Finding a Veterinarian for Your Horse

Veterinarians, like horses, come in all shapes and sizes – and locations! Some veterinary clinics employ a number of veterinarians that are involved in the care of a wide variety of animals, both livestock and companion animals. One or more of these veterinarians are likely to provide services for clients that are horse owners.

However, there are also equine-only veterinary practices, that employ veterinarians dedicated to caring for only equine patients.

In recent years, "specialty" equine practices have sprung up that focus on specific areas of care such as surgery or reproduction. The general equine practitioner can refer patients to these clinics when the need arises. Alternately, referrals can be made to local veterinary schools, which also provide many specialized services.

In most situations, the veterinarian drives to the farm or stable to visit the patient. In some cases, however, the patient is brought to the clinic. This latter approach ("hauling in") is offered by some clinics.

Many veterinarians looking after horses in Canada are members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Some may also be members of local and/or provincial equine veterinary associations. These organizations offer continuing education opportunities for its members, helping your veterinarian to keep up-to-date in all aspects of care for your horse.