“My Horse is Needle-Shy, Doc. I Hope You Don’t get Injured…”

Injured again? Really?

Here’s a vet post for horse addicts or followers of my veterinary page. I hope you and your equestrian friends are doing well. Knock on wood, I’m injury free right now (we won’t talk about the atrial fibrillation…). I just heard about a friend and client who was injured by her own horse and it’s got me thinking.

injured horse
An eye like this is pretty painful…

Those of you with horses know “injury – free” is a tenuous thing at best for an equine veterinarian or a horse owner. Even the safest and kindest horses are still horses.

A messy one to treat, for the horse and vet.

Being a horse equates to a mass of muscle, bone and hoof around 5-600 kg (half a ton, for those of you up north) led by a highly reactive brain whose primary defense mechanism is flight. If you're at the bottom of their pecking order and you're in the way… well… it's not good.

injured horse
Postural Rehabilitation on an eventer.

Understandably, horses are averse to being hurt and a few of them are quite successful at avoiding needles, oral medications, dewormers and the like. They are capable of learning out all sorts of ways to avoid it. We tend to get stuck in the crossfire. And frequently become injured.

Injured horse
Toya Postural Rehab exercises as a 2 year old

There’s plenty of research out there to substantiate the numbers of people injured by their beloved equine friends or patients, but what can be done about it? Do you have to live with it?

BEVA videos to help prevent you from being injured

Equine vets have one of the highest injury risks of all civilian professions. To help address this serious issue the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has produced a series of short videos, featuring vet and equine behaviourist Gemma Pearson.

They're designed to help owners and veterinarians be safer around horses and still get the job done, with a happy horse at the end of it. And a non-injured vet and owner.

Here is their intro video on YouTube. The rest are linked.

Before you leave completely, a few questions for you!

Do you have any problems when the vet’s there with your horses, like difficulty with injections, handling, or the like?

Do you have problems deworming your horse or getting them to hold still or lead up?

I’d love to hear about it! There's a comment button at the top!

If you want to win an e-copy of my newest novella,

Once Upon a Vet School #7: Lena Takes a Foal

go into the draw by joining my newsletter list and commenting below. 

The winner will be drawn on 28 February 2018.

Take care and prevent yourself and others from becoming injured!



Elizabeth Thompson, DVM, MANZCVS (EqDent), GradDipTeach    writing as Lizzi Tremayne

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