BEVA Launches ‘Don’t Break Your Vet’ Campaign
April 4, 2022
Research has been recently published in the journal Equine Veterinary Education showing that equine vets have one of the highest injury risks of all civilian professions. Evidence suggests the risk of being hurt at
work is greater than that of firefighters or construction workers to put it into perspective!
Almost a quarter of all injuries reported result in hospitalisation 7% of all injuries result in a loss of consciousness.
- An equine vet is likely to sustain 7-8 work-related injuries that require time off over a 30-year career.
Tips on how to keep your vet (and yourself) safe during the visit:
1. Always warn your vet if your horse is nervous prior to them approaching the horse
2. If your horse has a history of certain behaviours (such as rearing or kicking), let the vet know before the exam so they can manage the situation differently and keep everyone safe.
3. Place a headcollar on your horse (or a bridle if preferred) so you can have proper control over the horse’s head.
4. Ideally, always stand on the same side as your vet during the visit.
5. Use healthy treats or licks to make the whole experience more pleasant for the horse.
6. If you cannot be at the visit yourself please have someone competent there in your place to hold the horse.
7. Vets carry sedative drugs in the car which are sometimes needed to make a clinical exam safer for everyone involved, including the horse, particularly when they are painful (e.g. colic’s). If a vet suggests
this in order to thoroughly examine your horse so they can reach a diagnosis please don’t be offended – we
wouldn’t do it unless it was absolutely necessary.
8. On the same note, there are oral sedatives that you can buy to use before the vet has arrived in order to keep the horse calm and more amenable to handling.
9. Finally, the BEVA has some great videos with helpful ways to make experiences positive for the horse and
handler which can be found on their YouTube channel.