Brought to you by Eastern Hay
Horse people throughout the Connecticut/lower New York area count themselves very lucky to have New England Equine Practice (Patterson, New York) in their midst and we at Eastern Hay are proud to serve them. The practice provides a host of services from everyday ambulatory care to groundbreaking new technology.
Co-owner Dr. William Bradley’s father was a physician. But he also was “in partnership with an old saddle bronc rider named Chet Lewis. Together, they bought and sold horses throughout Colorado, and New Mexico, and raced Thoroughbreds in New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, and in California a bit as well.
Dr. Bradley was a calf roper and worked for roping horse trainer KO Rowe. He worked for three summers on the ranch above Creede, Colorado called the S Lazy U.
Currently his family “raises and collects good little Welsh ponies and pet dressage horses” which his wife Renée and his daughters Kelly and Jenny ride.
After completing his surgical residency at Kansas State University, Dr. Bradley worked through the Nebraska racing circuit for one year. In 1977 he headed to the northeast, going to work for Drs. Joseph Heissan and Ronnie Rosen, co-owners of New England Equine Practice.
Together they built their first small clinic on Route 7 in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Before that the pharmacy was on one end of town, the x-ray developing tanks on another, and the business office at his secretary’s house somewhere in the middle.
A second clinic was built in North Salem while Dr. Bradley was in partnership with Dr. Heissan and in 1998 he and his partner Dr. Gabe Cook built their current facility.
Having continually grown and progressed over the years NEEP is now housed in a 30-acre state-of-the-art facility, where it offers an outstanding range of services to care for just about any kind of trouble your horse could get itself into. Comprising a business office, pharmacy, surgical and recovery areas, along with stalls and an indoor arena, the facility houses everything needed in one spot.
One of the practices most important goals, says Dr. Bradley, is “to work to become better at doing minimally invasive things.”
In 1998 Dr. Gabe Cook, a boarded surgeon, joined the practice, after working for it earlier as a student. He and Dr. Bradley are now partners, while four other vets, Dr. Matt Elliott, Dr. Shannon Graham, Dr. Jeremy Frederick, and Dr. Danielle Schlipp complete the veterinary roster. Dr. Elliott and Dr. Graham handle the breeding part of the practice.
Dr. Cook has an affiliation with Cornell University and attends the Ruffian Center one day a week as a surgeon. As Cornell doesn’t include radiation therapy for tumors in its services, but NEEP does, Cornell sends patients requiring that therapy to NEEP.
Each year two interns come to NEEP, work for a year, get trained along the way and sometimes turn into a new vet for the practice down the road. Those interested in an internship are encouraged to apply.
While the ambulatory practice includes pre-purchase exams, x-rays, shots and worming, treating illnesses, etc, the full service facilities at the practice include surgery stalls for neurologic horses, standing endoscopy rooms, MRIs and bone scans, more substantial x-ray equipment than the portable machine, radio-shockwave, surgeries (neonatal, fracture repair, colic and much more) echocardiology…and that’s just a partial list. If you need a particular service give them a call, they probably have it!
An indoor arena located at one end of the building provides the vets with the opportunity to watch a horse be ridden in order to help in diagnosis, or see how it is progressing.
An isolation ward is maintained for horses coming in from Newburgh with a fever or diarrhea. Equine blood donors live on the property.
Nuclear medicine bone scans have really helped in the diagnosis of injuries. Horses are injected with radioactive isotopes so that the horse emits radiation. Viewing the scans on a computer, one sees areas where dots are aggregated, pointing out the area where the bone is inflamed.
Another area of the clinic is used for standing dentistry operations such as tooth extractions. “Standing dentistry is a big improvement,” notes Dr. Bradley. “It makes it much easier to position the imaging equipment, allows the horse not to have to undergo general anesthesia, and prevents hemorrhaging.”
Changes in technology, of course, have made a huge impact on the veterinary profession. Some of the tools the vets find most helpful provide for better imaging: endoscopy, MRI, good ultrasounds and better radiographs. “The more finite you can go, the better off you are,’ says Dr. Bradley. “You can’t rely on just one modality. Having several to work with aids in diagnosis.”
NEEP maintains a lounge, showers and a kitchen for those staying overnight with their horses. They also provide free lectures to the public; the most recent one was on “The Older Horse.”
One of the changes in the practice that Dr. Bradley is encouraged to see is that people are keeping their horses longer. The horse population is aging, but, due to numerous improvements in care, they are still competitive, viable athletes into their late teens. A number of improvements have made this possible. Markedly better footing, advances in nutrition, improved physical care and training have all contributed to the point where horses are working into their twenties.
“People used to just ride a horse and it didn’t matter what horse it was. But now people have a rapport, their horse is their friend and buddy. They want to prolong the relationship as long as they can. It’s been a big change over the past thirty years,” remarks Dr. Bradley.
The entire horse community in our region is lucky to have New England Equine Practice right down the road. We know that, whatever the problem, they’ve got our backs.
Thank you NEEP!
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