Veterinary References and Why They Matter

Posted on May 31, 2018

Veterinary References and Why They Matter

When you apply to adopt a horse with us, we ask for a veterinary reference. You might wonder why this is important, especially if you’ve been blessed with healthy animals that haven’t required emergency care.

Consider a friend of mine who rescued a neglected dog from an ad on Craigslist. She brought the dog home and immediately scheduled her spay surgery, deworming and vaccinations. She was able to have the dog seen within days because of her existing relationship with the veterinary clinic. If she applied to adopt an animal from us, she could provide this veterinarian as a reference even though she hasn’t previously owned horses.

Consider also the importance of a veterinarian seeing your animals once a year, minimum. An annual exam will check baseline vitals for any abnormalities, can check teeth for sharp edges and float if needed, and vaccinate against diseases that would otherwise be deadly – such as tetanus, encephalitis, and rabies. For those who chose not to vaccinate, we recommend having a veterinarian check your animals’ titer levels to ensure they are, in fact, protected. The once per year examination also provides a fringe benefit – by maintaining that relationship with the person who you are going to need, sooner or later, for an emergency.

Whether your horse cuts himself and needs stitches, comes up lame after a day of frolicking in the pasture, drops some weight and causes you concern, or shows signs of colic – you are going to want to have an established relationship with a veterinarian. I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than seeing my horse obviously needing veterinary attention and not knowing where to turn. Imagine having to Google “equine veterinarian in _(your town)_” and calling every number trying to find someone available to come to your farm RIGHT THAT MINUTE as you watch your horse suffer.

So many of the horses that come through our care come from a previous life of very minimal care. The least we can do for them is to ensure their new life is better than their old life. This is why a positive reference from a veterinarian is important to us. This is why we ask. And, we are always very happy to provide recommendations and support to adopters who are new to horses.