Sports Medicine & Orthopedics

Lameness exams are a primary focus at Estrella Equine. A thorough physical examination and history are followed by observing the horses movement in hand and under saddle. Subtle lameness issues are frequently only appreciated when the horse is ridden. Diagnosis is then facilitated by the use of digital radiography and/or digital ultrasonography.

Once diagnosed, treatment options at Estrella Equine Hospital are expansive. We offer everything from joint supplement recommendations all the way to arthroscopic surgery for the more complicated cases. The staff at EEH will do everything necessary to get your horse moving to the best of its ability.

Preventive medicine and routine patient care, including gastroscopy to detect ulcers are performed routinely to ensure your horse is at the top of his game.

Prepurchase Exams

Most buyers want to be sure the horse they have chosen is healthy and sound for its intended use. Prior to purchasing a new horse a complete prepurchase examination is recommended. Frequently this consists of a thorough physical exam as well as an examination for soundness. The horse is examined at a walk, trot, and canter, on hard and soft ground, and observed on a lunge line and/or under saddle. Digital radiographs are frequently taken. These provide vital information by which to base the purchase decision as well as provide a baseline for that particular horse. Other tests frequently performed, if warranted, include drug screening, upper airway endoscopy, lower limb ultrasonography, and lab screening for general health.

Preventative Medicine

Preventive medicine and routine patient care are arguably the most important part of equine veterinary medicine. Routine care can include deworming, dentistry, vaccinations, Coggin's tests and health certificatesĀ  and are performed routinely by Dr. Bogenrief.

Other routine preventative procedures can include gastroscopy to detect ulcers in a horse, or blood tests to find any potential illnesses or problems in a horse's diet. Most blood tests can be performed in-house in our laboratory.

Preventative and routine care can be performed both at the clinic or out on the farm.

Ambulatory Medicine

In addition to seeing horses at our hospital we understand that insight into horse care at home can be invaluable to managing the welfare of the individual, so we regularly attend to their needs at home, in their own environment. Seeing the horse in his own home may allow him to remain a bit more relaxed during preventative or other routine care.

Lameness evaluation and routine preventive medicine may be performed in the field, including vaccinations, deworming, and health certificates.

Digital Radiology & Ultrasound

The backbone of our practice, EEH has two digital x-ray machines for clinic as well as ambulatory use. A large x-ray machine at the hospital permits radiographic study of necks, backs, the abdomen and thorax. High-resolution digital ultrasound for the hospital and ambulatory use permits visualization of tendons and ligaments. Ultrasound and radiographic images are stored electronically or given to the client in a CD format as part of their horse's medical file.

Dr. Bogenrief makes a point to stay on top of continuing education in the ultrasonography field. He attends numerous conferences each year to stay at the forefront of this ever-changing technology.

Arthroscopic Surgery

Trained in advanced arthroscopic procedures, Dr. Bogenrief has a particular interest in performance limiting injuries. Arthroscopic removal of bone chips, bone cyst repair, cartilage resurfacing using stem cell grafts, and tendon sheath repair are primary interests.

Dr. Bogenrief has put a focus on his continuing education in arthroscopic surgery and attends many conferences around the world in order to keep learning from the best. He also has publications regarding arthroscopic surgery in peer-reviewed veterinary journals.

Advanced orthopedic procedures are frequently performed by Dr. Alan Nixon of Cornell University as well.

General Surgery

In addition to orthopedic and arthroscopic surgery many routine surgical procedures are performed regularly. These include colic surgery, castration and cryptorchid surgery, ovary removal as well as ophthalmic and soft tissue procedures.

Dr. Bogenrief performs surgery out of his own state-of-the-art surgical center here at the clinic. Cameras are set up in surgery and many procedures may be observed by the horse's owner from the library, where a viewing monitor allows the best views of the surgery.


There are many problems of the foot that can result in lameness. Underrun heels, broken pastern axis, and sheared heels are just a few of the problems that can result in lameness over time.

A thorough clinic exam including movement observations and digital radiographs give us the necessary information to assess the structures of the foot. We then work closely with a farrier to develop an appropriate plan and shoeing strategy that obtains the best results for your horse.

Balance Films

There are many subtle changes that can occur over time in the horse's foot that can lead to decreased performance and lameness. Under run heels, long toes, misaligned pastern-foot axis, contracted heels and quarter cracks can all lead to chronic foot problems.

Digital radiographs can be taken of the horse's feet to determine proper foot balance. These films allow us to see the relationship between the bony column and soft tissue structures of the foot.

Balancing the feet allows for more even weight distribution and working together with our farrier prevents injury due to foot imbalance.

Stem Cell Treatment & PRP

For the past ten years, Estrella Equine in cooperation with Dr. Alan Nixon of Cornell University, has been involved in treating soft tissue injuries with bone marrow derived stem cells. Stem cells are collected from the sedated horse and can be processed at the hospital for immediate implantation into injured tissues. If necessary, stem cells can also be collected from the standing horse and sent to Cornell University for further isolation and growth. On return from the lab they are then implanted into the injured tendon or ligament under ultrasound guidance. Stem cell repairs appear to result in stronger healing with less scarring and a decreased reinjury rate.

Platelet Rich Plasma is a new therapy designed to enhance soft tissue rehabilitation. A blood sample is collected from the horse and then processed in our laboratory. Within one hour the platelet rich plasma can be injected into the soft tissue lesion with ultrasound guidance.


IRAP is a gene therapy for the management and treatment of osteoarthritis. Pain is caused by inflammation from interleukin I. IRAP is a product from the horse's blood that blocks the receptors for Interleuken I. It is useful when current treatments are no longer effective or other treatments can't be administered. In the past you had to retire your horse because he could no longer work; with IRAP you can keep the horse going for a much longer period of time. IRAP is permitted for horses competing under the FEI rules.

The IRAP treatment involves collecting the horses own blood and then processing it in our Lab. The blood is incubated overnight and the horse receives his first injection the next day. Usually, you can harvest enough IRAP for 3 or 4 doses. These extra doses are frozen, then thawed as needed. The treatment is done once a week for three weeks. Most often the horse can return to work once he completes his treatment series. We can determine if your horse is a candidate for IRAP treatment based on a clinical exam.

Shockwave Therapy

Shock wave therapy is a cutting-edge orthopedic treatment modality that has proven highly successful in treating soft tissue structures that are close to bone, such as suspensory ligaments, tendons, and the sacro iliac area. The "shock wave" is a high positive air pressure wave, in the same way that ultrasound is a sound wave. The shock wave is transmitted through the skin to deeper structures being treated. The result is tissue remodeling and healing with little or no side effects. The only preparation required is the application of a topical gel that aids in transmission through the skin, and light sedation of the horse. Generally, horses are treated 3-4 times at weekly or bi-weekly intervals. The treatment also results in a temporary analgesic effect (pain relief), which can leave a horse feeling so good that some confinement may be necessary for a few days.

Client Education

Information is power and EEH believes strongly in ongoing education for our staff and our clients. Our hospital houses an extensive library of current books, journals and CDs for our client's viewing.