Tough de­ci­sions

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

I have some ad­di­tional com­ments to add to the two Vet­eri­nar­ian’s View­point ar­ti­cles (“Bot­tom Line Horse Care,” EQUUS 483, and “Needs Ver­sus Re­sources,” EQUUS 485), by David Ramey, DVM. I agree that own­ers need to be ac­tively in­volved in the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process when con­sid­er­ing the care and treat­ment their horses. Here are some ob­ser­va­tions I would add:

Adc\"iZgb dl­cZgh l]d ]VkZ XVgZY for many horses gain a strong em­pir­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion about vet­eri­nary care. We may lack the uni­ver­sity de­gree, but our knowl­edge should not be dis­counted.

Idd bVcn kZiZg^cVg^Vch Vgg^kZ dc bn farm with pre­con­ceived ideas about the care an in­di­vid­ual horse will re­ceive. These ve­teri­nar­i­ans tend to tram­ple over the three im­por­tant ques­tions Ramey sug­gests own­ers ask: Why? What if I don’t? and Then what?

6c dl­cZg b^\]i eg^dg^i^oZ i]Z XVgZ of in­di­vid­ual horses in dif­fer­ent ways. For an elderly horse, the de­ci­sion might be “treat at all costs” or “eu­th­a­nize be­fore dras­tic steps are taken.” The same might go for in­jured horses. The bot­tom line is that there might be dif­fer­ent treat­ment goals for in­di­vid­ual horses on the same farm, which only the owner can de­cide.

:kZc lZVai]^Zg ]dghZ dl­cZgh ]VkZ lim­its to how much of a fi­nan­cial hit they can take for the care of a sin­gle horse. The owner might also be pay­ing a huge sum for emer­gency roof re­pairs, for ex­am­ple, or be fac­ing a health cri­sis that could af­fect fu­ture earn­ings. All clients need to be pre­sented with a range of fi­nan­cially bal­anced care op­tions.

KZiZg^cVg^Vch cZZY id Vh` VWdji i]Z back­ground and ex­pe­ri­ence of their clients. A per­son with one or two back­yard horses might be a novice. Or that per­son could have pre­vi­ously groomed Olympic cham­pi­ons, worked for years at a stud farm or com­peted on the A-level show cir­cuit. Do not as­sume ei­ther ex­treme. Lynn How­land Maple Val­ley, Wash­ing­ton

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