With the right kind of care, a horse can live to 35 years or more. The health of their teeth is one of the vital keys to maintaining a thriving lifestyle.
The trick is knowing which horse dentist is worth your patronage. What are the qualities you should look for in a vet?
We’ve collected the top concerns every horse owner should focus on while choosing their next horse dentistry expert. Learn more below!
1. Reviews and Reputation
Nothing is quite as telling as a service’s reviews and reputation. It’s the foolproof way to start your search since you’ll get a feel for other people’s experiences.
Make sure to read both the good and the bad, as this often gives you a fuller picture.
You’ll also want to ask around your local area. Ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have horses.
While it’s a good idea to make your own conclusions, these stories give you a foundation from which to start. Sometimes you’ll know which equine dentist you wish to ignore right away without any other research.
The years of experience a veterinarian has doesn’t always determine the level of care your horse receives, but it does help. A new vet won’t have the same knowledge as an experienced one. However, a newer vet often has a passion for the job that you can’t quite replicate any other way.
To compromise, it’s prudent to find a vet facility that has a balance of both. Newer vets gain invaluable wisdom under the experienced ones while sharing their limitless energy.
Knowing the general level of experience a facility has will give you a better idea of what to expect going forward.
3. Services and Treatments
What services does the horse vet offer? What are the most vital services you need from your vet?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing one facility over another.
A comprehensive list of services and treatments is a big benefit, but sometimes you don’t need those services and can find a better alternative closer to home. Make a list divided into the services you need, the services you want, and the services that are nice to have but aren’t vital.
Compare this list to every vet facility you research to know how each of them stands against the other. This also gives you questions to ask of the facility so that you can start to get an idea of how they handle patient support.
4. Analgesic Usage
Horses are beautiful creatures, but they are stubborn and often resist full examinations. A calm temperament helps the process, but even the most docile horse can get anxious during a vet’s visit.
To aid in their treatments, some horse dentists use analgesics to keep the horse sedated and relaxed. This helps the vet do their job, and it puts less stress on the horse during the exam.
You’ll want to ask about a vet’s sedation practices before making a decision. Your horse will thank you for finding one that will give them as little anxiety as possible.
With over 265,000 horses in Colorado, finding a horse dentist with an open schedule isn’t always easy. You want to make sure that your equine friend gets the treatment they need without a long waiting list.
This is why checking the general availability of the vet is a top concern. Popularity is a good sign, but if the vet is too busy, you might need to wait months for a treatment.
Quicker vet visits result in overall better health for your horse.
Does your chosen horse vet offer mobile services? Sometimes it’s not possible to bring a horse to a facility. Other times, it may cause far too much stress to the horse to take the trip in their condition.
To counteract these problems, a horse dentist should always be able to reach you when necessary. If you’re looking at a veterinary facility that doesn’t offer this, it’s advisable to look elsewhere.
Your horse’s condition can change at any moment, so it’s wise to have multiple means of getting treatment as fast as possible.
7. Emergency Response
When an emergency happens, you need to know what to do to get your horse help. This not only gives your horse the best care but also provides you with a clear plan of action in a time of stress.
No one wants to struggle to find a solution when an emergency strikes. With a veterinarian facility that offers these services, you’ll rest assured that your horse will be in good hands in no time.
Plus, you’ll have already built a trusting relationship with the vet. Your horse will feel more at ease with a vet they know, no matter the crisis.
This is why prompt emergency services should be a non-negotiable part of your research for an equine vet.
8. Personal Connection
When you enter into a search ‘equine vet near me’, what do you picture as your ideal result? For many horse owners, the answer is someone that they feel is trustworthy. They picture a vet who cares for their horse as much as they do.
Even with all of your research, your personal feelings shouldn’t be ignored.
Meet with the vet and see how you feel after the visit. Make sure to bring your horse with you so that you see how they interact with the vet as well.
If you dislike the interaction or you dislike the way your horse behaves around the vet, trust your instincts. This is a vet you’ll build a connection with for years to come. Don’t choose a relationship that starts on shaky ground!
Find the Right Horse Dentist
Here at High Country Veterinary Services, we treat every pet as if it were our own. We have a horse dentist for every horse temperament and situation.
We also keep you involved so that you and your horse have a healthy and long life together.
Our services include thorough dentistry, as well as diagnostic imaging, therapy, lameness treatments, and emergency responses. We look forward to hearing from you and your horse!