Our surgical staff provides state of the art knowledge, ​​​​​​​care and proficiency to you and your horse. The surgical facility at Chaparral VMC offers two cutting-edge operating rooms and a standing surgery suite. The soft tissue surgery operating theater is dedicated to abdominal and contaminated procedures, while the orthopedic operating theater is strictly dedicated to sterile orthopedic and upper respiratory procedures. We have a highly trained anesthesia staff closely monitoring each procedure. Recovery from anesthesia is considered equally important to the procedure itself and all horses are hand recovered by three people in a padded recovery stall. Additionally, high risk patients or procedures are recovered with a sling recovery system providing the best outcomes. Each surgical procedure can be viewed by the horse owner by video on a television screen in our comfortable viewing center.


We offer a complete array or arthroscopic equipment including two arthroscopic towers and three arthroscopic endoscopes which will be selected based on the specific needs of each case. The surgeons at Chaparral VMC stay current on the latest approaches to arthroscopic, tenoscopic, and bursoscopic surgical interventions. Several joint resurfacing techniques can also be provided including osteochondral grafting with regenerative therapies, cartilage pinning, and bone grafting.

Equine arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive and highly effective procedure used in veterinary medicine to diagnose and treat joint-related issues in horses. During arthroscopy, a small, specialized camera called an arthroscope is inserted into the joint through small incisions, allowing surgeons to visualize the interior of the joint in real-time. This advanced surgical technique is commonly leveraged for conditions such as joint inflammation, bone fragments, cartilage injuries, and ligament or tendon problems. Equine arthroscopy and tenoscopy offer several advantages, including reduced postoperative pain, quicker recovery times, and minimal scarring. The precise visualization provided by the arthroscope enables our veterinarians to address specific joint abnormalities with greater accuracy. Equine arthroscopy has become a cornerstone in the orthopedic care of horses, contributing significantly to improved diagnostics and enhanced treatment outcomes for joint-related issues, ultimately promoting the overall health and performance of the equine patient.


Laparoscopic surgery offers a minimally invasive approach to certain procedures offering a safe and rapid return to function. Several procedures including exploratory surgery, cryptorchidectomies, ovariectomies, and nephrosplenic space and inguinal ring ablations can also be performed standing. Chaparral VMC offers comprehensive care using a LigaSure device to safely cauterize internal structures and a morcellator to minimally invasively remove ovaries and ovarian tumors.

Orthopedic Surgery

With a dedicated operating theater and state of the art equipment including a locking compression plate system for fracture repair and joint arthrodesis and intraoperative digital radiography, surgeons at Chaparral VMC provide the highest quality of care and expected outcomes. A sling recovery system may be elected for safe recoveries from anesthesia in high-risk patients or procedures. Additionally, several orthopedic procedures including splint bone removal, cannon bone drilling, and occasionally fracture repair can be performed standing.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Soft tissue surgery in horses encompasses a broad range of procedures designed to address various non-bony structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and internal organs. These surgeries are crucial for treating injuries, resolving abnormalities, and improving the overall health and performance of equine patients. Soft tissue surgeries may include procedures like tenoscopy, which involves the examination and treatment of tendon and ligament issues, or surgeries to address conditions like colic in the abdominal organs. Other specialty procedures include hernia repair, neurectomy, and castration. The advancements in veterinary surgical techniques have allowed for minimally invasive approaches, reducing postoperative complications and promoting faster recovery. Soft tissue surgeries play a vital role in the comprehensive care of horses, enabling our veterinarians to target specific issues and enhance the well-being and functionality of our patients.

An array of soft tissue surgery is performed daily at Chaparral VMC. This includes but is not limited to colic and other abdominal surgeries as well as reproductive, ophthalmic, podiatric, and oncologic surgery. We are fully staffed on an emergency basis to offer efficient and comprehensive care to your horse.

Upper Respiratory Surgery

Chaparral VMC maintains the highest standards of proficiency in upper respiratory surgery. Several novel procedures routinely performed include standing tie-backs and laser surgery including guttural pouch fenestration, ventriculocordectomies, and epiglottic entrapment release. Other commonly performed surgeries include the laryngeal tie-forward, arytenoidectomy, standing sinus surgery, and laryngeal bulking for horses that cough.

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery can be performed through an endoscope in order to provide a precise surgical approach to otherwise hard to reach places. Laser surgery is commonly performed on excessive soft tissues in the equine upper respiratory tract. It can also be used to open the guttural pouches or remove tumors in the in airway. Additionally, the laser can be used for tumor removal elsewhere in the horse and is especially effective in melanoma removal.

Standing Surgery

Standing surgery is considered the future of equine surgery as it avoids the inherent risks of waking a horse up from general anesthesia. Chaparral VMC offers a plethora of standing surgical approaches including upper respiratory, sinus, laparoscopic abdominal, ophthalmologic, mass removal, laceration repair, and selected orthopedic procedures. Ask one of our surgeons if the desired procedure can safely be performed standing.


Electrochemotherapy is a novel and highly effective technique used to destroy skin cancers in the horse. The therapy increases the intracellular concentration of chemotherapeutic by 1000 fold resulting in a 20 fold increase in tumor die off. This technique is highly effective in the treatment of sarcoids with over 98.5% success at the end of a 4 year follow-up period (Tamzali 2011). It has also been found to be highly effective for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and many other cutaneous tumors.