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Critical Keys to Successfully Work with Veterinarians


Pictured Above: The first encounter with a veterinarian is an important time to build the professional relationship, says Tim Shannon (left).

There are many equine professionals that you will work with throughout your career. One of the most important relationships you can build is with equine veterinarians. Together, farriers and vets develop solutions to help the horse. Both need to understand their respective roles to keep the horse’s health above all else — especially egos.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Any limitations in your skill set and knowledge base may require you recommending another farrier for the case.
  • Be prepared for the initial meeting with a veterinary colleague.
  • Keep communication going on the progress of the horse.

There will be times that you will encounter vets who are difficult to work with. However, relationships are two-way streets. Here is how I do my part as the farrier to build good relationships with vets in lameness cases. The flowchart below gives a visual depiction of how I think the team should progress on a case.

Before the First Encounter

Farriers typically enter lameness situations in two different ways. One might be when working on a horse and we see some issues with how the horse is moving and we let the client know that we’re going to need to get a vet involved, so we kind of have an idea of the way things are going. Or a client or vet will get a hold of us and inform us of the vet’s assessment.

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