Small Animals: 01692 403202  |  Large Animals: 01603 899930

Equine Care

Equine Care at Westover Vets

Westover Veterinary Centre has provided a service to the stables of Norfolk for over 100 years. Today our seven vet practice, support team and visiting specialists provide high quality veterinary care from our purpose built base at Hainford, where we can hospitalise and monitor patients more closely to offer the most targeted treatment plan. In addition we offer a full ambulatory service, where we visit your horse at home, and an in-house diagnostic facility enabling us to perform routine blood and fecal testing.

Areas Covered

Area Days
We run 12 area visits each week where we offer a discounted call out charge for pre-booked routine work. Planning  our work in the most efficient way on these days reduces  our costs. Please see the map to work out which area you are in, or give us a call on 01603 899930 and we can advise you as to what day we are in your area.

Terms and Conditions;Any payments received after months end will be shown on your next account.Clients will receive an invoice at the beginning of each month, at 60 days unpaid/overdue accounts will be subject to an interest charge of 1.6%


There are many vaccinations available for horses, dependent on you and your horse’s requirement.

Equine Influenza

Influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease causing a high temperature, harsh cough, anorexia, and often a slight nasal discharge. We recommend that any horses coming into contact with different horses are vaccinated against Influenza.

This is particularly important if you are on a busy livery yard, or attending shows. Many associations, from local riding clubs to affiliated bodies will check whether horses competing at their shows are up to date with their Influenza vaccines and that they have been given at the correct time intervals, and if they are not you are unlikely to be able to compete. The rules as to when these vaccines should be given are issued by the Jockey Club and can be found on our vaccination fact sheet.

Tetanus Vaccination

Tetanus is caused by a bacterium Clostriduim tetanii which can be found in soil and droppings, and enters the body through wounds. Tetanus toxin attacks nerves controlling muscles of the body, causing progressively worsening muscular spasm and stiffness. Vaccination against tetanus is a basic minimum requirement for all equines against a usually fatal disease.


Regular dental care is widely recognised as being of great benefit in all ages and breeds of horse. Horses have continually erupting teeth which grow to replace the ongoing wear that occurs during normal grazing and chewing. The horse has two rows of teeth on the upper jaw which are wider apart than those on the bottom jaw. This means that many horses develop enamel points on the outer edges of the upper cheek teeth and the inner edges of the lower cheek teeth. These enamel points are sharp, and may cause ulcers and cuts in the cheek and tongue, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Dental problems can be prevented or treated easily in most cases, as long as they are identified early enough. An annual dental examination of the horse’s mouth, using a speculum (gag), is essential and this is a service we offer free of charge when combined with seeing your horse for their yearly booster vaccination. Some horses with known problems may need preventative treatments more often than this.

We perform a large amount of routine dentistry for our clients, the majority of this is done by hand rasping, however we have motorised tools should these be required.  We also regularly perform wolf tooth removal  and tooth extraction, and unlike equine dental technicians (EDT’s), Veterinary surgeons are able to use sedative drugs. We may also perform dental surgery, molar extractions, sinus surgery and radiography (x ray) of the skull. We are fortunate at Westover Vets Ltd to have veterinary surgeons well trained in equine dentistry and the use of modern dental equipment. We travel long distances to see dentistry cases and also see many at the clinic where we have the advantage of stocks, nursing care and specialist equipment. However we also have motorised tools, diastema flushing and packing equipment and a rigid endoscope, known as an oroscope to allow s to examine the inside of the horses mouth in great detail.

horse beign weighed, horse on weighbridge

Horse MOT

dental check




Medical Investigation

If your horse should become ill there are a number of different investigations or tests that may be required to determine the cause of their problem or illness.

Due to popular demand we have recently purchased a new video gastroscope which allows us to look inside your horse’s stomach to assess their risk of gastric ulceration. We are also able to offer abdominal ultrasound, peritoneal taps and glucose absorption testing for horses with any intestinal complaints or weight loss.

Should your horse have a respiratory complaint, we also have video endoscopy allowing us to look inside your horse’s airway and facilitate a tracheal wash or bronchoalveolar lavage should this be necessary. We are also able to perform sinoscopy if your horse is suffering from a sinus problem whether that is tooth related or a primary sinusitis.

We are also able to offer parasite investigations, including worm egg counts, worm identification and worming programmes. Routine blood sampling is also commonly performed and our blood tests are analysed by experienced laboratories.

You can also rest assured that if your horse is sick enough to require hospitalisation then we have 4 rubber matted stables, including one mare and foal box, and the facilities to provide intravenous fluid therapy and intensive care should this be necessary.

medical investigation alison

medical workup 2

Lameness Investigation

We can offer a bespoke lameness investigation for your horse at the practice in Hainford. We have a purpose built trot up and firm lunge to exercise and examine your horse’s lameness as well as a rubber matted treatment room to perform perineural/intra-articular analgaesia (nerve blocks).

Once the area of discomfort is located we have mobile digital radiography (x ray) and ultrasound to help to discover exactly what the problem is. We are able to examine horses for fore and hind limb lameness as well as back pain. We are also able to perform intra-articular medication (steroid injection).

As mentioned our digital radiography machine (x ray) is mobile and therefore we can also travel to the comfort of your own yard for those horses that cannot travel such as a horse with painful laminitis. We are also lucky enough to have a farrier’s forge on site with  experienced farrier Stephen Britten working out of it on a regular basis should your horse need any corrective farriery as part of a treatment plan.

helen gibb lameness

Katie Lameness

ultrasound scanning leg, diagnostic technique, lameness workup,

Surgery & Repro

We offer a number of routine elective surgeries such as castration, rig surgery, hernia repairs and splint bone fragment removal, standing enucleation (eye removal) and sinus surgery.   As well as this we also offer more complicated procedures such as standing laparoscopic surgeries and sarcoid removal performed by Richard Payne MRCVS, who travels  regularly from Rossdales Equine Hospital in Newmarket to perform surgeries on our behalf.

We have a padded knock-down box in which we perform surgeries requiring general anaesthesia. To ensure your horse receives the best care possible we have a brand new state of the art anaesthetic machine, ventilator and monitoring system allowing us to constantly monitor your horse’s condition whilst under anaesthesia. For standing surgery performed under sedation we have purpose built stocks which allow your horse to be safely restrained and supported throughout their surgical procedure.

The purpose built stocks are also very useful for reproductive work. We provide a full reproductive service for your horse to include semen evaluation, endometrial and clitoral swabs, rectal ultrasonography (scanning) and Artificial Insemination (AI) with both chilled and frozen semen.

Large Animal Theatre Room, patient being prepared with sterile drapes before surgery

FL squeezing fluids in

Domino Church

Sarcoid Clinics

Here at Westover we have been running our Sarcoid Clinics for a number of years. Working in collaboration with one of the partners from Rossdales, Richard J. Payne BSc BVSc CertES(Orth) DipECVS MRCVS, we offer a unique opportunity for horses of the local area to have a diplomat surgeon remove sarcoids quickly and safely at the Westover surgery at Hainford.

The benefits of this service are:

  • Vast majority of horses and ponies are able to have sarcoids removed from almost any area using simply local anaesthetic and sedation; meaning no general anaesthetic (quicker and safer recovery, lower cost of procedure, markedly reduced time required for sarcoid removal).
  • Local – bring your horse or pony in and have the sarcoids removed on a ‘while you wait’ basis.
  • Diplomat surgeon – Richard J. Payne has been removing sarcoids with laser surgery for a number of years on hundreds of horses. The combination of the advanced laser surgical equipment and his expertise ensure the best and safest sarcoid removal option for your horse or pony. The minimal wound size ensures that your horse or pony will be back to normal as quickly as possible, and reduces the chances of needing to stay hospitalised for any time beyond the procedure on the day itself.
  • Lowest cost possible – We get owners to ‘club together.’ By this we mean that we run the clinics up at Hainford every 8 weeks or so, and as such we try and get everyone in on the same day to ensure the costs are split between everyone to keep the costs as reasonable as possible; a fraction of what it would cost to have the same procedure performed at a referral centre.

As the only practice in the area offering this unique bespoke service, if you have a suspicious lump on your horse or pony you feel may qualify for the sarcoid clinic and warrants a closer look, please call to have one of our vets assess your animal and discuss the options available.

You can contact us directly by CLICKING HERE.



Vettings and Passports

We offer two-stage and five stage pre-purchase examination including x rays if requested as well as Vetting for Insurance certificates.

We are also a height measuring practice appointed by the Joint Measurement Board (JMB). We have a JMB registered measuring pad and Tom Hume BVetMed MRCVS is one of only a handful of vets in East Anglia that are registered to measure horses and ponies on behalf of the JMB.

We also have one veterinary surgeon licensed to perform the mandatory annual riding school inspections on behalf of the local government authorities.

We also perform Veterinary Inspection Certificates for horses working for hire and reward, such as horses on the Yarmouth seafront.

It is important to register your horse, pony or donkey with a passport agency. There are many different passport agencies to choose from, including , or some individuals may prefer to register their horse or pony with a specific breed society.  For clients with youngstock, foals must be passported and microchipped by 6 months of age or 31st December of the year they’re born in, whichever is later. Please print off the documentation so that the vet can complete this when they come to do your passport registration. We will also implant a microchip at the same time, which is a legal requirement and can help reunite lost horses with their owners.



Prescriptions are available from this practice. – You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM-Vs) from your veterinary surgeon OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy.  Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM-Vs only for animals under their care. However a prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary. You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be dispensed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every 6 months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. The standard charge for a re-examination is £25.76.

Referrals and Second Opinions

The veterinary surgeons in this practice recognise that in some instances a case may be outside their area of competence and will, therefore, refer it to a colleague who they are satisfied has additional skills to carry out the investigations or treatment involved.

The client may not be clear on the distinction between a second opinion and a referral. A second opinion is merely for confirmation of diagnosis. A referral is for diagnosis and possible treatment in a case which requires specialist knowledge or facilities that are not available in this practice – after which the case will be referred back to our practice.

It is practice policy to encourage clients to obtain a second opinion, either within the practice or at a neighbouring practice, if there is any doubt over a diagnosis.

We can also recommend a number of referral centres and we will make the clinical records and any x-rays or laboratory tests, relevant to the case, available to the referring practice.

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