To our valued clients and referring veterinarians:

Veterinary medicine has been categorized as an “essential service” in most states, including Kentucky. However, in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, Governor Beshear has requested that elective medical services (including veterinary medical services) be postponed in order to preserve medical supplies and equipment and to follow appropriate social distancing measures.

In an effort to comply with the guidelines outlined by Governor Beshear, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital has made many changes regarding how we practice. For example, no unauthorized personnel are allowed in the hospital, most employees that can work from home are doing so, and anyone feeling sick or with a fever is mandated to stay home. Many employees work directly with our patients and need to be physically present in the hospital to provide care. Changes have been made to make the work environment safer by enforcing more distance between employees in the hospital, washing or sanitizing hands more frequently, etc.

We will be triaging surgeries for the near future to minimize the consumption of medical supplies and equipment and to practice social distancing in the workplace. We are moving towards using washable and re-usable caps and masks so as to stop the consumption of disposable surgical masks, which could be re-purposed to medical professionals.

A directive from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services dated March 23, 2020 was distributed to Kentucky veterinarians on March 24, 2020. This stated that all non-emergent, non-urgent in-person medical, surgical, and any other healthcare practice or procedure must immediately cease. It also stated that the health care provider must exercise their best clinical judgment in the implementation of this restriction.

In an effort to follow these guidelines, we categorized common equine surgical/medical conditions based on where they would fit in the categories defined by the Cabinet of Health and Family Services:

- Emergent – acute abdominal crises, dystocias, major fractures, wounds, infected joints or other structures, some postpartum injuries, care of sick neonates, some ocular conditions, some sick adult horses (e.g. severe pleuropneumonia).

- Urgent (time sensitive conditions) - minor fractures, including those causing significant inflammation and distension of the joint, OCD lesions that are causing significant inflammation and distention of the joint, time sensitive arthroscopies, some upper and lower airway conditions, some angular limb deformities, some postpartum injuries, care of sick foals, some ocular conditions, some sick adult horses (e.g. pneumonia).

- Non-Urgent (elective surgeries/conditions) - castrations, cryptorchids, some wound revisions, joint fragments or OCD lesions that are not causing significant inflammation in the joint, some upper and lower airway conditions, some angular limb deformities.

As noted above, some conditions may fit in more than one category depending on the severity of the condition, e.g. severe vs. mild arytenoid chondritis.

We will continue to perform procedures deemed emergent or urgent as permitted by the governor’s directive but will discontinue non-urgent procedures for the time being. We understand that the postponing of some procedures is inconvenient, but our goal is to preserve human health during this crisis while providing the necessary care to our equine patients with emergent or urgent conditions. We thank you for your patience and understanding.


Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital



Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital sits on 24 acres on Georgetown Road, in northwest Lexington, Kentucky. 

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A Little About Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital is a full-service equine hospital established in 1986 as a referral center for horses requiring specialized medical and surgical care