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  1. #1
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    Default But Aren't They *MY* X-Rays too? Update- pg. 6

    During my and Reese’s last bout of insanity (concerns of mechanical founder, thread in Horse Care), I found a wonderful new farrier to help bring Reese sound again. In order for him to begin the remedial shoeing (or any shoeing at all for that matter) he [understandably] needed x-rays to work from.


    So I called my vet out to get the images needed. When he asked why I wanted the x-rays I told him that my farrier needs them in order to correctly shoe my horse. The vet was really dismissive, telling me that “farriers don’t know how to read x-rays” and that it was ridiculous to even request it. “Besides,” he said, “your horse just has typical crappy TB feet. You don’t need some genius farrier to come down here and charge you a bunch of money, you just need to slap some shoes on him and that’s that. It doesn’t matter who does it, it just needs to be done.”


    Annoyed as I was, I kept my mouth shut and on we went. The vet took lots and lots of x-rays with his portable digital machine, and even showed me that Reese has a bone chip in his LF fetlock joint. Not sure why he was even x-raying the fetlock since all we needed was the images inside the foot; but hey- I’m all about keeping on top of Reese’s various dents and dings so it’s not like I minded.


    I asked him for a CD copy of the images he had just taken, and he kept sort of skirting the issue. Although the laptop and everything was there and available, he told me several times that he’d “just drop it by the farm next time he’s working in the area.” After explaining that I needed everything ASAP so my farrier could see the radiographs and shoe accordingly, he told me that he’d just mail me some print outs of the lateral and DV shots of each front foot since “that’s all the farrier will need.” Ok, that’s fine and well but I still wanted to CD. So I pressed him on the issue again, and he one more insisted that he’d “drop it by sometime.”


    When I asked the vet about speaking with my farrier regarding implementing a ‘rehab protocol,’ he was acting perplexed as to why that would even be necessary, and even more so like he just didn’t want to speak with the farrier; like it would be a huge inconvenience or waste of time. Whatever. I paid the vet the $300 for the all the radiographs (including the ones I didn’t ask him to take!) and the farm call right there on the spot. The next day, my farrier called the vet anyway (since the vet wouldn’t call the farrier) and the vet told him the same thing he told me- that he just needed shoes, nothing special and there was really no reason to include him in any of the decision making and that he was just a sh!tty footed Thoroughbred and that was that.


    So, I get the printouts in the mail. They looked suspiciously like 2 duplicate images of the same foot. How do I know this? Reese is a bit clubby on his RF and both of these printouts had the same hoof wall angles, measurements and other markers within the image that couldn’t have shown up in both feet (ex: among several other things, the frog apex marker had folded up into a very distinct shape, I’m doubtful it had done the exact same thing on both feet). But then again, I’m not a vet nor am I an x-ray technician so I just handed my farrier the pictures. After looking at them, he mentioned that he thought they were the same foot as well; and I hadn’t even said anything about what I suspected to him. Furthermore, upon seeing the sole depth (or lack thereof) he was surprised that the vet didn’t suggest pads or any other sole/frog support because there was literally nothing under his P3… that’s when we started to get concerned about mechanical founder.


    Farrier shoes my horse as best as he can with what little he had to work with, both in terms of Reese’s hooves and the images we had to go from. We couldn’t wait any longer to put the shoes on, as Reese was in so much pain he couldn’t walk. Again, I called the vet’s office to ask for the CD because both the farrier and I wanted to see what else the other images could tell us and if anything needed to be changed with regards to the shoeing. The vet’s office assured me that they’d put the disc in the mail that day. Well, a week goes by, still no disc. By this time, the farrier and I have no choice but to take Reese to an equine hospital an hour and a half away in order to get new x-rays and to work with a new vet on the shoeing protocol because of our concerns… to the tune of about $1k. Incidentally, this vet and this clinic were MORE than willing to provide a copy of the disc to both the farrier and me.


    So, I called the vet again yesterday, because I’d still like to have the disc for reference, and even comparison to the other x-rays that were taken last week. The receptionist was very snippy with me and said, “He already sent you print outs of the images.” I explained the ‘duplicate picture’ theory (which seemed to piss her off for some reason) and said “besides, I’d just like to have the disc… it’s my horse and these are things I want to have access to in case of a need in the future.” She told me that I would have to speak to the vet directly and that he would charge me a fee for the copy of the disc as well as postage to mail it out. Although I thought that was ridiculous (weren’t those ‘fees’ included in the $300 bill I had already paid?) I told her that was fine, gave her my cell and work phone numbers and informed her that I was looking forward to speaking with the vet about this matter. I also mentioned that if, for some reason, they are unable to produce the disc that I would accept a refund of the cost of the x-rays.


    I don’t think I was out of line, and I’m quite frankly appalled at what I feel is unprofessional behavior and business practice on the part of the vet. If anyone has opinions on that or anything else in the story, please share them… I’m interested in hearing other peoples’ insights.
    SO…. Now that you’ve got the whole story, long as it is, I must know- am I legally entitled to this disc? I know that x-rays and such are considered to be the property of the veterinarian who took them, but I thought that the owner was also entitled to the images (at least in the state of Maryland, although if someone knows otherwise please correct me if I’m wrong).


    I’m really frustrated. Any advice, knowledge or suggestions you could share is greatly welcomed and encouraged!!!!
    Last edited by ReeseTheBeast; Sep. 19, 2007 at 12:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  2. #2
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    Default

    The Xrays ae the vets, and I personally would find a new vet



  3. #3
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    Default

    Persistence until you get what you want, followed by a hunt for a new vet would seem to be in order.

    My vet, my farrier and I are a TEAM. If the team isn't working together then the part not working needs to be replaced.

    Good luck, keep hammering.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Not that I have much experience in these matters, but I'd be looking for a new vet. Yours is being rather shady about this. Either he is willing and able to provide a CD of these x-rays, with or without charging an extra fee for doing so, or he is not. He can't seem to decide which it is and is stringing you along and being rude to boot. No excuse for that.
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  5. #5
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    Default

    I agree with Clanter. It is very odd that your vet doesn't seem to want to work with your farrier. My vet has been wonderful about working with two different farriers to help our laminitic pony, and if your TB is very sore, it is risky to put shoes on without the benefit of the xrays you just shelled out $300 for. My vet puts a special marker on each xray so we will know which one is LF or RF...it seems like something your vet should have learned in X-Ray 101, so it is odd that it wasn't done that way.
    It is a very simple thing to print out the xrays on a disk, so I can't imagine why your vet is being so difficult about it. After spending that amount of money, I hope you will be able to get a full disk of the xrays, especially for use as a baseline inthe future.



  6. #6
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    The x-rays belong to the vet. I've been through this although without any of the problems you had.

    And yeah, you need a new vet, now. He can't even seem to decide what this issue is, much less his attitude about the radiographs, and farriers. What part of MD are you in? Feel free to PM me.
    Proud adopter of Win
    http://www.defhr.org
    Days End Farm Horse Rescue
    Protection for Horses - Education for People



  7. #7
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    Default

    Ditto all of the above.



  8. #8
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    Default

    Wow, that's terrible! When I took Lexi down to Virginia Equine Imaging, they gave me a CD without my even asking!

    Don;t know what to advise, other than to send a letter (harder to 'blow off' then a verbal request) specifically requesting copies of the images, stating that you will report them to the states Department of Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau, etc if they do not comply.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by onelanerode View Post
    Not that I have much experience in these matters, but I'd be looking for a new vet. Yours is being rather shady about this. Either he is willing and able to provide a CD of these x-rays, with or without charging an extra fee for doing so, or he is not. He can't seem to decide which it is and is stringing you along and being rude to boot. No excuse for that.

    Shady is right... I actually started to wonder if he perhaps mislabeled or somehow "messed up" the images and that's why he doesn't want to give me the CD. Maybe I'm paranoid but none of this makes any sense, I actually find it to be really bizarre.



    Does anyone know where I could look up information regarding state veterinary regulations on things like this? I just spoke to my farrier and he said he's pretty sure that by law, I am entitled to a copy of the disc.... I'm not trying to be a jerk about this stuff or overreact but not only did his uncooperation cost me another $1,000; I feel that he is shortchanging me as a client as well as the health of my horse. Not to mention it just being the principal of the thing. I was sweet as pie to that receptionist and have been nothing but respectful and a good client to that vet... this is insane.

    To those who have suggested finding a new vet- oh yes indeed, I'm already on that! I've got a few names to work with thus far and will be making calls to find out if they service my area or are willing to take us on as new clients. If anyone knows of any awesome, *knowledgeable* (on new developments, technologies, etc.), respectful, caring vets that service Middle-Southern MD (PG County to be precise), please PM me!
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Most people walk around looking normal and do pretty well in life. But many are suffering from so many psychological pathologies that they do stupid stuff like this. This vet has some sort of complex about you doing anything beyond what he thinks is right. Get away from him pronto!
    “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
    ? Rumi



  11. #11
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    Default

    No, you are most certainly not out of line. I am not familiar w/ MD, but I'm guessing that since you paid for the images, you probably technically own them. And it is common practice for owners to get copies of x-ray images. I have never heard of a vet claiming they owned the image and thus were unwilling to share it.

    In your situation, I would suspect the real issue is that the vet just isn't that comfortable discussing podiatry. If he was upfront about it, it wouldn't bother me in the least - vets can't be experts in everything - but the way he is behaving is just not okay.

    I would start shopping for a new vet.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gayla View Post
    Most people walk around looking normal and do pretty well in life. But many are suffering from so many psychological pathologies that they do stupid stuff like this. This vet has some sort of complex about you doing anything beyond what he thinks is right. Get away from him pronto!

    Ooooh! Ooooh! What Gayla said, too!



  13. #13
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    It's my understanding that the x-rays do belong to the vet, but that said, most vets don't have issues sharing them with you, the farrier, or specialists (the University for example).

    I would find a new vet who was willing to work with others as a team to ensure the best outcome for your horse. I would also make sure the former vet knew my reasons for never using them again ... let them know they can enjoy the x-rays and the $300 because it's the last they get from your farm.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    No, you are most certainly not out of line. I am not familiar w/ MD, but I'm guessing that since you paid for the images, you probably technically own them. And it is common practice for owners to get copies of x-ray images. I have never heard of a vet claiming they owned the image and thus were unwilling to share it.

    In your situation, I would suspect the real issue is that the vet just isn't that comfortable discussing podiatry. If he was upfront about it, it wouldn't bother me in the least - vets can't be experts in everything - but the way he is behaving is just not okay.

    I would start shopping for a new vet.
    Ironically, he used to be a farrier.

    And I am in agreement with you, it's common practice for owners to get copies of the x-ray images. At this point, he's not even saying he owns them or anything, he's just loafing around and not sending them. I'm really, really frustrated.

    And he really, really has his head up his ass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  15. #15
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    That us beyond unprofessional. I have NEVER had a vet doing digital films refuse to provide them on disc. I've known one who prefer to go back to the home office and clean them up/make a really nice disc rather than doing it in the field-- but never one that refused to give a disc. That's frustrating and I think you'd be better off using another vet.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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  16. #16
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    I've never been able to understand the "x-rays belong to the vet" philosophy. And it's not *necessarily* SOP in my neck of the woods, either. Some veterinary practices have given me the originals to keep, others keep the originals for their records but will give me copies for a nominal fee, others charge a pretty fair amount but will still give copies promptly. NONE of the vets in my area, BTW, are capable yet of digitizing them and putting them on a CD. (Well, the university vet school probably is, but I don't do business with them if I can help it.)

    Anyway, back to the original question:

    You need, beyond ANY question, to fire this vet. In the first place he doesn't sound competent, in the second place he doesn't sound like he cares, in the third place his lack of cooperation and due standard of care for your horse are now COSTING you money.

    Being me, and being VERY feisty when someone is messing my horse around, I would send him a demand letter by certified mail giving him 10 days to either fork over ALL the x-rays of your horse in his possession, OR refund your $300, letting him know that if he doesn't comply, you will file litigation for reimbursement of ALL expenses incurred to date, including the visit you had to make to the other vet clinic due to his lack of care and refusal to consult with your farrier. Send a copy of this letter to your state veterinary association.

    BUT THAT'S JUST ME. I do NOT tolerate my horse being dicked around by a redneck vet. I will say that if you think you will EVER need to call this vet out as a backup in an emergency, you're probably not going to want to follow the path I recommended above.

    I've never had a vet refuse to consult with a farrier, not EVER.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  17. #17
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    WA- I agree TOTALLY.... I was actually considering going that route... and I'm not worried about burning a bridge. I wouldn't want him crossing mine anyway.

    Thanks everyone for responding, and please, keep it coming!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Send a copy of this letter to your state veterinary association.
    And perhaps include this section reference from the AVMA Code of Ethical Conduct (emphasis in the original):

    VII (D) - Veterinarians are obligated to provide copies or summaries of medical records when requested by the client. Veterinarians should secure a written release to document that request.

    cite: http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/ethics.asp

    Your letter will serve as the written request.



  19. #19
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    Yes, your vet sucks. If you can't get the vet to give you the Xrays any other way, see if the Equine Hospital you used would request them and then give a copy of those as well. Peer pressure might work on this idiot vet of yours.

    I have *never* met a vet who won't work with my farrier. Nor one who isn't overjoyed with a farrier who wants Xrays to work from. I can only imagine *this* vet had some sort of major problem with a farrier, or early childhood trauma with one.

    SCFarm
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    www.southern-cross-farm.com



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    I am not familiar w/ MD, but I'm guessing that since you paid for the images, you probably technically own them. And it is common practice for owners to get copies of x-ray images. I have never heard of a vet claiming they owned the image and thus were unwilling to share it.
    In theory it would seem right that the client, who paid for the radiographs, owns them, but, in MD and VA at least, the vet owns them.

    Although I think this vet is a turkey who must be replaced in the very near future, I can understand a reluctance to share x-rays with a farrier. If the vet doesn't know the farrier he may have concerns that yours is yet another of the "I'm almost a vet and can diagnose stuff" variety. Some farriers don't know what they are looking at on x-rays but will be quite glad to share with the rest of the farrier community that they looked at so and so's x-rays. It's a status thing.

    This doesn't mean your farrier belongs in that group, but it certainly isn't unheard of.
    Proud adopter of Win
    http://www.defhr.org
    Days End Farm Horse Rescue
    Protection for Horses - Education for People



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