PRTC Equine Hospital

A Paradigm of Equine Care Excellence

by Anne Das
Photos taken by Aznizam Azahar

Situated on the grounds of the Perak Turf Club, the Perak Turf Club Equine Hospital stands as a symbol of excellence in equine healthcare. Established in 1998 under the visionary Equine Industry Development Project (EIDP), this institution has not only redefined the landscape of equine care in Malaysia but has also become a symbol of innovation and commitment.

Where Precision Meets Care ~ The Surgical Wing and Ward at PRTC Equine Hospital.
Horses awaiting their turn for a routine check-up at the PRTC Equine Hospital Clinic.

The PRTC Equine Hospital is a ‘safe house’ for horses of all breeds and backgrounds. With purpose-built facilities,  advanced surgical theatres and state of art equipment, the hospital is able to cater to a wide range of equine healthcare needs. From treating sinus infections to performing life-saving colic surgeries, it is a lifeline for horses across Malaysia.

Ipoh Echo recently gained a ‘sneak peek’ inside the hospital walls and an exclusive interview with its Chief Veterinary Surgeon. Here’s what we learnt:-

Dr. Reza Singam with a 7-time Champion Australian Grey Gelding at Trainer, Kevin Coetzee’s Stable (PRTC)

Dr. Reza Singam, the Senior Veterinary Surgeon at the PRTC Equine Hospital, is a highly skilled equine veterinarian. Armed with a DVM from the University Putra Malaysia and affiliations with prestigious veterinary societies, including the Australian/New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, and membership in the Malaysian College of Veterinary Specialists, he brings extensive expertise to his crucial role.

Under Dr. Reza and his team, the hospital has been at the forefront of pioneering standing surgical procedures, shock wave therapy, and ultrasound treatments for various equine conditions. From innovative treatments like stem cell therapy for tendon injuries to Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapies for tendon, ligament, and joint problems, the hospital sets new standards in equine healthcare.

The team prepares the horse for an arthroscopic surgery of the knee.
Dr. Reza  and team performs a laryngoplasty procedure – a surgical correction for a condition known as Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN) that commonly affects racehorses.

The Equine Hospital recently acquired a cutting-edge piece of equipment known as the over-ground endoscope or Dynamic Endoscope. This innovative technology enables veterinarians to assess the horse’s throat in real-time while the horse is at full gallop, providing a dynamic view of the larynx. This allows for more accurate diagnoses, particularly in cases where standard endoscopy might miss issues that impact the athletic performance of sport horses.

Continuing the commitment to advanced equine care, the hospital also features a state-of-the-art swimming pool, providing horses with a unique therapeutic experience. Additionally, a fully functional equine treadmill, akin to those used in human fitness centres, complements the range of therapies offered. Whether aiding in the recovery from injuries or enhancing overall fitness, these facilities provide horses with a low-impact workout, promoting tendon recovery and overall well-being.

Dr. Nicole Tan performing an endoscopy for diagnosis of upper respiratory tract problems.
Ultrasound-guided injection of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) into an injured tendon.

This is not just a veterinary clinic; it’s a purpose-built facility with a laser focus on equine healthcare. The hospital boasts a fully operational surgical theatre and ward facilities designed for post-operative care. Since the introduction of its surgical wing in 2005, the hospital has become a referral surgical facility, serving not just the racing industry but the entire equine fraternity nationwide.

The Equine Hospital’s impact transcends the boundaries of the race tracks. Private practitioners nationwide refer cases to the hospital, fostering collaboration between local veterinarians and equine healthcare experts. Actively involved in wildlife preservation efforts, the hospital collaborates with organisations like PERHILITAN and The Lost World of Tambun. Additionally, it responds to calls from The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and offers radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy, and other services to companion animal veterinarians.

Team effort in Wildlife Guardianship ~ Assisting the veterinary team at the Lost World Of Tambun for an oral examination and treatment of a wound on a Tapir.

Education is a fundamental aspect of the hospital’s mission. Veterinary science students undergo practical training at the hospital, gaining insights into equine ailments and surgical procedures. The hospital runs an 18-month internship program, shaping fresh graduates and practising veterinarians into skilled equine healthcare professionals.

Looking ahead, the PRTC Equine Hospital envisions a future marked by enhanced services, cutting-edge equipment, and a new generation of passionate equine veterinarians. Upgrading medical equipment for accurate diagnosis and treatment, mentoring younger veterinarians, and inspiring new equine healthcare professionals are steadfast goals.

Dr. Reza Singam and the Skilled Surgical Team at PRTC Equine Hospital.
(L-R) – Dr. Nicole Tan, Mr. Michael Anantharaj, Dr. Shanthiravathanan, Dr. Reza Singam, Mr. Veelaimuttalgu, Mr. Rueben and Dr. Zaki Asyraf (front row)

The hospital’s halls echo with stories of triumph & tribulations . Horses that once struggled to breathe, run, or even stand, now thrive.

With the support of the Perak Turf Club, the hospital is more than just a healthcare provider. It’s a symbol of hope for horses and the racing industry. Dr. Reza Singam and his team wants the world to see horses as athletes with emotions. They speak through their actions, and the hospital listens. Its mission is simple but profound: to heal, to mend, and to ensure every horse lives its best life.

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