Incompetent Vet?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Incompetent Vet??

I have been on the forum asking for suggestions about a lame horse for the last few weeks. I was relatively certain it was an abscess (and it turned out to be one) but...when the vet came out a couple of weeks ago (I couldn't be there, but my husband was, with all my info on what I had noticed and what I had done uo to that point) the vet said it definitely was NOT an abscess and that the horse likely has navicular problems, leading me to call in a specialist farrier, and by that time the abscess presented itself. My problem is, I don't feel I should have to pay his outrageous fee for not only misdiagnosing, but because of his misdiagnosis, I stopped treating it like an abscess and probably set back the healing time. What do you think??

The hardest thing about riding is the ground.
servinator is offline  
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 09:00 PM
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Well, on one hand, I totally understand your frustration! Especially if you spent extra for special farrier care, that was a big waste. He could have suggested waiting for a couple of weeks before having any special shoeing done. But to give the guy a break, most abscesses occur in the front of the hoof, not in the heel bulbs and inermittent lameness in the heel area is USUALLY indicative of navicular issues. However, an x-ray could have helped differentiate the heel pain and a vet SHOULD do radiographs before diagnosing navicular.
The abscess may not have been "set back" though, so don't feel bad about that.
As far as charges go, I think with vets, unless the misdiagnosis causes more harm, such as death or preventable severe lameness, you just kinda have to pay him for his time and educated guess. Espcially if he just said that he thought it was nav. and didn't actually yet prescribe the shoes. Was he wanting to do more thorough exams in the future?(I hope) .Also, if hubby was the messenger, something might have been lost in the translation, so to speak.
In the future you could try another vet, or ask him to be more thorough, and hopefully you will get to be there yourself to ask the right questions. Luckily, the abscess blew out finally, and hopefully before the specialist farrier made it out and you can cancel that appointment and save that money.
I know it's really annoying, but at least it was that he guessed the worst case scenario and it was a minor thing that was actually the problem, not the other way around. I'd be more upset if he said it was just a bruise and there was an underlying problem he just didnt' want to mess with. He might not have meant you should start shoeing him differently right away or that he was sure that was the issue. I don't know since I wasn't there. But perhaps he didn't do more diagnostics since your hubby met him there instead of you.
Or maybe he is a lazy vet that didn't want to mess with it or he's really arrogant and overcharges. HEck, I don't know. =) But at least you can vent on here about it, and be glad your horse is already feeling better with the abscess healing up as you write.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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He actually DID say he needed corrective shoeing - but said he would have to do xrays to confirm navicular. I was ok with having the special farrier, I had questions about my regular guy, that he confirmed, and he did a fabulous job with my guys feet. He wrote down everything because my husband wanted to get it right, so no miscommunication. But as you say, I just want to vent !

The hardest thing about riding is the ground.
servinator is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 09:07 PM
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Tell him that and see what he says. I do not think he should get paid either. If he insists on full payment and you do not pay you could end up in court and having the specialist farrier as a witness would help or a signed statement from him. You could try reporting him to the State Veterinary Board but if they are like the one here in VA they will do nothing. A really bad veterinarian killed my first Thoroughbred mare and he claimed to specialize in equine reproduction and did not know how to do a fetotomy or a c-section and claimed only 2 places in the state could do one. He cut the front half of the dead foal off then shoved the rear half back inside of her. He killed her and and then made a comment about a sofa not fitting thru a doorway. A competent vet would have removed the entire foal without injury to the mare. The state police told me to get in touch with the vet board since they considered it incompetence and not a crime. The vet board did nothing to him and claimed their was insufficient evidence. Another vet years ago pulled a calf with a truck and the vet board did nothing to her. She said she could not do a c-section or a fetotomy. I hope you will not ever use that vet again. If he misdiagnoses a simple thing like an abcess you should not trust him to do anything else.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 09:08 PM
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Well, vent away! Vet charges can be huge!
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 10:14 PM
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Servinator, I once had a horse come up extremely lame very quickly. So quickly he went into a full blown colic. Vet was busy with the colic and with the banamine in him he didn't show lameness. She looked later and did not see any sign of a "hole" so did not think it was a thorn etc that could have caused foot pain. She came back a few days later and still did not diagnose an abscess. It took that gelding a month to blow that abscess. And it was a heel abscess. They seem to be vicious things.

I said all that to say, vets can't always diagnose abscesses. Without xrays they really can't be sure of what is going on sometimes..

And shoes suck for navicular anyway.. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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post #7 of 14 Old 11-01-2008, 11:30 PM
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When my one gelding went lame, the vet thought that it might possibly be navicular, but he said he wasn't sure and would need x-rays to see if it was. He was sure that he was lame because there was sensitivity in his front hooves.

The vet was also back out to do the radiographs (he has the digital kind) when the farrier was scheduled to come out so they could set a plan for trimming/shoeing.

Turned out he wasn't foundering and just had some really bad feet.

I am glad that your horse's abcess blew out, and you now know the reason why he was lame. I would talk to your vet, express how you feel about, what you consider to be a misdiagonsis (he may not see it that way, thats why I said what you consider..) and see if he could do something about the price of the bill.

Or you could just tell him how happy you are about having to pay for his lousy service and you're not going to use him again (as you rip your check out of your check book and firmly give it to him :) )
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-02-2008, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I always get xrays whenever I have lameness issues. Digital xrays...since you really cant see much more with film than with no xrays at all. Sorry for the bad experience...but Im guessing you have to pay. Unless you want to get sued...thats just the way America works Services rendered are still services rendered even if they were rendered ignorantly.
hotreddun is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 11-02-2008, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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ya, it's a drag but sometimes you pays the bucks and takes your chances. Often I find people are paying for an opinion not a diagnosis and there's little that can be done. That's why I am slow to call a vet unless it's an emergency.

I too had a misdiagnosis on lameness -- vet said she though he was just having a hard time trotting on uneven ground, when in fact it ended up being arthritis. Cost me $200 for that misinformation. Others had thought it was a stifle injury. Hrmph... finally got a vet that took x-rays and got the truth!
NorthernMama is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 11-02-2008, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I never call the vet for hoof issues I always call the farrier first!! Vet have very little eqine training UNLESS they are specialized in that area!!

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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