Providing veterinary excellence to all horses great and small
within the Hawkesbury and surrounding areas
Agnes Banks Equine Clinic was first established in 1989 and is located on the western fringe of Sydney at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The clinic has since earned a reputation for being a progressive equine veterinary practice that delivers superior equine veterinary care within the Hawkesbury and surrounding areas. Our dedicated team of highly skilled veterinarians strive to provide the very best care for all of our equine patients, as well as compassionate support for our clients. We see a diverse range of horses from companion and breeding animals to high level sport horses, thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses.
We provide a complete range of routine and emergency care both as an ambulatory service or at our clinic. Our experienced team of ambulatory vets have well equipped vehicles to attend horses and ponies on your property. Services include routine wellness checks, dentistry, lameness assessments, pre-purchase examinations, poor performance and a variety of emergency conditions. A range of portable equipment including digital radiology, digital ultrasound and videoendoscopy (both resting and exercising) can be brought out to your property.
Our hospital offers a variety of diagnostic options including digital radiology, digital ultrasound, videoendoscopy, exercising endoscopy, in-house laboratory, cold laser, and operates as a full surgical facility. Our surgical caseload is diverse and includes arthroscopy, laparoscopy, upper airway surgeries, laser surgery, fracture repair, soft tissue surgery and foal surgeries.
Our reproductive department also offer a full range of reproductive services, including embryo transfer, artificial insemination and stallion collections. Our skilled team of dental vets perform a range of advanced dental procedures, including tooth extractions and management of periodontal disease.
We are proud to be able to offer our patients hospitalisation for intensive care and careful monitoring by our team.
We have twenty indoor stables including three mare and foal boxes. Outside there are ten small yards as well as eight grass yards of various sizes. The hospital has several assessment and imaging areas, a dedicated imaging room, a well equipped surgical theatre, three recovery stalls and reproductive facilities that includes five crushes and a phantom mount.
If you have a horse in hospital and would like to visit during the week please let reception know; visiting hours are between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. If you would like to visit your horse on the weekend or on a public holiday, visiting hours are between 9.00 am – 10.00 am and 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm. Please speak with the vet on duty to arrange this.
For more information on our admissions procedure and visiting please see our Hospital Admissions document.
Our surgery team is comprised of experienced equine surgeons, specialised with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. With years of both academic and private practice experience, our surgeons have a diverse range of skills they bring to the practice. Our facilities include an operating theatre and multiple recover/induction boxes and an alternative standing surgery suite.
The surgical case load is broad and includes arthroscopy , fracture repair, angular limb deformities in foals, cryptochid castration, overiectomy, soft tissue and gastrointestinal surgery and reproduction /obstetric procedures. We perform surgeries under general anaesthesia which is administered and controlled by veterinarians and includes the use of the latest monitoring equipment.
In addition, we perform a range of procedures using standing sedation and local anaesthesia including tiebacks, laser surgery, sinus surgery, laparoscopic procedures, and back surgery. We also have experienced dental veterinarians who perform complex dental procedures in collaboration with our surgery team.
Consultations on properties are an essential part of equine practice. ABEC provides an ‘on farm’ service to horses that require attention and are unable to attend the clinic. Numerous horses are visited each year for a variety of reasons in the field, such as lacerations, colics, foalings and dental examinations. We have a number of well stocked ambulatory vehicles and have a good range of portable equipment including digital radiology, digital ultrasound and videoendoscopy (both resting and exercising).
There is a veterinarian available 24-hours a day, with an on-call veterinarian always being available after hours.
We provide an ambulatory service from Penrith to Sackville, and from Kenthurst to Kurrajong Hills. Clients from outside this region are welcome to come into the clinic for evaluation and care.
To make an appointment please call the office on (02) 4588 5200 and for an emergency after hours visit call 0448 885 200.
At Agnes Banks Equine Clinic we have an advanced reproduction laboratory, a breeding shed with a phantom mount, jump mares for live cover stallion collections, pens for both mares and mares with foals at foot and a herd of recipient mares.
We offer an embryo transfer program, giving donor mares the ability to produce multiple offspring in one breeding season, as well as being able to stay in competition work. Additionally, this can provide an alternative for mares who have difficulty carrying foals to term. We perform fresh semen collection and evaluation, as well as chilled semen shipment or semen freezing. Epididymal freezes can also be performed as an elective procedure at the time of gelding or in an emergency.
In addition, we offer frozen semen storage for on-site use, Australia wide semen distribution and we stock semen from The Stallion Company based in France.
Our services also include:
- Live cover
- Off-site breeding (if a crush is available)
- Mare breeding using chilled or frozen semen.
- Treatment and breeding management for mares with uterine infections, uterine clearance problems and uterine cysts.
- Twin/triplet pregnancy management at variable stages of gestation.
- Evaluation and management consultations/recommendations for high-risk pregnancies.
- Stallion collection
- Training stallions to collect
- Semen evaluation
- Semen cryopreservation (freezing)
- Epididymal semen collection and freezing
- Shipping nationally of chilled and frozen semen
- Frozen semen storage
- Embryo transfer program (for mares bred here or embryos shipped to us
- Post foaling mare and foal examinations, placental evaluations and quantitative evaluation of foal IgG.
- Abortion case management and diagnostics.
- Surgical procedures available including: caslicks vulvoplasty, caslicks removal, perineal body reconstruction, urethral extensions, recto-vaginal fistulas and cervical lacerations and standing laparoscopic procedures such as ovariectomy and ovarian tumour removal.
Equine reproduction can involve many challenges such as sub-fertile mares and stallions. Our reproduction team are dedicated to improving fertility in all their patients and will exhaust all options to achieve a conception.
Dentistry is a very important part of a horse’s management as some horses will not show signs that they have severe dental disease that requires treatment. Regular dental examinations with one of our dental vets should be carried out every 6-12 months for routine care and early diagnosis and treatment of any dental problems.
Some common signs of dental disease could be:
- Quidding (balling up partially chewed hay and spitting it out)
- Dropping hard feed, slow to eat up, holding head to one side whilst eating
- Food packing into the cheeks
- Excessive salivation
- Loss of condition
- Nasal discharge
- Lymph node enlargement
- Head shyness or shaking
- Foul-smelling breath
- Facial swellings
- Presence of whole grain in the manure
- Subtle changes in ridden performance
- Unsteadiness in the rein contact, stiffness to one side, rearing, bolting
- Resistance to have the bridle put on
Our dental vets can carry out comprehensive oral and dental examinations, dental radiographs, oroscopic examination, tooth extractions and sinus surgery in collaboration with our surgeon
Lameness & Podiatry
Lameness in equine athletes is very common, and is the leading cause of training failure, poor performance and even retirement in many disciplines. Lameness issues can, in some cases, be very frustrating problems to diagnose and manage. They can be associated with many different causes including joint inflammation and osteoarthritis, soft tissue injuries and foot pain.
We perform a large number of lameness evaluations at ABEC and our team’s experience and diagnostic imaging capabilities are well placed to help you work out any lameness issues your horse may be experiencing. We are fortunate to work with several excellent farriers, commonly working closely together to manage horses with foot related issues.
Our in-house lab is also set up to harvest and process platelet rich plasma (PRP) and IRAP therapy for the treatment of lameness cases. The best candidates for this therapy are horses with joint inflammation (synovitis), early osteoarthritis and acute tendon injuries. If you think one of these therapies might be indicated for your horse, please contact us at the clinic to discuss.
We are fortunate to work with several excellent farriers, commonly working closely together to manage horses with foot related issues. The clinic has a variety of imaging equipment in which to provide excellent image quality. This includes:
- 3 portable digital xray machines
- state of the art digital ultrasound machine in hospital
- 2 portable ultrasound machines
- 4 portable reproductive scanners
ABEC also has a hospital based videoendoscopy set up for performing endoscopy of the upper airway, stomach, urinary and reproductive tract. There are three portable endoscopes, including one videoendoscope, used for airway assessment in the field. In addition, we have an over the ground endoscope for performing upper airway evaluation in horses during exercise.
The purpose of a prepurchase examination is to evaluate the health state of the horse, identify existing and potential problems and then interpret these findings with respect to the animal’s intended use before the horse is purchased.
At ABEC we follow the Equine Veterinarian Australia (EVA) protocol when performing these important examinations and they can be performed on all types of horses, including elite sport horses, racehorses and pleasure riding horses.
The intended buyer requests the prepurchase exam, and the results of the examination are solely for the use of this individual. The purpose of the prepurchase examination is not to determine the overall suitability of the animal, which is ultimately the buyer’s responsibility. The decision to buy the horse should take into consideration the results of the prepurchase exam as well as the financial investment and the suitability of the horse to perform its intended job.
At ABEC we use a systematic approach to addressing poor performance in horses, and our team of veterinarians will use our collective experience to help identify if there is something we can do to improve your horse’s performance.
Poor performance in equine athletes can be a frustrating problem. There are many potential causes of performing below expectations and can include:
- upper and lower respiratory tract problems
- skeletal muscle disease or damage
- gastric ulcers
- systemic illness
- heart problems
- neurological deficits
ABEC has a well equipped laboratory that is able to process a variety of tests that may be required in the investigation of a horse’s problem. This includes
- Blood and peritoneal lactate measurement
- Triglyceride measurement
- Foal IgG quantification
- Blood gas analysis
- Faecal worm egg counts
If other specialist tests are required, ABEC is supported by a commercial laboratory where further samples can be run.
Our reproductive laboratory is equipped to process chilled and frozen semen, and frozen semen storage is also available.
We know that unfortunately there are times that you need to say goodbye to your four-legged friends. We can provide a caring service if and when the time comes. We can come out to your property, or alternatively we can take care of everything at the hospital.
We also have access to a transport and burial service if required. Please speak to the front desk for details.
Patch & Purr offer a cremation service. Please contact them directly on
1300 112 711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Small Farms Network is an open group of local small scale and hobby farmers, which are proudly supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services. The network keeps members up to date about events, workshops, funding and research and provides opportunities to meet other local small scale farmers. The Small Farms Network is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
They can help you learn more about:
- Managing and caring for animals
- Improving soil health
- Managing weeds and pests
- Growing great veggies
- Best grazing techniques
- Managing your orchard
- Making your small farm more productive and profitable
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At Agnes Banks Equine Clinic we enjoy giving back to the equine community. We take the opportunity to do this by means of sponsorship of competitions and classes and our vets provide veterinary attendance and care at shows. Seeing our clients and their horses doing well at what they enjoy is of great satisfaction to us.
If you would like to make an enquiry regarding sponsorship, please send this through to email@example.com.
Agnes Banks Equine Clinic has a strong commitment to assisting with the continuing education of both our clients and staff. Our vets are actively involved in further education and qualifications and are always wanting to improve their knowledge so that they can provide the best service possible to their patients. They also assist in the teaching of veterinary students and veterinary nurses.
Several veterinary courses have been held at ABEC in conjunction with Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) and VetPD. These veterinarian workshops host both national and international speakers who provide up to date information and an opportunity for hands on experience.
ABEC participates and hosts large animal rescue training days in conjunction with Fire and Rescue NSW and the SES. ‘Bruce’ (EVA’s mannequin horse) is used to train outside professionals in the equine and emergency services industry on large animal rescue techniques. We strongly believe that combining the knowledge and expertise of emergency service personnel with equine veterinarians and nurses will improve the safety and outcomes of extracting horses from the difficult situations they find themselves in.
We host client information evenings from time to time at ABEC as we enjoy sharing our knowledge with our clients. Previous topics have included Dentistry, Cushings Disease, Common Problems of Foals and Angular Limb Deformities of Foals. We will let everyone know when our next education evening is planned!