Using an on-site competition vet

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    Q: My horse has arrived at a competition not feeling quite right, but I can’t find anything obviously wrong.

    Should I approach the competition vet?

    If you feel your horse is unwell for any reason, seek veterinary help.

    He could be suffering from anything from dullness and lethargy, to lameness or colic — if there is something amiss, get an expert opinion.

    Sometimes a problem doesn’t show up until you start riding.

    For example, in eventing your horse may not feel quite level during a dressage test and you may wonder whether there is an underlying problem.

    The dressage judge may refer you to the vet on site, who will assess whether your horse is fit to continue.

    Equally, if the judge does not detect it or pass comment, it is still advisable to seek a second opinion if you are concerned.

    Erring on the side of caution could prevent more serious damage being done.

    Q: Do I have to pay for a competition vet’s services?

    Yes, at most competitions a fee will be charged, but this will be influenced by the arrangement that has been made with the organisers.

    Certainly all medicines and materials will need to be paid for at the time.

    If treatment is required on site, the vet will complete a report detailing any procedures carried out and medication given for the rider to take home to give to their vet.

    This report can also be used to make an insurance claim if necessary.

    For the full article on using an on-site competition vet, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (4 March, ’10)

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