Friday, December 14, 2007

The Vet as a Calming Influence

I've been through a succession of horse vets. That's not because of malpractice issues, personality conflicts or professional flakiness. It's mostly because either the vets move their practice to another area or I move my horses to another area. The only drama involved in my relationship with equine vets is our bidding farewell. That's not to say that there haven't been some tragic moments in veterinary care with my horses or those of my family. But those were due to Fate. Nature takes her course, sometimes, whether we want her to or not. There is, alas, only so much a vet can do.

My horses' vet is named Jennifer. I like her as both an equine practitioner and also as just a plain ol' person. One of her most admirable qualities is that she's gung-ho about treating what ails a horse. There's no, "Take two Bute and call me in the morning," with Jennifer. That's fine by me, as I'm a proud member of the Neurotic Horse Owners Society. If my horse has a cough, I figure it's pneumonia. If it paws more than three times before rolling, in my mind it's got colic. Did it take a couple of short steps in a tight circle? Get out the x-ray machine because it's got to be navicular!

Though Jennifer is thorough, she is not tightly wound. She's meticulous in her examinations and provides me with a detailed diagnosis, but she never allows herself to join me in my Dance of Doom and Gloom. Sometimes, in fact, it seems as if she's treating me as much as she's treating my horse. A horse owner herself, she's very sympathetic to how attached I am to my horses, so I rarely feel embarrassed about the way I pester her with questions or seek reassurance that everything will be okay... over and over again.

What's the most endearing quality about your horse's vet? What makes him or her extra special? You can take Horse Channel's poll here:
Very Best Vet Poll

My only criticism of the poll is that I'm not allowed to vote for a quality like, "My vet also functions also as my psychoanalyst." Maybe that characteristic will be included in the next poll.

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