From Endurance to Dressage
Who is Your Vet?
Since we're talking about vets ...
A few days ago, Austen, over at Guinness on Tap, posted a really disturbing account of her most recent interaction with a vet. It was enough to get any horse owner hot under the collar.
It got me thinking though. We have three or four large animal vet options here in town. There are two brick and mortar hospitals and several independent mobile vets. At Bakersfield Vet Hospital, the hospital I use, there are three doctors on staff while the other hospital has only one doctor. Basically, if you call a vet out, you know who you are getting.
After reading about Austen's experience, I realized that might not be the case around the rest of the country. So, I am curious. Do you take your horse to the vet, or does she come to you? Do you always use the same vet, or do you use whoever is on staff?
I put together a small poll below. I'll give it a few days and then publish the results later. Thanks for participating!
1/20/2015 09:14:48 am
I hadn't thought of putting an answer like that: depends on the problem. I normally use one vet, but I have hauled over to Alamo Pintado for special things. And, yeah ... I've had a couple of really cheap years, but I am making up for it this last few months myself. :0)
1/20/2015 12:06:56 am
I had a hard time answering the poll since I have a regular vet then a couple specialists! Here are some details to go with my answers!
1/20/2015 09:17:20 am
Lauren said about the same thing. i hadn't thought of that as an answer. We don't have quite so many choices here that I can go to one vet for this and another vet for that, which is why that answer hadn't occurred to me. My vet is similar to yours. he really listens to my experience and needs. We always hash out a solution together (usually). I changed vets for my dog because the doctor we saw didn't take the time to hear what I already know. The new guy is great!
Uggghhhhh, I checked off the "6-10 times per year" and felt kind of ill. Sigh. Maybe 2015 will bring that average down?
1/20/2015 09:20:18 am
Yeah ... i like working with the same vet. I find that it really helps in an emergency because you already have a relationship established.
We have two smaller practice vets that we use for routine vaccines, etc., as well as emergencies and small lameness issues. We also have a larger practice that is well known for diagnosing more difficult lameness and finally, Ohio State University for surgery, etc. We're pretty lucky to have so many options relatively close by!
1/20/2015 09:22:46 am
We are pretty limited with our choices which makes me especially glad that I like the vets that we do have, but it sure would be nice to multiple options!
1/20/2015 01:00:03 pm
My answers were definitely situational. Most years all I pay for is a float. I'm a vet myself, used to do equine practice, and do small animal practice now. But I can buy my own vaccines and dewormers so I usually do. From July 2013 to Sept 2014 I kept my horse at a barn where one of the boarders was a vet at a really fancy hospital and had her stocked truck there all the time. So I used her quite a bit during that time - for a dental, then once when he was a bit off after a vaccine when she gave him some banamine (mine was expired), then she injected his hocks. Then in July he got a weird swelling in his RF lower leg that I originally attributed to kicking the fence or something, but took way longer than expected to go back to normal. I wrapped it for like a month, then left him just "off" with no riding and no wraps for probably about another month. After that I was worried about it and decided it should be ultrasounded just in case. I made an appointment at UC Davis. Even though I was trying to be frugal and was just going to do the ultrasound, I ended up with a full lameness exam, with nerve blocks and xrays, in addition to the ultrasound. The ultrasound ended up being normal and the xrays showed some old stuff in the fetlock, which they injected. So that little trip put me for once in the over $1000 in a year category not counting the other 3 vet things done at the barn earlier in the year. Unusual for me. I like to go to the vet school for lameness stuff since they have the xrays and ultrasound right there. For other stuff it depends. I read that other blog entry you referred to. I'd be angry too if I was charged for chiro and chinese herbs without asking for them. I wonder why she went to a new vet. Lastly, I'll throw out one more shout-out for Dr. Tolley and BVH!! Woot!!!
1/20/2015 09:12:01 pm
Being your own vet would certainly save money. :0)
1/21/2015 09:06:23 am
I always use the same vet. She has known my horse longer than I have and understands his needs very well. I drive to her practice to pick up medications and she gave me her cell phone and email in case I have questions about Harley's ongoing allergies. She is so busy, but always makes me feel like my horse is the most important thing on her schedule. Love her!
Oh. Oops. I thought I commented on this, but apparently commenting via phone on a plane taxiing up the runway is not an effective method of comment-leaving. :)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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