Veterinary Advice and Your Horse
Find a Good Equine VeterinarianHorses, like us, are prone to health issues, most of them preventable by proper veterinary care and preventative maintenance. In case of a problem, the horse must receive the proper intervention from a fully qualified vet specializing in horses. Often a horse is lost due to medical help not rendered promptly. This is why it is of paramount importance to choose a reliable vet who has specialized in horses for your horse. Some vets have additional specialization in certain breeds.
The vet must be able to answer the owner's questions satisfactorily and must be one whom the owner and the horse are comfortable with. The vet must be able to honestly assess the horse's condition and explain the treatment and management of the case.
Emergencies Need a Quick ResponseIt is important that the vet can be contacted easily and can attend the horse at short notice. Vets usually work alone or as a group of specialized vets with fixed schedules. The vet must be able to recommend another vet on call on who works nights for emergencies when the regular vet is unable to take the call.
Check if the vet does house calls and the cost of the call. Often house calls and off hour services are more expensive. It is not easy to transport a horse to the vet and at times house calls may be cheaper than the transport. Check if the vet works with portable X-ray machines. Get a list of horse vets from the area and check out the pros and cons.
Recommended by a Friend
Ask other horse owners about their vets and their preferences. A good recommendation by a horse owner is usually quite reliable. Do not commit to any vet on a permanent basis until you are absolutely satisfied.
Check the vet's qualifications, the payment plans and fees for all types of visits - regular hours, nights, weekends and holidays. Check his contacts for laboratory tests and the charges for the tests. Horses are not that expensive to maintain, but become quite expensive when they are sick or injured. Check on insurance plans. It may well be worth it.
The First Appointment, Before an Emergency
Ask the vet for a first appointment and checkup of the horse. Evaluate the vet by observing his assessment, handling of the horse and interaction with the horse. Watch to make sure that he is conducting a full and thorough general checkup without shortcuts. Read up on examinations and ask the vet questions about the examinations to make sure he knows his job.