Browse our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to find the answers to many of the questions we regularly receive from horse owners, referring vets and people looking for information about career opportunities at Rossdales. If you can't find the answer to your question, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Horse Owners

Making an appointment at the Hospital & Diagnostic Centre

For professional ethical reasons and for the best interests of your horse, we will only make appointments to see horses for medical investigations or surgical procedures if they are referred by vets. Horse owners who call us directly will be asked to discuss referral with their own vet before an appointment can be made at Rossdales Equine Hospital or Diagnostic Centre. It is essential that if your horse is insured for mortality, loss of use or veterinary fees, you advise your insurance company of the circumstances, prior to admission of the horse.

When making an appointment for lameness investigation, we can provide advice as to whether your horse should be shod or not, whether you should continue to keep your horse in light work, and whether it should continue on any pain-killing medication up to the time of its appointment.

Our Hospital and Diagnostic Centre's office hours are Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 5.30pm and appointments are made by telephoning between those hours. Reception is manned between 9.00am and 11.30am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, to provide an information service for horse owners and referring veterinary surgeons, as well as for admitting routine and emergency cases. If your horse is admitted outside office hours, e.g. at the weekend, it will be the intern on duty who will meet you and handle the admission process, rather than the veterinary surgeon to whom your horse has been referred.

On arrival, you will be asked to sign a consent form, which must be signed before any investigations can commence. We will ask you to provide us with details about your horse's history, to enable us to look after it as you would wish whilst it is in our care and we will ask to see its passport. If you are unable to accompany your horse to its appointment, please advise this when making the appointment and provide a contact number so that our clinician can telephone you to discuss additional details of your horse's history. The necessary paperwork can then be completed as appropriate, ahead of the appointment date.

Check list prior to a Diagnostic Centre appointment

All horses must be referred by your veterinary surgeon

  • If your horse is insured, please inform your insurance company that you are bringing your horse to Rossdales Equine Diagnostic Centre.
  • Ensure any appropriate paperwork has been completed/is brought to the appointment, including your horse's passport.
  • Mare owners: please inform us if you suspect that your mare will be in season when you bring her to our Diagnostic Centre. Some investigations, such as nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan) are more difficult to perform at this stage of the cycle and sometimes it is worth rearranging the appointment date. Please feel free to ring the hospital to discuss this with us.

Lameness Examinations

  • Ideally your horse should be kept in light work until the appointment date unless welfare considerations or your veterinary surgeon indicate otherwise. This ensures that your horse is clinically lame at the time of admission. It is frustrating for owners to make long journeys to be told that their horse is not lame enough to allow a lameness examination to be performed.
  • All horses should be shod, preferably in the shoes that they have been wearing in the weeks up to referral as this can reveal the cause of lameness whilst new shoes may not. Unshod horses often become foot-sore when trotted up for lameness examination. This can be confusing and complicate the diagnosis of the true lameness.
  • All anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesic medication should be stopped at least 48 hours before your appointment date unless welfare considerations necessitate their use. These drugs can mask clinical signs and lameness and make adequate examination impossible.

Please bring the tack that you normally use for the horse as it may be necessary for our veterinary surgeons to see the horse being ridden under tack. It is preferable that the horse’s regular rider is available in such circumstances, although if this is not possible, we may be able to arrange for a member of our staff to ride your horse, with your permission.


Will my horse need to stay overnight at the Hospital?


For all non-emergency appointments, we can advise at the time the appointment is made whether hospitalisation is likely to be necessary.

Your horse will be stabled throughout its stay with us, so any rugs or equipment your horse will require should accompany your horse. We take care to accommodate the needs of individual horses regarding feed and bedding, but if your horse has any special requirements, please advise us before your appointment date. If you horse has any regular feed supplements or medication, please also bring these with the horse. Please remember to bring your horse's regular tack if it is to undergo lameness examinations.

Your horse will be under the primary care of one of our senior veterinary surgeons. You will be updated daily on the progress of the examination and when a diagnosis has been made, you will be instructed on what management and treatment your horse requires whilst it is with us and subsequent to being discharged.

Upon completion of the examination and any treatment at the hospital, your horse can be collected at your convenience. If this is out of normal hospital hours, special arrangements can be made. Please note that hospitalisation charges will apply from when the horse is admitted until it leaves the hospital.

Can I visit my horse if it has to stay overnight at the hospital?

Owners are welcome to visit their horse whilst it is an in-patient at the hospital. We also welcome owners who wish to view our facilities prior to their horse being admitted for examination or treatment.

Owners can contact the main reception at the hospital during working hours (8.30am to 5.30pm) between Monday and Friday, or between 9.30am and 11.30am on Saturday or Sunday to make appropriate visiting arrangements.

Visiting Hours

  • Monday to Friday 9:30am–4:30pm
  • Saturday 9:30–11:00am

Visits at any other time (including Sunday) are by prior arrangement, in exceptional circumstances only.


Does Rossdales have a work experience programme?

Rossdales Equine Hospital and Rossdales Laboratories offer a limited number of work experience placements of one-week duration to school and college students with a keen interest in equine and veterinary matters. This can be arranged independently, or through your educational institution.

See our work experience page for more information and details of how to apply.

I want to be a vet - where do I find information?

Useful information about the veterinary profession and career opportunities is available on the RCVS website.

I want to be a vet nurse - where do I find information?

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) work alongside veterinary surgeons in order to provide a high standard of care for animals.  More information a career in veterinary nursing can be found on the BVNA website.

Where do I find information about job opportunities at Rossdales?

All our job vacancies are advertised on our Job Opportunities page.