By Deb Haines
Message to HVC members from Dr. Crocker
I want to thank the vets that are trying to help out on this page. I know you all are doing it for the same reason I am- for the sake of the horses…
So Humans posting about their horses: please- if you wish to continue to have experienced equine vets actually willing to comment:
1- Be respectful don’t add comments like “really? No one?” or “still waiting”
2- Don’t tag us, PLEASE!!!!…unless you are an admin- its annoying- if we commented, and you reply- FB let’s us know. My friends get to tag me in personal posts. My clients know if they tag me more than once (they get a warning the first time) they actually will be fired unless it was a total accident.
3- Open your ears and your mind. You asked for a vet’s perspective. Likely you already had at least one vet’s perspective before you asked the ? here. If you don’t like the answer, get another opinion. If 3 people tell you the same thing…it might actually be true, or maybe we just don’t have enough information…I routinely see cases that 4-6 other DVMs have looked at…and before I will touch the case- I review all the records. In many cases, each vet found out one piece of the puzzle, most of the pieces were found, but no one had access to all the pieces at once so…
4- provide details: we like them. If we didn’t – we would have never become veterinarians…we thrive on details and facts –
things WE ALWAYS want to know (need to know to formulate an opinion)
a- age breed sex use and color
b- problem as you see it, how long, progressive (worsening) or chronic (stable/not improving)
c- what has been done already, what was offered and not performed, outcome/response
d- diet including supplements, medications, and pasture access, whether or not this has changed, if so when
e- medications: type, frequency, dosage, and formulation (eg compounded over brand name, liquid, injectable, tablet)
f- housing including type (stall, dry lot, pasture, size), bedding type, soil, water table, pasture type (overgrazed, lush, mixed dryland, floodplain)
g- goals, desired outcome,
h- exercise program – be honest
5- If you have vet reports include them (labs, rads, etc)- the more info we have, the more we can help. If you have tried unorthodox things- let’s hear it…(I Rx some myself for certain things b/c nothing else works)- we are all here to learn. Definitely do black out surnames, practice names etc. Pictures are great – but must be in focus and a close up and far way shot please. If asking about feet- pictures of each foot from front, side, and bottom standing on level clean ground.
6- Every horse is unique and every horse owner is unique. Luckily – so is every equine veterinarian and farrier. Working together as a team – we do pretty well. If you do not get on well with your vet- find a new one. There are plenty of us out there. Some of us play well with others, some do not. Formulate a team and make sure they have access to each other. IMO there is a big difference between “loyalty” and “trust”. I do not want clients to be loyal to me, I do want them to trust me. If your “professional” is asking for “loyalty” – that is just weird. That means even if they screw up royally, you still continue to use their services? Huge red flag. No one has all the answers all the time…you are your horse’s advocate so if something seems “off” trust your gut and get a second opinion.
7- I see lots of posts asking about rescue cases…We appreciate rescues, we thank you for stepping in and trying to save an innocent life…but they are almost always a rescue for a reason. Good horses are very rarely “discarded”. Most of the rescues from auction yards have MAJOR issues- that is why they are there. IME the issues for which they were discarded are high $ problems or things that were sort-of treated-but-not-really-so now the horse is totally AFU from trying to compensate or they are a behavioral train wreck. The unwanted horse is a real problem in the USA and quite a few “rescue” organizations prey on good-hearted horse people and have created an actual industry – I have watched this develop over the course of my career and it breaks my heart. Horses that should have been humanely euthanized end up in the hands of tremendously generous and wonderful people with false hope handed to them by “charlatan rescues.” Weeding out issues is complicated, expensive, and often heartbreaking…the answers are not easy to come by and often we (DVMs) are at a loss, because finances are super tight and we do want to help. Teamwork and “peeling back the layers” is essential in these cases. Sometimes when you rescue a horse…all you can really offer that soul is “the ultimate green pasture”… no matter what you want to do or can financially support…and that is not failure, that is compassion.
The Vet Corner Groups are run solely by volunteers. If you would like to support the groups, please feel free to make a donation to the running costs of the groups and websites. We thank you for your kindness!
© 2014-2022 Rural Veterinary Outreach. All Rights Reserved.