Briefings: July/August 2023

Communication is Crucial in Lameness Cases

Equine lameness cases are an intersection where farriers and veterinarians should work together. In this team dynamic, each party thoroughly and professionally communicates to achieve the goal of the best possible outcome for the horse. Without this element, success could escape the veterinarian and farrier.

In some cases, the farrier may be alerted to a lameness issue, either by the client or through their own observations. The prudent farrier should encourage the client to call their veterinarian to schedule an examination and try to get a medical diagnosis. Dr. Sarah Reuss says beyond encouraging the client to schedule a vet visit, sending a quick message to that practitioner is a great way to build professional collaboration.

“Simple texting can make things easy,” says Reuss, a veterinarian and Equine Technical Manager with Boehringer Ingelheim. “We both might be in the middle of a busy day, so a quick text note that an owner is going to call my practice about their horse, along with a summary of what you saw is helpful.”

“We all know tone can go awry in a text,” so she advises both vet and farrier keep a matter-of-fact approach to the summary, so no misinterpretation occurs. Hopefully, both can find time for a phone call or face-to-face conversation to discuss this in more detail.

Although difficult to schedule, both professions ideally can work together in these cases at the horse’s side. Reuss feels if the veterinarian and farrier can concentrate on…

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