For decades Tennessee’s equine population, ranging from 150,000 to 200,000, has been ranked in the top five states in the nation. From “backyard” trail horses to million dollar sport horses, the state’s population runs the gamut.
Williamson County has the largest equine population in the state, and to serve all those horses here, the Tennessee Equine Hospital opened in Thompson’s Station in 1991. Its service area goes beyond the county and stretches to all of Middle Tennessee and into Alabama and Southern Kentucky. Those services were eventually expanded to include surgical, nuclear scintigraphy and reproduction services, as well as a lameness and outpatient facility. Prior to the hospital’s expansion, many of those services were previously offered only in Lexington, Ky., or at the University of Tennessee.
Since the spring, horse owners in West Tennessee no longer need to travel to Arkansas, Missouri or Mississippi to find medical services for their horses. TEH opened Tennessee Equine Hospital Memphis, a 24/7 urgent care diagnostic clinic in Arlington to serve the medical needs of the equine population in the western part of the state.
“We found there was no hospital of this nature in West Tennessee,” said Dr. Monty McInturff, DVM and co-owner of Tennessee Equine Hospital. “There are a lot of good vets, but no hospital services readily available.”
The team at TEH Memphis includes two board-certified surgeons, Dr. Liberty Getman and Dr. Michael Caruso, who joins them in August; Dr. Cocquit, an internist; Dr. Zach Brugger, a chiropractor; and Dr. Rilla Reece Hanks, a veterinary acupuncturist. TEH Memphis also has access to the entire staff at the base hospital in Thompson’s Station and its advance diagnostic services.
“We share our team with that area,” McInturff said. “All the doctors who work here will work there rotating weekly. We’re one team, two locations”
The 24-hour clinic is staffed around the clock as an emergency and diagnostic facility providing standard procedures. It has exam room stalls, a full lab where it can do blood work and cultures, a pharmacy, two veterinarians and two ambulance trucks. There is an indoor lameness center attached to the hospital to evaluate soundness, McInturff said.
“They have everything we have here except a surgery room and an MRI,” he added. “I work with a great team of doctors and we care about horses. We have great horses here and we want to take care of them here.”
Technicians interface via computer so images are seen within seconds of being captured.
“My specialty is horses – I want them to have the best care,” McInturff said. “We have raised the bar in horse health and care services to West Tennessee.”