A Veterinarian and Farrier Team Approach. Call it what you want .

  Horse shoers, this is the 21st century.   A time when advanced technology is all around us and part of all we do.

There are veterinarians and farriers that still cannot embrace the concept of a vet, farrier, owner team approach to therapeutic horse shoeing.  If you are a professional farrier, you practice corrective and therapeutic shoeing with every horse you work on.  You trim the hoof to correct the medial – lateral balance and to distribute the load bearing evenly.  If you are shoeing, you choose the shoe that will allow the correct support, traction, and protection for the job the horse has to do.  This includes correct movement.

The attached picture is of a horse that Austin Eden recently worked on.  The work was obviously in association with a veterinarian.   Austin has mastered basics of horse shoeing and the AFA standards of shoeing.  He has the knowledge and skills that allow him to use innovative techniques and orthotic designs to place a diseased or injured hoof in a correct healing position.  The craftsmanship is superb.  Great job Austin !

It is this innovative craftsmanship combined with the veterinarians knowledge and skill that now allows us to return many lame horses back to use.  An established maintenance program designed for each horse,  along with an educated and compliant owner can keep many of these horses happy for a long time.

Vets and farriers must seek out new and innovative techniques that eliminate the try this, try that method that we have used for years.  Correct diagnosis, a well collaberated plan of action, and an innovative orthotic design result in a much quicker and much less expensive recovery.

I am not promoting any particular device or shoe, but encouraging vets and farriers to be open minded.  Find a veterinarian or farrier you respect and can work with.  Include the owner as part of your team.  They are the one that makes the final decisions and pay the bill.

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3 Responses to “A Veterinarian and Farrier Team Approach. Call it what you want .”

  1. It is so important for the vet and farrier to work together. Besides the obvious reason of combining two types of training for dealing with the horse’s lower leg, or other regions of its body, the issue of liability is critical. The partnership between the vet and the farrier can produce a much better and, legally, a more defensible result. When the vet and the farrier work together both have the benefit of the training of the other so that the ultimate result is the best it can be for the horse.

    I always believed that the vet and the farrier worked together. They did at my barn. However, I fiind more and more instances in which the horse’s issue is either “a farrier question” or “a veterinary question”. I think it is both.

    I am often asked about the use of calming drugs. Ferriers want to use them for their safety and the safety of some horses. If this is the case then a veterinarian who knows the horse should prescribe the drug and the dosage for that horse and that purpose, and preferably administer it him/herself. He or she is licensed to do so. If not the vet then the owner should give the dosage. It is extremely inadvisable for the ferrier to do so. Just because a horse is difficult does not mean that it will react predictably to a drug. If something happens to the horse in that instance the shot will have been given neither by the vet nor the owner and those are the only two people who can easily defend their actions in that case.

  2. Would you say this type of “team work’ is becoming more common? It seems the healthcare for humans has increasingly changed to a focus on teamwork since studies have shown that in the long run it actually saves money and provides better care for the patient. I can see those same scenarios applied to the farrier/vet/owner team.

  3. Hi Ronald. So many owners don’t realise that farriers perform corrective and therapeutic work on every horse they work on – great you’re pointing that out. Thanks for the informative blog

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