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Equine Services

Tableland Veterinary Service in Malanda has a registered equine hospital, including an operating theatre and a padded recovery room linked by a mechanical gantry system. The hospital includes an indoor examination area with examination stocks, intensive care stables, intensive care foal stables and isolation stables.

TVS has well designed and safe outdoor facilities for less intensive cases and for wet and dry mares for reproductive procedures.

Tableland Veterinary Service is a mixed equine practice and we examine and treat horses from thoroughbreds to polocrosse horses to miniature horses. We perform all services associated with these including the following:

Policy on Hendra Virus and Vaccination

Hendra virus is a fatal disease in horses and in humans.  Mortality rate in horses known to have contracted Hendra virus is 100%. The mortality rate in humans is 60%. Veterinarians and their staff are the most at risk of contracting Hendra virus and they account for all but one of the human cases.  

There is a large range of clinical signs possible in horses that have contracted Hendra virus.  Horses with Hendra virus have been variously diagnosed with colic, snake-bite, “choke”, or have been vaguely unwell.  Infected horses have had a normal, high or low temperature.   In recent cases there has been no known activity of flying foxes.

It is not possible to diagnose Hendra virus without an exclusion test from Biosecurity Queensland. This requires sending samples to Brisbane with results taking between two and five days. 

The practical consequences of not vaccinating your horse are many but there are several important consequences:

  1. There is a known and serious risk of injury or death because of this virus.  Although infection is not common, the consequences are very serious including death of horses and people. Hendra virus is categorised as a “BSL-4” virus (Bio-safety Level 4 - the same as Ebola Virus) and is considered by NAID and CDC to be a Category 3 bioterrorism agent or pathogen.
  2. Any horse that is unwell must also be considered at risk of having Hendra virus (as the clinical signs are so variable). Therefore an unvaccinated horse cannot be admitted to hospital nor have invasive treatments, until a negative exclusion test can be performed.  This usually takes between two and five days.  This time frame may dangerously limit treatment options for seriously unwell horses.

Hendra vaccination is considered to be safe and effective.  Over 100, 000 horses have now been vaccinated and the rate of complications is very low. The most common complication is a swelling at the injection site, or very rarely a raised temperature or malaise (off food) for 24 hours.  No deaths or serious injury have been reported after Hendra virus vaccination. There are no known repercussions for reproductive animals.

From the 14th of October and through November, we will be offering a 2 for 1 vaccination policy (does not include travel).  This will apply to all horses being vaccinated for the first time.

From December 1st 2014 we will use the following guidelines for seeing unvaccinated horses:

  1. Routine examinations on well, unvaccinated horses (dental treatments, rectal examinations, rectal ultrasounds, radiology etc) will not be performed unless Hendra virus vaccination is performed at or prior to the routine examination or treatment.
  2. Sick, unvaccinated horses will be charged a higher examination fee that is in line with the costs of personal protective equipment and the additional time required in “suiting up” and decontaminating. Owners may also be charged for the costs of an exclusion test (packaging and shipping of the sample to Brisbane).
  3. Sick, unvaccinated horses presented for emergencies may require exclusion testing prior to any invasive or risk associated treatment being provided.
  4. Sick, unvaccinated horses will not be admitted to hospital until there is a negative exclusion test.  Treatment will be limited to that deemed necessary for the animal’s welfare and will not include invasive or diagnostic procedures or therapies.
  5. Admission of routine cases to hospital (horses for bandage changes, reproductive cases, AI, ET) will only be possible if Hendra virus vaccination is implemented at or before admission to hospital.

Tableland Veterinary Service has an obligation to its clients and staff to protect and advise them on the best way of preventing disease in horses and people.  Vaccination is the best way of preventing Hendra virus infection in horses and people.


Lameness evaluations

Many difficult lameness cases have overlapping and complicated reasons for their problems and can limit performance. Our veterinarians can perform thorough lameness work ups, from flexion tests and palpation to diagnostic nerve and joint blocks, through to ultrasound of tendons and digital radiology.

Poor performance evaluations

Lameness examinations, video endoscopy, ultrasound, in house blood testing, and nutritional advice.


Routine performance floats, bit seating and routine geriatric dental care through to teeth removal and surgery if required. Tableland Veterinary Service performs approximately 500-700 routine dental examinations and performance floats per year. Only a veterinarian can legally sedate and remove teeth in Queensland (and in most places in Australia) and only a veterinarian can perform diagnostic dental radiology to confirm problems or identify teeth for removal.

Medical care for acutely sick or chronically unwell horses

From diagnostic imaging (ultrasound / digital radiology), in house blood testing, nutritional and worming advice, to full hospital service including intensive care within our purpose built stables with special corbro (soft) flooring.  We have facilities for foals and unwell horses as well as isolation stables for unwell and possibly infectious horses.


Frank Condon and Mick Ruppin have both completed their membership in Equine Surgery and perform a large range of equine surgery. This ranges from emergency abdominal surgery (colic surgery) through to ophthalmic (eye), orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery, castrations and rig surgery, ovariectomies, and bladder surgeries.

Pre purchase examinations

All our veterinarians use a standardized protocol recommended by Equine Veterinarians Australia.


TVS performs about 50-70 artificial inseminations per year with both frozen and chilled semen. Stallions are also semen collected and semen is processed and chilled for shipping to other areas. We also offer Embryo Transfer, we are able to fertilize and collect the Embryo at our Malanda clinic, which is then processed, chilled and sent to Westvets in South East Queensland for insemination into the recipient mare.

Ambulatory Service

TVS offers a full ambulatory service and travels over the Atherton Tablelands as well as servicing its clients from Cardwell to Weipa and west to the Gulf of Carpentaria. We have a mobile crush for performing dentistry and other procedures.  We can even come and pick you horse up with our truck!

Other Equine Services


Lameness Evaluation

Equine Dentistry

Equine Ophthalmology

Fracture Repair

Artificial Insemination