Gaylord Center for Excellence in Equine Health Opens at Veterinary Medical Hospital

Multipurpose facility enhances care of horses from birth to retirement

center-for-veterinary-health-sciences Equine Horses

The Gaylord Center for Excellence in Equine Health was made possible by a $1 million gift from the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation. The gift created new versatile space by renovating three main areas within the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences equine hospital and providing funding for state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

The newly renovated space improves service efficiency by creating an outpatient service area for equine athletes. A separate overhead door entrance allows sport horses to enter the Gaylord Equine Performance Suite directly from the lameness examination area. Specialized heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were installed making the sport horse diagnostic area temperature-controlled separately from the rest of the hospital. In addition, specialty equipment for rehabilitation and regenerative medicine is now centrally located adjacent to the exam area.


The Gaylord Equine Neonatal Care Wing features a stall designed to accommodate larger horses along with providing space for both a mare and her foal. Also, the Gaylord Equine Performance Suite hosts low-level laser therapy for horses suffering from myositis, or inflammation of the muscle.

Six equine stalls were remodeled, forming three enlarged stalls for mare and foal hospitalization. Swinging stall partitions with half-Dutch doors accommodate mares while allowing management of critically ill foals in the adjacent partitioned stall region with separate access for veterinary medical staff. The stall partitions can also be positioned to provide full 12-feet-by- 24-feet enlarged stalls for hospitalization of larger breed horses such as Drafts and warmbloods.

Critically ill horses with infectious diseases need to be isolated from other patients. The isolation facility HVAC system was replaced with a system that manages this airspace with negative pressure and specialized filters to safely isolate horses with airborne infectious conditions. The isolation facility was also equipped with a hoist system to manage horses with infectious neurologic conditions that require assistance standing or need full sling support.

The Veterinary Medical Hospital is home to many board certified diplomates providing equine specialty care and diagnostic services in internal medicine, surgery, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, and most recently, sports medicine and rehabilitation.

"These new facilities will greatly enhance our ability to provide state-of-the-art health care for horses of all ages and disciplines," says Dr. Todd Holbrook, equine section chief. "I am very excited about the future of equine health care at OSU and confident opportunities will arise to fulfill our vision to become the region's premier equine health care referral center."

The OSU equine team members are ready to serve the needs of all horses and their owners, whether it's a neonatal foal, a competitive equine athlete or the beloved family horse. The team includes:

Todd Holbrook, DVM, DACVIM, DACVSMR, Professor and June Jacobs Endowed Chair in Equine Medicine, is the equine section chief. In addition to his expertise in equine internal medicine and sports medicine, he has a special interest in endurance horses. For more than a decade, he represented the United States Equestrian Federation as a veterinarian for the U.S. Endurance Team internationally. In his spare time, he enjoys raising and showing reining horses with his family.

Dan Burba, DVM, DACVS, is a professor of equine surgery. He has a special interest in cribbing and upper airway function in horses. His research interests focus on orthopedics and laser surgery. He also has extensive experience in equine rescue efforts, having served a pivotal role during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Lyndi Gilliam, DVM, DACVIM, Ph.D., is an associate professor of equine medicine. She has extensive equine internal medicine experience. Her special interests include neonatology, cardiology and client communication. She has spent decades researching the effects of venomous snake bites on cardiac function in the horse.

Mike Schoonover, DVM, DAVS, DACVSMR, is an assistant professor of equine surgery. He was recruited from a regional equine referral practice where he specialized in the treatment of western performance horses. His clinical and research interests include diagnosis and treatment of navicular syndrome. He is the most recent OSU faculty member to become board certified in sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Michael Davis, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, DACVSMR, Professor and Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine, is the director of the Comparative Exercise Physiology Lab. He has supported many collaborative investigations impacting the health of equine athletes and has an international reputation in the field of exercise physiology research. He also oversees the equine treadmill facility used for both clinical and research purposes in horses.

Kate Sippel, DVM, DACVR, is an assistant professor of diagnostic imaging. She has a special interest in equine diagnostic imaging. Her research interests focus on conditions affecting the cervical facet joints of the horse. In her spare time, she competes in jumper events.

Thanks to the generosity of donors such as the Gaylord Foundation; Alamo Pintado Equine Clinic; Mary Kay (BS '69) and Dr. Dick Shepherd (BS '69, DVM '71); and the family of John S. Gammill, the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences has state-of-the- art, renovated facilities to improve the health care of horses.

If you love horses and want to contribute to the Gaylord Center of Excellence in Equine Health, contact the Advancement Office, OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, 308 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, or call 405-744-5630.