Abdominal Surgery on a Pygmy Hippo

In October 2016, Chris Downs, DVM, DACVS and his surgical team collaborated with the staff at Brookfield Zoo to successfully perform abdomen surgery on Obesa, a 600 pound pygmy hippo.  The first surgery of its kind, Dr. Downs and the team at Brookfield met with and overcame many challenges in Obesa’s post-operative treatment and care.  Obesa’s journey from diagnosis to release into her habitat are documented in this video produced by the Chicago Zoological Society.

Hard to Diagnose Lameness? Nuclear Scintigraphy is Available to Help

Chicago Equine Medical Center has had nuclear scintigraphy since 1997 and has scanned over 2000 horses. Using our extensive experience, we have developed several new ways to look at the bones of the horse. Our nuclear technicians have the ability to pick up changes in the bone while they are scanning the horse and take different views so the radiologist can tell exactly were the lesion is located. We don’t just use a cookbook style of scanning a horse. We will design a scan for each specific horse. Our Front End Bone Scan with Soft Tissue phase starts with 29 basic images; Hind End Bone Scan with Soft Tissue phase starts with 36 images; Whole Body Bone Scan with Soft Tissue phase start with 73 images. There is no increase in fee for extra images. Our goal is to get the best possible images so that you can get an accurate diagnosis.  We utilize the skills of Dr. Sarah Puchalski, a board certified radiologist to read our Bone Scans and can usually have a report within 24 hours of the completion of the scan.

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Horses tend to be a bit more accident prone than most animals, and although they are large and strong, they are also susceptible to myriad ailments that arise with little warning. The horse owner should learn to recognize the most common maladies affecting the horse, and if you have owned horses for any length of time, you very likely may have seen most, if not all, of the following list. This list is not intended to be an exhaustive study of horse emergencies, but merely the most common problems encountered by university veterinary hospitals and equine veterinarians around the country. Obviously there will be regional differences that can affect this list, but each of these situations requires immediate veterinary attention, and the treatments are beyond the scope of the average horse owner‟s experience.

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Horse Sense


Equine 911

Colic Surgery & More at Chicago Equine Medical Center

Horses get into all sorts of trouble — without even trying. Catastrophes loom around every corner it seems, from accidents to lameness to infectious disease.

Few things, however, are more distressing to the horse owner than the thought of their beloved equine going through colic surgery. Stories of calamitous anesthetic recoveries and miserable survival rates abound, but according to Dr. Chris Downs of Chicago Equine Medical Center, who is Board Certified in Large Animal Surgery, they are no longer representative of the current state of equine surgery and anesthesia. Continue reading →