At World Horse Welfare we don’t employ full time vets to work at our Rescue and Rehoming Centres – instead we work with local vet practices who work with us on site one day each week and are on call for emergencies outside of the routine visit.
At Glenda Spooner Farm we’re really lucky to have our veterinary work provided by The Stables and Langford Equine Hospital, so we benefit from the same experienced vet each week, and a small group of Veterinary Students in their final year of training. While with us the students get lots of hands on experience with a wide range of horses and see some unusual medical issues that are rare in general practice.
Tuesday is vet day; it’s also farrier day, physio day, dentist day… are you sensing a theme here?! This means all of the horses’ medical needs are met by a team of professionals who work together on many complex cases. Our horses and ponies really do benefit from this broad, holistic team approach from the minute they arrive with us.
It probably goes without saying that Tuesday is always hard work…very hard work. Horses have to be brought in and turned out from all over the farm and it’s not unusual for the grooms and volunteers to walk in excess of 10 miles on Tuesdays. Thank goodness our vet and farrier are so well trained when it comes to turning up with chocolate, cake and biscuits!
Amy, our yard supervisor, is in charge of working with the vet; this includes keeping all the admin up to date, as well as making sure all the horses are in the right place at the right time, and liaising with the whole team to make sure medications and aftercare instructions are carefully followed. Jenny, our vet typically arrives at around 9.30am and then it’s full speed ahead to get through our workload for the day.
Any new arrivals are kept isolated away from the rest of the farm to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases and always seen at the end of vet day until they are cleared to come out of quarantine. With Equine Flu more prevalent this year as well as all the usual infectious diseases it pays to be cautious and I am always amazed to hear of yards with no isolation facility or protocol in place simply allowing free movement of horses on and off the yard without a second thought. (Check out our advice on managing new arrivals.)
So that’s Vet Day in a nutshell – next week we’ll look at some individual cases so do keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment!Claire Dickie, Glenda Spooner Farm Centre Manager
Claire Dickie, Glenda Spooner Farm Centre Manager, gives an overview of how vet day works at our farms.