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Your worst vet/farrier experiences: a fun post

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    #41
    I was with a friend of mine who was getting a PPE done on the horse she had decided to buy after leasing him for a year, he’s 21 and she wanted to make sure she was doing everything he needed.

    They pull the horse out of the stall and the vet, opens his mouth to check his teeth. Her phone starts ringing and she answers it on speaker, her hands still in the horses mouth.

    It’s the clinic requesting she return RIGHT NOW because there was a horse 15 minutes out that somehow got tangled up in a gate after slipping in turn out and managed to get a foot and a half long gash in it’s flank, with it’s internal organs oozing out. The owner put a belly band on and loaded them into the trailer. Everyone around had heard the call and looking on in horror. The vet yanked her hand out of the horses mouth and asked if she could reschedule.

    It was just so surreal to be there hearing about something like that happening! Luckily the vet came back a few days later to do the PPE. The horse my friend was buying passed with flying colors (the vet kept asking if he was really 21 because he doesn’t seem it- but my friend has his papers and his previous owner had had him since he was six.) And the horse with the gash in it’s flank was stitched up and doing well!

    Comment


      #42
      I had a new farrier out (he came recommended too) who wouldn’t believe that my gelding was a thoroughbred because he’d “never seen a grey thoroughbred before.” He spent over an hour trying to trim (not shoe, TRIM) my horse before I asked him to leave with the horse unfinished.

      also had a vet (literally a few months ago) do x-rays on my horse and proclaim that the horse had no arthritis and his x-rays looked great! Took the horse to a better vet clinic and that vet redid x-rays and found tons of arthritis in that same joint that the first vet said was “great.”

      Had another vet tell me the reason my horse’s sheath was swollen was because he needed it cleaned, despite me telling her that it definitely wasn’t the reason. She insisted it was. It wasn’t; it was kidney failure.
      Lots of things you could do with a stopwatch...

      Comment


        #43
        Years ago there was a very handsome vet that practiced in my area. I moved my horse to a new barn where the vet practiced. My horse cut his leg and the handsome vet happened to be coming out that day so I asked him if he could take a look at the leg. When he arrived, several of the barn ladies were clustered around the door to oooh and awwww. The vet swaggers up to my horse from the back, promptly slaps him on the backside and my horse kicked him to the ground. Watching him get up was hilarious, all swagger gone! I thought, well you just broke horse 101! He eventually transitioned into small animal medicine.....

        Comment


          #44
          Same farrier has been shoeing my horse for 19 years. She drives by my house every time she shoes at a big dressage barn a couple of miles up the road. She didn't know which particular house was mine. Last year we were chatting about aspects of home ownership and I brought up running my JD (of course) lawn tractor over big dried out puffballs (mushrooms) and the dust blowing all over the place. She immediately stopped and put the horse's foot down. She was horrified!!!! I was mowing down puttballs!?!?!?! She loves them! I didn't know they were edible because I hate mushrooms and figured they were probably toxic if not deadly. She cuts them into slices and sautees them. We met at my house and she picked the ones she wanted. The ones in the neighbor's yard are different and not desirable. I told her to stop by anytime. I usually mow the lawn on Saturday.


          "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

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            Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by walktrot View Post
            Same farrier has been shoeing my horse for 19 years. She drives by my house every time she shoes at a big dressage barn a couple of miles up the road. She didn't know which particular house was mine. Last year we were chatting about aspects of home ownership and I brought up running my JD (of course) lawn tractor over big dried out puffballs (mushrooms) and the dust blowing all over the place. She immediately stopped and put the horse's foot down. She was horrified!!!! I was mowing down puttballs!?!?!?! She loves them! I didn't know they were edible because I hate mushrooms and figured they were probably toxic if not deadly. She cuts them into slices and sautees them. We met at my house and she picked the ones she wanted. The ones in the neighbor's yard are different and not desirable. I told her to stop by anytime. I usually mow the lawn on Saturday.

            I’ve heard too many stories to try to eat wild mushrooms
            A neighbor found a tree last summer with some mushrooms that she thought were morels growing on/by it. She picked them and cooked them up. About 30 min after eating, her and her husband could not stop laughing at everything. They were on a trip from those shrooms
            She still doesn’t know what they were, but at least they weren’t poisonous!

            Comment


              #46
              I had a recent bad vet experience that just left me incredulous. Before I pulled the mare from the stall, the vet was telling me I couldn't expect a 20 year old to be sound. (She was sound recently.) He lunged her and then said we could try Equioxx and hock injections FOR HER FRONT LIMB LAMENESS, but I shouldn't expect her to be perfect. No physical exam, no palpation, no flexions, no jogging in a straight line, no hoof testers. I ask about blocking, and he agreed. He then proceeded to block the sound limb first. I don't know why -- other than shock -- I didn't pull the plug sooner, but I asked him to shoot hoof x-rays so I'd at least have something for the farrier. Vet and tech did not wear lead during the radiographs, and it was not offered to me (holding horse). One of the laterals was obliqued and he wouldn't re-shoot. It was unbelievable.

              So that's one person on my Never Again list. Counting my lucky stars that there are plenty of other options in my area.

              Comment


                #47
                My worst vet experience was during a bad colic. Hauled to the vet school after horse started blowing through sedation at home with the regular vet. The resident on emergency call did a workup and performed an abdominocentesis. The fluid came out murky green and full of hay particles. Resident diagnosed a rupture and gave me a few minutes to say goodbye. Some of you probably know how that tidal wave of grief feels upon hearing that it's suddenly the end for your heart horse -- I was in shock. A faculty member who knew me and my horse well came down to the treatment area around that time, having heard we were there with a bad outlook, and after getting a rundown she told the resident to do another belly tap. The fluid was clear -- resident had perforated the intestine with the first tap. We were moments away from euthanizing my horse on the basis of a human error! Eventually the horse did pull through, and after horse started to improve I asked the resident about risk of infection from nicking the intestine and whether (esp. with a horse that has a record of always developing even the rarest complications) antibiotics might be prudent. Resident acted insulted that I would even bring up intestinal contamination and said it was a negligible risk and that antibiotics would be a very bad idea ... I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

                When the horse finally recovered, the bill I paid to leave the hospital was enormous. And to add insult to injury, the bill was amended after the fact with an additional charge because the resident later corrected the record to reflect that two belly taps were done, rather than the one I was originally billed for. It was a bit of a slap in the face to get an additional bill for the service of putting a hole in my horse's intestine, on top of paying for the damage done by that breach of the intestine (including those "bad idea" antibiotics). I paid the extra charge (a drop in the bucket compared to the first bill), and reminded myself to be thankful that my horse hadn't had to go to colic surgery with Dr. Inexperienced wielding a scalpel. All's well that ends well, but the emotional roller-coaster that that resident sent me on that week was the most unpleasant ride of my life.

                Comment


                  #48
                  I would say, vets are human just as we are, so my singular advice would be to always be thinking as critically as possible when dealing with a wounded or NQR horse, and if you think the vets are missing something or you think there is something else, always speak up. Don't be afraid to ask for another opinion, ever.

                  I had a case where I had an emergency vet visit -- horse presented with multiple lacerations, fever, cuts, and totally non-weight bearing. It wasn't my normal vet (but was my normal practice) that came out, and she was a bit newer -- I think she was overwhelmed by everything she had to do and how badly this horse was presenting (we couldn't even move him) -- she missed a small scrape on the horse's flank, a few inches off from the hip. In her defense, it's easy to pass over a scrape when you're suturing big lacerations! She sutured/lavaged/treated what she could right then and there. She was about to leave when I pushed for her to really look at the scrape too. She ended up extracting a rock from that hip, and after investigation, it was 2 cm from perforating the cecum.. If we hadn't caught it, the horse would have been dead.

                  Sometimes two eyes are better than one - don't always defer your thoughts, just because someone else is a DVM/farrier/masseuse/whatever, and you aren't. It doesn't make you any less of a horseman.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                  Comment


                    #49
                    This is a pretty funny vet story. Years ago I had this butt ugly appy gelding for whom I called the vet to do a tube worming and some other procedure. Well, the horse just did not care for this vet but watched while he filled his syringe with sedative and approached with the needle. Horse was a total butt about getting the shot and fought the anesthesia and would not calm down for the tubing. Vet finally left and we rescheduled for a few days later. This time the vet was prepared. He walks up to the horse and just nails him with the needle. Horse didn't have time to object so was totally taken off guard. Procedure goes off without a hitch. The vet must have really given him a strong dose because later I look outside and there is horse on the ground fast asleep resting his head against a tree.

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                      #50
                      16 Hands You reminded me:
                      My TB had a great circulatory system. He usually needed a 2nd round of whatever sedative vet needed to use.
                      I brought him to the clinic to get his teeth done.
                      Vet had done my other horse at my place. No stocks needed, he hung the speculum over the stall jamb & got the teeth powerfloated with horse in the stall.

                      TB had been sedated along with his barnmate & watched the procedure from his stall next door.
                      But when it was his turn, he pulled out of the speculum twice.
                      So I agreed he needed to be in stocks.

                      Vet got about halfway done & TB required additional sedation.
                      I believe it was dormosedan, but whatever, he stayed still enough to finish the float.

                      Have you seen Cat Ballou, where Lee Marvin's horse was supposed to be drunk too?
                      My guy did a great impression of that horse.

                      I needed a good 20min for him to be capable of loading in my trailer w/ramp.
                      During which time he made a show of grazing on vet's lawn.... Except, he forgot to chew & grass dribbled right back out of his loose-lipped mouth.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                        #51
                        2 Dogs. Yes, I love that movie and that scene of the horse leaning against the building is so funny.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Got a vet out for dental work--had come recommended, was a "dental specialist," and self professed dental enthusiast. Great, just the kind of person I like for teeth.

                          Showed up with a couple of hand floats and a bucket. Didn't even bring a speculum. (Practice partner had borrowed it to use on an alpaca!) Asked where the power float was..."oh, you wanted that...?" Was surprised when I declined to have the horses floated. He thought we could get it done just fine with what he had, despite knowing nothing about what was needed or the history on the horses.

                          Did not, ah, have him back. Found a great veterinary dentist who actually showed up with the necessary tools to do the job, what a concept!

                          Comment


                            #53
                            This was a few years ago when I was a barn manager. There was a mare who was always a fussy eater but got to the point where she was barely eating . Trainer said wait her out , she will eat eventually. That lasted 2 days and trainer threw in the towel and called vet. Looking back probably ulcers though I think she was already on some meds.

                            Vet arrived, trainer has me give her all the details. Then I continue on my day. Get the game plan from trainer later on . Only recommendation from vet: 80ml of mineral oil in her grain - not orally into mouth! Just dump on her grain . Say what?!

                            The mare and I both rolled our eyes and laughed. Mare didn’t buy this at all and didn’t eat any of her grain. Yup let’s add something to her feed that she already doesn’t eat , totally going to work!

                            Cant remember what we ended up doing but she eventually started eating better. Eventually she moved to different barn that had grass paddocks 8 hour days which really helped.

                            P.
                            A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

                            Comment


                              #54
                              Originally posted by walktrot View Post
                              She was horrified!!!! I was mowing down puttballs!?!?!?! She loves them! I didn't know they were edible because I hate mushrooms and figured they were probably toxic if not deadly. She cuts them into slices and sautees them.
                              I love mushrooms and have collected and eaten several different species, but still can't taste anything when I slice up a a puffball. I've tried cooking them in butter and they still taste like buttered foam rubber.

                              Comment


                                #55
                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                Got a vet out for dental work--had come recommended, was a "dental specialist," and self professed dental enthusiast. Great, just the kind of person I like for teeth.

                                Showed up with a couple of hand floats and a bucket. Didn't even bring a speculum. (Practice partner had borrowed it to use on an alpaca!) Asked where the power float was..."oh, you wanted that...?" Was surprised when I declined to have the horses floated. He thought we could get it done just fine with what he had, despite knowing nothing about what was needed or the history on the horses.

                                Did not, ah, have him back. Found a great veterinary dentist who actually showed up with the necessary tools to do the job, what a concept!
                                That reminds me of the time I had several barn mates telling me I HAD to use their equine dentist, she was so good. I had typically always used my vet, who does a very good job, and he has been my vet for 20 years. I decided since the dentist was coming out for half the barn that day, I'd save myself a farm call fee and just get her done. This was a pony that my daughter was bringing along at the time. Anyways, everything seems to go off without a hitch. She sedates her (find out later, that's illegal). Does a power float. Some hand float to do some more detailed work. An hour after she left the farm, pony starts waking up and I look over and she is drooling....buckets of drool. And frothing. Like nothing I had ever seen after a normal float. Called the dentist, she said she had no idea, to call my vet. Called my vet out, we look in the mouth and she had third degree burns all inside her mouth from the power tool. The vet didn't even understand how she could have HELD the power tool as it should have been hot as heck to hold to cause that amount of burning. Luckily after some care, she did recover. But the poor gal was miserable for several days. I do have to say the dentist at least felt bad and payed for my vet bills. So, there's that. But I will never again use anyone but my tried and true vet who always does a good, balanced float and I've never had any issues with.

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                                  #56
                                  Came out after my horse got shod and found her to have a suspicious horseshoe shaped BURN (hair singed etc) on her rump. All around were other straight lines of singed hair. Called farrier, asked if anything had happened. Said no. I asked why horse had a horseshoe burned into her rump. Said he had no idea.

                                  Proceeded to get new farrier. SMH. If the mare was being a jerk, put her up and call me. But beating her and putting a hot shoe on her skin isn't going to help the problem. Oddly, the next farrier never had a problem with her.

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    Love my vet. He's a character... rugged, gruff, ex-marine type whose nose looked like he had a nose job years ago courtesy of some cranky mare. Doesn't tolerate fools, so it took about a year for him to realize I wasn't one and do more than grunt at me (although now after 25 years you can't shut him up!).

                                    First time he did shots on my daughter's rather opinionated small Welsh, Flame, the pony double-barreled him. Flame was new to us, so I promised I'd work on him. Next visit he stood like an angel. I'm patting myself on the back, and commented on how much better he was. Vet chuckles and said it was because he hit him with some sedation! I never even noticed. He's good with the animals, and the pony gradually accepted him.

                                    This one still cracks me up. Years ago we had an old, crippled standard Jenny we got from a friend. One morning, I go out and she appears off, but I can't figure out what's wrong. Finally I lift her tail, and she's managed to slice her labia, and there's about a finger-sized piece of flesh just hanging.

                                    I call the vet and he says it's not stitchable, he'll cut it off. He stands behind her and injects Lidocaine, grumbling, "If someone had told me I'd be standing behind a donkey, injecting Lidocaine into her vagina and not getting kicked to high heavens, I'd have told them they were crazy." (The donkey WAS very sweet, would not recommend as a practice.)

                                    At any rate, once he numbed her up he cut off the finger of flesh and threw it on the aisle floor. My yellow lab happened to be walking by, goes "yum," and gobbles it up. I still find it hilarious, but for some reason, my non-horse friends get grossed out!
                                    TypaGraphics
                                    Graphic Design & Websites
                                    typagraphics.com

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                                      #58
                                      I had a mare that had foaled 10 days prior that was colicy, called the vet clinic and they sent out the on-call vet. He was not the normal vet for the clinic and was filling in that evening. He waled around the mare, never placed a hand on her, said she would be fine and left. By 8 am the next morning we put her down and I was raising an orphan foal. The lead vet was furious and to my knowledge they never had that vet fill in again.

                                      2nd one- my current gelding came up lame, I called one of two vets I use regularly that is a mobile performance vet. He is well known in the area as being top-knotch for lameness issues. He came out, watched my horse walk and jog said he "thought" it was a tendon strain. I asked him for an x-ray as this was a leg the horse had previously fractured. Nope, no x-ray needed. Tendon strain. Umm doc, how about an ulta-sound to confirm that tendon strain then? Nope, here's a jar of goop, cold, hose, wrap and call me in a week if he isn't better.

                                      A day later my farrier is out to trim, I tell him Louie is sore on his right hind and he says no problem, we'll do him last. he goes to clean up that hoof and finds a nail in the hoof. We wrap his hoof up, I call the other clinic I use and haul him in for x-rays and we pull the nail. The first vet was furious I didn't call him back to x-ray and pull the nail He was 1/16th away from being a pasture puff.

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        Caol Ila, I had a similar experience. The vet didn't like how the farrier was trimming my horse. She was getting a big flare in one front hoof. I told the farrier, he scoffed and made it worse. Turns out that vet and farrier hated each other. My horse eventually went really lame, by which time I had a new farrier, who very carefully got her hooves back in shape. (A few years later, I had to fire him because his work was getting so erratic and he was increasingly flakey about appointments. Absolutely broke my heart as I considered him a friend. I think he was hitting the bottle pretty hard - which I'm told is not uncommon for farriers. Sigh.)
                                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                                          #60
                                          I was attempting to be generously diplomatic to a farrier. Me: "We're all human ,we make mistakes, no one is perfect ."

                                          Farrier : "I am" (straight face, dead serious)

                                          Same farrier, who was not great at barefoot trims, when politely asked if he could adjust X, replied with extreme venom "well, since you know so much, why don't you just take a sharpie & mark where you want the hoof trimmed."

                                          Happily, no longer my farrier.
                                          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                          We Are Flying Solo

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