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In light of the recent lying/advice threads....

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  • In light of the recent lying/advice threads....

    I'm kind of surprised, with the recent threads about people posing as DVM's, et,c that this post from Fugly wasn't brought up.

    I've been casually browsing on here to see if it was this BB she's talking about, but you sleuth's would know better than I.

    Guest post: Online horse forums are the new coach/trainer and even worse… equine vet?
    by Snarky Rider

    Online forums can be a great resource for adding to your base of knowledge regarding your horse. They are not, and should NEVER be, a substitute for a certified professional both in the riding ring and in the health care department.

    I say, “can be a great resource” because it is a little like Russian roulette whether or not the information supplied comes from a reliable source, or a backyard, self-taught yahoo. Questions like, “my horse is having trouble picking up his left lead, and my coach has suggested…blah, blah… but I’m interested in outside opinions” can lead to good information changing hands.

    Questions like, “my horse has had an oozing eye for a week, and now he can’t seem to open it, do you think I have to call in a vet, or should I just keep rinsing it with peppermint tea”, are absolutely terrifying. And what’s worse is that more than one reply will be in support of self-diagnosis and –treatment when it is clear the person asking the question is not capable of dealing with the situation.

    It is also only a good resource if the people asking for, and receiving the advice, realise that it is just information supplied by laypeople (some as green, new or inexperienced as the ones asking the questions) and not an “ask an expert” column with the answers provided by a certified veterinarian or riding instructor.

    A recent conversation on a horse forum was a lady asking for advice on a horse with stocked up legs. She mentioned that she had a vet coming to see the horse, but until the vet arrived, did anyone have suggestions on what could be causing the issue. A few people responded that stocked up legs this time of year were fairly common, due to weather changes, less turnout and less work as it gets colder and wetter. All in all, it seemed a fairly harmless exchange of information… until a week and a half later the woman updated the conversation with accusations that because everyone had told her it was harmless stocking up, she had cancelled the vet, and then her horse had become very ill because the original cause of stocked up legs had been a lymphatic infection. *face-palm* – is, I believe, the expression?

    So, please continue to use forums as a useful place to discuss and exchange information, but do not use it as a veterinary diagnostic tool, or as your only training tool.

    Use it with an open mind, and a pinch of salt, to supplement to your ever-increasing knowledge base and quest to become a better horse owner
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Originally posted by MHM
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."

  • #2
    Originally posted by RxCate View Post
    I'm kind of surprised, with the recent threads about people posing as DVM's, et,c that this post from Fugly wasn't brought up.
    Probably because no one reads fugly any more.


    • #3
      I do.


      • Original Poster

        I have it on my google reader, so I'll skim them as they pop up everyday. This one caught my eye, obviously, because it had to do with BB's and sketchy people (which is norm), and we just happened to have this blow up here.
        Friend of bar.ka!
        Originally posted by MHM
        GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
        "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."


        • #5
          With so many over-the-top advice often given online regarding health issues...I'm surprised the only one they chose to use was that one.
          Although it's a really good example since the replies are pretty much harmless and totally expected and not over-the-top seeming. I like how it's a way to warn people to still consult a vet. Stocked up legs are not like "my horse peed orange all over the snow but not in the stall, help!" where the answer is obvious.

          I think a main issue with all the vet advice asked online is when:
          1) it's in lieu of calling a vet
          2) so often the "vet can't come out yet" or "waiting for a regular appointment later on" isn't truthful...it's a way for the poster to avoid the "get the vet out" replies and get "do it yourself" ones.
          3) homeopathic tomfoolery

          However I do greatly enjoy the medical questions and conversations when it's an issue being worked on by a vet or two without answers yet (sometimes issue being something much less common that others may have experienced before but not diagnosed yet) or after the fact or just as a "what if." Always good to expand on issues, share ideas and share stories of unusual past problems/diagnoses.
          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!


          • #6
            Yep, I get frustrated reading all the "legal advice" being dispensed by lay people.
            Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


            • #7
              Good grief. If the OP was on the fence about calling the vet and chose to go with the consensus about normal stocking up, that is her problem.

              I could see being on the fence about the vet and considering what the consensus was from a random bunch of strangers, I guess under the assumption that some of them are posing as vets and such....but when push comes to shove it is 100% my decision, based on what I observe with my own two eyes that determines whether a vet is needed. And, if I choose not to call the vet, it is because I decided (not a bunch of strangers) that it was a good risk.

              If I wanted a non-vet opinion, I would have a local, experienced horse friend come over and take a look.


              • #8
                Good grief as well. If people posted about their experiences with stocking up, that is a LOT different than someone claiming to be a vet and offering veterinary advice.

                I know someone who had a horse stocking up, thought it was normal stocking up and it also turned out to be a lymphatic infection. Nothing to do with hearing about people's experiences on an internet board.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                  Yep, I get frustrated reading all the "legal advice" being dispensed by lay people.
                  Good point MistyBlue-- and unfortunately, that mentality (OP would like to avoid paying for a farm call) predisposes them to place more stock in the responses that support not calling a vet.
                  Same thing with legal advice-- bottom line is that posters who ask for legal advice or "sample" liability releases, contracts etc are just trying to get some professional's services for free.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                    bottom line is that posters who ask for legal advice or "sample" liability releases, contracts etc are just trying to get some professional's services for free.
                    Not saying that is not the case but in the grand scheme of things, other than the threads telling about Dobbin's great show last weekend that is what every thread is doing.
                    If you ask how to lay out your barn you could be calling and paying a builder or architect who specializes in that stuff. If you ask about supplements you could be calling and paying an equine nutritionist. If you ask about installing your non-freeze yard hydrant or what type of water heater to buy you could be calling and paying a plumber or an engineer.


                    • #11
                      are just trying to get some professional's services for free.
                      exactly. A REAL professional in a field isn't going to come on a bulletin board and provide their services for free.
                      Anyone who claimed they were fully qualified and licensed and YET were willing to treat animals over a bulletin board would obviously be a fraud- a real professional wouldn't do that.
                      I think in the medical fields it's actually illegal to treat an animal you personally haven't seen; if it's not illegal, it's very unethical. Next time you spot someone you know is a vet at say, the grocery store, see if you can get that person to diagnose and treat an animal the person has never seen- bet they'll refuse.
                      so anyone who claims to be a vet on a here and is freely offering advice, or anyone claiming to be any kind of professional who is freely offering advice in the area they make their living in is someone to be extra-suspicious of. Something's not right there.
                      I mean, if you made your living off doing X, why would you be offering X for free to anyone? you sure wouldn't. On the other hand, if you make your living doing Z, and happen to know a little about X, you might be happy to offer your knowledge about X, but not about Z, freely to anyone. For Z they have to pay.


                      • #12
                        I can't imagine using an internet forum instead of a vet or whatever, but I have gotten very helpful advice on stall mats, donkey illnesses, success stories from one eyed horse owners, aggressive cats and so forth. It has been great to hear other stories, from whereever, then run them by my vet, if appropriate. I like other people's stories about some issue with which I am struggling, but I agree that "forget calling a vet i'll just ask a bunch of strangers to diagnose and treat my animal" is pretty stupid. OTOH, I am by no means an architect or drafter, but if anyone wanted to know about experiences building a pole barn (my neighbors did) I would be happy to share them! I do like hearing "lay" stories about trucks, building, medical issues and so forth, fun to compare notes!


                        • Original Poster

                          So, back to my original question - did this incident happen on this BB?
                          Friend of bar.ka!
                          Originally posted by MHM
                          GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
                          "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."


                          • #14
                            OK yeah, I hear ya --everything was paid for at one point or another. It's not like I think that every request for advice is tantatmount to freeloading. The line may be blurry in cases, but there's probably some common-sense distinctions that can be drawn between asking for a lawyer's or doctor's advice, vs more general-knowledge topics like horsemanship, barn layout, retail products.


                            • #15
                              So it is only not OK to ask for basic advice of medical professionals and lawyers. Everyone else is fair game?
                              Heck, look at all the training questions....That is free advice, they should be paying a professional.

                              The point is, there really is nothing wrong with asking basics so you have an idea of the conversation when you talk to your lawyer or vet or doctor. For example, I can see asking for a basic lease or such agreement to get ideas on stuff you had not thought of to put in yours.


                              • #16
                                Anyone can ask anyone for anything. I do see a difference between deciding to share ones' own expertise, advise, etc. (as with your training advice example, or doctors or lawyers who are fine with dispensing internet advice) vs. giving away someone ELSE's product that that other person would normally be paid for.
                                My background was in book publishing, so probably that's coloring my views here-- people commonly lift and distribute copyrighted material as if it's just free for the taking. But we are cheating the author and publisher. This is a different type of example, I know, just saying that my worldview on copying and distributing written materials is probably a little different than some. To each his own.


                                • #17
                                  You cannot police common sense. I am comfortable asking reasonable questions and I have my usual suspects I look to for good input. Input from unknown peeps gets shelved unless others I 'know', back up the suggestions.

                                  In a discussion with one of the Lauries (LOL) on Horse Care about Esterone, she suggested a protocol I wasn't familiar with, but it sounded reasonable. Rather than just do it, I asked my vet, the real vet I pay lots of money to annually, and he agreed with that protocol. So we went with it. It's my responsibility to my horses to run big changes and decisions by my vet, not a BB. I think for the most part, most people offer the best information they have. When you slip into a false persona to push that information- that's a mental issue, not a BB issue.

                                  For general stuff- farm/feed/riding stuff/dipping Ryan Reynolds in chocolate- this is a good resource. Sometimes sometimes horse's tails are one long bone...and shampoo is POISON.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                    In a discussion with one of the Lauries (LOL) on Horse Care about Esterone, she suggested a protocol I wasn't familiar with, but it sounded reasonable. Rather than just do it, I asked my vet, the real vet I pay lots of money to annually, and he agreed with that protocol.
                                    This is basically how I've used this BB for stuff to do with my dog who is having problems. He has seen a vet, but I was wondering about taking him to see a specialist or if there were other treatment options I should investigate, and so I asked hoping to get other experiences or information that might give me directions to look for information myself prior to consulting with my vet again or taking him to a specialist.

                                    I wouldn't do anything significant with regards to his care or treatment just based on the word of someone on the internet without further investigating myself. (Including consulting an expert if appropriate.) But there are lots of folks on here who have experience with animals and this is the first time I've had a dog with this particular problem, so getting some idea of where to start/additional things to look into is quite helpful.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                      Sometimes sometimes horse's tails are one long bone...and shampoo is POISON.
                                      What, you didn't know that?
                                      "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                                      • #20
                                        Not to mention Palmolive and Dawn dishwashing liquids are the safest soaps if you insist on shampooing your horse. But don't let the runoff go down the storm drain, because that would harm the environment.