Equine Veterinarian in North San Diego County

Dr. Matt J. Matthews

Equine Veterinarian San Diego County


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Matthews Equine Veterinary Services

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Equine Veterinarian San Diego

      Dr Matt Matthews has been taking care of horses for a long time.  It has been than 50 years in total and more than 30 years as an equine vet in San Diego County.  It started out with a Christmas pony at age 5.  Later, there was a donkey, a gaited Saddlebred, an Arabian trail/endurance gelding, a gymkhana Quarter Horse, a Thoroughbred breeding farm and then tens of thousands of equine patients.

A Personal Approach

Dr Matt Matthews sees his own patients.  This it true of every appointment.  As a result, the practice is limited in size to allow that one on one relationship needed to provide the care each patient deserves. Dr. Matthews has attended more than 100,000 client/patient appointments.  That sort of experience is useful in getting to the bottom of equine medical or lameness issues.



Matthews Equine is dedicated to the companion and sport horse. We provide the best of Veterinary Services. 



Getting an Appointment

It is best if appointments are for preventative care.  These are routine checkups,  immunizations, needed lab tests and dentistry.  These are the good appointments.  An urgent care appointment means that a horse is injured, ill or something is going very wrong.  Appointments requests are best done by Text message (760-419-9011).  Emergency and Urgent same day visits are done by calling our message service (760-471-3239).  


An emergency is when a horse is injured or sick.  Symptoms like Colic, not eating, breathing rapidly, change in mental state, trembling, severe lameness, swelling of a leg or eye, hives that area closing the eyes and nose, injury that is causing bleeding warrant immediate veterinary contact and a visit.  This type of urgent care visit is made by calling (760-471-3239).  The emergency service will contact the doctor.


Lameness and soreness is a common issue in horses. Performance athletes are often injured in competition and need special attention.  The practice provides the best diagnostic and therapeutic methods.  Digital X Ray, tendon/ligament ultrasound, video respiratory and  gastric endoscopy, PRP and Stem treatments are routine.  


Horses need vaccines.  The goal is it protect the horse with the minimum number of shots.  The minimum vaccine series is an annual that includes tetanus (from the dirt), sleeping sickness/West Nile (from mosquitoes) and influenza (travels in the wind).  Show, boarded and young horse need a broader vaccine series and often more than annual shots to qualify for competitions.


Horses need dental care.  The practice has set the standard in equine dentistry for many years.  Depending on the need, dental care may be just an annual teeth float. But malocclusion and complex dental disease may require extensive intervention.  Our dental goal is always to save the horses teeth from extraction.  With detailed care and medical support we usually accomplish this goal.  Too many horses are having extractions that are unnecessary. Through proper dental equilibration and occlusion adjustment most can be saved.   Performance horse dentistry is also a specialty of the practice.  It is amazing what a properly done performance dental can to for an athlete.

Geriatric Care

Horses are living longer.  This is because of good preventative care and the recognition of age related conditions early.  Screen tests for Cushings disease, low thyroid conditions, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and allergies can prevent catastrophes like Colic and Laminitis from happening.


Mare Services

Equine reproductive services provided in season.  This includes embryo transfer, insemination with both fresh cooled and frozen semen.

Stallion Services

Full service stallion management services provided.  Shipping of collected semen, stallion evaluations, frozen semen created and stored.


General surgery provided to regular patients and outpatients.

Interstate and international shipping

Management of any shipping of horses through Health Certification, Coggins testing or any international quarantine or testing needed.

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Common equine situations


My horse is not eating

Horses not eating are in pain, have a fever or are ill.  Taking a temperature rectally is a good start.  A reading over 101.0 is an elevated temperature and will take most horses off feed.  Discussing the temperature with the Doctor is a place to begin in deciding what medical action to take.  

My horse is limping

Checking the foot is a good place to start. Look for injuries, wedged rocks or nails in the foot. On a cold day often heat in the foot can be found.  Check for swelling in the sore leg.  Common issues are infections in the sole of the foot (sole abscesses), wounds around the coronet band or other related injuries up the leg.  Discuss the findings with the Doctor to determine the best course of action.

My horse is cut

Most injured horses need veterinary care.  Testing a photo of the wound to the doctor is a good place to begin.  Several photos at different angles aids in determining if stitches are needed.  If the wound is bleeding, pressure bandage over the area is best until medical attention arrives.  Do not use wound sprays until the doctor says so as this will complicate suturing.

My horse is colicy

A colicy horse is up and down, often rolling and frequently in visual distress. They are often sweating and have a look of panic in the eye.  These animals require immediate attention.  Attempting to hand walk the horse is best until the doctor is contacted.  

My horse is covered in hives

Allergies are common in horses.  Hives, itching, chewing the skin and hair loss are common skin expressions of allergy.  This required medical attention and discussion with the doctor about the best treatment options.

My horse is quidding

Quidding is dropping chewed food on the ground when fed.  This suggests a painful area in the mouth.  I can suggest a wound, infection of a tooth or a dental fracture.  Quidding is best managed first with a detailed dental examination.

Topics in Equine Medicine



Shockwave therapy is useful in managing injuries that are a bit chronic.  The sound disrupts fluid pockets and areas of focal chronic inflammation.  this allows  enlarged things to shrink down and work better with the surrounding structures. this reduced soreness.  Often 1000/pulse or shock treatments are done once or twice weekly initially followed by less frequent treatments. 

PRP (platelet rich plasma)

This treatment is very useful in managing injury.  Platelet injection stabilizes acute injuries (like ligament or tendon tears) preventing internal bleeding in the area. this treatment also activates local stem cell healing properties to reduce healing time.  This treatment is often done in conjunction with soft casts to maintain the ligament size until healing is underway....preventing the bowed-tendon appearance of a poorly managed tendon injury.


Ultrasound allows seeing inside the horse.  This is a cornerstone of injury management and it seems impossible to imagine equine care without it.

In athletic horses, soft tissue injury is far more common than bone issues.  

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Contact Us


Request Routine Appointment by Text to (760)419-9011

Urgent/Emergency contact by calling (760)471-3239

Photos/Video/X Rays sent by email to equigenics@gmail.com

or to WhatsApp at (760)419-9011

General shipping address

Dr. Matt Matthews

29115 B Valley Center Rd

Valley Center, CA 92082

General Mailing Address

Dr. Matt Matthews

P.O. Box 2468

Valley Center, CA 92082

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Dr. Matt Matthews

Equigenics Incorporated



Open today

08:00 am – 05:00 pm

Monday - Friday: By Appointment

Saturday: By Appointment

Sunday: Urgent Care Only

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