General Diagnostic and Surgical Service

General Diagnostic and Surgical Service (GDSS)

A Leg Up for Horse Health

Cummings School faculty collaborated with School of Engineering faculty and students to train their entrepreneurial skills on multimillion-dollar equine legwear industry.


Board certified surgeons, Dr. Thomas Jenei and Dr. Carl Kirker-Head, lead the General Diagnostic and Surgical Service, which is part of the Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts. The service oversees a wide variety of cases and offers all types of diagnostic procedures, and also performs surgery. This includes procedures required for horses, camelids, and farm animals, including orthopedic surgery, lameness, wound repair, septic joint management, gastrointestinal surgery, and urogenital procedures.

Diagnostic testing capabilities include:

  • Radiographs
  • MRI
  • CT
  • Ultrasound
  • Nuclear medicine (bone scan)
  • Endoscopy
  • Nerve and joint anesthesia
  • Blood work
  • Tissue Samples

The General Diagnostic and Surgical Service is equipped, with both personnel and equipment, to perform all types of surgical procedures. Unless the surgery needs to be performed on an emergency basis, normal surgery days at the Hospital for Large Animals are Tuesday and Thursday. This enables hospital staff to work with the client and their animal the day prior to surgery, to gather any additional diagnostics that are required, discuss all treatment options, and discuss expected costs and potential complications. It also gives the patient time to become acclimated to the change in housing and for staff to become more familiar with the patient's normal behavior before general anesthesia and surgery.

All surgery is performed by the faculty surgeon, with assistance of a surgical house officer who is also a graduate veterinarian. Caregivers include a knowledgeable team of technicians, senior veterinary students, house officers, and attending faculty. Using this team approach, the Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is able to provide 24-hour quality care.

A podiatry specialty medicine and surgery service is also provided by Dr. Kirker-Head, who works in collaboration with farriers in the region, and Dr. Bryan Fraley from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

Our Doctors

  • Thomas M. Jenei

    Thomas M. Jenei
    Large Animal Surgery

  • Carl A. Kirker-Head

    Carl A. Kirker-Head
    Orthopedic and Large Animal Surgery, Bone Regrowth and Remodeling

  • Jessica Owens

    Jessica Owens
    Large Animal Surgery

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