James D. Meister, DVM
Sports Medicine, Surgery

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Dr. Jim Meister grew up in Winston-Salem, NC. He attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA as an undergraduate, and swam butterfly for their nationally-ranked Division One swim team. While living in Virginia, he was able to finally begin a lifelong dream of riding and jumping horses. After graduation, he pursued his ambition to become an equine veterinarian by attending veterinary school at North Carolina State University, currently ranked 3rd in the United States. After graduation, Dr. Meister moved to Chicago with his wife Linda and began his equine career.

After getting several years experience under his belt, Dr. Meister opened his own business in 1997. His goal was to provide the finest level of care possible to all his patients by embracing new techniques, procedures and equipment as they became available. The practice has continually grown in scope and quality, and currently serves riders, trainers and horses that have competed nationally and internationally. Dr. Meister travels throughout the region, as well as to Europe, Florida and other states for his clients.

As a rider himself, Dr. Meister understands the impact that having a lame or sick horse has on the people involved, and this has dictated his approach to medicine. His goal is to help the owner reach their goals with each horse, whether the goal is international competition or a healthy pasture pet. As a horseman, his approach is to view the horse in the context of its job and how to help the horse perform that job as effectively as possible. He utilizes the resources of Prairie Equine Veterinary Clinic to provide a rapid diagnosis, followed by a treatment plan to bring the horse back to it purpose as soon as possible.

Dr. Meister actively competes in eventing and show jumping, and is active with the Fox River Valley Hunt. He lives with his wife, 2 sons and a menagerie of pets in Barrington Hills.

Elysia Schaefer, DVM
Board Certified Surgeon

Dr. Elysia Schaefer is the newest addition to the Prairie Equine team. She brings with her extensive knowledge and experience in both lameness and surgery. Dr. Schaefer has always held an interest in the equine field, from riding when she was younger to working on the racetrack during summers in college. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois, she spent a year working as a research assistant on the human genome project at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Schaefer couldn’t wait any longer to pursue her interest and was off to attend veterinary school at the University of Illinois.

During veterinary school, Dr. Schaefer was involved in many clubs and activities, including Phi Zeta (the veterinary honor society) and the student chapter of the AAEP. In addition, during her fourth year, she served as the national president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association. Following graduation, Dr. Schaefer entered a large animal intership rotating between the medical, surgical and ambulatory services at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. Then she went on to complete a 3-year intensive equine surgical residency at the University of Illinois. During her residency, her caseload focused not only on soft tissue and orthopedic surgical cases, but also on numerous lameness work-ups, both simple and complicated. These complex cases often required extensive diagnostic evaluation including nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), all of with which she is familiar. Dr. Schaefer was also very busy during her residency working on her Masters in Veterinary Medicine where she focused her research in the area of equine osteoarthritis. Dr. Schaefer has spoken at several national and international veterinary meetings. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).

After completing her residency in 2009, she passed the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) board exam in February 2010 and held a locum position as an equine surgeon at the University of Pretoria's Veterinary School in South Africa. There she was in charge of the surgical caseload and teaching the final year students in the clinics. While it was an exciting adventure, she is happy to be back in the United States and reunited with her two dogs, Bailey and Maddie, and her horse, Knight. Dr. Schaefer's specialty is colic surgery, although she also is well versed in orthopedic and other soft tissue procedures. We are happy to add her to the family and cannot wait for you to meet her!

For more information on board certified veterinary surgeons visit www.acvs.org.

Sarah Sprague, DVM
Reproduction, Acupuncture

Dr. Sarah Sprague from Equine Health Care and Reproductive Services has been specializing in equine reproduction work for the past 9 years. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1999 and earned her VMD from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. Dr. Sprague, her husband, Drew, and daughter, Logan, recently moved to the Lake County area with their two dogs, Peanut and Sophia. Dr. Sprague is partnering with Prairie Equine on routine and emergency care. She will also be using our facilities for reproduction clients that need clinic care. For more information check out her website at www.equinereproservices.com.