scintigraphy (bone scanning). This advanced imaging technique aids in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal problems. Nuclear scintigraphy provides a full-body image of the horse and highlights problem areas to investigate further.

Breeding and foal care

Our reproductive services are led by Dr Harriet Bell who has undergone further training in this area with some of the world’s top reproductive specialists. Services offered include:

Internal medicine

We offer an extensive equine internal medicine service, catering for all needs from ill-thrift to acutely sick horses. Our veterinarians are able to carry out intensive diagnostic investigations utilising our in-house bloodwork service, ultrasonography of the abdomen, thorax and reproductive tract, electrocardiography (ECG) and endoscopy. We are also able to provide intensive care at our purpose-built hospital for sick horses and ponies, including intravenous fluid therapy and 24/7 monitoring.

Poor performance investigations

Is your horse performing as expected? Performance can be influenced by many different factors, including musculoskeletal issues, metabolic disorders, gastric ulceration, respiratory diseases and feed management. Our vets can examine your horse, identify underlying issues and development a treatment plan to get your horse back to peak performance.

Diagnostic imaging

We have state-of-the art diagnostic imaging equipment including portable digital x-ray, ultrasonography, endoscopy and nuclear scintigraphy. This allows our vets to use multiple imaging modalities when investigating your horse to give you the most information.


Gastric ulceration can be an underlying cause of many ill-thrift, performance and behavioural problems. Using our state-of-the-art video gastroscope, we are able to visualise the entire stomach of the horse in order to detect and grade any gastric ulceration present. This allows us to create a bespoke treatment plan to get your horse feeling well again.

In-house laboratory

At our in-house laboratory, we offer same-day, extensive testing including training profiles, haematology and biochemistry panels for sick horses and faecal egg counts. This is available 24/7 to provide optimal care for sick horses and ponies. Our veterinarians interpret all test results and provide appropriate advice, ranging from supplements to what drench to use.


We are very fortunate to work closely with the very experienced farrier Grant Nyhan to provide a complete farriery service. Grant offers remedial farriery, post-surgery shoeing and inventive shoeing options for those tricky cases. Our veterinarians work together with Grant to assess your horse’s feet, including analysis of foot balance and x-rays. Grant visits the clinic every Thursday, visits must be booked through reception.

We are also happy to work with your farrier to improve your horse’s foot balance. Foot radiographs allow us to give recommendations on how the pedal bone sits within hoof capsule including mediolateral foot balance, hoof-pastern axis and trimming requirements.

Laser surgery

Our innovative diode laser has a wide range of surgical applications. We can perform minimally-invasive progressive surgical techniques to improve wind function, allowing a shorter return to training and racing. The laser is also fundamental for tumour removals (e.g. sarcoids) as it reduces the likelihood of recurrence.

"I can’t recommend Canterbury Equine highly enough. With state of the art diagnostics and a highly skilled team, they should be everyone’s first port of call for both routine veterinary work and equine emergencies. A personable and efficient team delivering superior quality service."
- Leah -