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What if you can't always haul your horse to the vet?

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  • What if you can't always haul your horse to the vet?

    Or don't want to stress the already sick/injured horse? What do you do to get the xrays you want or need?

    I really don't like the idea of popping a horse on a trailer on a regular basis. Nevermind the very injured horse that needs a vet to come to him.

    Is there another way when the vets are not willing to travel to your farm with their equipment?

  • #2
    Find a vet who is willing or haul, there are no other options! Most large animal vets have portable equipment, though.


    • #3
      Why would the vets not want to come to your farm with their equipment? All ours do.
      Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
      Now apparently completely invisible!


      • #4
        My vet comes to me 100 times more often than I load one to go to him.

        Portable xrays on the vet's truck are common. If your vet doesn't have one, get a new vet

        For more serious issues you'd need to go to the clinic anyway...

        I suppose I don't understand the problem.


        • #5
          This. All our vets use digital equipment so they can review the files with you on the spot.

          Originally posted by Tiki View Post
          Why would the vets not want to come to your farm with their equipment? All ours do.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


          • Original Poster

            Well I guess I'm in an unlucky area then, even though it is pretty horsey.

            The only vet I knew of that was good just told me today my farm was too far even though she has come out before.

            No other vets in the area will to travel with their equipment. I'd willingly pay more for a vet call that's a distance than have to haul.

            I guess this is kinda a vent too. Seven months ago my older horse shattered his shoulder. I had to put him on a trailer to get xrays and trailer him home again only to put him down

            For those of you whose vets travel with their equipment, how far away are they from your place?


            • #7
              I'm in an unlucky area too.
              There are lots of good things about being here, but we don't have vets with portable x-rays. It's a big deal for me to haul a beastie to my vet's clinic and have them roll the old machine out into the parking lot to get shots. Now that they're going digital, that won't be happening anymore - as the clinic is mostly small animal. I'll have to haul farther to another vet's large animal practice or one of the vet schools.
              Y'all ain't right!


              • #8
                I'm about 30 minutes from his 'clinic', per se, but he's a truck based vet. He has his machine with him, period. And he covers quite an area. I'm sorry your situation is different


                • #9
                  That sucks. My vet is 30 miles away and covers a territory at least that size in all directions. Xrays and sonograms are done from portable equipment. If you need MRI/Cat scan you have to haul to a clinic though. The nearest one is 30 or 40 miles.

                  I think the equipment is expensive, especially for an individual vet. My vet comes from a clinic that has four or five vets that work together, so they share the cost of investing in that kind of equipment, and they cover each others clients in case one vet is on an emergency or at the other end of the region when you have an emergency.

                  Maybe try looking for vets in the region that work from a group practice, that might have portable equipment and more flexibility?


                  • #10
                    Well I really don't see why it should be an issue popping a horse on a trailer on a regular basis lots of people transport horses weekly for lessons, shows, etc.....horses seem to fare well. Most injured horses also transport well given their circumstances.

                    I had a young horse (who had only been in the trailer a few times) that had injured her front leg badly a couple of years and my regular vet came out on an emergency visit but wanted the specialist to see her and for that she had to be transported to the clinic an hour away......she could barely walk on the front leg....but she did load fine.....getting her out was more of a challenge but we backed up to bit of a high spot so she could step out rather than down.

                    Having said that my vet does travel with xray and ulrasound machines when needed.

                    Hope you can get your horse looked at soon.



                    • #11
                      My vet is in my area Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He has digital x-ray, ultrasound, shockwave units on the truck. I'm about 70 miles from his clinic. He does not come out here at all on the other days, so I would have to trailer to him (having said that, he did come out to euthanize my mare on his day off a few years ago.) I've used him for many years.

                      I do have another vet clinic just opened up very close by--within 5 miles of my house--which is bizarre because we are in the middle of nowhere. I will use them nowadays if I have an emergency.


                      • #12
                        Is there anyone else in your area that has horses and might want a farm call? You might be able to put together a group that can attract a vet out. Even my lameness guru will do a farm call if you are close enough or get enough horses for him to look at if you are further out.

                        The regular vet (not the lameness specialist) that I use right now is only about 30 miles from me, and can come out with short notice. I have worked with another vet that I like a lot, but he's about the same distance away and unwilling to come out much.

                        I understand not wanting to haul at times. I have a horse that stresses about trailering AND was laminitic recently, so he had to be seen here, not hauled out. It can also be difficult if you have just two horses at home, as I do right now. I can either have the vet come to look at one, or take both to the vet.


                        • Original Poster

                          Dang, you guys are lucky.

                          I'm particularly annoyed at this specific vet since I'm pretty sure she travels to a large barn only about 10-12 min from me.

                          And yep I'm just not a fan of sticking a horse on a trailer a lot. I'm fortunate enough to have a good instructor come to me so I don't trailer out weekly. I also have two horses that get pretty stressed trailering. Then there is the senario of having the two and taking one away to go to the vet. It would just be all around easier for the vets to travel with equipment.

                          I guess it's time to make several calls to see if I'm missing someone


                          • #14
                            As far as I can tell there are only two alternatives...either the horse goes to the vet or the vet comes to the horse. Either of the vets I use make barn calls, or I can haul to the vets. Only one is set up with a full clinic with x-ray equipment, stocks, surgery etc.
                            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                            • #15
                              What area are you in (county/state)? Perhaps someone can help you find a vet that's willing to travel.


                              • #16
                                Until a few years ago, we did not have a vet in our county that had portable x-ray so it was haul the horse to him or you were S.O.L

                                Wellll, a new vet has come to town! and he brings his whazoo, very expensive digital/portable x-ray machine with him.

                                So guess who my new vet is and I say a Prayer of Thanks every day that he decided to settle in our little rural county --- even if his office is on the border of the next county, which is pretty huge and bustling with horses

                                One would think, with the huge horse population, that all the large animal practices would get their heads out of the 80's and buy good portable x-ray equipment


                                • #17
                                  We are juuuuust far enough away that the big practices would rather not come here, although if I were to really dig I could probably get one of the track vets, and they all have portable equipment. I'm pretty sure my regular vet doesn't have a portable x-ray. The last time we were in the office for the cat there ws a fair amount of hooraw going on in the back while they x-rayed somebody's goat.
                                  This post is making me think about my own options - thanks for bringing it up and I hope you are able to resolve the issue!
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • #18
                                    The newer equipment is so expensive. I think my vet has over $100,000 worth of equipment on his truck. A lot of practices can't afford to equip every truck with digital x-rays, ultrasound, scopes and other toys. Therefore, the choice is to equip the trucks with old non-digital equipment, which isn't as good, or have more horses brought in to the clinic. Also, travel time eats into much of a vet's day. If you spend 4 hours on the road, you can see fewer horses than if those horses came into the clinic.


                                    • #19
                                      We are very lucky as we have a great equine practice a short distance away. They travel or you can haul in.
                                      Recently a new vet has opened a mobile practice for all animals. She will come to you for all your furry and feathered friends. And the best part is she is a few miles away. When I was a teen I worked in a practice like that and it was great.
                                      Maybe this recession will help vets be more willing to practice in a way that is better for some clients.


                                      • #20
                                        Do you perhaps have a "not so good" vet, one whom you do not trust with diagnostics but you could trust to take films, in your area?

                                        You could call that vet out to take the digital x-rays, then send the x-rays digitally to your "real vet" for a consult.

                                        If you have cow or llama people in your area, ask who they use. Those vets would have the same equipment as a horse vet, and if you had specific instructions from your "real" horse vet about what films they should take, they should be able to handle a horse x-ray.
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/