About Wolf Creek Equine Hospital
Susan Mende, DVM, Dipl. ABVP
OwnerSusan Mende, DVM, ABVP graduated from the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinarian Medicine in 1991. She spent two-years working as an intern at Southern Illinois Equine. She then moved to southeastern Ohio for a two-year surgical fellowship at Milliron Clinic, a companion animal practice that specialized in high-end surgical procedures for all animals (orthopedic, colic, etc). The next several years, were spent in part-time companion animal and equine practice until she started Wolf Creek Equine in 1998.
She became a Certified Animal Chiropractor in 1997. Dr. Mende also has advanced training in equine reproductive techniques, locomotor ultrasound and anesthesia. She is Board Certified in Equine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). She is a member of The International Society for Equine Locomotor Pathology (ISELP), the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
CJ Caniglia, DVM, DACVS-LA
Full-Time Associate SurgeonDr. Caniglia received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. He then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University in 2012. He furthered his training by doing a surgical internship at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, OK. Dr. Caniglia then completed a large animal surgical residency with an emphasis in equine surgery. The program was divided between the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, FL. This combined experience has provided Dr. Caniglia with training in a breadth of surgical procedures as well as sports medicine cases from racehorses to Olympic athletes. He became a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in February 2017. Dr. Caniglia’s professional interests include minimally invasive surgeries (navicular bursoscopy and
laparoscopy), surgical conditions of the upper respiratory tract, complex lameness cases, and regenerative therapies. Dr. Caniglia has several publications in the field. Outside of work, Dr. Caniglia and his wife enjoy riding and showing their hunters and jumpers, spending time with their family, and water skiing.
Melissa Bryant, DVM
Full-Time Associate Veterinarian
Ben Shrauner, DVM, DACVS-LA
Equine Surgeon/Sports Medicine Specialist (Locum Tenems)
Office ManagerKatherine has a Bachelors degree in Animal Sciences/Equine studies from the University of Maryland, and began working at WCEH in February 2009 as a veterinary assistant. Throughout her time here Katherine has learned the in’s and out’s of keeping our clinic operational. She is currently our Office Manager but when called on she can jump in a truck for calls or help out in surgeries. Katherine is a versatile and critical employee in keeping our day to day operations going.
Mary Ann Lare
Human ResourcesMary Ann was born & raised on a farm. She has been working in the veterinarian field for the last 28 years. She started with WCEH in 2008 as a veterinary assistant and helping with the barn chores. She quickly moved into an office role as well as alos assisting in surgery. As WCEH has progressively grown over the years Mary Ann has taken on new responsibilities within the clinic. Most recently she is our Human Resources person and Dr. Mende’s personal assistant. In addition to helping at WCEH she also works in Human Medicine. When not working she enjoys spending time with her 3 great kids.
Head Farm ManagerWilliam has been working with us since 2009. He is the main animal caretaker and maintenance worker. He also assists with veterinary procedures in the stables. This clinic would not be operational without all the time and effort William puts forth to keeping this facility running. We all love William; he is an essential part of our team.
Office/H.R./ Farm ManagerLorri attended Howard Community College and receive a Certification in Medical Terminology and then attended Anne Arundel Community College to complete her Veterinary Assistance Certification. She started at WCEH in 2012 as a volunteer in our ICU unit. From there she started working in our facility as an animal caretaker in 2013. Lorri then began working as a Veterinary Assistant and Office Assistant in 2014. She has become a valued member of our office staff and moved into the HR and Farm Manager role in 2018. In her free time you can find Lorri at local shows with her two daughters or out on a trail ride.
Office/Veterinary AssistantSarah earned her B.A. degree in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011. During school she continued to work as a vet assistant at Chesapeake Equine from 2007 to 2011. She joined WCEH in 2013 as a veterinary assistant. Since then Sarah has also become responsible for training any new employees. If you can’t find Sarah around the clinic she is most likely out riding her horse Kahlua, who she got from her old practice, or home taking care of her numerous animals including her chickens and new puppy.
Office/Veterinary AssistantKelly received her B.A. in Integrative Arts and Minor in Equine Science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. She started working at WCEH in the spring of 2016 as a veterinary assistant. She has been cross trained in office procedures and is the clinics on hand tech support. Kelly is also in charge of creating and updating the website, photographing and marketing the sale horses, and managing our Facebook pages. When she isn’t at the clinic she is often working with her own horses or expanding her photography career.
Veterinary AssistantWendy graduated from Northern High School in 1990. Shortly there after she joined Law Enforcement until retiring in March of 2014. During her time on the force one of her favorite assignments was on the K9 unit. She started working at WCEH as a vet assistant around May of 2014. Wendy stayed with the practice for a year before having to leave for family reasons. She came back to join the WCEH family in April of 2017. When not at the clinic Wendy also is a Human CPR/First Aid instructor, an Emergency Medical Technician, an instructor for the Maryland Police Training Commission, and Prince George’s Municipal Police Academy. Wendy has had a love of horses since a young age and now currently owns a small farm with 4 horses and a donkey.
Veterinary AssistantMadison graduated from North Caroline High School in the Spring of 2017 and joined WCEH in the fall of 2017 as a veterinary assistant. Horses run in Madison’s family as her mother is a local trainer on the Eastern Shore. When Madison is not out in the truck with one of our vets she can be found competing on the Hunter circuit or helping out on her mother’s farm.
Veterinary Assistant/RiderJulia started at St Mary’s High School but shortly switched to home schooling so she could compete in the winter circuits down in Florida. She has shown at WEF, HITS Ocala, and Tryon North Carolina, to name a few. She has trained with Tracy Magness and Manuel Torres and our own local Kari Martin. Currently, Julia is attending Flagler College tracking a Coastal Environmental Science Major and minor in Biology. She is not one to sit still and continues to compete at WEF when not in class.
Amy Polkes, DVM, DACVIM - Internal Medicine
The most common cases that are referred for an internal medicine consultation are respiratory disease (chronic cough or poor performance), weight loss, chronic colic, neurological disease, difficult ophthalmology cases and cases for cardiac evaluation.
The pieces of equipment she carries include a portable video gastroscope, GE VIVID i ultrasound with Doppler/ECG (superior for cardiac and abdominal ultrasound), a tonopen, BAL tube and other diagnostic tools to allow her to perform most advanced diagnostics.
Check out Dr. Polkes’ website at: http://hudsonvalleyequineinternalmedicine.com/
Anne Weigt, DVM, MS - Ophthalmologist
If your regular vet recommends seeing an ophthalmic specialist we will be happy to set that up for you. Please contact the office at: 410-741-1473. (All visits from Dr. Weigt will take place at WCEH in Lothian, MD)
Fernando Martinez - Dental Technician
If you have a Miniature horse, or a horse/pony that may require extensive dental work, please contact the office to set up an appointment with Fernando at: 410-741-1473.
Tim Gray - Farrier
Tim has been providing a balanced hoof with a calm and patient hand for the performance horse since 2003. He believes communication is key in the management and care of the performance horse. Collaboration between the veterinarian, trainer, rider, and farrier ensures the highest level of lasting performance from your horse. WCEH will discuss and monitor hoof care between shoeings to assist with developing and maintaining a balanced sound horse.
Wolf Creek Equine Hospital's Story
Out of her little chiropractic practice, the need for more conventional equine care emerged. Shortly thereafter Dr. Mende opened WCEH on the Eastern Shore, in Centreville, MD in 1998. She began to add more equipment and services and by February 1999, WCEH had grown to such an extent that part-time employment with others was no longer possible. WCEH’s first employee was hired in the Spring of 1999 and by that Fall, it was apparent the home-based practice would need more space.
In the Spring of 2000, and after searching for nearly six months, beautiful Alder Branch Farm became the new Practice location. Practicing out of Alder Branch (in Centreville, MD) helped expand WCEH’s services even further.
In 2002, purchase negotiations began with Alder Branch Farm owners. Despite the desire to buy and expand, negotiations ultimately crumbled and the search for a new site began. It took nearly two years before the property in Lothian, Maryland was found. Purchased in May 2004, the new barn was completed in the fall of 2007. WCEH moved in and re-opened with improved, yet still limited, services. The front office, waiting room, laboratory, and pharmacy were completed in the fall of 2008. In 2009, despite the economic down turn, several pieces of equipment were added to the practice. Although initiated, the completion of the surgery suite was postponed until the economy began to recover. The Surgery Suite was finished in the Spring of 2011.
The business’ name, Wolf Creek Equine is rooted in sentiment. Dr. Mende once lived on Wolf Creek Road in Illinois, fox-hunted with the Wolf Creek Hunt and the Wolf Creek Hounds. At one time the idea of moving back to Illinois to begin a practice was entertained, but not acted upon. So, even though the practice began in Maryland, the Illinois-based name remained.
What's Up With the Winged Horse?
The Winged Horse Extravaganza was a public art installation brought to the Outer Banks community in celebration of the 2003 Centennial of Flight. From May 2002 through October 2004, 99 life-sized fiberglass horses with aluminum aircraft wings were decorated and displayed throughout the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Sponsors, either businesses or individual families, purchased a horse, commissioned an artist to decorate it and publicly displayed it for everyone to enjoy. Many of the horses were slated to be auctioned off in December 2003, but owing to an overwhelming number of requests from tourists and sponsors, the 2003 horse auction was postponed, and the Winged Horse Extravaganza was extended through fall of 2004.
The “Mane Event,”, the winged horse charitable auction, was held October 10, 2004 at Sea Scape Golf Course in Kitty Hawk. Thirty-four members of the herd went on the block, along with original artwork, photographs, and related goods and services generously donated by some of the horse sponsors. The two primary beneficiaries of the auction were the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Monument to a Century of Flight. Many other local charities also shared in teh proceeds of the auction.
This winged horse was in front of the Outer Banks Center for Women in Nags Head, NC. See www.outerbankspress.com for more information.
Years later, the Outer Banks Center for Women changed buildings and they took their winged horse toa local thift store, called the Battered Women’s Hotline, in Manteo, NC. All proceeds from donations to this hotline go toward housing and helping displaced women of domestic abuse.
While on a family vacation in Manteo, North Carolina, Dr. Mende was thrift store shopping. Ironically, the items she went looking for was actually equine paraphynalia (models, etc) for the office. This winged horse was outside amongst some old furniture.
She inquired about the winged horse inside. At first, management was not willing to sell her. They had already declined other offers. Over the course of nearly an hour, Dr. Mende used her powers of persuasion to convince the manager that her equine hospital in Maryland was a good home for the winged horse. She also made a sizeable donation to the Battered Women’s Shelter, which may have also helped sway their decision.
A rental truck brought her to her new home in Maryland in 2011.
We didn’t have a prepared place for her. A client of WCEH graciously crafted a landscaping design. In the mean time she sat outside.
During Super Storm Sandy we brought her in. Even the winged horse had to come inside during Super Storm Sandy (2012).
Finally, in the spring of 2013 she was mounted in front of our clinic. Our winged horse has now made it to her permanent home in front of the hospital.