What do horse vets do?

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Equine practitioners specialize in the care of horses, donkeys, and mules, providing routine examinations, diagnoses, treatments, and surgeries. They may travel to their patients and specialize in specific areas of equine care, such as reproduction or hoof care. Those working with wild equines manage herds and provide routine checkups and treatments.

Equine practitioners are veterinarians who specialize in the care of horses and other equines such as donkeys and kiangs. Most equine practitioners work primarily with horses, donkeys and mules. Professionals who work with zebras and their related wild relatives practice in zoos, wildlife parks and conservation centers and are usually wildlife veterinarians who have chosen to specialize in equines, in contrast to large veterinarians who work with horses in particular. .

The work of an equine practitioner can be quite variable, depending on the area in which he practices. Professionals can care for workhorses, racehorses, recreational horses and horses used in competition. Horse care can include routine examinations to confirm that the animals are healthy, visits to diagnose and treat sick horses, care for pregnant horses, and surgery on horses that require surgical treatment.

Many equine practitioners travel to their patients whenever possible. They usually have vehicles equipped with some basic tools of the trade, and some can carry mobile X-ray machines, ultrasound units, and other diagnostic equipment. The practitioner may travel for vaccinations, deworming, teeth flossing, hoof trimming, and participating in other routine equine care. Some practitioners also have clinics that horses can be brought to for treatment, and horses are usually brought in for surgery, so the practitioner will have a sterile operating room with equipment such as a lift.

Some equine professionals choose to specialize in specific areas of equine care. For example, an equine reproduction specialist focuses on caring for pregnant horses, supervising matings, and helping owners determine why their horses have difficulty conceiving. Breeding specialists often work in areas where horses are bred for specialized tasks such as racing or competition. Equine specialists may also focus on the care of a specific type of horse, such as sport horses or draft horses.

Hoof care is often left to farriers, specialists trained in shoeing horses. When a horse has special needs or a hoof infection, an equine specialist can work with a farrier to develop a course of treatment. Hoof and leg care is critical for many horses and can be very challenging at times.

Equine practitioners who work with wild equines such as zebras have a more hands-on approach with their clients as they want to avoid traumatizing them. They help manage the herds they work with and perform routine checkups, vaccinations and similar tasks. When animals become ill, the equine specialist determines the reason and provides appropriate treatment.

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