A Safe and Smooth Vet Visit

A Safe and Smooth Vet Visit

Whinny’s Wisdoms

Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

A Safe and Smooth Vet Visit – A Mouse’s Guide for Horse Owners

 Hey everybody, Whinny here! As a perceptive little mouse who has observed many horse vet visits, I’m here to share some valuable tips with all you horse-owning humans to ensure a safe and successful appointment. Preparing for a vet visit is essential to keep your equine friends healthy and happy. In this blog, we’ll cover the importance of catching and haltering your horse, how to keep veterinarians safe during procedures, and the role of phone use and attentiveness as an owner. So, let’s scurry into action and get ready for a pawsome vet visit!

Catching and Haltering Your Horse

The process of catching and haltering your horse can set the tone for the entire vet visit. Follow these tips to make it a positive experience:

  • Build Trust: Spend quality time with your horse regularly, engaging in grooming and gentle handling to establish trust. A trusting relationship will make catching your horse much easier for both you and your horse.
  • Practice Regularly: Make a habit of catching and haltering your horse, even without a vet visit scheduled. Regular practice reduces stress and resistance during the actual visit.
  • Use Proper Equipment: Ensure the halter fits well and is in good condition. Avoid using makeshift halters or ropes, as they may cause discomfort and pose safety risks.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Offer treats and praise as rewards when your horse willingly approaches for haltering. Positive reinforcement fosters cooperation during vet visits, but remember, a little bit of treats go a long way!

Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

Keeping Veterinarians Safe During Procedures

    A safe environment and the owner’s cooperation are essential for veterinarians to perform procedures.

    • Provide a Safe Area: Ensure your horse is in a designated area that is clean, well-lit, and free of hazards like clutter. A safe environment minimizes the risk of accidents during procedures.
    • Communicate with the Vet: Share your horse’s medical history, behavior patterns, and any concerns you may have with the veterinarian. Clear communication enables the vet to plan accordingly and make informed decisions.
    • Stay Calm and Supportive: Horses can sense emotions, so maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor during procedures. Your presence can comfort your horse and make the process smoother for the veterinarian.
    • Follow Vet Instructions: Listen carefully to the vet’s instructions and cooperate accordingly. If the vet requires your assistance in holding the horse, position yourself as directed to ensure everyone’s safety. If the vet asks the technician to hold your horse, please allow them to do so.

    Phone Use and Attentiveness as an Owner

    During the vet visit, be mindful of your phone use and remain fully attentive to your horse and the vet.

    • Silence Your Phone: Turn your phone on silent mode or keep it away to avoid distractions. Being fully present allows you to focus on the vet’s explanations and your horse’s behavior.
    • Actively Participate: Engage in the vet visit actively. Listen attentively to the vet’s recommendations, ask questions, and provide necessary information about your horse’s health.
    • Observe Your Horse: Pay close attention to your horse’s body language and reactions during procedures. Being observant helps you understand their comfort level and this information can be relayed to the veterinarian during the visit to help provide the best care to your horse.


    Well, my human friends, we made it to the end! And now we know how to be well-prepared for a vet visit, and how to make it a great experience for everyone involved. By mastering the art of catching and haltering your horse, creating a safe environment, and communicating effectively with the vet, you set the stage for a squeak-tastic visit. Your cooperation and attentiveness as an owner play a big role in keeping the veterinary procedures safe and effective. So, let’s all do our part to make every vet visit a pawsitive experience, ensuring the well-being of our beloved equine companions. See you next week!


    P.S. If you haven’t heard, we’re having our annual Open House event here at the Clinic on September 30th, 2023. It’s going to be the biggest, most exciting event we’ve ever had! Mark it on your calendar now, find the event over on our Facebook page, and I’ll see you there!

    Whinny’s Wisdoms is the official blog of Whinny the Clinic Mouse at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!

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    Prep for the Vet

    Prep for the Vet

    Tuesdays with Tony

    All my docs want for the holidays and the New Year is for you to be prepped and ready for when they arrive! Well, that, and cat treats. I know it sounds weird, but that’s what they said. If you’ll send them to me, I’ll make sure the docs get them. It’s okay, I’m a cat. You can trust me.

     There are several small things that can be done to prepare for a veterinarian’s arrival that will not only save time, but can help facilitate safety during the many different procedures that they do at your farm. 

    Confined Spaces

    Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

    Probably the top recommendation the docs tell me that they’d like for this holiday is to have the horses either caught or brought in from turnout by the time they arrive. Veterinarians have a very distinct smell; I know because I have a very delicate cat nose and I smell them every day. Horses have almost as good a sense of smell as me, and once they smell the veterinarian, they often become difficult to catch. So, having the horses caught before they arrive can save both you and your vet a lot of valuable time. The less time they spend catching your horse, the more time they can spend on the exam and discussions needed for that visit. It also helps them not be late to the rest of their appointments that day, which is basically a public service to all involved.

    While you have your horse caught, it’s also valuable to brush any big pieces of mud and dirt off their legs and back. Don’t worry, it’s not because our vets don’t like to get dirty! It’s just easier to palpate legs, tendons, and evaluate the skin if the horse is relatively clean.

    Wait, Where Are You?

    Luckily, the veterinarians all have high tech phones with little maps that tell them where they need to go. It’s very handy. That being said, let the vets know how to get to you and give them a heads up if you’re a lucky one and your address is off the grid! Having instructions ready and standing at a corner street or end of your drive to wave the vets down is extremely helpful and a timesaver. Additionally, keep in mind if your farm numbers are visible in the dark and consider getting reflective numbers or a small solar light to illuminate those numbers once the sun sets. If my doc is trying to find your farm in the middle of the night for a colic, you don’t want them cruising up and down the road lost, I promise.

    Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

    One at a Time, Please

    The vets would love to visit with all of your animals, but corralling any dogs, goats, chickens, etc before the vet arrives can really facilitate efficiency and safety during the exam and treatment of your horse. You know those pesky dogs like to stick their noses everywhere, whether the doc tells them it’s a sterile field or not!

    This is just an assumption on my part, but it seems like having a cat around would be helpful, unlike dogs and goats. A cat can lend advice, reduce anxiety, and really bring a group together. I’m sure my docs would agree.

    How Can I Help?

                So, you called the vet and are waiting for them to arrive. Some supplies to have available are water and an electrical outlet (or have an extension cord ready if the closest outlet is in the house). Water and electricity can aid in several different procedures, especially in an emergency situation. Water will be needed in the event of a colic and can help facilitate passing a nasogastric tube. The vets also use water with their dental equipment to rinse the horse’s mouth so they have a clear view of their dentition. Previously, electricity was needed for things like clippers, the ultrasound machine and the x-ray machine. Lucky for us, all of these are becoming cordless and are things we can charge at the clinic before coming to your farm! However, if it’s the end of a busy day, batteries might be low, so having that extension cord handy can be a big help.

                I’m going to keep this short, as I’m sure most of you are still recovering from excessive festivities. My docs will thank you for being prepared when they visit. Thank you, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

    Until next week,


    P.S. Some people learn from reading, some from listening, some from watching videos, and some from an in-person presentation. Guess what? My docs have got you covered, no matter what your style is! Of course, you’re already subscribed to my blog, but I also have Books you can read, a Podcast you can listen to, Videos you can watch, and monthly seminars you can attend! I know, I’m very generous, for a cat. This is what I do. Well, this is what my docs do. I mostly just supervise.

    Tuesdays with Tony is the official blog of Tony the Clinic Cat at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!

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