Lines of Communication

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I’ve always worked closely with my veterinarians and farriers to help keep my horses healthy and sound. After all, they know a heck of a lot more than I do about the ins and outs of horse health and soundness! And for the past five years, I’ve been encouraging readers to do the same through my job here at The Horse.

But something that I’ve been writing about for years–but hadn’t had personal experience with–is working with both a veterinarian and a farrier at the same time and having the two communicate about a specific health problem. Of course, that all changed when now 20-year-old Dorado had a laminitic episode last year. Through that experience, I’ve learned about the importance of the horse owner-veterinarian-farrier team when managing some equine health conditions.

Shortly after the veterinarian arrived when Dorado first presented with pain in his feet, she pulled a set of X rays to see what was going on inside and immediately asked for my farrier’s phone number so she could touch base with him and send him the images. Right off the bat, she stressed the importance of everyone being on the same page as we did our best to manage whatever was going to happen with Dorado’s hooves.

Two days after the initial episode my farrier arrived at the barn to work on another horse and came over to take a look at Dorado. He watched him walk (still quite painfully) and told me that he’d spoken with the vet and looked over the X rays. He said it was obvious, on the images, that Dorado had suffered a laminitic episode, but he thought it’d be manageable with some rest and therapeutic shoeing

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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