With horses as injury-prone as they are, medical emergencies are almost certain to arise. And while you would hope that the barn manager would be able to reach you if your horse were to ever have a medical emergency, unfortunately that’s not always the case. What would happen if your horse needed treatment and you weren’t available?
Identify Your Preferred Vet and Farrier
It’s a good idea to post the contact information of your horse’s vet and farrier on his stall door for use in emergencies. In the event that your vet and farrier aren’t available, though, it’s also advisable to provide your barn manager with contact information for a second choice vet and farrier.
Provide Permission to Treat
If your horse needs immediate treatment but you are unavailable, your barn manager needs to be able to approve veterinary or hospital treatment. Many barn managers incorporate permission to treat in their boarding contracts. If you haven’t yet granted your barn manager with permission to treat your horse in an emergency when you can’t be reached, consider doing so.
Specify a Treatment Limit
In addition to granting permission to treat, you should also specify a treatment limit so that your horse’s treatment doesn’t go further than you intended. Treatment limits can be financial cutoff points at which treatment ceases, but they can also be specific treatments that are to either be given or avoided. For instance, opting to provide or decline colic surgery is a common issue that horse owners face when colic emergencies arise. You may also want to consider putting limits on whether, or for how long, your horse is to be hospitalized in an emergency.
Insure Your Horse
Specifying treatment limits is difficult to do, but it can be made easier by insuring your horse. Major medical insurance can mean that you will have greater financial freedom to treat your horse in medical emergencies. If you opt for insurance, be sure that you fully understand the policy and what is and is not covered.
Leave a Credit Card on File
If you grant your barn manager permission to treat your horse, it can be a good idea to leave a credit card on file with your veterinarian’s office. Having a card on file can take stress off of your barn manager in an emergency, and can help to ensure that your horse can receive timely treatment. When putting a credit card on file with your vet’s office, you can specify a limit and can note that it is to be used for emergency use.
When medical emergencies in horses arise, fast treatment can often lead to an improved prognosis. Be sure that you have measures in place so that your horse can be treated, even if you can’t be reached.
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Original Source: When Horse Emergencies Arise (And You're Not There)