your relationship with your vet

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Sharaway, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Sharaway

    Sharaway Well-known Member

    Personally I have a great relationship with my old vet in Busso, I know I can still call him now for advise even though I am not a current client.

    My two local vets are also great people more than willing to advise when I call and attend if needed.

    Now these relationships have taken some work, and work on mutual trust and respect, and they have to begin somewhere.

    I can't count the amount of threads where people ask for advise and get told to call a vet, and even at times it's vet giving the advise, nod to AnneE, Beagle and Warrick.

    This forum is blessed with several vets and vet nurses but they are not a clinic, they can only advise on the information you give, and how often has that information been either wrong, uninformed or uneducated leading to people guessing at a diagnosis.

    So mostly our more knowledgable people will not post advise due to the above, if you can't see it, touch it, even smell it then you are working blind.

    Yes a vet bill can be expensive, but quite often you only need the one upfront visit, the vet can then advise from their over the phone or the counter and the cost can be kept down.

    No vet in their right mind will let you out of site with strong drugs unless they deem you competent to administer them and also store them safely.

    It also amazes me how little people know about basic first aid and a baseline normal for their animal be it horse, dog or rabbit.

    Quite often things are quite serious before it's even noticed that something is wrong, where as other peolple can tell from one glance across the paddock which horse is lame or collicky.

    My point is don't fear your vet, see them as the valued asset they are, work with them, they are there to help, if funds are tight, talk to your vet now about the what if something goes wrong, start a vet bill only money jar where you put all your loose change, suprising how that one adds up.

    Start to put a first aid kit together over time, a roll of vet wrap this pay, some betidine the next, before you know it you have a kit without breaking the bank.

    Vets are busy people, but everyone I have met to date are more than willing to help genuine people. So be genuine, don't call the vet because fluffy didn't eat breakfast, with out first doing your research and later finding out that fluffy raided that cat food etc.

    Learn your animals baselines, write them down, practice taking temps ect.

    This forum can be very unforgiving of people who put off calling a vet, or who try to treat themselves with magical potions and the therapy clearly isn't working, and every option is taken except calling a vet.

    Vets can also be unforgiving of clients who don't keep up regular maintenance of an animal and then call them to fix a preventable problem.

    So get teeth done, immunize, clip claws, maintain hooves, worm, be a good owner first, it will save you a lot in the longrun, and go along way to gaining the respect and trust from your vet that you will need if the worst happens.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  2. Amen to that sister! :))

    Oh, and by the way - you CAN arrange PAYMENT PLANS with your vet. The old "I can't afford a vet" excuse does NOT fly, I am afraid.
  3. I_love_equines

    I_love_equines Well-known Member

    Well said Sharaway **)
  4. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    I have my vet on speeddial on my phone, i have used him since i was a child! He know my family very well and is a regular visitor for my horses and clients. Last time he gelded for me, i had some kids who were here with their parents and they wanted to watch.

    They watched and he talked us all through it and explained what each bit was and even showed them what happens to them when they come out - the dogs got a good feed! The parents who are all not really horsey were amazed more than the kids.

    I have one horse here who hates men with a passion, if we need to give this horse a needle for any reason i do it and vet supervises. I have another old pony who is a terror to treat and hates the sight of the vet, last time we treated her again i had to give her sedation as vet coudnt get near her without her tensing up and leaping. My vet always calls me to follow up on each case and has been a great help over the year.

    I have called him many many times with questions of all sorts and he is always helpful. We just love our Charlie, he is great :)*
  5. info on archie

    info on archie Well-known Member

    Oh yes, very good relationship with my vets (probably because im visiting them about every bloody week :eek: horses :rolleyes: ). I would be lost without them, the smallest question they are happy to answer, always very comforting if I'm upset and just fantastic people who don't mess around and get straight to the treatment.

    Thankyou Oakford Equine :))
  6. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    I have had too many vet visits in the last couple of years lol. But I have found that the cost of them has been very reasonable for the job that was done. Spending $100-$200 to be told there is nothing wrong, or the ailment is minor and dont panic, is well worth it IMO. MUCH better than holding off, the ailment gets worse and I end up with permanently lame or expensive recovery.

    Generally I follow my gut. There have been times when my hand has been in my pocket to grab my phone immediately apon spotting a swelling, and all bar 1 has been just as well as horse WAS in danger. And other times where I have put it off and used first aid and my own knowlege, and again I have been right to (turned out to be an abscess or the hives went away on their own in a couple of days etc).

    I also find it rare that I dont take the horse to the vet with a pretty good idea of the problem - but dont have ultrasound/xray etc or specific experience and knowlege to confirm.

    Best advice is to KNOW your horse. Know what his legs feel like, what lumps/bumps are normal, what his temperature usually is at different times of the day, what his heart normally sounds like. Then you can tell if something isn't right even before the horse shows obvious symptons, and can relay information to your vet.

    If you cant afford a vet bill for $100-$200 to help your friend when you think he's in trouble, horses probably aren't for you.
  7. sherridin

    sherridin Well-known Member

    I really really don't understand people who don't call the vet! ';'

    On that note, I would like to thank my wonderful vets at Bullsbrook Vet clinic! They have been our vets for 10 maybe more years now and even though we have gone many months between visits (lucky to have healthy horses!) they have always listened and followed up with calls to see how things are going.

    If you can't afford the vet bill then you shouldn't have a horse/s. I have seen too many horses end up in bad ways and sometimes PTS with something that started simple but because they took the 'wait and see' approach ended up complicated. #(
  8. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    I agree with you sharaway, how many times i see people miss things.

    I know how many poops each horse does, i pick a horse in the paddock is not right, the way it is standing, it is attention to detail. Unfortunately not everyone has a sharp eye, or maybe they are just not animal savvy - i dont know.
  9. Sharaway

    Sharaway Well-known Member

    All the more reason to call a vet first if you don't know then Scorps, like Heif said, better a small bill for a minor issue than a large bill or a dead horse because your paralyzed with fear over calling the vet.
  10. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    On that note, ode to Baldivis, Belmont and Murdoch Vet Hospitals! Big thanks from me, Peiko, Buckley and Quiz!

    I have squatted down to look at a leg and had the vet on the phone by the time I stood up, horse on float 15mins later on the way to vet. Some things are just not worth risking, joints being very high on that list!

    Also, to keep good will between vet and me I always pay on the day. That way if I *did* ever get one that was too large for credit card in one hit I hope that they would let me have a payment plan, knowing that I am a good payer. And I keep an "insurance" account (mortgage redraw) for incase I need money fast, vet bills included.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  11. SexyRitzy

    SexyRitzy Well-known Member

    I love my vet. So far any time I have needed a vet I have been more then happy when I got the bill ( well as happy as you can be about vet bills) A few times it was actually cheaper then I was expecting.

    I've always gotten treatment options, with the vet saying we'll try the cheapest option first and if that doesn't work then we can look at giving my bank account a heart attack. So far the cheapest option has always fixed it. knock on wood.

    My horse is a princess :rolleyes: Even the vet has said it himself. So most of the time the vet was probably not needed but TJ wanted to go for a visit. *#)

    Like Heifer, I'd rather pay 100 to 200 to find it everything is ok
  12. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Amen to THAT sister! MOST vets will work on that principle... On the other hand we will view with a very jaundiced eye the horse owner who turns up for the very first time saying "I don't care what it costs"... generally, they don't care because they have no intention of paying it!
    And to add to Sharaway's sage words, PRE REGISTER with a vet... The number of people who used to call on a Sunday evening when we had never heard of them before... does no endear you to the vet I can tell you.
    My horses are pre registered with a Perth vet so that if something happens that I cannot deal with at home, I can ring them and they will at least have my name on their computer.
  13. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    Lol Anna - Quiz has made it his business to register with no less than 8 vets around the traps LOL not bad for a rising 5yr old?
  14. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Brilliant post Sharaway!
  15. magic_impact

    magic_impact Well-known Member

    I think this is a good practice for anything horsey - hay man, dentist, farrier, vet, etc all get paid on the day. I want them to want to come back when I need them!

    We've just reorganised our finances and instead of having a credit card we now have a debit card that is left with $5k on it for 'emergencies'. I don't ever want to be in the situation that I cannot afford to have something done when it needs to be done because of money issues.
  16. Funny_Farm

    Funny_Farm Active Member

    I have a brilliant relationship with my 2 different vets, also have both their personal numbers for anytime ringing..... They will also come out then leave me with everything to do including all medicines... Half the time they say to me "ya know ya could have done this ya self, ya spoil these animals way too much", but I would rather be sure then stuff things up... But yes it has taken afew years & trust to build this relationship.....
    Cheers Chell:D
  17. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    I agree. I'm lucky to have my horses at home and be able to see them from the window and know their exact routine **). Went outside a few months ago and saw my filly in the corner of my eye lying down, around about the time she's due for a siesta however I knew instantly she had colic as you 'just know' and sure enough she did and was at the vets ASAP and treated.

    Its amazing that sixth sense you can have!
  18. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    We also have a bonus in Albany as some of our boy vets have been very good looking:D. I am a bit over people calling me as a nurse (human one at that) because they don't want to fork out a vet bill. I also find it rude when they ask me if I can get products for them for dressings from work, arrrh I am sorry is that not stealing:mad:. I buy all my own horse dressing products and yes they are expensive. Very occasionally when a box of something runs out of the date the girls will leave it in my locker at work but that does not happen often.

    Working in remote areas as a nurse there is often no vet, the vet may be 400km away. It continues to surprise how people will drive 400km to go shopping for irrelevent items but won't go to take thier sick dog to the vet. They expect as the local nurse that I will diagnose why thier dog has abdo pain??? Most of the time the people I fly out with abdo pain - I don't have a clue what is wrong with them so why would I know with a dog:confused:.

    Anyway I use a vet when required. My threshold may be higher than some due to my previous experience and medical knowledge but you get the vet when you need it. I also have a cash limit on how much I will spend on each horse ie if you are unsound and unridable things won't look good for you pet but if you are my current competition horse that has proven itself then you are given a bit of financial freedom.
  19. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    GTD you are naughty ;). At least 2 of the vets that went on to work in Albany for a while cut their teeth as new grads in our practice in Narrogin! And yes they were easy on the eye - I was sorry to see them leave!
    It's funny how people expect you to diagnose other species based on knowledge of human medicine, and it happens vice versa as well! I have that fixed though - when someone asks me for an opinion on their own health I just answer "well if you were a horse I'd shoot you.."!
  20. Spec

    Spec New Member

    My vet of almost 20 years is awesome. Unfortunately I am now 2 hours away from my retired horse, but when things are not right with him, I can call my vet, he will go tend to my horse and then phone me back with the outcome **) . It is a great piece of mind when I live so far away from him.
    I also like the fact that he lets me attend any ops cos I like to know the whats, the whys and the hows!!

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