It happens to all of us at least once. Your equine vet retires or you move to an area that your current vet doesn't serve. Now you have to f ind a new vet for your horse. If you're like many horse owners, you'd rather find a new doctor for yourself than a new vet for your horse. A vet is your partner in maintaining your horse's health, so it's important to make sure that the vet that you use is a great one. Do you know what traits you should be looking for in a great equine vet?
Listening to the Owner
Any good vet needs to have the ability and willingness to listen to the horse owner. A good vet should listen to and acknowledge your concerns, and should also have a conversation with you about your horse’s condition, potential treatments, and overall prognosis.
When you’re talking with a vet, you shouldn’t feel like the vet is rushing to finish up the conversation (unless the vet has received an emergency call – then you need to make an exception). And while a vet may have a different approach to horse care or a different view of your horse’s health than you do, a good vet will also be willing to listen to your perspective.
Answering Owner Questions
Answering owner questions is an imperative trait of any good vet. You should feel that you are able to ask your vet about any concerns you might have about your horse’s health. In some cases, symptoms raised through questions can help your vet to pinpoint medical issues that may be plaguing your horse. Asking questions helps to better inform you about your horse’s health and any changes that you may make to keep him healthy or improve his health. And most importantly, your vet should never act like you are silly for asking questions.
Staying on Top of New Veterinary Advancements
A great equine vet will make an effort to stay on top of new medical advancements. Veterinary studies, treatments, and procedures are constantly being revised, discovered, and released. A vet who stays on top of the news and advancements in the veterinary field can better treat his or her equine patients.
Offering Emergency Coverage
Emergencies always happen at the most inopportune times. Nights, weekends, and holidays seem to be the occasions during which your horse will become seriously ill or injured. Even if a vet practices solo, it’s important that he or she offers emergency coverage. Whether it means securing another vet to stand in or making arrangements with another practice to handle client emergencies, a great vet will ensure that help will be available if and when you need it, even if it’s during the off-hours.
Great vets possess the above traits, and more. Most importantly, they all have a true commitment to keeping their equine patients healthy.
For more information and to help you find a vet in your area, check in with the American Association of Equine Practitioners. There are some great guidelines and resources on the web site as well.
Photo Credit: Equine Veterinary Service