Lord Derby has opened a £2 million Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for horses at the University of Liverpool’s Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital.
The ICU provides state-of-the-art-facilities for the care of injured and sick horses, as well as specially designed areas for the treatment of foals. The facility comprises of 11 intensive care horse boxes across two wings of the new building.
Each hospital wing is connected to a large examination and treatment area, which includes a patient observation area, as well as a fully-equipped laboratory for rapid testing of disease samples. The unit also has a motion detection system – the first of its kind in the UK – in each horse box to allow vets to identify changes in a patient’s behaviour over a short period of time.
Lord Derby said: “The University is world-renowned for its expertise and research in equine medicine and welfare. The new ICU will play a significant role in helping researchers further understanding of equine diseases and behaviour, as well as enhance the facilities that are available to students studying veterinary science at Liverpool.”
Chris Proudman, Professor of Equine Studies at the University, said: “The Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital sees 2,000 equine cases per year ranging from routine cases, such as the investigation of lameness, to the more serious emergency referrals, such as horses suffering with colic. We also work closely with Aintree racecourse during all of the Grand National events.
“The new technologies available to us, as well as the advancement of research into colic, cancer, and tissue repair, allow us to further enhance the treatment of critically ill horses. The development of the ICU at Liverpool is an important step forward in supporting veterinary scientists in the assessment of injury and disease, as well as evaluating the most effective forms of treatment.”
The ICU has been made possible through a bequest from veterinary science graduate, Henry Edwards, and generous donations from the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses and the Leverhulme Charitable Trust.
The new facilities form part of a £6 million fundraising campaign to develop a Centre for Colic Prevention and an Equine Performance Centre. The Performance Centre aims to increase veterinary support to horse racing industries and generate research focusing on the diagnosis of lameness, the prevention of athletic injury and the effective repair of damaged tissues.