At what point do you call the vet?
When you notice one of your horses is "not quite right" when do you call the vet?
I'm not talking an emergency "horse is throwing itself on the ground", "horse is 3 legged lame" or "horse is missing -insert body part here-":wink:, but just when they're not themselves and you can tell something's up with them.
Do you call asap? Or, do you take a wait an see approach?
I take a wait and see approach, to a degree. For example, Beau wasn't acting like his usual self last night - he would seem a touch colicky (only presented 1 colic symptom, which is more a "Beau symptom" for when he doesn't feel well in-general) every now and then, but a minute later seem fine. He bounced back and forth quite a few times... about an hour later I called the vet, if for no other reason then to give her a heads up. She diagnosed over the phone as weather related (it's been funky here in MD) and to give him banamine. I'm still not totally convinced it was colic, but it passed.
Well, I live on an island, and it's impossible to get a vet out, other than the local small animal vet, so I have to take a wait and see approach. However, every time the vet does come out for routine maintenance, I stock up on all kinds of medications and treatments, so when something does go wrong, I have what I need and can talk to the 24hr emergency clinic on the phone.
Most of the time I use the "gut feeling" approach. If I just get that feeling, I give a call. It seldom fails. I think you know when you can wait it out or deal with it yourself, and when you need to call in the heavies.
It is nearly impossible to get the vet to come out here so definitely wait and see. We have only one vet who covers 2 counties by himself (both large and small animal) - he's great, but way too busy. We're nurses, so we don't mind giving shots and stuff and the vet trusts our judgement when we call him with concerns, so he'll just tell us how to treat when possible. We have to get a trailer soon, 'cause hauling them in is about the only way to get your horses seen around here, unless it's a serious emergency. We've had our horses since June and he hasn't been out here yet to see them for a check up (despite my many requests). Very frustrating, but we have no other options.
I use the "if I cant do it myself" approach. Basically, anything that would obviously require surgery or something that's dangerous/detrimental if not treated by a professional is when I would call the vet. I have one of those amazing first aid handbooks that super helpful and some common sense helps too, lol.
Yeah, I have "Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook" which is pretty helpful, especially since I haven't been a horse owner for very long.
if im worried i usually call one of the large animal vets...there are 2 at my vet clinic. i work there & am good friends with both of these vets so if im not sure i just call & ask their opinion. im a pretty good judge of when a vet is truly needed, but it helps just to talk to them.
If I think the vet can help for less than $x (I won't put a number here as I don't want the discussion going that way) and I can't deal with it myself, I will call the vet. If I think I need the vet to tell me whether or not the horse can survive, I will call the vet. Shock or choke I will call the vet. If I have no clue as to what's going on, I will call the vet. If the horse won't drink, I will call the vet.
I won't call for cuts, sprains, or the horse being "off" unless it persists for more than a day or a couple of days depending on how "off" he is. We too are in an area where the vet is not usually immediately available, so we fend for ourselves a lot. Sometimes the vet can help over the phone and they understand their clientele, so they know whether we're going to invest $100 or $10,000 in our horses.
Doesn't any horse injury heal the day after you commit to have the vet come out?
Vague slightly off things, I give up to a week if there's nothing obvious such as heat or swelling going on. If there is heat, I only give it 48 hours at most before I take action. I've already found a lot of usefullness for first aid books. Knowing how to treat minor swelling or an abscess is very helpful and can save some serious $$$ in barn calls.
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