skip to Main Content
The department is staffed with: veterinarians boarded in surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and ophthalmology.

The Peterson & Smith Surgery Department is staffed with veterinarians boarded in surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and ophthalmology, as well as interns, residents, and technicians.  We are staffed for 24-hour service and manage a high caseload. There are 2 surgery suites with attached induction and recovery stalls, and a newly renovated 11-stall barn dedicated for our surgical patients.  Our surgeons use the most advanced techniques and technology available and our excellent support staff work tirelessly to provide the best care possible for our equine patients.

Services include:
Orthopedic Surgery
  • Arthroscopy-a minimally invasive surgery to help identify causes of joint
    lameness and used commonly for removing chips or OCD’s in various joints. PSEH is one of the leading hospitals for performing orthopedic surgeries.


  • Fracture Repair-a horse has to stand on all 4 legs so we aim, with our fracture repairs, to create a stable reduced fracture with the newest technology and implants available to us.
Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Abdominal Surgery


  • Upper Respiratory Procedures– The airway can be the limiting factor in a horse’s performance which we aim to rectify. We can perform several different surgeries to try and return your horses airway to a near normal function including tie backs, tie forwards and arytenoidectomies. To aid in diagnosis we also offer dynamic endoscopies.


  • Ophthalmic Surgery– After consultation with your veterinarian and our medicine departments including Dr. Dennis Brooks, our ophthalmologist, if deemed necessary to aid in treatment of several ophthalmic conditions including corneal ulcers, stromal abscesses and IMMK, we are equipped with the technology and expertise to perform several different ophthalmic surgeries from corneal transplants to ciclosporin implants.


  • Wound Management– Wounds on horses can be hard to heal especially on the distal limb and procedures like skin grafts maybe necessary.


  • Urogenital Procedures– Extending from routine castrations to repairing vaginal tears after foaling and removing uroliths from horses bladders, we see it all and are more than happy to see your horse for any problem.


  • Laparoscopy– abdominal ‘key hole’ surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique rapidly gaining popularity especially for procedures such as ovariectomies or cryptordectomies. These surgeries are safe with the new technology available to us and due to the size of the portals, patients have a faster recovery period.


  • Laser– Our clinic has a diode laser available extending our minimally invasive surgery capabilities. It is a light beam that interacts with tissue and the energy either will coagulate, ablate or incise tissue.
Emergency Surgery
  • Colic Surgery– If a horse presents on emergency with acute abdominal pain and is unresponsive to medical management an exploratory celiotomy is often the next step and our surgical team are proficient in colic surgeries at any hour. The surgeons and surgical staff are one of the best teams in the country to take care of your horse in this emergency situation.


  • Dystocia/Caesarean Section– When a dystocia is present there is very little time to correct the positioning to ensure foal and mare survival. At the hospital the mare can be anesthetized and the foal manipulated to aid in delivery but if this is unsuccessful with our expertise we are able to efficiently perform C-sections. Elective caesearns are carried out less frequently but are available upon discussion with your veterinarian and surgeon.


  • Emergency Orthopedic Procedures– These range from septic joints to fractures to break down injuries and may require stabilization prior to transporting to the clinic, where we will then further manage your horse.


  • Management of Traumatic Injuries– Wounds, septic joints and any injury can be alarming to owners and our emergency staff will be available 24/7 to deal with them.
Surgery Residency Program

Peterson and Smith offers a three year ACVS residency program in equine surgery to qualified veterinarians interested in gaining experience and confidence while developing and improving their knowledge and practical skills. The program provides residents with extensive exposure to all aspects of both equine surgery and medicine. One emphasis of the Peterson and Smith residency is to provide broad clinical experiences supported by ACVS, ACVIM, and ACVSMR boarded doctors. Good judgment and surgical and medical expertise are developed through hard work and mentorship preparing residents for a career in academia or a specialty practice.


By the time residents have progressed to their second year, they have begun to accept and manage surgical and medical cases with direct support from all hospital doctors and technical staff. The first year of the program prepares the second and third year residents for this responsibility through many hours of training by both observation and practical experience gained from an excellent elective and emergency caseload.


Peterson & Smith strives to produce surgical residents that are highly competent veterinarians with refined surgical skills. Applications for surgical residency are accepted year round, with selections being made by the end of each year. New residents begin on July 1st and train for 3 years. If you are interested in applying, please send your letter of intent, resume, and four letters of recommendation to:

Back To Top