Equine Performance & Rehabilitation

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Horse on water treadmill

The EPRC

The Equine Performance and Rehabilitation Center (EPRC) at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center (UTVMC) encompasses both clinical rehabilitation and education. Clinical services are provided by our team of veterinarians who are board-certified surgeons, licensed and certified veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants.

EPMRC adds an exciting new dimension to the UT Equine Hospital that closes the circle on creation of the concept of “total patient care.” The new rehabilitation center contains the expertise, resources, and equipment to manage patients that benefit from physical therapy, adjunctive treatments, and exercise conditioning. This unit includes a full-sized indoor riding arena, a lameness examination area with multiple surface types for lameness diagnosis during exercise; a resistance-free walker for controlled, untethered exercise; underwater treadmill for exercise with resistance but reduced body weight; equine saltwater spa with hydrotherapy for treatment of swelling, inflammation, and soreness; podiatry center with a hot forge and dedicated farrier to provide routine and therapeutic shoeing for lameness, postoperative management, limb diseases, and routine hoof care. Additionally, a dynamic video endoscope will allow for the diagnosis of upper airway disease in the horse while it is being ridden or during treadmill therapy.

The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine offers the first and only university-based Equine Rehabilitation Certification Program.

The program provides an educational experience to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants in state-of-the-art equine rehabilitation. Participants are instructed on rehabilitation therapies that have a scientific basis in either humans or animals (Equine Rehabilitation Certification Program).

Rehabilitation modalities include:

  • acupuncture
  • chiropractic
  • cryotherapy
  • solarium (ultraviolet and heat therapy)
  • pulsed electromagnetic therapy
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
  • low-level laser therapy
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • shockwave therapy
  • therapeutic exercise
  • therapeutic ultrasound
  • underwater treadmill
  • saltwater spa
  • conditioning program

To monitor a patient’s progress, horses are assessed at regular intervals using video motion analysis. Most horses derive significant benefit from a period of physical rehabilitation following major surgery or injury to achieve a quicker and more complete return to function.

The Equine Performance and Rehabilitation Center is also supported by a new state of the art diagnostic imaging facility which houses MRI, CT, and nuclear scintigraphy for large and small animals. The EPRC is integrated with complementary therapies including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, regenerative medicine, chiropractic, and acupuncture. These services and more make this one of the most comprehensive centers for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of horses in the world.​​​​​​​​