Earlier this week, an equine veterinarian stopped at the American Farriers Journal trade show exhibit during the annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in Anaheim, Calif. In our 10-minute conversation, she explained how she works closely with farriers in her area and how it has led to increased health-care income for her practice.
She’s organized a group of about 40 area farriers in the Carolinas who get together once a month to look at a problem horse at her clinic. A typical turnout on the first Monday evening of the month includes 20 farriers. The group charges an owner $200 for an in-depth look at a horse’s foot problem that includes both before and after radiographs.
After analyzing the case, the farriers and the vet come up with a variety of recommendations for dealing with the problem, discuss all the possibilities and settle on one solution. After this remedy is put in place, more radiographs are taken, which leads to further discussion among the farriers and veterinarian.
The group has raised enough dollars from these monthly farrier/vet clinics to bring in several outside hoof-care professionals for local farrier clinics.
When I asked how her vet business is doing these days, she said she’s seen a 15% increase in income during each of the past 2 years. Some clients have added horses, a few existing horse operations have relocated to the area and a few families are getting involved with horses for the first time.
When new operations get started in the area, she finds folks normally look for a farrier before tracking down a veterinarian. When these owners talk to the farriers, they generally ask for a recommendation, her name comes up and she’s made aware of the new prospect.
So what’s the main reason her veterinary practice income has increased over the past few years?
She’s convinced that the majority of this increased business is due to hanging out with farriers and building strong relationships with the area’s hoof-care professionals.
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