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Racehorse Checkup

A glimpse at the relationship between racehorses and their vets.

Question:

Does a healthy racehorse receive regular checkups from a vet, or is the vet called only when a medical situation arises?

 

Answer:

Our friends at the American Association of Equine Practitioners offer some insight:

As a general rule, regular checkups of racehorses are determined based upon need and trainer request. These checkups can be soundness evaluations; physical exams including regularly scheduled blood work; infectious disease problems; or as simple as evaluating the overall health of a horse. Some trainers request that their horses be examined on a daily basis.

Though this is very time consuming and most vets do not charge for this service, it does establish a good base of information regarding a horse's health.

Other horses are examined usually at the request of the trainer when a problem such as lameness, infectious disease or not training right presents itself. As time goes by, vets get to know their patients very well, as they are communicating with trainers on a daily basis and get to see their patients on a daily, if not a weekly, basis.

Whenever a medical situation arises, it is the vet who responds not only for the care and treatment of the injured or sick horse, but for accurate diagnostics and solutions to the problem. The vet is the identifiable expert in a medical situation, establishing the health and welfare of the horse as the primary objective.

Fortunately, with the established relationships between the owner-trainer-vet in the industry today, as well as advances in equine medicine and surgery, better treatment options often exist when a medical situation does arise.

-- Dr. Jeff Blea, member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners

*AQHA and the provider of this information are not liable for the inherent risks of equine activities. We always recommend consulting a qualified veterinarian and/or an AQHA Professional Horseman.