Choosing an Equine Veterinarian
The horse and human bond is tried and true. Horses provide companionship, joy and purpose for humans. It makes sense that we take full advantage of what science and medicine have to offer to optimize the wellbeing of an animal we are so emotionally and financially invested in. Owning a horse is both a joy and a responsibility. Maintaining optimal health and performance is a big part of responsible equine stewardship and establishing a health care team for your horse is an important first step. There are many variations to an equine healthcare team but key players include the owner (ultimate decision maker and CFO), the horse’s primary caregiver(s) (may or may not be the owner) and a veterinarian (one or more). It’s impossible to predict when the “healthy as a horse” adage might break down for your animal. If and when it does you’ll want to have already established a relationship with a trusted veterinary partner who will help navigate problems from a sore foot to life threatening colic.
From birth or at the initial pre-purchase evaluation, a veterinarian is your best resource for equine health care and advice, so how do you go about choosing this important team player? According to Dr. Fernando Cardenas, “You might start with clarifying who you are as a horse owner and what your horse does for a living. If your horse is a professional athlete or a breeding animal it will likely require attention from a veterinary specialist at one point or another in its career. Generally, the more we ask from our horses the more likely they are to require healthcare beyond the basics.” All horses need basic healthcare including vaccinations, deworming and dental care. Next, use this starter list of considerations to identify important job skills you’ll require from your veterinary teammate. Rate each consideration in order of importance to you and to your horse.
- Location, availability
- Trust (understanding and mutual respect)
- Communication skills (reliability, expectations, people skills)
- Expertise (education, experience, continuing education)
- Horsemanship (horse handling skills and knowledge)
- Specialty training / interests
- Referral relationships (as needed for specialty care such as surgery)
- Practice Type (solo practitioner or multi doctor practice)
- Facilities (ambulatory, hospital and/or surgical practice)
- Financial policies
Here at 3H Veterinary Services we are partial to the advantages of a group practice. We are proud to claim our full service medical capabilities in hospital or ambulatory settings. Beyond the basics, we offer; rapid emergency response, reproductive health care, sports medicine, lameness and rehabilitation expertise, including state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. Working from a modern, well equipped hospital and rehabilitation facility, we are able to provide for your veterinary needs throughout the life of your horses. We have put together a capable, efficient and knowledgeable group of veterinarians and support staff ready to join your healthcare team and help make your dreams of horse ownership come true. Our professionals are passionate about their own continuing education and collaborate to bring decades of experience to the care of your beloved horses. Horse owners ourselves, we treat your animals as if they are our own. Ultimately, the best veterinarian for you will be the one you listen to and trust. Please follow us on Facebook at 3H Equine Hospital and Mobile Veterinary Services @3HMobileVet or review our website to learn more about the services we offer, meet our doctors, schedule a visit or set up an appointment. We are team players, at your service and committed to the wellbeing of your horse.