Choosing your horses healthcare professionals

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
14,977
420
83
#1
when we moved 4 years ago, I had to change vets from a busy, focused equine practice to a small "James Herriot" kind of vets practice with good basic knowledge but equipment and expertise not a patch on previous vets. And I have always felt, regardless of the vets I use, that it is my right as a horse owner to pick who I use for my horses healthcare.

My "new" vets queried my use of an equine physio after one of their vets flexion tested my horse and declared he had DJD. Physio and subsequent sports massage therapist disagreed with the vet. Every time I call to get permission for sports therapist, physio or equine body worker I get the third degree.

The horses had their annual vaccinations two days ago and I was grilled as to why I was using the local dentist and not the vets. My choice and not happy that vets had missed some things with Toby's teeth. I asked for some domasen (?? May have spelt it wrong!) gel for Kez incase he's a pain. I was told vet would want to come back the day before the dental visit to health check him before ok-ing the gel. He was given a clean bill of health at his vaccination/annual check up. There are 5 days between this and his dental appointment. They finally relented and gave me the gel.

Everything seems like a fight. How are your vets with you using other healthcare professionals? Is it just mine that are a pain?!
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
49,578
9,577
113
49
On an island
#2
Mine are excellent - but I have them doing teeth also. I don't use any other equine health workers so on that score I can't really comment. I do think they'd be fine though. They are not totally equine but do have vets that deal with the horses more than others. My overall impression this last two years is very good.
Sorry it is difficult for you @eventerbabe - sounds like they are questioning things a bit too much?
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,080
2,744
113
Yorkshire
#3
Ours seem pretty laid back about who you use for dentistry/physio etc. I did ask their advice when I wanted some kind of body work for Raf and they recommended a couple of physiotherapists. They said they couldn't recommend anything other than a physio, but they didn't say I shouldn't use one.

It will be interesting to see if anything changes as they've recently been bought out by a large conglomerate (is that the right word?) which they are promoting as better access to facilities/treatments/more vets etc. I'm kind of thinking higher bills/different vets being sent out so no-one gets to know your horse etc ...

Yours sound a right pain @eventerbabe, what right have they got to interfere with your management of your horses?
 

Frances144

Remember me?
Dec 21, 2011
4,065
1,634
113
Shetland, UK
www.thordalephotography.com
#4
How odd. Up here, we are encouraged and supported to use any local visiting experts.

So we have an equine dentist, saddle fitter, farrier, barefoot trimmer, physio, osteopath/chiropractor, etc all coming up to the islands.

Our vets know their limitations and I admire them for that and their honesty.

I do draw the line at equine horse listeners and healers, though. But that's just me. They do a roaring trade too.
 

carthorse

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2006
6,342
1,828
113
#5
Mine are very good, and they're a specialist horse practice with good equipment that they bring out to us. I'd be getting very annoyed with yours & looking for an alternative if possible.
 

Pete's Mum

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,342
1,269
113
#6
Yours sound a right pain @eventerbabe, what right have they got to interfere with your management of your horses?
Legally, a vet is the primary responsible person for a horse (bar the owner, but I think they have the legal powers to trump those too) so farriers, dentists and everyone to your reiki healer are merely secondary para-professionals ultimately acting under and for the vet.

Mine are fine with using barefoot timmers, sports therapists & dentists of my choice & support my use of homeopathy - including reiki & animal communication on occasion - but I've purposely found a veterinary practise & vet that align to my management style & moved from those that don't.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,066
9,508
113
37
Suffolk, UK
#7
My vets are great, it's a huge hospital practice in Newmarket so have virtually the best of everything equipment and personnel wise, specialists in every field etc including their own farriers, physios etc but never have they questioned if I chose to use someone else for something, not even when I brought my farrier into the hospital with Jess to consult on site. They will politely offer an alternative name if they think a person isn't up to scratch/there's someone else better for a specific issue but are never pushey.
 
Likes: carthorse

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
14,977
420
83
#8
Legally, a vet is the primary responsible person for a horse (bar the owner, but I think they have the legal powers to trump those too) so farriers, dentists and everyone to your reiki healer are merely secondary para-professionals ultimately acting under and for the vet.
Yes, BUT I specifically chose to move to a specialist equine dentist because of the poor work provided by this vets practice. The physio/sports massage therapists have known Kez most of his life, the vet who flexion tested him had seen him once before. They had no knowledge of his history or what is normal for him.

Unfortunately my other choice are even worse! I had to ask the vet to leave as she claimed my horse had a tooth abscess when in reality he was having a violent allergic reaction! Had to get a second opinion and then told them I wouldn't be using them again!

I now have the gel and the vet who dispensed it admitted the dentist was excellent and "would probably do a better job". Point proved!
 

MrC

https://m.facebook.com/MrKiasLife/
Nov 10, 2014
2,468
2,192
113
Uk
m.facebook.com
#9
If my vet tried to dictate my horse care I’d tell them to remember who is paying who.

The vets I do respect but there are boundaries. I’m expecting a little bit of resistance if I chose to get Kia PTS but this will be met with my horse my choice. They don’t pay my bills, However after many years of having no insurance my vets realise they can’t pump me for money and don’t give me much of a hard time.
 

Sparky Lily

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2008
1,592
98
48
Yell, Shetland
#10
I was with a specialist equine practice before moving to Shetland, and of course there are limitations here. I knew colic surgery would not be a practical option for Harvey, but it was not an issue when severe colic did strike. The vet here did everything that could be done and the outcome would have been the same wherever we were.
As Frances has said, the vets here are amazingly versatile and supportive. They not only encourage and support visiting specialists, they also help people to help themselves. For example, they run courses in basic trimming so folk can keep their ponies’ hooves in good order, while being aware of what to look out for which might require more expert intervention.
 
Likes: Trewsers

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,080
2,744
113
Yorkshire
#11
Legally, a vet is the primary responsible person for a horse (bar the owner, but I think they have the legal powers to trump those too) so farriers, dentists and everyone to your reiki healer are merely secondary para-professionals ultimately acting under and for the vet.
Well I didn't know that :eek: Thank you :)
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
11,666
2,828
113
Visit site
#12
My vet is open to different professionals but after having two different physios out last year who both wrongly told me that Ben had no issues with his back, I now only get people to look at Ben that my vet recommends. He is quite fussy actually and unofficially warns me off more people than he recommends. I very much see my vet as the key person in Ben’s care. After taking very bad advice from a number of people when I first noticed Ben’s issues, I have come to realise that many ‘professionals’ in the horse world either just tell you what they think you want to hear, or they just don’t know what they are talking about. I learnt the hard way and still feel quite bitter about it when I look back. Off topic a little, bit in the end it comes down to the relationship you have with your vet.
 
Likes: Trewsers

mystiquemalaika

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2013
4,118
1,652
113
#13
My vets are great and not pushy at all. We have a chartered veterinary physio here whom I adore and my farrier does alot of the remedial shoeing around here and is fantastic. My vets have good relationships with any "outsiders" and they also have a vet who is a fully trained dentist and does most of the dental work. If it's a simple rasp etc they can all do it but they mostly send out the trained one so I'm very lucky really. Not sure on their take on barefoot trimmers, my farrier has done an amazing job of my barefoot/unshod horses for years and tbh alot of insurance companies never covered barefoot trimmers,though this may have changed over the last few years.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Trewsers

eml

Moderator
Apr 29, 2002
12,805
1,208
113
Leicestershire
www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
#14
Legally, a vet is the primary responsible person for a horse (bar the owner, but I think they have the legal powers to trump those too) so farriers, dentists and everyone to your reiki healer are merely secondary para-professionals ultimately acting under and for the vet.
Sorry but I am not convinced this is legally so? There is a local practice who insist on using their farrier , physio etc and they charge for it.Not to my taste at all and they won't treat if not insured. We use two practices , one a very large equine one with hopital status and excellent in hospital care but a high turnover in on call vets on the road, the one we use for callouts used to be with that practice and is now on his own with referal facilities at both the above..So following your statement which vet is reponsible for our horses?

If a vet refused to listen to my requests despite discussion they would in all probability become my ex vet!!
 

Lemme

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2008
4,510
408
83
East Yorkshire
#15
We have used the same Vets practice for over 50 years, it has evolved over that time as expected - if I was worried at all about their ability to look after my horses best interests and welfare they would be my ex Vets, we have quite a few practices to choose from locally, our Farrier is excellent been with us for years and has built a brilliant relationship with our Vets when Charlie had his lammi. We had an issue related to Charlie and although a bit sceptical they did not poo poo our getting a Thermal image or having physio via other professionals, although they could have done in house, we just felt we wanted an fresh set of eyes on him via a different specialist route and they respected that.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,066
9,508
113
37
Suffolk, UK
#16
I was thinking about this @eventerbabe, not being an equine practice and perhaps feeling a bit out of their depth, are they perhaps concerned that you are not happy with the care they provide and/or as a general practice they are maybe not accustomed to 'sharing' care of an animal with other professionals (I think this is common when dealing with general large animal vets as you would never have a chiro out for a cow ;)) and their 'questioning your decisions' is just the learning process, just a thought :) perhaps using the GP doctor vs specialist/dentist (who are both doctors in their own right) examples might help them understand why you look beyond just their practice :)
 

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
14,977
420
83
#17
Good point Jessey! They look after our dog and I don't have any complaints there. I was in today collecting the sedative gel (which I can't administer due to pregnancy!) and the receptionist was telling me the dentist I use treats her horse too as they are excellent.
 
Likes: Jessey

Pete's Mum

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,342
1,269
113
#18
Sorry but I am not convinced this is legally so? There is a local practice who insist on using their farrier , physio etc and they charge for it.Not to my taste at all and they won't treat if not insured. We use two practices , one a very large equine one with hopital status and excellent in hospital care but a high turnover in on call vets on the road, the one we use for callouts used to be with that practice and is now on his own with referal facilities at both the above..So following your statement which vet is reponsible for our horses?

If a vet refused to listen to my requests despite discussion they would in all probability become my ex vet!!
It was certainly the case that the vet when I studied it at university. I've not studied it since, so laws might have changed & been tweaked.

I've no idea how it would work practically - I'm neither a vet nor a lawyer ;)

Hopefully the law has been updated!