Ask an Expert

Finding a Vet

May 3, 2010

Especially during foaling season, you want to be certain you can count on your equine veterinarian.

Question:

I am expecting six foals this year. I want to be prepared and have the most experienced veterinarians a phone call away. What questions would you recommend that a mare owner ask to ensure that the correct veterinarians have been chosen for any complications? Is it as simple as speaking with the veterinarians, or are there organizations one can contact to locate veterinarians who are experienced (and mostly successful) at handling complications?

Answer:

Most equine veterinarians who have an interest in reproduction are also capable of handling the post-partum care of the dam and the foal, as well as any complications that occur during the foaling process.

It is important for managers and owners of farms with broodmares to have a relationship with a veterinarian. It would not be inappropriate to ask your regular veterinarian if he or she is comfortable handling foaling complications. Each complication is unique, and success may be largely dependant on veterinarian availability (i.e., how fast the veterinarian can get to your farm) rather than experience. The American Association of Equine Practitioners offers a Find-A-DVM locator service, where veterinarians who practice equine medicine can easily be accessed by owners.

Be prepared for anything. Get AQHA’s Equine Breeding Techniques and Foal Health Tips today.

You may also perform a more advanced search within this locator service, if you are looking for a veterinarian in a particular area of interest (i.e. reproduction, internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, etc.).

Additionally, AAEP offers articles, such as this one outlining what to expect during foaling and aftercare.

– Dr. Jennifer Schleining, member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners

AAEP’s Ask the Vet forum is answering questions on skin conditions during April. Be sure to submit your questions!