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TN Equine Hospital West Underway


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

The 2,400 sq. ft. building at 12314 Hwy. 64 in Eads, TN was once an auto repair facility and used car lot. Located near the intersection of Hwy 385 and Hwy 64, this outdated building is being refurbished and re-designed to become a state of the art large animal veterinary clinic. Tennessee Equine Hospital (TEH), headquartered in Thompson’s Station, TN is expanding westward to the Memphis area to serve the horses in west Tennessee, as well as those in middle Tennessee. Dr. Monty McInturff and his staff and veterinarians came to Eads, TN in mid-December to take a look at the progress of renovation.

Accompanying Dr. McInturff for the tour were Dr. Matthew DeLisle, a partner with TEH; Dr. Zach Bruggen, and Dr. Rilla Reese. Drs. Bruggen and Reese are the main veterinarians who will work out of this facility, but “all team members will do work in the Memphis area,” said McInturff. In addition to her veterinary degree, Dr. Reese has a Master’s degree in gastric ulcers and is certified in acupuncture. Dr. Bruggen is a certified chiropractor.

Dr. McInturff began the tour of the facility by answering the question everyone is asking: Why are you expanding to west Tennessee? “It’s all about the horse,” McInturff emphasized. “We want to be in the ‘horse conversation’ and give the best services we can to horses across the state.” Here TEH will offer diagnostic services, urgent care, and outpatient services. The team in Thompson’s Station will be available “for horses that need the next level of care” – surgery, MRI, scintigraphy, or other services. “We will have an ambulance on site, available to transport horses to our surgery facility in Thompson’s Station as needed,” McInturff assured. “It’s only 180 miles away, so there’s no longer any need to travel longer distances, for example to Kentucky, for care that the horse needs.”

The basic structure of the building remains intact, but the interior is getting a major re-design, thanks to Mike Curle and C&C Construction of Atoka, TN []. The two large picture windows that flank the front door facing Highway 64 will remain. The front door opens directly to the client reception area. Off to the right will be the office and staff area. The central hallway leads directly to the diagnostic and treatment center in the back, which will include three stalls. The concrete base was being poured the day we visited. On top of the concrete will be rubber pavers, which are so comfortable for both people and horses to stand and walk on. “The stall walls will be reinforced concrete block, 9-feet tall so that horses will not be able to contact, or injure, each other,” explained McInturff.

Just before entering the area for the horses, off the right of the central hallway will be a complete in-house laboratory and pharmacy. Off the left of the central hallway will be a kitchen and handicapped accessible bathroom facility, complete with shower.

A new door from the back of the diagnostic and treatment area will lead to an indoor arena, to be built behind the outpatient area, where horses can be jogged and checked for lameness/soundness.

The signature trademark of TEH, a cupola, has already arrived. It was made in Maine and will soon be installed on the building’s roof.

The building will have two access and parking areas. On the west side will be the trailer entrance and parking area. It will have automatic gates to provide a secure area for loading and unloading horses, and will have ample room for turning horse trailers. On the east side will parking for auto vehicles.

 “We will have educational programs here, and all veterinarians in the area will be welcome,” continued McInturff. “We want to partner with them to bring the best medical care possible for horses in this area.”

Dr. McInturff is excited about the expansion and is eagerly awaiting the completion of the project. He’s also keen about the newest facet of equine care that his hospital is pursuing: stem cell regenerative therapy. “It’s the next step where medicine is headed and we want to continue to bring innovative care to the horses.” Stem cell regenerative therapy – progenitor cells that can develop into many different types of tissue – can coax the body to heal itself. New developments are coming along rapidly and are being documented in both human and animal research.

To read more about stem cell research and its possibilities, see the Scientific American interview with Mahendra Rao, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland: The has an article on regenerative stem cell therapy in horses at:  

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