Ardene House has the largest team of dedicated equine veterinary surgeons in North Scotland.
We provide a 24-hour emergency service 365 days a year for horses, ponies and donkeys.
Our team of vets will offer the same high standard, caring and professional service to all equines and their owners, whether they are international eventers, children’s first naughty ponies, or much loved retired pets.
Please note that out-of-hours calls to 01224 740700 are initially answered by an answering machine which will transfer you to our emergency call handling service, 01209 823708.
OUT OF HOURS EQUINE EMERGENCIES: 01209 823708
Our ambulatory team is available for routine and emergency appointments at your yard or at our hospital facility. We offer a wide range of equine services including all routine vaccinations, oral examinations, and rasps and provide 24-hour on call emergency cover. We can bring a nurse with us should an extra pair of hands be required.
Routine Health Care
Every equine’s health is important to us, whatever job they do. We recommend that all equines have at least annual checkup usually at the time of vaccination and teeth examinations/rasping. We can offer nutritional advice, worming advice and can pick up potential problems before they become an issue. This is also a good time to assess ongoing medications.
We are always available to discuss any concerns you may have regarding the health of your horse.
24/7 Emergency Care
At Ardene House, we are dedicated to providing top quality care to your horse 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Regardless of time, day or night, we guarantee to provide an experienced equine only vet to treat your horse.
During normal hours call 01224 740700.
For out of hours’ emergencies, please call our message handling service on 01209 823708.
Our message handling service will request your name, number, address, and postcode of the location of your horse and a brief summary of the problem. The on call vets carry a pager and a mobile phone outside normal hours and will then receive a pager message containing all the details required to contact you.
If you contact us on 01224 740700 out of hours and stay on the line your call will be transferred to our emergency call handling service.
We frequently accept referrals from neighbouring practices for emergency or ongoing cases, and again this service is open 24/7.
Our answering machine does not record messages.
Simply put, Ardene House has the best equipped equine hospital facility in the North of Scotland. This enables us to receive referrals from many other practices in Aberdeenshire to as far north as Orkney.
We are the only practice in North East Scotland able to perform gastroscopy to check for gastric ulcers, saving clients from travelling their horses to Edinburgh or Glasgow areas.
Our hospital includes a state of the art operating theatre, intensive care stables, digital x-ray, ultrasound scanners, endoscopes, stocks and equine weighbridge.
We have hospitalisation facilities for 8 horses, including boxes suitable for mares and foals and separate isolation unit.
Ardene House specialise in lameness and orthopaedic issues, in particular long term lameness or poor performance issues. Our lameness work-up facilities are second to none and include a sand school to enable ridden evaluations. We have competent nurses who can trot and lunge even the most difficult of horses on a variety of surfaces.
The Ardene House surgery facilities consist of a large operating theatre with a padded knockdown/recovery room with adjacent supply and preparation rooms. The theatre if fully equipped with some of the most advanced technology available for equine surgery and general anaesthesia.
We have a separate area where all standing surgery is performed. Examples of standing surgical procedures that can be done under local anaesthesia instead of a general anaesthetic include back surgery, dental and sinus surgery, and selected joint surgeries.
Ardene House has two surgeons, both skilled in many disciplines, but with specialist interests in certain areas. We perform large numbers of orthopaedic, soft tissue and emergency procedures. General anaesthesia is always performed by specially trained vets who have access to the very latest highest standard of monitoring equipment.
Our main emphasis in all procedures is on outcome, so all aspects of our surgical service are designed to achieve an efficient, high quality procedure giving your horse the best chance of a full recovery.
Our well-equipped in-house laboratory is available 24/7 and provides rapid analysis and interpretation of equine blood samples taken from in-house hospital cases and cases in the field; routine haematology, biochemistry, cytology and microscopy examinations for medical and surgical cases can be performed quickly. We perform microscopic examinations for cytology, skin scrapings, hair plugs, stallion semen and faecal analysis. We collaborate with other laboratories to provide you with results for other more specialised tests.
Dental care in the horse is an important part of their primary care. Ardene House equine vets are fully qualified to provide a first class, cost effective dentistry service for horses.
All members of the equine team carry full dentistry kits including a full mouth speculum for safe and thorough oral examination, head torch, motorised equipment and a full array of rasps fitted with tungsten carbide blades for efficient and effective rasping
Our vets are able to administer intravenous sedation or painkillers and use local anaesthetic techniques to minimise the stress to nervous animals and to make all dental procedures safe and pain free for your horse.
We recommend that your horse’s mouth and teeth are examined every 6-12 months depending on their age, dental history and oral conformation. This is often done at the same time as their annual vaccinations or annual health check.
Most routine dentistry and some minor dental surgical techniques (e.g. removal of Wolf teeth) can be performed on our client’s premises. Animals that require more advanced dental care, investigation or surgery can be managed at the hospital facility where there is a full backup service for all dental cases including:
• Stocks and dental support head collars
• X-ray facilities
• Oral endoscope for investigation of dental problems
• Specialised equipment for extracting large molar teeth from the mouth
• Motorised burring equipment for treatment of valve diastemata
• Full operating theatre suite for cases requiring general anaesthetic
Please contact the office on 01224 740700 to book your horse in for their dental check with one of the team.
Successful treatment and management of disease relies on first and foremost an accurate diagnosis.
To this end we have invested in some of the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment and facilities across a wide range of equine medical and surgical conditions.
This investment ranges from dedicated lameness investigation exercise areas along with mobile digital radiograph units and up to date ultrasound scanners. These diagnostics are crucial for working up orthopaedic conditions right through to medical investigations.
At Ardene House, our equine vets frequently work with farriers to provide the best possible care for your horse.
We regularly take foot balance X-rays, at the practice or at your yard with our portable equipment to allow the most accurate trimming and shoeing. We will communicate closely with your farrier to resolve problems such as abscesses, laminitis and lameness as efficiently as possible.
Our hospital farrier, Donald Nicol AWCF works closely with both Ardene and referral clients. He works with us on a wide variety of cases, from foot balance to remedial shoeing; his experience is invaluable in assisting us with lameness problems and diseases of the hoof capsule.
Ardene House is accredited to work on behalf of the ‘Joint Measurement Board’ which was established in 1934 to run a national scheme for the measurement of the height of horses and ponies for competition; and is only one of a small number of locations in the Northeast of Scotland where horses and ponies can be officially measured and certified.
Graham Hunter BVM&S, GPCert(EqP), Cert EP, CertAVP(ESO), MRCVS is the official measurer at Ardene House Veterinary Practice.
Key points to note:
• All horses and ponies must have at least one Annual Certificate regardless of its age before they can have a Full Certificate.
• Annual certificates are issued to animals aged 4, 5 and 6 years old, or to any animal over 7 which is being measured for the first time.
• Measurements can be done at any time of the year but Annual Certificates will expire on the 31st December following the last measurement.
• Measurements are carried out on registered measuring pads with shoes removed. We have an official pad at Ardene House (Pad Number 5103).
• The animal’s passport must be seen at the time of measurement (copies will not be accepted) along with any current JMB booklet, please ensure these documents accompany the animal on the day. All animals being measured must have a microchip inserted. This can be done at the time of measuring if required.
If you are thinking of getting your horse or pony measured for the purposes of the JMB we will be happy to talk you through the requirements. We also recommend you visit www.thejmbonline.co.uk for further details before booking your measurement appointment at Ardene House
Our team is happy to perform Pre-Purchase Examinations both for our own clients and on behalf of non-registered clients either at the seller’s yard or at our veterinary premises in Kingswells if suitable facilities are not available at the yard.
A vetting, or Pre-Purchase Examination, is an important step in the process of buying a horse and consists of a thorough examination to ensure the horse is healthy and not lame. We also aim to identify any future problems that may occur. The vetting is performed for an individual prospective purchaser and we decide whether the horse is suitable for the purchaser’s intended use of the horse.
Dr Graham Munroe BVSc (Hons) PhD CertEO DESM DipECVS FRCVS
Dr Graham Munroe has been associated with Ardene House for the many years, providing specialist support, surgical expertise and backing to our equine veterinary team.
Graham qualified from University of Bristol with Honours in 1979. He then spent 8 years in equine practice in Wendover, Newmarket (Rossdale and Ptnrs), Arundel, and Oxfordshire as well as a stud season in the Waikato, New Zealand. Whilst in practice he studied for and gained CertEO and Cert ESM/DESM from RCVS. He joined Glasgow University in 1987 as a Lecturer in Equine Surgery and Reproduction where he ran the equine hospital and was a consultant surgeon and clinician. Graham obtained a PhD by thesis on Neonatal Foal Ophthalmology and Fellowship of the RCVS by examination in ophthalmology in1994. He then moved to Edinburgh as a Senior Lecturer in Large Animal Surgery in 1994 where he ran the orthopaedic service. He obtained DipECVS in 1997 by examination; and RCVS recognised specialist in equine surgery in 1999 – 2012.
Graham set up private equine consultancy practice based in Scottish Borders in 1998 and consults in clinics in the UK, and occasionally in mainland Europe.
From 2003-2004, 2007-2009 and 2011 Graham was the visiting equine surgeon at University of Cambridge Veterinary School. In addition, he has been the British Driving team vet from 1994-2001, British Dressage team vet 2001-2003, and also assisted British Vaulting team at FEI World Equestrian games in 1998 and 2002; and FEI veterinary delegate at Athens 2004 Olympics.
Graham organises and lectures on CPD courses in UK, Eire, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Portugal. He is joint editor of multi-author international textbook on Clinical Equine Medicine, Surgery and Reproduction published in 2011 by Manson
Areas of major professional interest: Graham is happy to see equine cases involving any type of surgery (excluding laparoscopy and laser endoscopic surgery), lameness investigation, wounds, foals, ophthalmology, diagnostic imaging, neurology, and head/neck problems.
Graham Hunter BVM&S, GPCert(EqP), Cert EP, CertAVP(ESO), MRCVS (Director)
Graham joined Ardene House Vet Practice in 1990 following graduation from The Royal (Dick) Vet College in Edinburgh. Originally working in true mixed practice, he rapidly dropped small and farm species to work solely in the equine department at Ardene House. Graham is particularly keen on further education and he has undertaken a few extra equine veterinary qualifications with a GPCert(EqP) gained in 2006, a CertEP in 2008 and most recently attaining a Certificate in Equine Surgery and Orthopaedics in 2013. This has resulted in his inclusion in a small list of advanced practitioners accredited specifically in equine surgery and orthopaedics. In 2009 he was also appointed as an RCVS-examiner for the Certificate in Equine Practice and continued in the position for 4 years. Although interested in all aspects of equine medicine and surgery his focus and passion over recent years has been very much on orthopaedic, lameness and surgical cases.
Although Graham’s spare time used to be taken up mountain biking and rock climbing there appears to have been a change in recent years. He seems to spend more time these days sampling the world’s culinary delights and dabbling in a variety of liquid taste sensations. When time allows, all too infrequently, spending time with family occasionally gets a look in.
Lesley McLaren BVM&S MRCVS
Lesley joined Ardene House in January 1998 six months after her graduation from Edinburgh Vet School. After 4 years in small animal and mixed practice she joined the equine team and completed a Certificate in Equine Practice in 2010.
Lesley has a Labrador called Leo who usually keeps her company on her calls. At home she has a mare called Marylou, 2 cheeky Shetlands called Haggis and Dawn and two pet lambs. She likes drawing, sailing and skiing, when she can find the time. Lesley got married in November 2007 to Dave, who is also a vet. She is now back working part time 3 days a week, having had two little boys, Liam, in July 2011 and Callum in April 2013.
Alice Hughes BVMS MRCVS
Alice qualified from Glasgow Vet School in 2007 and joined the equine team at Ardene House the day after graduation and has worked here ever since!
Alice is a qualified riding instructor and her family has a collection of horses at home, including ones that they bred which she likes to compete on when she has time. She is married to Paul and they have a son, Seb, who was born in 2014. They also have 3 dogs, Hattie, Belle and Juno who occasionally accompany her on visits
Austen Marr BVM&S MRCVS
Austen graduated from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in Edinburgh in 2002. He started working at the forerunner to Clyde Vet Group in Lanark focussing on Farm animals and Horses. There he got a grounding working within all aspects of farm work. The work was varied from lowland intensive systems to harsh hill farming conditions, the animals served encompassed dairy, beef, commercial and pedigree sheep and cattle.
In 2006 he started specialising in horses working in both the first opinion and referral sides, with a client base ranging from pleasure horses through racehorses and eventers to international show jumpers. He led the Scintigraphy (Bone Scanning) service and was heavily involved in the day and night anaesthetic rotas.
In February 2011 Austen joined the Ardene House team as a Farm animal and Equine Vet. Austen’s interests include fertility, obstetrics, neonatology and colic. He is a Permitted FEI Treating Veterinarian and has officiated at numerous Endurance and TREK events and Championships throughout Scotland. Austen has his own collection of animals to look after including his wife’s endurance horses.
Dr Janina Kutscha DrMedVet BVSc (Hons) MRCVS
Janina qualified in 2003 from the University of Munich in Germany. Following graduation, she moved to South Africa where she combined working in a large equine hospital near Johannesburg with research work for her Dr. med. vet. and BVSc (Hons) postgraduate qualifications. At this time, she also worked as a veterinarian at race meetings for the National Horse Racing Authority of South Africa. In 2008, Janina was awarded the title Dr. Med.Vet for her research on equine piroplasmosis treatment protocols and its effect on intestinal transit time. In 2010 she graduated from the University of Pretoria with her BVSc (Hons) postgraduate qualification.
Having worked as a locum for Ardene House over the summer of 2010, she joined us on a permanent basis in February 2011. In 2015 Janina became an RCVS Advanced Practitioner for Equine Medicine. Janina is also an FEI official and treatment veterinarian for eventing. Her keen interest in dressage riding might soon be replaced by lead reining her young daughter on a pony.
Lorna Grier, BVMS CertAVP(EP) MRCVS
Lorna graduated in 2006 with honours from Glasgow University Veterinary School. She then spent the following 5 and a half years in mixed animal practice in the north-east of Scotland, where she developed a keen interest in equine medicine. Lorna joined our equine team in the Spring of 2012 and enjoys all aspects of equine work. She gained her Royal College Certificate in Equine Practice in May 2016.
In her spare time Lorna enjoys spending time with her husband Matt and their young daughter Annabelle. She also enjoys riding her horse Paris and running. You may meet her Jack Russell cross Staffie, ‘Ralph’ who sometimes accompanies her in the car on visits.
Mairi Sinclair BVM&S MRCVS
Mairi graduated in 2012 from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh. She spent a year working in small animal and equine practice in Newcastle before moving home to Aberdeen to join the equine team at Ardene House in December 2013. Mairi enjoys all aspects of equine work.
In her spare time, she is a keen eventer and has previously evented at CCI* level. She also enjoys walking her rescue dog Piglet.