In-House Laboratory

Diagnosis of many common diseases processes is facilitated by the analysis of samples from the patient.


Timely analysis of this material not only speeds up diagnosis but means appropriate treatment may be initiated as soon as possible.


Stall Side Rapid Testing:

HCVS is equipped with stall side (serum amyloid A (SAA) measurement to help determine if there is an infectious component to your horses' ailment and therefore determine the need for antibiotics or not.  This is a simple blood test that can be run in 9 minutes next to your horse.


In-House Machines:

HCVS also has in-house biochemistry and hematology machines for testing more parameters and providing quick and reliable results without having to send out to a laboratory which may take several days.


HCVS is equipped with a microscope for analysis of certain samples. 


In-house PRP and IRAP Processing for injuries and joint degenerative diseases (navicular, arthritis for example) is done in house and IRAP can be stored for up to one year or until needed. 


Blood is the most commonly obtained sample. Dr. Batt usually performs a hematology examination, (full blood count) which, tells us the status of the red and white blood cells and platelets. Not only can this tell us whether the patient is anemic but often more usefully, is the horse responding to a bacterial or viral challenge.


Biochemistry screening. This range of blood tests, look for chemicals in the blood which can indicate ongoing disease processes. These may be chemicals that need to be present at specific levels for the body to function properly like albumin or glucose, but which are affected by specific disease processes, or maybe chemicals which should be within particularly types of cells but which are released when those cells become damaged. An example of these chemicals are the “muscle enzymes” which are raised as a result of muscle damage causing their release into the bloodstream.


Dr. Batt can stain and examine smears of samples from the uterus, wounds, growth, joints, tendon sheaths, etc., to ascertain whether infection is present or what processes are taking place.


Dr. Batt is also able to incubate and process blood to produce IRAP and PRP, blood products used to enhance the healing of joint or tendon lesions.

Portable Endoscopy


Persistent coughs, nasal discharge, respiratory noise, loss of poor performance, are all common issues we are asked to investigate.


An essential part of investigation of airway disease is the ability to actually look into the respiratory tract. Endoscopy can bring more to the table than purely allowing visualization. Tissue and fluid samples can be obtained via the biopsy channel of the endoscope and foreign bodies can be grasped and retrieved/removed using the endoscope.


We have mobile light sources for use out on the road, so our only requirements for carrying out an endoscopic examination are adequate restraint (sedation isn’t always needed) and a sheltered, dry location.

Our video endoscopic examinations are usually carried out in our clinic.


Dentistry is an important part of your horse’s health and their teeth should be checked at least once per year.


In order for our horse’s to perform correctly they need to be comfortable in and around their mouth area, and sharp-edged teeth can cause severe discomfort.


The horse’s teeth have evolved to chew grass and fiber which wears down the teeth at a rate of 2 to 3mm per year this is balanced by eruption at the same rate. When our horses’ graze the natural action used to eat grass brings the chewing surface of the opposing teeth into contact and the teeth wear down normally quite evenly. However, when our horses eat hay they don’t use the same motion and this results in sharp edges that can lead to ulceration of the cheeks and tongue and lead to pain.


Dr. Batt can perform equine dentistry work involving the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity area and the associated structures.

Some horses will need to undergo advance procedures and we can provide a range of advanced treatments to ensure your horse has complete dental care.  With our great facilities and portable x-ray we are well equipped to diagnose and perform all dental procedures.


Gastroscopy is a procedure where we use a 3-meter fiber optic cable to look inside the horse’s stomach.

This is the only way of diagnosing gastric ulcers and has become a common procedure as part of a poor performance work up as well as those displaying classic signs. So that we can assess the stomach lining, it is essential that the stomach is empty. Therefore, horses must be starved from the afternoon of the day before the procedure. Horses are sedated for the gastroscopy to help make the experience less stressful for them. 


Gastric ulcers affect both competition horses and happy hackers. It can be cured using a combination of drugs to temporarily reduce the acidity of the stomach and implementing management changes to help prevent re-occurrence. The signs can be extremely variable but the more common symptoms involve discomfort on girthing up, a reduced appetite for hard feed and a dull coat. Horses may also have a poor body condition score and display other signs of discomfort such as bucking. Accurate diagnosis enables us to assess the severity and site of the ulceration and monitor response to treatment.

ContacT US

High Country Vet Services

PO Box 770088

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, USA

For an appointment or inquiry regarding our services - give us a call on (970) 749 1013.  

Due to the nature of our mobile service and mountainous region we are not always in reception so leave us a message and we'll get back to as soon as possible.

Hours & Emergencies

Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 5 pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

We offer emergency services outside these hours for our existing clients. Please call and leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

© 2019 by High Country Vet Services, LLC.