Treatment & Exercise Modalities

Equine Acupuncture, New Bolton CenterThe Sports Medicine and Imaging clinicians specialize in rehabilitating horses with musculoskeletal injuries, selecting the appropriate treatment and exercise program to maximize the ability of you and your horse to achieve your performance goals. 

Acupuncture in horses is particularly useful in the treatment of chronic back pain. Back pain may present as a change or alteration in performance or a refusal to perform, a change in eating habits or a change in behavior. We will examine your horse completely, formulate a diagnosis, a treatment plan and begin a course of acupuncture therapy which can be continued by your veterinarian or by us, whichever you would prefer.

A standard course of acupuncture for chronic back pain is treatment once weekly for eight weeks. Each treatment takes about ten minutes.

Clinical Faculty
  Name Title Phone Number Email Address
 Dr. Meagan Smith, Field Service, New Bolton Center Meagan Smith, DVM, DABVP Staff Veterinarian in Field Service 610-925-6310 (office)  

For information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Kathryn Minacci at 610-925-6490 or via email at sportmed@vet.upenn.edu.

Controlled exercise programs are tailored to your horse’s injury, temperament and stabling facilities in order to obtain the maximal benefit from the rehabilitation program we have designed for your horse.  The controlled exercise programs are designed to return your horse to work in a gradually increasing low level exercise program, encouraging a good quality repair without overloading the injured tissues.  Periodic re-examination is indicated for horses with tendon and ligament injuries to ensure that they are ready to advance to the next exercise level.

Focused high-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy is available to treat a wide variety of equine injuries from bucked shins and saucer fractures to proximal suspensory desmitis and other tendon and ligament injuries.  A series of focused high-energy ultrasound waves are directed into the injured tissue.  For tendon and ligament injuries a series of 3 treatments administered 3 weeks apart is usually recommended.  A single treatment may be all that is needed for a horse with bucked shins or a saucer fracture.

Clinical Faculty
  Name Title Phone Number Email Address
Dr. Virginia Reef, Sports Medicine, New Bolton Center  Virginia Reef, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
  • Mark Whittier and Lila Griswold Allam Professor of Medicine
  • Director of Large Animal Cardiology and Diagnostic Ultrasonography
  • Section Chief, Sports Medicine and Imaging
610-925-6190 vreef@vet.upenn.edu
Dr. Elizabeth Davidson, New Bolton Center Sports Medicine  Elizabeth J. Davidson, DVM, DACVS
  • Associate Professor in Sports Medicine
610-925-6190 ejdavid@vet.upenn.edu
Dr. Joanne Slack, Sports Medicine, NBC  JoAnn Slack DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM
  • Assistant Professor, Ultrasonography and Cardiology
610-925-6190 slackj@vet.upenn.edu
  Name Title Phone Number Email Address
 Laura Faulkner, Penn Vet, cardiology Laura Faulkner, VMD  Fellow, Cardiology
610-925-6190 laurafa@vet.upenn.edu
  Name Title Phone Number Email Address
  Gloria Ballinger, LVT  Technician, Sports Medicine  610-925-6359
  Kathryn Minacci  Technician, Sports Medicine  610-925-6490

For information or to schedule an appointment, please call 610-925-6490 or email sportmed@vet.upenn.edu.

Appointments may be made by the owner, trainer or referring veterinarian.