24 hour emergency service

During office hours 02840624566

Out-of-hours 07540764189

intra articular injection


surgery knee foal


Lameness examnination


Cleaning face wound


Horse catration


Video endoscopy of horse


Horse heart auscultation


Xray hock


Horse dentistry at Tullyraine in Banbridge Northern Ireland

Horse blood analysis at Tullyraine in Banbridge Northern Ireland










Equine medical services



We provide a broad range of equine medical services, quite a few of which we have listed here. If you are looking for a specific service and do not find it listed here, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will gladly confirm we can help or organise a referral.

Emergency Service

Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp provides a 24 hour equine emergency service, 7 days per week, 365 days a year.

During office hours, please ring 02840624566

Out-of-hours, please ring 07540764189

During and outside office hours absolute priority will be given to genuine emergencies! Horses that are in pain and/or seriously injured will be seen as soon as humanly possible. Our out-of-hours emergency service is provided by the same vets as work in the clinics during the day. This means that the vet on call the night before is most likely working the next day also. Therefore we ask you kindly to only call a vet out of hours if you have a genuine emergency which needs urgent and immediate treatment.

If you are unsure as to whether you have a genuine emergency do not hesitate to contact the vet on call. He/she is trained to ask you relevant questions to determine if your horse needs looked at as a matter of urgency or if a next day appointment would suffice.

Horses showing signs of colic (abdominal pain) are always to be treated as genuine emergencies. The vet will assess the horse and establish whether the horse may require surgery or whether the colic can be treated medically. Horses that require surgery will be referred to a suitable hospital in Southern Ireland if the owner wishes to take this option. Non surgical colics can be dealt with as in-patients at Tullyraine Equine Clinic (e.g. impaction colic) or as out-patients (e.g. stress colic).

Back to top

General Veterinary Medicine

We provide a comprehensive list of general equine medicine which can be dealt with either at home (ambulatory services) or at the clinic (in- or out-patient services). All are organised on an appointment basis, so contact us to book. Below are just a few examples:

Routine Primary Care such as initial lameness evaluations, health examinations, skin conditions, ill thrift and much more can be performed at the home yard. In some cases further, more time consuming investigation or specialist equipment is needed for diagnosis and treatment. With your permission, the attending vet may then refer your horse to our clinic to do so.

Routine Preventative Care such as vaccinations, worming, dental care, routine blood screens etc.

Newborn Foal and Mare Examinations we recommend mares and foals to be examined  within approximately 12 hours of birth if the foaling was uneventful and the foal is up and sucking normally. If you are not sure your mare or foal are going about it the right way e.g. foal not sucking within 2 hours or mare not cleaning within 6 hours, do not hesitate to ring us for advice.

Identification/DNA sampling/Micro-chipping all horses must now have a passport. We can help you obtain one if your horse doesn’t. If you wish to register a foal with an official breeding society, please contact them with your details. They will send you the relevant paperwork and DNA sampling kit. We recommend not to micro-chip a young foal until it is at least one month old, because sometimes neck pain as a result of insertion of the chip can lead to reluctance to suckle.

Back to top

Horse Vettings

Pre-purchase examinations or prior to purchase exams

These are medical examinations, carried out at the request of the purchaser, which determine if the horse being sold is fit for its intended use. Our veterinarians are very experienced in this field and vet horses for trade within the UK and Ireland, for import from abroad or for export to the continent and USA, on a regular basis.

All vettings are based on a standard five stage examination, which consists of a thorough clinical examination of the horse’s body and movement, as outlined by the RCVS and BVA. These standard vettings can be tailored to the needs and requests of the purchaser however and thus additional diagnostic examinations (e.g. endoscopic examination, radiographs, breeding fitness examination, etc.) can be added or basic stages omitted (limited prior to purchase exam).

We urge purchasers wishing to insure their horse to contact their insurance providers before the vetting, so we can make sure all their requirements are also looked after.
In most cases we recommend a blood sample to be taken for storage. If problems arise within a period of six months of purchase, these can be analysed for presence of painkillers or sedatives.

Contact us for more information or to book a vetting (please have vendor and purchaser’s details ready).

Examination for sale at auction
Most of these, but not all, are based on a standard five stage vetting. Be aware that the certification is specific to an ‘Examination of a Horse for Sale at Auction’. Many auction places have an appointed veterinary list (e.g. Cavan Sales and Goresbridge Sales), so check that the vet you request to do the vetting is on that specific list!

Irish Horse Board Stallion Vetting
This vetting is specific for stallions that are to be presented to the IHB for inspection and approval for breeding purposes. This is not a pre-purchase vetting and cannot be perceived as such. The IHB outlines specific criteria and we examine and certify these during the vetting. There also is a list of radiographs that is to be taken of these stallions and these X-rays are sent to the radiography panel of the IHB. Although we can give you a general assessment of you horse’s X-rays, we cannot predict for certain if they will pass all criteria put forward by the IHB. The decision of whether the horse passes or fails remains with the IHB. Once the stallion passes our vetting AND passes the IHB radiography panel, it can be presented at an assessment day organised by the IHB. For more information please visit Irish Sport Horse website.

Back to top

Diagnostic Services

Lameness Investigations
A huge percentage of our workload exists of lameness examinations. The challenge is to determine the exact site of pain. This can be very straightforward when there are more symptoms than just lameness e.g. a swollen joint or painful tendon. In many cases though, the site of pain is more obscure and freezing one nerve at the time, going to a particular area of the affected leg, otherwise known as ‘nerve-blocking’, or performing joint blocks, is the only way of locating it.
Once located, this affected area gets investigated further by means of radiography or ultrasound examination. Depending on the findings, a treatment plan is drawn up and a prognosis is given. (In some cases the horse may be referred for MRI, CTscan or Scinti-graphy.)
These investigations can be very time consuming and can take all day or longer, therefore we will sometimes keep these horses as inpatients to allow a thorough examination.
Below are a few tips on what to and what not to do when bringing your horse for a lameness examination:

  1. Please do not give your horse any pain killing drugs e.g. bute for at least 4 days before the consultation.

  2. Please present the horse lame if possible, in other words, if the horse’s lameness improves with rest then it may have to be worked for a few days prior to the examination to allow a proper work up. Don’t rest it or we might not see any lameness on the day.

  3. Try not to change the shoeing, remove the shoes or reshoe your horse within a week prior to the appointment as this can influence the lameness.

  4. Please do not put hoof oil on your horse’s feet, it looks good, but makes the vet’s life rather difficult.

  5. Please bring your tack in case we need to see the horse ridden to examine the lameness further.

Poor performance Investigations
Our vets at Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp look after the health and soundness of a large number of top class performance horses competing at world level in all equine disciplines. Each discipline poses its own challenges for these athletes, and if there is a medical problem affecting the horse, this can lead to poor performance. There is a huge diagnostic challenge involved to find out what is holding the horse back. Systematic elimination of possible causes is the only way to find answers. Soundness of limbs, heart and wind is the obvious start, but more obscure causes can be found. Years of experience dealing with these issues and proper diagnostic tools help find out if there is a medical problem and if so, what treatment or management change might help.

Digital Radiography/X-Ray
In January 2009, we purchased an AGFA digital radiography suite. This system is second to none and allows us to take brilliant quality radiographs. Not only is the diagnostic quality of these X-Rays far superior to the non-digital ones, we can also send them by email to owners or purchasers abroad, without any delay. The images are e-mailed in Jpeg format, but it is possible to send copies in DICOM format on a disc, via the postal service, for better quality reading and ability to change the settings for viewing. 

Ultrasound Scanning
Ultrasound examination of tendons and ligaments, abdomen and reproductive system brings an extra dimension to viewing normal, injured and diseased structures for diagnostic or breeding purposes. It also helps us take guided biopsies (e.g. liver) and helps us inject the core lesion in a tendon for stem cell therapy or the navicular bursa for intra-articular treatment.

Standard and Video Endoscopy
Standard endoscopy is a mobile scope unit which can be used at the home yard, training track or at our clinic. It allows for internal macroscopic examination of the nose, larynx, pharynx and trachea of the horse, known as the ‘horse’s wind’.
The video endoscopy unit is not mobile and can therefore only be used at our clinic. The TV screen image makes longer examinations easier to perform and has the added benefit that the owner can also see what we are looking at. It covers the same systems as the standard scope, plus can also be used for endoscopic examination of the mare’s reproductive tract (cervix and uterus) and endoscopic insemination with frozen semen.

Heart arythmias, which are mostly discovered during heart auscultation, can be further investigated by electrocardiogram (ECG). This way we visualise the rhythm and function of the heart and assess them accordingly. It is also used in assessing treatments e.g. reversing atrial fibrillation with quinidin.

Back to top


We perform an extensive range of surgeries, some of which are listed below. Do not hesitate to call us if your horse needs a type of surgery which is not on this list, we are more than happy to discuss your specific needs. Occasionally, more specialised equipment and experience is needed. In those cases, we have very good contacts with hospitals in the south of Ireland or in England, where we are happy to refer your horse. They will provide us with the necessary records to ensure proper aftercare and follow-up.

Soft Tissue Surgery
These types of surgery include the likes of sarcoid removal, umbilical or inguinal hernias, wind operations (Hobday, soft palate ops), castrations (normal/cryptorchids(rigs)), eye removal, removal of sequestrated bone fragments etc...

Angular Limb Deformity Correction
Many foals are born with slight deformations of their legs. Thanks to the vast number of foals that pass through Tullyraine House Stud, we are very experienced in improving these. When dealt with early, most of these foals will straighten out with corrective hoof trimming and time. In some cases however, this is not sufficient and we need to help the foal with surgery. This involves a cortical screw to be placed through the growth plate of the side of the leg which needs ‘slowing down’. The screw inhibits growth so that the other side can catch up. When the leg has straightened sufficiently, the screw is removed. This technique is as minimally invasive as possible and leaves the least scarring compared to other surgeries.

Reproductive Surgery
This ranges from a simple Caslick stitch to urethra-plasty, GAZ surgery and ovariectomy. Thanks to the huge amount of mares that we deal with during the stud season, we have great experience in this type of surgery.

Caesarian Sections
Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp has pioneered a successful technique for quick and efficient caesarean section. This has led to greatly increased numbers of surviving mares and foals. Time is of the utmost importance so be sure to ring us immediately when you see your mare is having trouble. Most mares foal within 30 minutes if the waters breaking, so if nothing is happening within minutes, or you find your mare pressing and not bringing out the foal, it is a real emergency!

Back to top


Shock Wave Therapy
Extra Corporal Radial Shockwave Therapy brings high energy shockwaves to affected tissues. These increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, stimulate new bone formation and have an analgesic (pain killing) effect. We find it very useful in the treatment of tendinitis of the superficial and deep flexor tendon, collateral ligaments, suspensory ligaments, intra carpal ligament damage, splints, sacroiliac ligament damage and bone spavin.
Please note that FEI regulations for competition horses stipulate that ECSW cannot be used within 7 days before competing, due to its analgesic effects. For more information visit www.ems-company.com

Intra-Articular Treatment
Osteoarthritis can often be a career ending condition in horses. It is often associated with moderate to severe lameness which does not improve with exercise. Intra-articular treatments can often slow down the disease process and give the horse a prolonged ability to perform. Several types of medication can be used intra-articularly (hyaluronic acid, corticosteroids, etc.) and we will discuss which treatment your horse would benefit from most after the correct diagnosis is made.

Tiludronate is a biphosphonate available to equine medicine. It is a veterinary prescription only medicine (POM-V), which means it can only be given or prescribed by veterinary surgeons to the patient in their care. ‘The drug inhibits osteoclasts and reduces bone resorption, which leads to improved bone remodelling, decreased bone mineral loss and alleviation of pain induced by abnormal osteolysis. Thus it is beneficial in the treatment of lameness in which bone pathology is involved.’ At Tullyraine Equine Clinic we have found the drug to be useful in the treatment of bone spavin, navicular disease and bone cysts. For more information visit www.tildren.com

Stem Cell Therapy
For this treatment of core lesions in injured tendons, we aspirate stem cells from the bone marrow of the sternum of the horse. The samples are the sent to the lab where the quality of the sample is assessed and the stem cells multiplied and prepared into a useful product, which we can then inject into the tendon lesion under ultrasound guidance. These stem cells hold the promise of being able to regenerate tendon cells where the tendon has been damaged by injury or disease (regeneration rather than repair). For more information visit www.vetcell.com

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP is a component of blood in which platelets are concentrated in a limited volume of plasma. It is used to promote wound, bone and tendon/ligament repair. We use the Acelere fPRP kit, which allows us to obtain autologous (horse’s own) PRP in the clinic. The harvesting is a straightforward procedure and the PRP can be used straight away. For more information on PRP visit www.vetcell.com

We refer horses that can benefit from physiotherapy to Mrs. Claire-Maria Campbell, MSc, Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist. We have been working closely with her for the last 9 years and find her knowledgeable, thorough and efficient. A close working relationship and great communication between our veterinary surgeons and C.M. result in appropriate and effective treatment for your horse or pony.

Corrective Farriery
Master Farrier Philip Johnston comes to Tullyraine Equine Clinic every Tuesday to shoe or help horses and ponies through corrective hoof treatment. Working together we have been able to straighten many crooked foals and have rectified foot problems with sound horses as a result. Chronically laminitic ponies have returned to a pain free life after aggressive corrective foot trimming and many horses with navicular disease are now pain and drug free after appropriate shoeing. Ring us to book your horse in.

Equine Dentistry
Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp offers routine dental floating and wolf tooth removal for in and out patients. When horses require more specialised dental treatment, we work together with Carolyn Perkins, MRCVS to make that happen. Because of our excellent facilities and experienced staff, we can cater for in-house dental X-Rays, general anaesthetics, sinus surgery and tooth removals and all the required in-patient aftercare, thus preventing the need to refer to hospitals in the South.

Back to top

Reproductive Services

For the last 17 years, our practice has been dealing with an average of 450 broodmares each breeding season. The mares and their foals get treated at Tullyraine House Stud, which also can board the mares, well separated from any sick or injured animals. We offer our expertise in assessing the mare’s breeding potential, in breeding through artificial insemination (AI)  or natural covering and in treating problem mares.

Breeding Soundness Evaluation

Whether your mare is being bred for the first time, whether she had an interruption to her breeding or whether you are intending to buy this mare as a broodmare, a thorough initial examination will allow us to assess the mare’s fitness to breed and to give you a realistic prediction of her expected ease of conception. We recommend this assessment to be done as early in the spring as possible.

The examination will consist of the following:

  1. External examination: the perineal and vulval conformation of the mare will be assessed.

  2. Rectal and Ultrasound Examination: this will assess the uterine tone, activity of the ovaries, stage of the mare’s cycle and wall and lumen of the uterus.

  3. Vaginal Examination: examines the cervix for tears or abnormal discharge or fluid in the vagina.

  4. Intra-uterine/endometrial swab: this swab is taken of the lumen of the uterus. The uterus should always be completely sterile. If infection is present, this needs treated before covering the mare.

  5. CEM swabs/EVA/EIA bloods: depending on the requirements of the stud you choose to use, we will perform one or all of these tests. Please note that CEM swabs take 7 days to culture in the lab so allow at least 10-14 days for result (incl. post/courier/weekends).

  6. Uterine biopsy: this is only performed on known problem mares as this technique is quite invasive. It allows for the uterine lining to be assessed microscopically in the lab.

  7. Endoscopic examination: the video-endoscope allows us to examine the lining of the mare’s uterus macroscopically.

Based in the findings, we will give you a breeding or treatment plan to optimise your mare’s breeding potential.

Artificial Insemination (AI)
We have close contacts with stallion owners and studs from all over the world and can help you get semen from any stallion of your choice. Depending on the stallion this is delivered in the form of fresh, chilled or frozen semen.

Fresh and chilled semen is collected at the stud where the stallion resides and is shipped over when it is requested by the vet dealing with the mare. The fertilisation potential of the semen is good and stays high for an average of 2-3 days, after which it declines rapidly. The disadvantage is that the vet must establish the best breeding time for the mare, taking into account the stage of the mare’s cycle, semen availability and duration of transport, all of which are subject to a lot of variations and restrictions. This is still the most successful form of AI, providing the semen can be obtained within an acceptable amount of time (including weekends).

Frozen semen has the advantage of being stored at the stud where the mare will be treated, so that it is available at any time and it can be stored almost indefinetely. The disadvantage is that the fertilisation potential is a lot lower than for other semen and that it rapidly declines over 6 hours. Luckily the deep intra-uterine insemination method we use at Tullyraine increases this fertilisation potential. Another disadvantage is that the mare’s egg cell is only able to be fertilised within 12 hours of ovulation. Very regular (6 hourly) ultrasound scans can be performed on resident mares at Tullyraine  to decide the optimum breeding time, which makes this a more successful, but alas also more costly procedure. This, alongside lower conception rates makes it a less attractive option for some owners.

Contact us for more information on the several types of procedures, semen availability and breeding in general on 028 4062 4566.

Back to top

Special Services

JMB Measurements
Hugh Suffern is one of only two vets in Northern Ireland appointed by the Joint Measurement Board to carry out official measurements. It requires the horse or pony to be brought to Tullyraine Equine Clinic, where it can be measured on a perfectly level floor (regularly inspected by the JMB) with a calibrated measuring stick. The standard fee of £75.00 per pony or horse, is to be left in the form of a cheque made out to ‘The Joint Measurement Board’ on the day, so we can send this with the paperwork. For more info check www.thejmbonline.co.uk

Export Certification
All our veterinary surgeons are Appointed Veterinary Surgeons or AVI’s. This means that they can carry out inspection of equidae (horses, ponies and donkeys) or their semen and embryos and certify for exportation of these. For more information or to request the necessary paperwork for your particular case, please visit www.defra.gov.uk or contact your local department of agriculture office.

Cavan Sales Veterinary Panel
Cavan Horse Sales has appointed Hugh Suffern as one of their veterinary panel, able to carry out vettings for their upcoming sales. Only veterinary inspections carried out by vets on their list will be accepted for the Cavan Sales. The vettings consist of a full five stage pre-purchase examination and will be issued with a ‘Certificate of Veterinary Examination of a Horse for Sale at Auction in Ireland’. Ring us for an appointment or for more info see www.cavanequestrian.com

Tattersalls Sales Vetting
Hugh Suffern is on the veterinary panel, appointed by Tattersalls Ireland, which carries out the second vetting for horses put up for auction in their sale.
The first veterinary inspection is carried out by the vendor’s regular veterinary surgeon. Depending on the relevant sale, horses are either presented for a second vetting as a matter of course before auction (e.g. Derby Sales or Breeze up Sales) or the purchaser can request for the horse to be vetted again after purchase (other sales). Terms and conditions apply and for more information visit the website www.tattersalls.ie

Irish Horse Board Vettings and Xrays
Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp is on the Xray panel of the Irish Horse Board. This means that radiographs taken in our Clinic are accepted for horses and ponies presented for inclusion in any of the IHB’s breeding schemes, including the Stallion Inspections. These Xrays will then be assessed by IHB’s specialist radiology panel, to see if the horse passes the strict criteria set by the IHB. We can also perform the relevant vettings required. Ring us to book an appointment or for more information visit www.irishsporthorse.com

Back to top


Tullyraine Equine Clinic Llp supports its own laboratory, where routine samples can be analysed. For more specialised analysis, we send the samples to either the Irish Equine Centre (IEC) or the Animal Health Thrust (AHT). Both are specialist equine laboratories and their great communication skills help us out with many diagnoses. Here are some examples of what we offer in house:

Blood Analysis (clients)
Our practice purchased the Idexx in-house laboratory system and we are delighted with the results it gives us. Cross references with other labs proves it to give accurate readings, which means we are confident in recommending your bloods to be run in-house, which is very quick and cost effective!

Blood analysis will be run on the day they were taken, providing our lab receives them before 12pm that day. We will ring the client as soon as the results are ready and have been interpreted by one of our vets.

Our lab can run an extensive list of tests on the bloods, listed below. Depending on the case, the vet will advice on what it needs analysed for. Owners or trainers bringing in bloods should let one of our vets know what the reason for analysis is, so they can run the appropriate tests e.g.:

Haematology (full blood cell count with white cell differentiation)
Biochemistry (26 different parameters can be tested, packages available)
Fibrinogen (for early detection of infection)
Electrolyte and Blood Gas Analysis

We recommend the following for standard analysis, these can be tailored to specific cases:

  1. Routine Blood Profile: good all round analysis for general assessment of the horse, it includes haematology, equine fitness profile blood enzymes and markers (12 slides).

  2. Full Fitness Profile: recommended for performance horses before competitions, as in routine profile but also includes electrolytes.

  3. Haematology only: in cases where infection needs ruled in or out or to check for anaemia.

Blood Analysis (Vets)
The same analyses as above can be run for other vets, we will fax or email the results on the same day, provided the samples were received before 12pm and contact details were correct. We offer discount prices for vets that send us several samples per month, please ring us for more information.

IgG level Assessment Foals
The level of antibodies in a newborn foal can be assessed when the foal is at 24hours old. It is important to do so, to make sure an adequate level of immunity has been reached through colostrum intake. We run this in our own lab, which gives a very quick result, which can be vital in insuring a foal a great start in life.

Synovial Fluid Cell Count
When there is a risk of bacterial infection in a joint or tendon sheath, it is important to diagnose this very early on. A White Blood Cell Count will confirm or rule out infection so that appropriate action can be taken.

Endometrial Culture and Sensitivity
We can culture routine endometrial swabs in house. In most cases we are also able to run a sensitivity test. Sometimes though (e.g. if we culture an organism we can’t identify), we will resample the grown organism and send it to a professional lab for identification and sensitivity.

Other samples
Other than the above mentioned, we will send all samples to one of the two specialist labs (IEC and AHT). These include: CEM swabs, EVA and EIA bloods, skin scrapings, BAL samples etc.

Back to top

Designed by: MCKEE DESIGN