Melissa King

Associate Professor Clinical Sciences

JFEH Johnson Equine Hospital

(970) 297-4165

About Melissa

Dr. Melissa King is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and is an associate professor in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. Melissa is from the Western Slope and grew up rodeoing and skiing. She had the honor of representing Colorado and the sport of rodeo, serving as Miss Rodeo Colorado in 1993. Dr. King earned her veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 1997; following graduation she completed a one-year internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Following her internship, Dr. King returned to northern Colorado as an equine private practitioner focusing on orthopedics and sports medicine. After practicing for 10 years, Dr. King returned to CSU to pursue a PhD in equine orthopedics and rehabilitation at the Equine Orthopaedic Research Center. The focus of her research was to investigate the physiologic, biomechanical, and histologic effects of aquatic therapy on diminishing the progression of osteoarthritis within the equine middle carpal joint. Dr. King’s current research interests involve the objective assessment of underwater treadmill exercise for the management of equine musculoskeletal injuries, validation of rehabilitation modalites, as well as the biomechanical assessment of compensatory gait adaptations.


Bachelor of Science, Equine Science, Colorado State University, 1993Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, 1997PhD, Colorado State University, 2011


Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation--Equine 2012


King MR, Haussler KK, Kawcak CE, McIlwraith CW, Reiser RF, Werpy NM, Frisbie DD. Biomechanical and histologic evaluation of the effects of underwater treadmill exercise on horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis of the middle carpal joint. Am J Vet Res. 2017;78(5):558-569. King MR, Haussler KK, Kawcak CE, McIlwraith CW, Reiser RF. Effect of Underwater Treadmill Exercise On Postural Sway in Horses With Experimentally-induced Carpal Joint Osteoarthritis. Am J Vet Res. 2013;74(7):971-82.King MR, Haussler KK, Kawcak CE, McIlwraith CW, Reiser RF. Mechanisms of Aquatic Therapy and its Potential Use in Managing Equine Osteoarthritis. Equine Vet Educ. 2013;25(4):204-209.Ellis KL, King MR. Relationship between postural stability and paraspinal muscle adaptation in lame horses undergoing rehabilitation. J Equine Vet Sci. 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.evs.2020.103108Haussler KH, King MR, Peck K, Adair S. The development of safe and effective rehabilitation protocols for horses. Equine Vet Ed. 2020; DOI:10.1111/eve.13253Ellis KL, King MR, Seabaugh K. Retrospective analysis of horses with ultrasound evaluation of the sacroiliac region and response to sacroiliac joint injection: 42 cases. Submitted J Equine Vet Sci. 2020Moorman VJ, Bass L, King MR. Evaluation of the effects of alpha-2 adrenergic agonists alone and in combination with butorphanol tartrate on objective measurements of lameness in horses. Am J Vet Res. 2019; 80(9):868-877.Peat FJ, Colbath AC, Bentsen LM, Goodrich LR, King MR. In vitro effects of high-intensity laser photobiomodulation on equine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell viability and cytokine expression. Photomedicine and Laser Surg. 2018;36(2):83-91.Moorman V, Kawcak C, King MR. Evaluation of a portable media device to determine postural stability in the horse during quiet standing. Am J Vet Res. 2017;78(9):1036-1042.Nelson BB, King MR, Frisbie DD. Assessment of a novel equine tarsocrural experimental joint disease model using recombinant interleukin-1 beta and arthroscopic articular sampling of the medial malleolus of the tibia on the standing sedated horse. Vet J. 2017;229;54-59.

Research Specialty

Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation