A group of veterinarians have completed a set of guidelines for horse owners and practitioners to use when dealing with referral cases.
"It is in the best interests of individual horse health that veterinary professionals work as a team to provide the highest quality of veterinary care possible in an environment of exceptional client service and education," the document's authors wrote. "For this to happen, it is imperative that clear lines of communication and responsibility be established between veterinarians, clients, and other interested parties."
The guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort of representatives from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American College of Theriogenologists, and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
"A one-on-one relationship with a trusted veterinarian is essential for every owner who wants to provide the best health care for their horse," explained Debra Sellon, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, the committee chair and a professor of equine medicine at Washington State University. "There are times, however, when some horses may need a team of veterinarians that includes one or more specialists. This document provides a blueprint for health care teams to more effectively collaborate for the ultimate benefit of the equine patient.
"Every horse owner should review the guidelines so that they know how to proceed most effectively in the unfortunate event that they need specialty veterinary services for their horse," Sellon continued. "At its heart, this document is all about effective team communication."
Owners can view the guidelines online.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.