A Vet Visit: How to be organised

As with a lot of things in life the three P’s come into effect when you are having your vet come for visit, Prior Planning and Preparation is key to making it a safe and easy time for you, your horse and the vet. 

Here is a list of what you can do to be organised, efficient and prepared for when the vet arrives. 

  • When booking your appointment make sure you explain exactly what you need done and any procedures that maybe required. This is so your vet can be prepared and bring with them everything they may need. Surprising them with an added extra you forgot to mention can be costly if they have to come back for a second visit.  
  • Be prepared to assist if asked. Being willing to help can make the consult run more smoothy and alleviate any stress to you and your horse. Be ready and on time for the appointment, vets usually have many consults in a day and being respectful of their time will help build good relations for the future.  
  • Have a safe area for the vet to work and examine your horse that is clean and secure. 
  • If you your consult includes the use of some diagnostic equipment, make sure a safe power source is available. For a dental procedures provide good clean water (sometimes some nice warm water to clean up after is also a nice gesture) and if you are needing a lameness examination make sure you have somewhere safe and free from obstacles for the vet to be able to correctly observe and trot out your horse. 
  • Catch your horse in plenty of time and have it in a secure location. This is not only to have the horse ready for the exam but also to give it time to relax and be calm, especially if for example you have had to separate it from a paddock companion or move it to a different yard/stable.  
  • Have your horse’s medical history ready. Knowing when your horse was last wormed or vaccinated can be a huge help.   
  • Try and make sure your horse is relatively clean and their feet are picked out. 
  • And lastly make sure the vet can have direct access to the horse. It isn’t practical for example to be expecting the vet to walk to the other end of a 20-acre paddock for the examination, they often need equipment and medications from their car and need to have it nice and handy to be able to provide the best possible service for you and your horse.  

The Vet relies on you to keep both you and them safe and ensure that the horse stays calm and relaxed during the examination. As we have already mentioned, have your horse ready so that the visit can be an enjoyable one, free from stress and you receive the best service and outcome possible. Below is a guide as to how you can help and the best way to hold your horse during the exam. 

  • Hold your horse closely whilst still allowing room for your horse to move with some freedom. You want to have control but don’t hold them so short that they get agitated and feel confined.  
  • Always stand on the same side of the horse as the vet, you don’t want to be standing directly in front, if your horse is to get a fright and spook you don’t want them running over the top of you or crushing you as they try and run off. By both of you standing on the same side of the horse it is more likely if spooked to jump away from you both, whereas if you are on separate sides one of you risks the chance of getting knocked over.  
  • Try and stand at the horse’s shoulder, this gives you control of both ends of the horse, and if you notice it getting anxious you can move the hind end away or circle the horse around you. 
  • Always follow the vet’s instructions, this is to keep all three of you safe.  
  • Monitor your horse closely, keep watch for any behavioral changes and pay attention to your surroundings. After all you know your horse better than anyone. 
  • Warn the vet if you do notice any changes in behavior or if you are about to correct the horse in anyway.  
  • Try and refrain from any sudden movements or yelling. 
  • Wear appropriate gear especially footwear (thongs are not considered appropriate footwear unless you want to lose a toe) 
  • It might also be a good idea to put your phone on silent and keep it tucked away in your pocket to avoid any unnecessary distractions.  

Hopefully some of these tips will help to make your next vet visit a happy experience for everyone involved. 


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