Veterinarian relationship.

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kenny thomas

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A post in the "blocking for dehorning" topic got me to thinking. In the past I have taking my Vet relationship for granted. We have a Vet school 15 miles away and one of the teachers bring students to out farms to work cattle and also to our local stockyard to preg check and age cattle. It's been so easy and she is great to work with. She recently told me she is leaving the school and moving to another area so guess I start over.
Do most of you have a dependable large animal Vet that you can call? And of so will the vet work with you on about anything you need? I hear it's not so easy everywhere to even get a Vet that does large animals.
 

puzzled in oregon

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You are really going to miss your vet. In my area we only have a couple vets that still work with large animals. They don't do emergency calls for either large or small animals. If you have an emergency you are referred to a veterinary clinic that is a 150 - 200 miles away.. :(
Some are coming out of vet school with no hands on experience, they use Google for instructions. The senior vet here tries to get them to understand that they aren't going to be able to contact Google back in the canyons. He tells them to take vet books with them so if they don't know what to do they can look it up 🤔
 

Ky hills

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We have a vet clinic here in town that works on large animals and will make farm calls or you can take them there. The vet we use the most has a practice in an adjoining county. He makes farm calls for large animals. He stays pretty busy so we try to schedule herd work well in advance. Since it’s a bit of distance we sometimes will call him for advice on how to treat something if he can’t get there to see it first hand. I trust his judgment and often ask him what he would do in if it were his animal when we are working cattle and something comes up.
 

Dave

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We have more large animal vets than we have Doctors in this county. But we probably have 5 times more cows than we do people. I have yet to need a vet in the 3 years that I have been here. But I have a neighbor who runs about 1,000 cows. I call him. He is a pretty experienced cow doctor. If I ran into something he can't fix I have a couple vets that I have met I could call. Or if he can't fix it I might just shoot the cow.
 

A.J.

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We’re blessed to have a large animal clinic here with 6 vets. They mostly do farm calls, but have a facility you can bring in to as well. I think they have opened a clinic in the next county over as well. The main two vets that own it have been here for quite a while, so we know them pretty well. The other vets at their clinic seem to rotate in and out somewhat frequently. There used to be several other vet clinics in our area that did large and small Animals, but as the vets that own them have gotten older they have phased out of the large animals and refer calls they get to the clinic that specializes in large animals. I don’t blame the older vets one bit. Years of that take a toll on their bodies, and folks will pay a lot more to take care of little fluffy the lapdog than they will for ol Bessie.
 

sstterry

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Large animal Vets are getting harder and harder to come by. It is much easier and they can charge much more to take care of family pets and never have to leave their office. We have one here that has a mobile setup and he comes to you. But, he wants to retire and I don't know if he has someone to take his practice over.
If I were you, I would ask your friend to hook you up with someone else that they trust over at the Vet School.
 

TCRanch

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The vet clinic I use has been in business 70 years. The owner now rarely works on large animals but there are 2 other large animal vets that will make farm calls or you can bring them in. Bonus: the vet I generally use also has cattle, so he has personal experience. I can call, text or email 24/7. And I have! Plus, they're all of 20 minutes away. Color me lucky!
 

JW IN VA

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WE have a large practice about 45 minutes away that have several large animal vets who all know what they're doing. They have interns form time to time for in field experience. Good to work with and answer your questions.
 

farmerjan

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I am a bit east and maybe south of @JW IN VA. There are vet practices in the area, south and north of here. Have my choice of probably 4 or 5 to use. Used one for years then when I moved a bit further south used the closer one and had a vet we really liked. He retired out of the practice and they have had quite a few that rotate in and out; had a very not so great experience with one of them and so started using another one that a couple of the dairy farmers here went with. Really like the one vet there, but he comes from a bit further away... 50+ miles... and the travel gets rather expensive. Try to work in regular type work...preg checks.... when he is coming to one of the dairies in the area so we can both save some on the travel costs. All Large animal vets here make farm calls, many you can also take the animal in if it is not an emergency type situation....
 

farmerjan

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To add, I have a good enough working relationship with that vet that I can call and he will drop off medicine at the nearby dairy when he is going, or drop it off at the stockyards in town for me to pick up on a friday when I go to the sale... will call in a vfd if needed for us to pick up say aureomycin crumbles for calves in the barn on feed if they get respiratory problems.... I can call with questions too... and I will ask him to come out to do something when he is going to one of the dairies, to keep that relationship intact even though we do not use him as much as some farms might. We had a retired vet friend that did alot of our preg checks... palpation.... because he would do them on a weekend when my son was off... the "regular vets" will not do routine stuff on weekends... and it costs way more for "emergency" weekend work. But we are going to more of the ultrasound preg checks as it is often more accurate; a vet has to have a good feel to do it palpation and some are just better at it than others. I can do it after 5 months usually, but do not have the feel for it earlier on.... I need to feel actual "body"and movement of a calf.
 

Ferd

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Hard to get someone here. It’s near an hour to a place with handling facilities. There’s a vet who will help 30 minutes away, but she mostly works on pets and has no facilities.
 

TCFRH

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We're blessed, two large animal vets within 20 minutes. I have a good relationship with one and can just call up and ask for whatever I need (and have even had consults over Facebook messenger).
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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With NY being a huge dairy state, there are lots of large animal vets. Unlike what you see on "Dr. Pol" - no, they will not rope em & hog tie them to treat them. Beef farms need facilities. Vet clinic I use is about 15 minutes away. Have used same clinic for maybe 40+ years. Have ? 6-8 large animal vets and small animal vets in the clinic. They do not have facilities for you to take to them. But, Cornell Univ is only about 40 minutes away if you have something really needing surgery. I have never brought one to them.
 

Dave

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I have only taken cows to the vet one time. Actually it was two heifers to get bangs vaccinated. This was back when I lived on the coast. I had better facilities at my place than they had. The amount I got charged was every much as bit as a farm call. One of these heifers was a little touchy to handle. So I not only had to haul them in but worry about getting her back into the trailer. Quicker and easier to just do a farm call.
 

Silver

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We have vets with good facilities in the region. I will sometimes take bulls in for bse’s, and every once in awhile a c-section since we quit doing our own.
 

simme

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I have had a pretty good relationship with my vet since the day she was born. The first time I called her for vet services, the bill had already accumulated to about $200,000 (maybe more as my accounting is not that good). And the total is still going up. But I can call her day or night and she will answer or soon return the call. Though, I do have to cut the grass, maintain the computers and do the repairs at the clinic in order to get that level of service.

There seems to be a shortage of large animal vets here. There is a cycle with new vet graduates here that want to do large animal work. They start out and everyone is thrilled that there is a new large animal vet that they can call. But they are mostly only called for emergencies. Cow down or calving problem. The new vet is happy to have the work and responds to every call. The new vet is asked to speak at the local cattleman's meeting. People like everything, except the price seems high. Pretty soon, the new vet realizes they are not making much money given the cost of their education and have only accumulated a new truck, a calf puller, some ropes and some drugs. They work out of their home and truck. The farm calls each take a good amount of time, the facilities are OK to non-existent, and most were not built for speed. Each call is for one or only a few animals. In a few years, they decide to move where there is better opportunity or they decide to include small animals in their practice which requires them to get a building and employees. When they get the building and employees, they are busy with small animal work, have more money and are hard to find for any large animal work. They might still do some large animal work for a few favorite clients. The cycle repeats.
There are other areas of the country where large animal vets thrive. Those are where there are more cows than people or at least lots of cows. Even though the vet may serve several counties and travel quite a distance, there is a lot of work to be done at each stop, the facilities may not be the new, but they are built for speed and the owner and help are experienced cattle movers. The vet can process a lot of animals at a fairly low cost per animal, but comes out OK due to the volume. The vet clinic has multiple vets doing large animal work. They share the large animal load and someone is available for vet service or at least a phone consult pretty quickly. If they do any small animal work, it might be only one vet that mostly does the small animal work.
I think the issue is related to supply and demand. The underserved areas just don't have enough demand to justify the exclusive large animal vets. Vets are licensed and regulated by the state, not the feds. The state laws differ state to state. Technically in most states, only licensed vets can perform and charge for veterinary procedures. Depending on the state, it may be technically illegal for a non-vet to AI a cow, insert embryos, dig out a foot abscess, and such. The owner can do those things since he is not offering services for pay. Otherwise, the law may require a vet. Many/most of these tasks do not require a vet since they can be performed by people with the experience, except for state laws. Perhaps what is needed is a change to those regulations to allow a non-vet person to do some of that work. Perhaps a capable person could work under the direction of an overworked vet that is mostly doing small animal work. Working mostly independently, but associated with a vet to allow vet level oversight and consultation as needed and access to drugs that may be needed. This would still require changes to the laws in most or all states, but might be a solution. The current regulations are in place to allow state oversight/control in hope of ensuring competence of the provider. As well as eliminate non-vets from taking work from licensed and qualified vets. The issue in some areas is that the vets don't want this work as it is not financially attractive and any quality of care concerns become secondary if there are no providers available to do the work. In the meantime, some areas of the country are underserved with the situation becoming worse each year. Even getting health papers for large animals is difficult in many places. Government rules are slow to change, are bureaucratic by definition, and usually require loud voices to get any changes started. If my thoughts have merit, large animal owners will need to make some noise to get something started.
Anyone within driving distance of a vet school can probably get cattle service there at a low cost. And they usually have very good facilities.
 

BFE

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My vet is pushing 70, so he's old school, does it all. Has set hours for his small animal clinic, does farm animals before and after that. He has a small herd of shorthorns that I tease him mercilessly about so he knows cattle.

There's a clinic about 20 miles west that does large animal, don't know much about it. Another about 15 miles north with 3-4 vets, heard nothing but good about them. We're pretty fortunate to have all of these in our area.
 

BFE

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Hard to get someone here. It’s near an hour to a place with handling facilities. There’s a vet who will help 30 minutes away, but she mostly works on pets and has no facilities.
Which one has the facilities, is it in West Salem? That's the one that's 15 miles to my north.
 

J+ Cattle

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I have one that is close to my operation, within 5 miles, but past experience by me and other cattle raisers in the area says they aren't much help in an emergency. They are a good place to take heifers for their Bangs vaccine but not much else. The vets in that practice I don't think have enough real world experience with large animals or in emergency situations. They showed up unprepared and didn't have the equipment needed to repair a prolapsed uterus. A vet tech went back to the office to look for the tools needed and couldn't find them. I won't go into details about the outcome but needless to say it wasn't good.

There's another place about 30 miles away that I've had a better experience with, the older vet in charge of the practice is very experienced with large animals and has helped the younger ones by working with them to pass on his knowledge and experience. If I need more than just medicine I know which one I'm calling.
 

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