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Veterinarian Client Relations

Veterinarian Client Relations

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Published by S. Bala Dahiya
American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Association of Equine Practitioners

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Published by: S. Bala Dahiya on Jul 20, 2014
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07/20/2014

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Referring A Horse
by Written by: Christina Cable, DVM, DACVS
Referral centers are those clinics or hos"itals that offer diagnostic and thera"eutic o"tions not readil% a&aila'le or "ossi'le in a field ('arn) t%"e situation* +hese can include diagnostic modalities such as endosco"% with or without a treadmill, ultrasound, scintigra"h% and radiogra"h%, -ust to name a few* Referral centers can also offer a wide range of surgical care (on an electi&e or emergenc% 'asis), such as colic surger%, soft tissue surger% and ortho"edic surger%(such as fracture re"air or arthrosco"%)* .urthermore, most referral centers are staffed with multi"le s"ecialists* +hese "eo"le are highl% trained in their areas of interest, such as re"roduction, medicine, surger%, radiolog%, etc* +he% can "erform "rocedures man% &eterinarians are not comforta'le "erforming, or the% ha&e seen man% more /rare0 diseases than an a&erage general "ractitioner* Referral centers can also offer around1the1clock care for animals requiring frequent administration of drugs and2or intra&enous fluids, or for horses that require multi"le diagnostic tests or intensi&e management* Referral centers can also offer "eace of mind if a second o"inion is needed, es"eciall% to confirm a terminal disease* +he initial con&ersation 'etween a &eterinarian and a horse owner a'out "otentiall% sending a horse to a referral center2equine clinic ho"efull% will not 'e in a rushed manner, 'ut too often it is* I "refer to ha&e this con&ersation well 'efore there is an actual emergenc%* I think all horse owners should decide ahead of time, 'efore there is a crisis, if the% want 3 or financiall% can 3 send a horse to a referral center for colic surger%, for e4am"le* +oo often, when emotions are running high, the wrong decision is made for the wrong reasons and the end result sometimes is not a ha""% one* In a "erfect world, all horses could recei&e the 'est medical or surgical care and cost would not 'e a "ro'lem* 5nfortunatel%, we don6t li&e in a "erfect world* o, for man% horse owners, the cost of the needed "rocedure 'ecomes an issue* It is ne&er an eas% decision, 'ut some "eo"le might ha&e to decide 'etween feeding their famil% and 'u%ing colic surger% for the horse* +he costs of medical and surgical "rocedures &ar% greatl% '% region, so I won6t e&en attem"t to offer ranges* Your &eterinarian should 'e aware of the costs of common emergenc% "rocedures at %our nearestreferral center, so ask him2her for this information* Electi&e medical or surgical "rocedures are o'&iousl% not "erformed on an emergenc% (middle of the night) 'asis, so there is more time to research not onl% costs, 'ut risks, success rates and "otential la%1u" time* +went% %ears ago, there were &er% few equine referral centers not affiliated with a uni&ersit% teaching hos"ital* Now, with man% more &eterinarians 'ecoming 'oarded s"ecialists in a &ariet% of areas, there are equine referral centers staffed with s"ecialists in more areas of the countr% than e&er 'efore* In most areas of this countr%, a good equine referral center is often no more than a few hours dri&e awa%* We are &er% fortunate in this countr% to ha&e such eas% access to equine care* While tra&eling with the 5nited tates Equestrian +eam in western Euro"e, we were sometimes faced with ha&ing to dri&e u" to 78 hours to get to an equine referral center* !ne referral center in"ain would not take after1hours cases (this was a aturda% night and we would not 'e seen until9onda% morning, e&en though we had a horse with a &er% "ainful colic)* o, 'e glad we ha&e such good medical care here 3 not -ust for humans, 'ut also for our 'elo&ed horses* +alk to %our &eterinarian a'out the "ossi'ilit% of referring %our horse to a uni&ersit% or clinic and what o"tions might 'e a&aila'le in %our area should the need arise*
 
 Article originated in the AAEP .!R59 section of +he Horse (9a% 8::;)*
 
ke%words< referral ser&ices * "osted< =28828::;* >ast u"dated< =28828::;*
Is Your Horse nrolle! in a Wellness "rogra#$
by %regory C& S#ith, DVM
 
 A wellness "rogram for %our horse will sa&e %ou time, mone% and, most of all, the headache of worr%ing if %ou6re doing the right things at the right time* But with all the sources of horse health care information a&aila'le toda%, how do %ou decide what6s right for %our horse? Books, magaines, the internet, %our farrier, the feed store o"erator and other resources can make %ou unsure of what "ractical horse care is an%more* .ortunatel%, %ou "ro'a'l% alread% know someone who has the education and e4"erience to sift through the latest information in horse health care, coordinate with the other "rofessionals in&ol&ed in the u"kee" of %our horse, and de&elo" a customied health "lan -ust for %ou< %our equine &eterinarian*  A wellness "rogram for horses is not a new idea, 'ut new ideas are what make them so 'eneficial* +he &eterinar% communit% is among the first in the industr% to learn a'out ad&ancements in health care as well as disease out'reaks, "roduct com"laints and other information that ma% affect how %ou care for %our horse* B% de&elo"ing a closer working relationshi" with %our equine "ractitioner, %ou take ad&antage of this /inside scoo"0 as the two of %ou work together to design a com"rehensi&e health care "lan for %our horse*  A wellness "rogram should ha&e &accinations, dewormers, dentistr% and nutritional consultation as the cornerstone "rocedures* While that sounds sim"le and o'&ious, there is much contro&ers% and change in each of these 'asic areas* .or e4am"le, &eterinarians not too long ago were recommending that e&en foals from &accinated mares 'egin recei&ing their own &accinations within the first few months of 'irth* !n1going research has shown that anti'odies from the mare6s milk for some diseases (such as influena) last much longer than originall% thought* +herefore, the foal6s first &accinations can 'e gi&en muchlater (at eight or nine months of age for influena if the mare was &accinated)* !ther research has"roduced a new &accine com'ining influena and rhino"neumonitis which can 'e gi&en either through the intramuscular or intranasal routes* With the introduction of more effecti&e dewormers, it is e&en more critical to "lan for "arasite control* Issues such as resistance, whether to use a dail% dewormer or a "urge dewormer, and the increasing im"ortance of enc%sted small strong%les need to 'e considered as %ou and %our &eterinarian select "roducts, schedule fecal e4aminations, and set u" en&ironmental control measures* @entistr% in the horse has 'een transformed in the last decade or so to a science that hel"s kee" %our horse in good weight and good "erformance* +his has 'ecome es"eciall% im"ortant as

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