Call a vet!!!

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Call a vet!!!

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    03-22-2011, 02:28 PM
Super Moderator
Call a vet!!!

After seeing so many "Help, What do I do?" threads and the quick, CALL A VET response, I'm just curious, what are your personal guidelines for calling a vet?

Before answering the question let's lay out a format for answering. Let's cover, where you keep your horse (such as at home or in a facility or at a friends house, etc.) then let's cover how love you've had horses and then we'll cover what types of things are vet calls. For instance, I'll start:

My horses are kept at my house. I have a barn with a stall for each horse, paddocks, and pasture turn out. I've owned Pistol (he was my first horse) for about 24 years now, he's 27.

Generally, if there is a scrape or a small cut I'll doctor it myself. If the horse is lame, depending on the amount of soreness and where it's located I'll play the wait and see game, with some hosing or soaking, whatever I feel is necessary and maybe a call to a friend, trainer, or a post on this board.

If it's a colic issue I will usually monitor and maybe banamine depending on which horse it is and what type of colic. I almost always place a call to the vet but may not always ask them to come out, depending on the issue. I will call a friend or post on the board. With Pistol it's an immediate visit from the vet.

If it's a fever I call the vet for opinion and then usually bute and watch then maybe post on this board.

Etc. Now, the responses I receive from this board are always... call the vet so of course I've learned to put that in my original post! LOL....

Post away!
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    03-22-2011, 02:32 PM
Farmpony - im pretty similar to you.

I own my property and while we have boarders, for my personal horses the above remains true. I will also stitch myself (i have lidocane and tranq and suture materials on hand) and tend to most minor - moderate wounds. Anything with exposed ligaments or bone gets a vet call.

For my boarders im much more conservative. There's a section on the boarding agreement that asks if the horse is insured (in which case vet call is almost immed bc of rules of coverage and benefits), and when/why to call vet (i.e. If the horse is a surgical candidate, if surgery is never an option, and so on) so that we can work in the horse's best interest with the budget of the owner in mind within reason as well in the event of an emergency where we can't reach the owner.
    03-22-2011, 02:45 PM
I've had horses for 25 years 11 of which has been on my own farm.

Things my vet wants to know about starts with a phone call and we go from there......sometimes she comes right away and some times she wants me to monitor.

Colic, fever, high heart beat.

Other things I have called for right away are a smelly discharge from one nostril....ended up being a sinus infection.......for which antibiotics were was all done over the phone.

I called for a very mild was decided she would come cleared it just prior to her arriving but glad to have the vet there as she had aspirated into her lungs and needed antibiotics.

Small cuts and bruises I deal with myself.

Lameness.......would depend on the severity and where is was located......I would at the very least drop her an email and let her know whats going on.

I asses each situation and go from instincts are usually pretty good.

Super Nova
    03-22-2011, 03:00 PM
For the clients in their service area, the clinic provided a very wonderful laminated guide on when to call the vet. Complete with questions they will need answers to in order to determine the degree of emergency. And what to do or not do, until they get there.
    03-22-2011, 03:10 PM
Green Broke
I've been around and worked with horses for almost 30 years. We've had our horses at our own farm for the last 12 years, and before that I worked at others' barns for several more years. Most minor stuff I handle myself, the basic knock-around, bite, kick, scratch, flesh wound type stuff is no biggie. Undetermined lameness gets a wait and see unless it's severe.

Colics get an immediate phone call, as does 3-legged lame, anything more severe-looking that I don't know how to treat right off the bat without having to research, and ANYTHING to do with eyes, as it takes zero time for an eye injury to get infected and potentially affect eyesight.

But my hubby is a paramedic, and I have worked with several vets, and assisted on quite a few emergency type calls, so I'd say we are able to handle more on our own than most average horse owners.

I say, when in doubt, call the vet. The call is free, and the info you get could be priceless.
    03-22-2011, 03:17 PM
I have been taking care of my horses on my property for about a year, before that I always boarded. I love my vet and have her out more often than I should because I am still new at doing this all myself. I have had her out on 3 emergency calls and two she said she was glad I called her. The third was just for peace of mind. I have a neighbor that helps me too and she has been a great support since moving here.
    03-22-2011, 03:19 PM
Agree with the OP...

I say, when in doubt, call the vet. The call is free, and the info you get could be priceless.
+1 My vet would rather talk on the phone for questions rather than get an emergency farm call in the middle of the night for something minor.

The key is to know what is minor issues.
    03-22-2011, 03:20 PM
Originally Posted by lacyloo    
Agree with the OP...

+1 My vet would rather talk on the phone for questions rather than get a call in the middle of the night for something minor.

The key is to know what is minor issues.
oh I completely agree with this!
    03-22-2011, 03:23 PM
Super Moderator
Oh! I agree with Apachie on the eyes. I forgot the eyes. Yes, no playing with the eyes!

I also will call on a nose bleed if I'm not sure the cause. May just talk on the phone and may have them out depending.
    03-22-2011, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
I have always boarded, but I am right along with you. If its a small cut or scrape I will self doctor. I got pretty good at that since my first horse was always low man on the totem pole no mater which herd he was in with.

Mystery lameness are also a wait and see. If its not better within a week or two I would call a vet, or if there is prolonged large amounts of heat or swelling, then I would call a vet. Thankfully I have never had any lameness last more than a week.

I have always been blessed with BOs that have their wits about them and know what they are doing when it comes to vets. They are usually the ones that have said if I need the vet or not, and I usually defer to them if I find myself in a situation that has me teetering on the edge of "Should I call the vet, or not"

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