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How much communication do you expect from your vet?

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  • How much communication do you expect from your vet?

    I'm starting to feel really dissatisfied with the lack of communication from mine. This is not the first time I've been wanting information and haven't been able to get any, but my vet stopped out today to check on my horse. He told the boarding stable owners that he was "sore" and put him back on Banamine. But sore how? Where? How long will he be on the Banamine this time? What should I/shouldn't I be doing with him? I mean, I feel like these are all really reasonable questions to have answered. The BO's don't have specifics b/c the vet said he'd call me today to give me the scoop. He didn't, so I called him and left a message. No response. Called again later. No response. So I called the office and they said that he wasn't on call so he'd surely be getting back to me. Now it's late and I still have NO CLUE why my horse was put back on meds today and if he's allowed to be hand walked, what limb is sore, if it's related to past issues, etc. Am I sucker for putting up with this? I know that vets are busy and I totally understand and appreciate that they have families and lives....but really? I'll be charged for the visit today, it seems fair that I know the outcome of it.

  • #2
    hmmm....judging on your location and everything you've been through with this vet, I bet I can guess who it is, though I won't do it publicly. If it is who I think it is, find a new vet, ASAP.

    My current vet is FANTASTIC about communicating. He usually leaves detailed written instructions for care, including rechecks, etc. He loves to draw diagrams to help explain things, and is easy to get a hold of, even for simple stuff. He is VERY good about checking up on horses in his care (one of my boarders just said that today...her horse got stitched up recently, and even though he was out of town for the weekend, he texted to find out how the horse was doing). I sometimes feel like he goes above and beyond the call of duty and I am lucky to have him.

    My former vet, while I was in MD, was also very easy to get a hold of and talk to. She was quick to respond to messages and was always very thorough in making sure treatment protocol was very well understood (usually writing them down in detail, as well). She does have a family with small kids (current vet is married...to a vet...but no kids, just horses), so I never expected her to jump all over non-emergency communications, but she was always prompt.

    Vets need to communicate, especially when it comes to care for a sick or injured horse. The wrong thing can make a tough situation go very wrong.
    Amanda

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    • #3
      If you don't get an answer tomorrow, you have reason to be ticked. I always give vets the benefit of the doubt for contacting me about non-urgent things because sooner or later we ALL are the owner of the horse that IS the urgent case and we then rightly expect our vets to be 100% focused on the job at hand. However, all call nights end and all crises eventually abate, at which point routine calls can and should be returned.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        I had a very smart older vet once. He took calls in his office from 7:00 to 8:30 am. So that's when you could call him discuss your horse, ask a question etc.
        During the day, no. He was doing his rounds.
        As a client I felt he had time for me, and I knew he would be available at that time for "stupid" questions or "hold my hand" discussions.
        I think that was a very smart way to handle his business and keep sane.

        Back to your post: I write down my questions and what I want to discuss before going to the vet and make sure they are answered.

        I do the same with my human doctors, but it is harder, I sometimes don't "hear" his answers or they fly out of my head. I'm not as smart as I think I am sometimes

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        • #5
          I am always there for vet appointments, to ask questions, etc. Even so, I still get handed a discharge sheet that says what was done to the horse and what the follow-up instructions are. If owner isn't there, they tape the discharge sheet to the stall door. No way you don't know what's going on.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Really the only thing that has kept me from changing to a new vet before now is that this one is already aware of the situation...and that was because l hadn't even had my horse long enough to register as a new client with the one I intended to use. The BO's just called theirs for the emergency since they had the number available.

            Thank you for being so patient with me. I really hope that I make it to the point with my horse that I can talk about good stuff and not have so many disgruntled questions. I'm usually such a positive person but this whole experience has been so draining and sad for me. It would have been nice to be able to fully *ENJOY* being a horse owner for a little more than the one day that I did, you know?

            Ah, well, so we'll see if I get the scoop tomorrow. If not, I'll definitely be seeing red.

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            • #7
              Horse ownership is not for the faint of heart, nor for those who expect nothing but sunshine and roses. Even when they're broken, horses are wise, funny, entertaining, needy, grateful, ungrateful, colorful, interesting and enormously gratifying. I have a collection of them and always enjoy having a new broodmare, a horse rehabbing or on stall rest, etc. at my place because even the unsound/injured/not terribly useful ones are still horses and therefore just plain cool to be around.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #8
                Sadly my vets have been out so often for my boys that if I have any questions I just shoot them a text and they usually answer within a few hours. They find it easier to answer texts about non urgent issues than to call me. I love it!!

                That being said, I am always there if the vet is going to be seeing my horses and I write down any instructions as they tell me. I find that most people wouldn't ask the same things that I would so I try not to have to rely on anyone.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I would really prefer to be out at the stable for my horse to be seen, too, but this vet is really hard to pin down. He pops up when he pops up. I just don't have that flexible of a job, unfortunately.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ellie Mae View Post
                    I would really prefer to be out at the stable for my horse to be seen, too, but this vet is really hard to pin down. He pops up when he pops up. I just don't have that flexible of a job, unfortunately.
                    Sorry, that does make it a little harder but is there a way when you make the appt to have a number he can call while he is looking at your horse?

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                    • #11
                      Ohh, Chall, I'll bet the "very smart older vet" had the initials CG!
                      And his system worked great! Barring emergencies, you could always talk to him then--almost like a college professor having office hours, when students can call.
                      Too bad more vets don't do something like that--answer calls at a given time for a given time period.

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                      • #12
                        Did you have an appointment today or did the vet stop by on his own? If you had an appointment and you weren't there then I would somewhat expect this. They have set aside time to see your horse and while they are there looking at the horse they can talk to you. When the owner is not there for an appointment this really increases the work load for the vet depending on what type of case it is. For some things it can be like having two appointments but the client only pays for one by the time you spend time going over everything on the phone with the client.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          No appointment. I called last week b/c he had told me to give him a call if I noticed anything strange with my gelding's movement as he recovered. He was definitively lopsided in the rear late last week, thus my concern. No return call, not even to tell me that he was going to look at him. I didn't know about it until I showed up at the stable this afternoon to see my horse.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ellie Mae View Post
                            No appointment. I called last week b/c he had told me to give him a call if I noticed anything strange with my gelding's movement as he recovered. He was definitively lopsided in the rear late last week, thus my concern. No return call, not even to tell me that he was going to look at him. I didn't know about it until I showed up at the stable this afternoon to see my horse.
                            Ahhh, sounds like you need to have a talk with the vet and just tell them need better communication. See where things go after that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ellie Mae View Post
                              Really the only thing that has kept me from changing to a new vet before now is that this one is already aware of the situation...and that was because l hadn't even had my horse long enough to register as a new client with the one I intended to use. The BO's just called theirs for the emergency since they had the number available.
                              Call the vet of your choice & make an appointment - all records from previous vet (that you paid for!) should be made available to the new vet, so don't be too concerned about bringing a new vet into a situation.

                              You can certainly just call the "unsatisfactory" vet clinic & let them know that their style of business just does not work with your schedule - personally I can't imagine why the vet didn't contact you during the time of your horse's appointment (that you were billed for) to discuss condition/prognosis/treatment etc.

                              You can discuss your expectations with the current vet clinic, but I suspect that the present method of business is what you get with this clinic ...

                              Hope things get better soon for you & your horse (unless you love the current barn, I suspect you might be happier with a different place altogether for your horse).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Maythehorsebewithme View Post
                                Ohh, Chall, I'll bet the "very smart older vet" had the initials CG!
                                .
                                Yup, Chick G. He also took vacations on his boat. So no possibility of being called away from his day off (vet students take note ).

                                Btw, my comments about my vets now are my small animal vets. My horse vets I never see, as my horses are retired, three hours away, so everything (almost) is handled by the BM.

                                OP, definitely find out what form of communication your vet does, email, texting, phone or relay-through-office staff to see if that works for you when picking a vet.

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                                • #17
                                  [QUOTE=yellowbritches;6286621]hmmm....judging on your location and everything you've been through with this vet, I bet I can guess who it is, though I won't do it publicly. If it is who I think it is, find a new vet, ASAP.

                                  QUOTE]

                                  I'm with Yellowbritches. We both know who this vet is and you'd do well to find another one ASAP for a lot of different reasons. There are far too many good vets in this area to put up with the one you have. Just get your records transferred and move on.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I stuck with a bad vet for too long b/c she knew my horses. Unfortunately, she didn't know a lot about being a vet

                                    My current vet will come check up on one even though I can't be there- and call me afterward on his way to his next stop...or call me that night, as late as 8:30-9:00 ....never a wait until days later ...that's unacceptable. We managed a cracked split bone that way over the course of a few months, repeated films, changing wraps...I couldn't always be there but I always heard from him promptly. And the leg the vets from Colorado and Texas A&M said we'd HAVE to operate on...we didn't. A good vet is worth their weight in gold: and they take care of their clients.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I waited through the course of the morning. Still not a peep, so I've contacted another vet. Hopefully this is the beginning of a much more navigable road.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My daughter has a lot of clients who text her with questions. That way, if she is running early for her next call, she can pull over and either call the client or, if the client doesn't answer the phone, text back an answer. The system works well because if she had to call people at the end of the day, she would never get home to feed her own horses and go to bed. Also, clients can save her answer in their phones, so she doesn't get repeated calls asking how much bute is the proper dose for the pony or what wormer was it you suggested?

                                        People who would never call at 7:30am, in case she was up late on emergency calls, happily text at 7:30am. As long as she wasn't up for an emergency, that is a great time to reach her as she heads to work. It also prevents having to leave a verbal message with a secretary, when the office opens, knowing that message may never make it to her. Text messaging is a great way to communicate with a vet.

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