14 June 2010

Health for Horses (now with pictures!)

How's that for a post title?  I finally got the pictures from our visit to the New Bolton Center uploaded, sorted, edited, etc. and wanted to show them to you.  For those of you not interested in the James Moran Critical Care Center (a) I may have left out an initial there, and b) ????!!!), I'll be back with knitting and other pictures later. 

Before going any further, we had a nice trip to NY state for the wedding this past weekend, and it was a very nice event, and we saw just about all of The Tim's family.  (The Tim after the wedding: "I thought people who were married before weren't supposed to wear white wedding dresses when they got married again."  (Me (in my brain):  "Oh you poor dear.  Someday the latter 20th-century will catch up with you, and there will be sooo many surprises in store!")

But I digress.

Two Saturdays ago, we headed out to Kennett Square, PA, which is the home of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine New Bolton Large Animal Center.  This is where horses, cows, pigs, and countless other large animals receive care, from one of the very best veterinary schools in the country.  They were hosting an open house for the public to see the new critical care center for horses that had been recently completed.

The Center is about 45 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, though it is a world away in other ways:

Rolling hills, farmland, lots of old trees and houses.  Beautiful!

They wanted to replace the previous critical care center (above), with one that was more state-of-the-art, but also one where the operating theatre and the recovery stalls were together, thereby assuring a more fluid recovery for the patients.

The new building is in a square U-shape, with one wing of isolation cells, and another wing for horses recovering from severe cases of colic, which can actually kill them.

The tour was fascinating.  We learned not just about the purposes of the various rooms, but all about colic in horses, and other medical issues that can be incredibly challenging, given their size and anatomy.
Isolation stall entrance from the hospital hallway

Isolation unit pharmacy

Isolation stall outside exercise area (post-op/recovery)

Across in the other wing, this is a stall for a mare and her foal.

We got to see the surgical prep room (above), and the operating room

This contraption is where the horse is placed for surgery.  There is a rotating plate placed on one side, to move the horse to the necessary position, depending on the surgical procedure taking place.

Afterwards the horse is placed in a clean stall for recovery, with this set-up (sorry the photo was from behind glass) so that they can "get back on their feet" so to speak.  (Yeah, for a brief moment I thought this was a real horse ...)

The hospital even has its own laundry facilities!

This building, which is still in use, was the original one on the site.  Now it is mainly administrative offices.

And finally, especially for Kim, the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center.  This is where some of Barbaro's treatments took place, and where his doctors have their offices. 

We really enjoyed this whole day - the trip, the grounds, the new building, the people.  Everyone at New Bolton - veterinarians, nurses, and veterinary students - is caring and enthusiastic about doing the best they can for their patients, and that makes me happy whenever I am visiting the place.

It was interesting to see how similar it all was to a human hospital, but also how they were able to make the necessary adaptations to be sure that any horse who came through the doors would be given the best chance available.

Hopefully now that this building has been completed, they will go back to having their Fall Open House, where more of the buildings are open for tours, and there are a lot of other activities so that you can easily make a day of it.  I know if they do have it this year, we'll be there!


Anonymous said...

I'm touched! Equine medicine IS remarkably interesting. Glad you enjoyed the day, and thanks for sharing.

Marie said...

That sounds like a wonderful place. I was watching the race when Barbaro broke his leg and I cried. I also cried when they finally had to put him down. So sad.

SissySees said...

Fascinating. Thanks for taking us with you. I'm hoping for the fall open house too, just so WE can see more!!

Anne said...

Thanks for all of the pictures from your visit to New Bolton. It looks a lot like the OSU vet center. But when my horse was at OSU, I wasn't able to absorb many details about my surroundings!

Quilting Mama said...

So nice to know The Tim continues his personal time line for events and social norms...

Bolton looks so great. If only all medical facilities were so well designed.

Carrie K said...

Horse surgery! Oh wow. The hospital looks pretty fabulous.

Brigitte said...

Wha'...? That wasn't a real horse?! *shamed*

Awesome place!