A Day in the Life of a Mobile Equine Vet

Hop behind the wheel with Dr. Sarah Link as she serves the rural Maryland horse community.
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Hop behind the wheel with Dr. Sarah Link as she serves the rural Maryland horse community.

Whether it’s a routine call or an emergency situation, we’ve all waited for the veterinarian to come tend to our horses. He or she arrives, makes a diagnosis or performs an exam, and then hops back into the truck and speeds off to the next farm call. You only see your veterinarian for a brief time period, but what goes on before and after that visit–what makes up a mobile veterinarian’s typical day? Sarah Link, DVM, of Link Veterinary Associates, in Union Bridge, Md., allowed me to ride along with her for a taste of her regular workday.

Meet Your Vet

Link is a petite lady. If you saw her on the street you might not think she was a large animal mobile veterinarian. She doesn’t look big enough or strong enough to handle horses, cattle, and sheep day after day and year after year. But after 19 years she still spends long hours in the field–literally. She has an associate, which makes life a little easier. They trade off being on call nights, weekends, and holidays. At this point in her career Link admits she could not go back to running a solo operation. She recalls being on the road as a solo practitioner from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. many days, and that simply wasn’t a schedule she could physically, mentally, or emotionally maintain. Even with an associate’s help she still spends long days on the road, but she is committed to her clients and their animals.

Link received her veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She always knew she wanted to concentrate on caring for large animals even though it is a physically demanding profession. Her initial job out of veterinary school was working with a large animal mobile practice north of Baltimore. After eight years there, in July 2000 she went out on her own to serve Frederick County and the surrounding areas

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Written by:

Stephanie Ruff received a MS in animal science from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has worked in various aspects of the horse industry, including Thoroughbred and Arabian racing, for nearly 20 years. More information about her work can be found at www.theridingwriter.com. She has also published the illustrated children’s story Goats With Coats.

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