Monday, February 25, 2013

5 Tips for Preparing for a Visit from Your Veterinarian

In my years as an equine practitioner, I have found that having a good idea of the number of horses I will be seeing and the procedures I will be carrying out, and having the client be well prepared for our appointment, was invaluable in making the farm call run smoothly, efficiently and cost effectively.  Here are a few tips for how you can prepare for you veterinarian’s visit.

1. Prepare a list of all horses that need to be seen by the veterinarian.  Include any concerns or observations you may have about their health that you would like the veterinarian to pay attention to.  Next, make your appointment and notify the office as to the number of horses that need to be seen and for what.  This will ensure that the appointment slot allots plenty of time to address all issues and the veterinarian brings the right supplies, equipment, medications etc.  This kind of preparation will often times remove the need for further visits to finish up all of the work.  You may also want to have your horses’ medical records handy in case information about past veterinary visits is needed.

2. Catch all the horses scheduled to be seen that day and have them ready for exam before your veterinarian arrives.  Make sure the horses are relatively clean and free from large amounts of mud which might hide conditions such as skin issues or swollen limbs from your vet.  Also if vaccinations or other injections are to be given that day, starting with clean coats will save time and reduce the chance for infection at the injection site.

3. Try to anticipate what your veterinarian might need to get the job done.   Here are a few examples: the visit is likely to include radiography or ultrasound exams, so an accessible power supply will be needed.  Breeding work is on the agenda which will require warm water.  A lameness exam may be needed, so an area free of obstacles with good footing should be available.

4. If you (the owner) are not going to be present for the visit make sure the veterinarian knows how to reach you in case something comes up.  For example, during a routine wellness exam your vet may find that your horses’ teeth need to be floated.  Being able to reach you to verify that you would like this procedure to be performed right away could save you the expense of a second farm call.

5. Be prepared to pay for the veterinarian’s services.  Most veterinarians require payment at the time of service unless other arrangements have previously been made.  So have your checkbook or credit card handy so that your vet can be on his/her way to their next appointment on time.  (Hint:  Some veterinarians/practices may offer discounts for payment at the time of service or for non-credit transactions.)


  1. Great article! Will share with our clinic's Facebook page.

  2. Hi,

    The above 5 tips are very important for those having horses, thank you for this information I love to read this post because it is very useful and easy to understand, after reading this page I will see the other pages of this web hopefully have a lot of good information.

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  3. Veterinarian services are so important for your pets health. My dog has been acting really odd lately. I think she's sick, but hasn't even thrown up or anything. Should I just take her to the vet to get checked up?
    Celine |