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boondocks

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A recent thread (which I didn't want to hijack) got me thinking about when it's ok to call a vet, describe what's going on, and essentially ask for free advice. (The poster, to whom I mean no disrespect, was upfront about not wishing to incur a vet charge, and did mention that the vet had previously been to the farm, although did not make any claim as to the extent of the relationship).

I'd love to hear thoughts on the extent to which one can seek free advice via the phone, without being thought a jerk. To me, it should be the exception--something you do very rarely and only after establishing a working relationship over time--wherein you have paid the vet for multiple consults etc. But perhaps I'm spoiled as our vet is nearby, not hundreds of miles away....

Any vets care to comment? I guess I just assume that they might get sick of everyone expecting freebies; their time is their trade, after all. (Of course, we all appreciate the fine vets who frequent these boards! Maybe we should slip them some bitcoin!)
 

dun

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Not a vet, but as usual I have an opinion. Unless you have a relationship with a vet I wouldn;t expect much help. It depends on the kind of relationship you have with him/her as to what is acceptable. Part of establishing that relationship is to see what you think of them professionally. Lets face it, there are good and not so good vets. Some a professional and knowlegable but you just can;t get a good feeling about dealing with them. On these boards I have always counseled to establish a relationship with a vet. In years past I was taken to task for it but it seems now that either folks have given up on me or possibly others are seeing the sense in doing it. Our current vet (17 years now) started out as the only one that would come on an emergency call. Since then he and his wife (our small animal vet) have become very close personal friends. Even with that relationship I don;t expect free services. An answer over the phone or a recommendation on how to deal with something but not free farm calls or other services. Business is business friendships are friendships, but the friendship helps make the business dealing more pleasent. I see a good vet as being almost a partner in your herd, they're the ones that are up on the latest health stuff, if they've been in the area very long (particularly for newbie producers) they may have more knowledge of the health concerns for your farm then you do.
 

wbvs58

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As a retired Vet, when in practice I would always talk to people with enquiries on both small and large animals and try to help out with advice. As far as dispensing drugs with the advice well that would only go to clients that I had a relationship with and the drugs and reason and recommendation was always recorded on their file as that is the law.

One of the big dangers of advice on unseen cases is if it goes belly up they come back and throw it at you but you said it would be OK. This is usually from people that have never been your client and only rang for free advice.

Ken
 

TCRanch

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We are fortunate to have two vets in practice together; one does primarily large animals but both will make house calls in the middle of the night, holidays, etc. There have been numerous occasions I have consulted with them over the phone, even sending pics, and they never charge for that service; in many cases it's a time-saver for both parties. But
we also spend a fortune at the clinic purchasing vaccines, many supplies (because it's convenient), regular exams and I gladly pay for the trip charge when they do come out. A good relationship with your vet is essential.
 

True Grit Farms

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I've never met a vet that I didn't like. The vet we use is ruff around the edges and second generation, but he tells you like it is and pulls no punches, on man or beast. Believe it or not he's also a good hand and enjoys working cows late in the day. The boss bothers him all the time but I try to make it up to him with fresh kingfish steaks.
 

dun

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True Grit Farms":sjr8by4e said:
I've never met a vet that I didn't like. The vet we use is ruff around the edges and second generation, but he tells you like it is and pulls no punches, on man or beast. Believe it or not he's also a good hand and enjoys working cows late in the day. The boss bothers him all the time but I try to make it up to him with fresh kingfish steaks.
I guess it was just my bad luck. I've known 2 vets that looked at an animal as a blank check rather than an animal that needed help and 1 that would beat and kick the animals when they god mad. I guess 3 out of the dozens I've dealt with through the years isn;t really a bad record.
 

littletom

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Not a vet but the wife is. If you are a customer it goes with job talking answering questions. I thing what rubs vets wrong is people calling asking what to do, with no intent of using them or spending money with them. You can't imagine the calls at night and on sunday mornings.
 
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boondocks

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littletom":3dti4gsg said:
Not a vet but the wife is. If you are a customer it goes with job talking answering questions. I thing what rubs vets wrong is people calling asking what to do, with no intent of using them or spending money with them. You can't imagine the calls at night and on sunday mornings.

Oh I think I can. Spouse is a health care provider. Patients find our number and call the house!!!!
Grandmother was a real estate broker. You wouldn't believe the number of people that would call Christmas morning.
People. They're the worst! ;) (But seriously, they are).
 

pricefarm

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I have a good relationship with my vet. I buy all my meds and vac from him. I will call him and ask questions or for advice but at the same time if there's something Iam unsure about I'll have him come out. He stays so busy that most of the time he will try and tell me what to do first and see if it helps before coming. But if it's a true emergency he will be there right away to help night or day.
 

backhoeboogie

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boondocks":bq3bn0s6 said:
I'd love to hear thoughts on the extent to which one can seek free advice via the phone, without being thought a jerk.

I answer the call each time the vet calls me. I've hauled. I've helped them work herds. I don't hesitate to call him. He's a good friend. Its hard to get him to take payment, when I owe him.
 

Bigfoot

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As far as I think of, a uterine prolapse, and a C section are the only 2 things I don't do myself. I wouldn't call for advice on anything else. Here's the sticky part, I would call for drugs. They need to do a little CYA, on that stuff. I could get them under the table somewhere else cheaper. I usually don't choose to do that. I pay the price, and get them at the clinic. Not sure how they feel about our relationship, but I like it.
 

M-5

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If I call the vet for advise Its because I can not figure it out and expect them to make a house call and I pay whatever fee they give me. With that said I have 2 that will tell me what they think and if They need to make the trip or not. If I call and tell them I need help I got this problem or that problem and they say do this or that and let me know what happens , I will let them know how it turned out or call back and insist they come out. both know im capable of following directions and been around these situations all my life so a little free advise usually means they can stay home because it never happens at the right time anyway.
 

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