EQUINE services

Marks+Ewen offer a full range of round-the-clock equine services. Based in Matamata we also cover beyond the Piako district to the greater North Island area. From Tauranga to the Karaka yearling sales our care for horses doesn't limit our boundaries. Contact us and we will be there in a heart beat.

Branding & Identification >

Freeze branding and microchipping services are offered by the clinic for thoroughbreds along with all other breeds of horse. Requirements may vary depending on breed - please consult with us and we can establish what is needed by the relevant breed society. We have our own brand (ME) or can use any stud/breed brand required. Identification certificates are completed when foals/horses are branded but can also be done for any registration or insurance requirements. DNA samples can be collected by our veterinarians when required and are sent to the Massey University Equine Parentage unit for analysis.


Very few horses are 100 percent sound. Obtaining a pre-purchase exam alerts the buyers to a horse's defects and their potential significance, allowing them to make an informed decision on whether to buy the horse. We offer different levels of pre-purchase exams based on your needs. A part or two stage exam includes a thorough physical, trot up and flexion tests. A full or 5 stage exam includes an exercise test and final trot up. Other ancillary exams that may also be included are x rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, ECG and blood tests. Breeding pre purchase exams may just involve palpation and ultrasound examination of the reproductive tract (see Reproduction). Sales pre purchase exams including physical and repository (X rays) evaluations are done both nationally and internationally including Karaka, Sydney and Melbourne.

Download Buyers and Owners Statements in the footer section below:

Dentistry >

Good dental care is important for all horses - from racehorses and performance horses through to ponies and hacks. Although signs suggestive of a possible dental problem include weight loss, dropping food while eating, quidding and reluctance to accept the bit, regular dental examinations are important before these signs develop.

We provide full routine dental care services - from complete oral examination and routine rasping through to digital radiography of the head and mouth, correction of dental abnormalities, removal of wolf teeth and caps sinus surgery and dental extraction. Most of these services can be performed at your property or in the clinic.


Full on-site facilities at the clinic allow the highest standards of treatment and care to be given to critically ill or injured patients, on a 24-hour basis when necessary.

A large proportion of these cases are horses displaying signs of abdominal pain (colic), which, despite advancements in diagnosis and treatment in recent years, remains a problematic, and sometimes fatal condition in horses of all ages. However improved surgical techniques, fluid therapy and earlier referral have all contributed to higher success rates over recent years. Approximately 75% of all surgical colics are successfully discharged home.

During the breeding season a number of critically ill young foals are hospitalized for a range of conditions which necessitate immediate and aggressive therapy, such as Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome ("Dummy foal") and septic arthritis. Our veterinary and nursing staff provide around-the-clock monitoring, treatment and nursing care that these foals required for survival.

In-House Laboratory Facilities >

Haematology and Biochemistry: Our clinic has an in-house Idexx blood machine and we are able to perform sick animal and racing bloods on site for fast results at anytime out of hours. More advanced blood works along with other diagnostic samples are sent to one of the qualified veterinary pathology laboratories in the region.

Foal Immunoglobulin (IGG) Measurements: We are also fully equipped to perform foal IgG tests (a reflection of adequate colostrum intake) often required for foal insurance purposes.

Faecal egg counts (FEC's): Faecal Egg Counts (FEC's) can be performed on request. The results from these are the best indicator for the need to worm your horses. Samples can be dropped into the clinic reception and the test performed the same day. FEC's performed within two weeks of worming ensures worming has been effective and can help identify any on farm resistance.

Endometrial (Uterine) Cytology and Culture: Endometrial smear cytology is used frequently to help manage difficult breeding mares.


Common medical conditions investigated and treated include poor performance, weight loss, chronic colic, diarrhoea, respiratory disease, eye disorders, neuromuscular disorders and skin disease.

In many of these cases the underlying problem may not be immediately apparent and thorough investigation and diagnostic testing may be required to achieve a diagnosis and formulate the best treatment plan for your horse.

Routine measures such as deworming, vaccination and nutrition programs are essential tools in preventing disease. We aim to provide you with the best advice and most up-to-date products to keep your horse happy and healthy.

Diagnostic Imaging >

Marks Ewen and Associates employ direct digital radiography (DR) to provide instant , high quality imaging to assist in many diagnostic areas including:

Endoscopy has a broad list of applications including:

The clinic uses the latest ultrasound technology to assist in imaging important soft tissue structures not visable on x- rays. Examples include:

Nuclear Scintigraphy
In a collaborative effort that we believe to be a world first in the veterinary profession, Marks Ewen & Associates are proud to be a partner (along with 3 other NZ equine practices) of the Cambridge Stud and Bradnich Trust Nuclear Scintigraphy Centre.

The scintigraphy unit (one of only 3 of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere) is a particularly useful in lameness and poor performance investigations. Scintigraphy involves injecting the horse with a radioactive substance which binds to areas in the bone that are actively remodelling. It enables us to see subtle changes that are not visible on radiographs. It is very good for the early identification of stress fractures (therefore preventing catastrophic breakdown) as well as low grade, intermittent or upper limb lameness.


Full surgical facilities are available at Marks Ewen with a dedicated operating theatre, preparation area and recovery box for any sized horse. Advanced orthopedic and soft tissue procedures, from arthroscopy to colic surgery form a large part of the surgical case load with a mix of both first opinion and referral work.

One of the biggest challenges facing equine surgery is dealing with half a tonne of patient. Efficient preparation, skilful anaesthesia followed by a smooth recovery and attentive post-operative care, remain the foundation for successful surgery.

Some examples of the more common procedures undertaken at Marks+Ewen are illustrated below:

Our clinic has a dedicated anaesthetist along with several other veterinarians very experienced in anaesthesia. We have complete patient side monitoring including; ECG (cardiac activity), direct arterial blood pressure and pulse oximetery (measuring tissue oxygen levels). Pre-anaesthetic physical examinations are performed in all horses including pre-operative blood tests when needed.

Field anaesthesia is also performed regularly by all of our veterinarians for procedures such as geldings, hernia repairs and perisosteal stripping in foals.


We enjoy close working relationships with farriers located in many parts of New Zealand. This allows us to co-operate on issues from minor foot imbalances to more advanced orthopaedic shoeing. Digital x rays can be viewed with the farrier when remedial shoeing is required or emailed as necessary.


Marks Ewen and Associates offers a wide range of equine reproductive services. Our clinic hospital and team of experienced reproductive vets are well equipped for examining these cases either at the hospital or your property if crush facilities and power are available. Services we offer include:


Gynaecological examination (GE) - This involves palpation and ultrasound examination of the reproductive tract (ovaries, uterus, cervix). This allows us to check for fluid in the uterus, cysts and other abnormalities but this is most commonly done to predict ovulation and the best time for service.

Pregnancy Diagnosis (PD) - The first test is usually performed 16 days after service. This enables detection of twins and easy reduction of one is present, before implantation. The presence of uterine cysts may necessitate further scans at this early stage to ensure they are not pregnancies. The next pregnancy test is normally done around 28 days when a fetal heart beat can be detected. The final pregnancy test is usually done at 42days at which time a pregnancy certificate is issued.

Post Foaling Examination - The most common reason for this examination is for retained fetal membranes; even just a small part of the placenta if retained can cause a serious infection in the mare. It is important to examine the placenta after foaling to ensure it is complete and if not the mare should be checked by a vet.

Foal Heat Examinations - The mare is examined at foal heat if she is likely to be a candidate for foal heat breeding or more commonly to check for ovulation so that timing of a prostaglandin injection can be calculated for short cycling the mare back. The degree of uterine involution and fluid are assessed. Also other abnormalities may be picked up at this stage.

Caslick - This is a surgical procedure to suture the upper lips of the vulva together to prevent air and faeces being sucked into the vagina, as this can cause uterine inflammation and infection. This is routinely performed on susceptible mares and those with poor vulval conformation.

Vaginal Speculum Examinations - This is usually done to assess the degree of relaxation of the cervix prior to service. A mare may also need to have this done if infection, inflammation or foaling injuries to the cervix or vagina are suspected.

Uterine Swabbing for Cytology, Culture and Sensitivity - A guarded swab is passed through the cervix into the uterus. Culture and cytology results ensure the mare can be treated appropriately.

Uterine Post Service Irrigation and Lavage - These treatments are performed in mares that have fluid or evidence of an infection. The uterus can either be lavaged with a sterile fluid that is siphoned out,(this removes inflammatory debris from the uterus) or they may be given irrigation with antibiotics into the uterus through a pipette. These treatments are commonly performed post service to make the uterine environment as favorable as possible for the fertilized embryo to survive.

Transitional Mare Management - Early in the season mares can have erratic cycles or they may not cycle at all. Various methods can be used in an attempt to get them cycling sooner.

Infertility Investigation and Examination in Problem Mares

These are mares that generally fail to conceive to a fertile stallion on a well managed breeding farm on three or more cycles in one season however mares are often presented that have not been in foal for 2 or 3 seasons. The most common problem in these mares is a persistent, unidentified or inappropriately treated uterine infection. There are of course many other causes of infertility and these mares require a full history and examination to help decide on the probability of a successful resolution. Some additional tests that may be appropriate in these cases include:

Uterine Biopsies - interpretation of this biopsy gives a grading which is a determinant of subsequent foaling rates. Also the relative changes in the tissue can help determine treatment and likely expected results to further service.

Hysteroscopy (Endoscopic examination of the uterus) - This allows direct visualisation of the uterus and any pathology such as uterine cysts.

Assisted Breeding Techniques

Mare Artificial Insemination (AI)- Fresh, chilled or frozen semen can be used and inseminated into the mare's uterus at the optimum time. When using good quality fresh or chilled semen slightly higher pregnancy rates can be achieved compared with natural mating.

There is a large variability in the quality of frozen semen as many stallions do not freeze well. So conception rates are lower. The lifespan of frozen semen is shorter and the mare needs to be inseminated within 6 hours prior to ovulation. So mares require more frequent scanning to achieve this. Older and less fertile mares should be inseminated with fresh or chilled semen to increase their chances of a successful pregnancy.

Mares can board at the clinic while the workup and insemination procedures are being performed. Chilled semen can be flown into Hamilton Airport from anywhere in New Zealand and sometimes Australia, collected and transported to Matamata. Frozen semen can be stored at the hospital and used when the mare is ready.

Embryo Transfer - This process involves inseminating your mare either naturally or by AI then 7 days later the early embryo is flushed from the uterus and transferred into the uterus of a recipient mare that has been synchronized. This procedure is non surgical and it allows good mares to continue to compete, also older, injured or sub fertile mares that have a poor chance of carrying a pregnancy to term have a much better chance of producing a foal. A mare can also have more than one foal per year. The disadvantages include the expense and skill required to carry out the procedure. A recipient herd of mares is also required.

Stallion Semen Collection and Analysis - Semen collection and evaluation is performed using an artificial vagina (AV). The semen is then evaluated for motility (total and progressive) and sperm concentration.

Breeding Soundness Examinations - This is often performed as part of a pre purchase examination, in mares and fillies. (Remember maidens will require sedation for which there is a race withholding)

Natural Mating - We can ultrasound scan your mare and manage her oestrous cycle so that you can organize for her to be served naturally by a stallion at the most fertile time, this maximizes her chances of getting in foal, and minimizes stallion use and risk.

Reproductive Surgery - Surgery available includes caslicks, perineal repairs (1st to 3rd degree tears), rectovestibular fistulas, cervical repairs and uterine tears. Urethral extensions for urine pooling prevention, ovariectomies and caesarians can all be performed at our hospital where we have full surgical facilities (See surgery).

lameness investigation >

Lameness examination forms a large part of the performance and pleasure horse work at Marks Ewen & Associates. Detailed examination under controlled conditions at the hospital, combined with accurate diagnostic imaging, are essential to be able to distinguish minor injuries from more major ones that may require more intense treatment or prolonged time off. Close cooperation with owners' farriers is encouraged wherever possible which can be pivotal in keeping many horses sound after returning from injury.

An increased number of treatment options are becoming available to target the many different kinds of orthopedic injury. Biological or regenerative therapy (e.g. stem cells, PRP, IRAP, bone marrow) is an exciting new treatment area for many injuries, from tendonitis to joint disease, and is available at Marks+Ewen.
Our objective is to rehabilitate your horse in the safest and most cost effective way possible and to maximize your horse's performance.

Other supportive treatments include shockwave, acupuncture, chiropracty and physiotherapy.


Ambulatory care continues to be a focus for our practice. Our staff provides routine preventative care, lameness exams, minor surgeries and numerous diagnostic procedures for your horse at your property. The practice covers a large area that extends to Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

Our veterinarians bring the benefit of their knowledge and abilities along with the newest diagnostic and therapeutic modalities directly to your horse with one phone call to our friendly office staff. Our ambulatory services are also provided at numerous area horse shows, polo games and other equine events.


Biological Therapy

IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) is a biological approach to anti-inflammatory joint disease. Most joints are in equilibrium balancing inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes. In damaged joints, the inflammatory process dominates a vicious circle that perpetuates further cartilage damage and loss of joint integrity.

Medication of inflamed joints with corticosteroids remains the most immediate and effective way of treating inflammation but repeated use can inhibit the already limited healing potential of bone and cartilage. This has been improved by concurrent use of products such as hyaluronic acid and pentosan polysulphate, natural constituents of healthy cartilage and joint fluid that have other anti-inflammatory properties.

IRAP treatment isolates a natural anti-inflammatory protein (IRAP) from the blood which is cultured overnight in controlled conditions to expand the concentration exponentially. This is then separated in the serum for injection into affected joints of the same animal. Excess serum can be frozen and used later. Treatment usually involves three treatments a week apart. If you wish to discuss any of these treatment options further, please do not hesitate to contact one of our veterinarians.

Regenerative Therapy

Stem cells are precursors to many different cell or tissue types and are essential for natural healing processes. The Golden Fleece for regenerative therapy at the moment is to harness this healing potential in individuals and direct it towards specific injury types to improve healing quality and replace damaged tissue with new rather than scar tissue. Growth factors play an integral role in stem cell activation and healing and are being used both separately or combined with stem cell therapy towards the same goal. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow aspirate both contain high levels of growth factors. Stem cell therapy has recently become available commercially in New Zealand. Adipose (fat) derived stem cell kits can isolate stem cells from fat samples, ready for injection the same day. Tendon and ligament core lesions and joint disease are all potential candidates for treatment.

race day duty >

Our practice is the official race day veterinarians for Racing Matamata, Te Aroha, Rotorua and Paeroa Racecourses.

Neonatal Intensive Care >

Under normal circumstances a newborn should stand and nurse within a couple of hours. Foals affected with serious conditions such as Sepsis, Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (Dummy Foal Syndrome) or Prematurity, or those born as a result of a difficult foaling are often unable to nurse, or even stand, for several days to weeks. The most critical period of a foal’s life is often those first hours, days and weeks when immediate care is essential for treatment of life-threatening illnesses. These foals require immediate stabilisation and intensive therapy to give them the best chance of survival.

During the foaling season our dedicated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides 24-hour specialised care to manage those foals that require more intensive treatment than can be provided on farm. This often includes the administration of intravenous fluids, parenteral nutrition, oxygen therapy, medical therapy and around-the-clock nursing care.



P: +64 7 888 8124
F: +64 7 888 8181


Marks Ewen & Associates Ltd 
Equine Veterinary Hospital
78 Tower Road, RD1, Matamata,
Waikato, 3471 New Zealand


Marks Ewen & Associates Ltd
Equine Veterinary Hospital
PO Box 183, Matamata,
Waikato, 3440 New Zealand

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Full surgical facilities / Intensive care & hospitalisation/ Medicine / Reproduction / Lameness evaluation & workup / Digital radiography / Pre-purchase examination / Ultrasonography / Electrocardiograph / Branding / Microchipping DNA / Dynamic-endoscopy / Shockwave / Iraps-therapy / Dentistry / Sport & performance horse work / Scintigraphy / Health Examinations / Chiropractic / Acupuncture / Neonatal Unit

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