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.
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.
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!