Poll Recap: Finding a Veterinarian

Poll Recap: Finding a Veterinarian

Of the 872 respondents, 498 (57%) said their current veterinarian was recommended by a friend or fellow equestrian.

Photo: Thinkstock

Last week we asked our readers how they began using their current veterinarian. More than 850 people responded to our online poll, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 872 respondents, 498 (57%) said their current veterinarian was recommended by a friend or fellow equestrian. Another 111 respondents (13%) indicated their current veterinarian is the resident veterinarian at their boarding barn, while 81 people (9%) said their current veterinarian was recommended by a former vet. Only 21 respondents (2%) said they found their veterinarian in the yellow pages, and 19 individuals (2%) found their veterinarian on the Internet. The remaining 142 respondents (16%) responded that they found their veterinarian in a different way.

Additionally, more than 100 people commented on how they began using their current veterinarian: 

Poll Results

Many people said they began using their current veterinarian because of their location/proximity to their barn:

  • "It's the closest clinic to our farm (and it has) very good vets."
  • "The only vet in my town."
  • "I use a well-known practice located next to our new stable."
  • "She was the closes to the horses."
  • "My vet was the only one in the area when I bought my horse property. I'm still using him after 13 years!"
  • "I drive past the practice when going into town (30 miles). Other vets are much farther away."
  • "She moved in next door with a herd of horses and other animals."
  • "He is the only specialist equine vet in the area. The other vets are small animal vets."
  • "He is the only veterinarian for more than 100 miles."
  • "My vet is the only vet in town."
  • "My vet is the closest to the ranch"
  • "My vet is almost a neighbor: close and good."
  • "She is the only large animal vet in the area. She is awesome!"
  • "He had his clinic around the corner from me."
  • "My vet is the only vet in our small town."
  • "My vet is close to my ranch so I could do 'drop-in' visits and avoid ranch call charge."
  • "My vet is the only one on the island that I live on. (Otherwise it's a) 45 minute ferry once every few hours to mainland."
  • "I moved to a new area and found the only vet clinic that took care of horses."
  • "We only have one local equine vet."           
  • "My vet is the only vet in the area that does large animals."
  • "In Northern Michigan, our options are very limited and very expensive. I must travel for lameness issues!"
  • "My current veterinarian happened to be the closest to the farm and luckily they do a great job!"
  • "My vet is my neighbor!"
  • "He is the only one in a 50 mile radius."
  • "My vet is the closest and most convenient to home!"
  • "When one lives in a rural area, one is lucky if even one equine vet is available."
  • "My vet is in my neighborhood."
  • "He owns a neighboring breeding farm."
  • "My vet is the local vet in my area."

Others commented that their current veterinarian was recommended by a friend or fellow equestrian:

  • "The intro came from my hay supplier: His wife was a vet. She's great!!!"
  • "I got recommendations from at least three fellow horse enthusiasts."
  • "I got my blacksmith's recommendation."
  • "I assisted him in treating a friend's horse and liked how he worked."
  • "I was a 4-H dog leader for six years. My current vet had two daughters that were in the program."
  • "He was recommended by my barn manager because he specialized in lameness issues."
  • "Folks who lived on our farm before us used the same vet and recommended them."
  • "I took riding lessons with her two daughters and we got to know her better than our other vet."
  • "I asked at the feed store. I am happy with the vet clinic they recommended."
  • "My 4-H leader was the vet's wife."
  • "My vet is a friend who went to vet school."

Several people indicated that their current veterinarian previously worked with a former veterinarian or clinic:

  • "My vet took over practice of our vet who retired."
  • "My vet took over the practice of my old vet. She's better."
  • "She joined our local mixed practice. When that practice gave up equine, she left and I stayed with her."
  • "My vet was part of the practice when my vet retired."
  • "She took over the practice in early 1970s."
  • "She took over the practice when my vet moved away."
  • "He worked for a former vet and then started his own practice."
  • "My current vet took over the practice of my former vet."
  • "My veterinarian worked for a former vet I used."
  • "She took over when my prior vet moved out of the area."
  • "She partnered with our previous veterinarian and later took over the practice."
  • "He was the new vet in my old vet's practice so the transition was easy. He knew my horses"
  • "She had been a staff vet at a local large animal hospital before starting her own practice."

Some commented that they’ve been using the same vet for many years:

  • "I've used the same vet since I was seven. Now I'm 56."
  • "We have been using this vet for many years. When ore old vet retired, the new one took over."
  • "He's been our horse vet for 21 years, and now I work for him."
  • "My veterinarian has been my family's vet for over 15 years."
  • "He has taken care of my 24-year-old since he was a foal. I guess the vet came with the horse!"

Others began using their veterinarian after he or she responded to an emergency call:

  • "I needed him for an emergency foundering pony, but he's now been my vet for over 17 years."
  • "She was the on-call for my former vet when I had an emergency."
  • "He was vetting a horse at the ranch next door and heard the rib 'crack' when my horse got kicked."
  • "He just happened to be at my boarding barn when my horse was injured. My regular vet was unavailable"

And a few people found their veterinarian by other means:

  • "My new vet writes weekly articles in newspaper, along with their ad."
  • "I met her at a horseshow."
  • "I found my vet via a local horse publication."
  • "I saw their vehicle at the local Tractor Supply. I researched them and decided to give them a try. A+"
  • "I read an article about him in a horse newsletter."
  • "I use a well-known sport medicine vet. I did a research on the Internet and 'interviewed' my friends."
  • "He had a booth at an equine expo."

You can find more information how to teach your horse to behave for a veterinarian, and tips for being an awesome veterinary client at TheHorse.com! 

This week we want to know: How much do you spend each year on your individual horse's dental care? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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