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Keys to Successfully Work with Veterinarians

To help horses, both the farrier and veterinarian must recognize specific areas of responsibility and have open communication


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

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. 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.

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.

Take that time before the encounter to get up to speed on the diagnosis, understand what you’re going to be working on and make sure you avail yourself to the current protocols. Then find out a little bit about the diagnostics of the case. That way, you can be conversant and in the same language. When the…

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Tim-shannon

Tim Shannon

Tim Shannon, CJF, APF, AWCF, is a farrier based in Moreno Valley, Calif., who began his career in 1987.

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