4 week old colt doesn't look like he is going to make it: seeking tips/advice - Page 12 - The Horse Forum

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post #111 of 115 Old 06-05-2012, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tealamutt View Post
Faye, I am not here to start a fight and I want no part of this original thread but you are very mis-informed as far as equine vets salaries go. Perhaps I am misreading your post, but it seems that you think equine vets make a lot of money. If I am wrong then please forgive the following diatribe.
Remember Faye is talking about the UK, don't know if the situation is different on each side of the Atlantic.

We may not have the best vets in the world out in my rural neck of the prairies, but at least they work together for the good of the patient.

Rang my number 1 vet on a Saturday am to ask for an attend for Ace, got told he was tied up on a farm emergency and wouldn't be free for up tp 4 hours. His wife checked that I had the number of number 2 vet available, and would of supplied it if it wasn't already on my phone.

I wanted a mare ultra sounded for pregnancy, vet 1 only does palps, so he sent me to Vet #3.

They work together, cover holiday, sickness etc. All in all given the fact that there is such a small population, given the fact that a lot of people wouldn't call the vet for their recreational animal, we are not to badly off
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post #112 of 115 Old 06-05-2012, 09:49 PM
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Yes I am in the UK. Vets over here are trained differently to the ones over there in that they do all animals first and then specialise later. So my equine vet is fully capable if not more so of diagnosing a dog as a small animal vet is of diagnosing a horse. He did the same course after all, however my equine vet then went on to specialise further.
You call a small animal vet here and they will come out in an emergency to a horse, they may not be as good as the equine vet but they are reasonable in an emergency situation.


University fees over here are less then half that in the states and the loans we take out are from the government (paid back at the rate of 9% of any earnings over £15k with intrest charged at the rate of inflation)

I've worked on beef and dairy farms over here, generaly there are no "cattle" vets, they are either large animal vets (do horses, cattle and basicly any farm animal, sometimes do exotics at local zoos as well) or equine vets who will go out to cattle. The few practices that used to be only farm animal have had to branch out into equine just to keep themselves afloat, where as my equine vets are making an absolute mint.

Cattle farmers are very very concious of the value of thier animals and insurance will only cover so much for them so once the cost of treatment exceeds a certain %age of the animals value then they would rather shoot the animal and lose that amount of money rather then a larger amount for treatment and still loose the value of the animal (bare in mind that no drugs can have been administered to an animal intended for slaughter within XX time frame of slaughter and human consumption over here, I believe it is a year and certain drugs mean no human consumpton EVER! And conciquently no value to the animal)

I do know average salaries over this side of the pond as I did concider going into vet medicine myself, (decided to go for engineering instead) and equine vets were by far the better paid, had the better conditions and the better perks.
Heck over here an equine vet can make £100 just by sticking a measuring stick on your horse and filling in a few forms to say what height he "officialy" measures at. No fancy equipment needed, just a calibrated measuring stick (about £40, and £10 a year for official calibration) and a flat level marked out concrete area to stand the horse on.
The Vet who measured Reeco last year measured 5 horses in an hour!

The big equine hospitals all either have huge corporate sponsors, are part of a university or attached to a racecourse (and hence funded by racing).

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #113 of 115 Old 06-05-2012, 10:58 PM
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in the us vets also train in all animals and specialize later. I have several friends from UK as well as Germany, Denmark, and South Africa who have studied here for the summer. True, the debt load is lower but the time in school is longer and given that the average equine vet works well over 80 hours a week in very rough conditions, one can hardly argue that their salary is anything above adequate. True, measuring a horse isn't difficult but don't over look the skill and time needed for other things like the physical exam and ability to pick up on subtle changes that might not be obvious to the lay person. In veterinary school I worked an average of 120 hours a week with no days off, so our time is very valuable. Vets on your side of the world study even longer than we do so their time is worth a LOT of money and yet they are not getting rich by any means. And then the fact remains that horses are a luxury, so again, hard to make the argument that the vet is making out unfairly...

I think you made the wiser choice for sure. Here you'd be a fool to chose veterinary medicine over being an engineer!!
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post #114 of 115 Old 06-05-2012, 11:14 PM
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GH, that's the way my vets are. There are only 2 in my area (one is about 18 miles away, the other is about 25) but they work together for the good of the animal in question. One has strengths where the other has weakness and so forth. To have Dobe's melanomas removed, which I need to do again, I go to Dr. Prather. For geldings and more intensive surgeries, I go to Dr. Carroll. Moderate injuries that require more care than I can give at home, I can go to whichever has an opening sooner.

When I made an appt to get Taz gelded and have his hernia fixed, I had intended to stay and watch. I had seen the geldings before, but never a hernia surgery so I was curious. They asked that I bring him over at around 9 in the morning. I was driving over there when the vet himself called me on my cell phone to tell me that he'd had an emergency call so he would have to postpone Taz's surgery until he could get back later that day and I was "welcome to hang around the office if you want to stay, but I honestly don't know when I'll be back". I opted to just go ahead and leave Taz there. Vet called me about 6:30 that evening (which was long after dark in January) to tell me that both operations were done and Taz was doing great. He said that he would have to stay the night, of course, and he would call in the morning to let me know for sure if I could come pick him up or if he would need to stay longer to be safe. That next morning, which was a Saturday, vet called at about 8:30 and said Taz was up and moving and feeling fine so he was good to go home.

Another thing I love about both of these vets is that they know me, have since I was a kid, and they know what I'm capable of handling on my own. So, if I call and say I have an emergency, they know it isn't a little cut that I'm over-reacting about and they respond as fast as they possibly can. Heck, whenever I have a horse get stitches, they even tell me "You can take them out in 10-14 days and you'll be good to go. If you have any problems, just call us back." I've had other vets that would absolutely freak if I mentioned taking the stitches out myself and I understand why they do, but it's nice to not have to explain myself.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #115 of 115 Old 06-06-2012, 12:18 AM
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tealamutt, I can tell you that the vets who graduated from uni the same time I did are earning well over double what I am if you break it down to an hourly rate.


I will still maintain there is far more money in horses anyway, simply because they are the luxury, many owners (and insurance companies) wont blink at paying thousands to find out why thier horse is not quite right. Most farmers over here would have an animal shot rather than spend £500 on a vet bill for a seriously injured animal.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT


Last edited by faye; 06-06-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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