Emergency care in small animal medicine has become commonplace, and pet owners expect relatively easy access to 24/7 emergency services. In the equine field, however, dedicated emergency and specialty centers are rare, and horse owners generally must handle the situations themselves or contact their trusted local equine practitioner after hours. That often spreads the trusted horse veterinarians too thin, with too many horses to treat, and not enough time to treat them. 

While our VESPECON consulting equine criticalist can’t physically take cases off your plate, a specialist can provide support and guidance when most needed and ensure your patients have the best possible outcomes given the circumstances. Here are a few reasons why you should consider consulting a criticalist for your critical or emergency cases.

#1: Get support and guidance for tough cases

Equine veterinarians who live and practice in areas without nearby specialty centers or universities can find emergencies incredibly stressful and difficult. Equine veterinarians often practice alone and get extremely tired, and most emergencies happen at the worst times, when they’re already dealing with other cases, and overwhelmed and exhausted. A specialist can provide you with the necessary calm presence and camaraderie and offer advice to ensure the best course of action. If you already have a plan, the criticalist can serve as a sounding board to ensure you’re on the right track, and suggest alternatives if you need a plan B. Sometimes, simply talking through the case with a colleague or consultant can help you clarify the situation.

#2: Treat patients more efficiently

When you’re stumped, a specialist consultation can answer you most quickly. Sure, you can consult your trusty textbook or hop on an online forum, but speaking with a person who can consider all the case details will likely provide a customized solution in less time. Efficient case management means you can serve your patients and clients thoroughly, but still have time for yourself, which improves mental health and wellness.

#3: Learn new skills, techniques, and treatment options

Equine practitioners are jacks of all trades, so keeping up with the newest specialty care discoveries, procedures, or drugs can be challenging. Criticalists stay up to date on emergency and critical care research and are a wealth of knowledge and information that you can learn at each consult. Take advantage of consultations and don’t be afraid to ask questions, so you can use what you’ve learned with your next case. Over time, consulting with our specialists across all disciplines will make you a better veterinarian and problem-solver. 

#4: Provide seamless follow-up care 

When you consult with a criticalist on a particular case, they are available for additional follow-up and as many check-ins as needed until you resolve the issue. If you are using a new, unfamiliar treatment or dealing with a complex issue that requires close monitoring, your consultant will help evaluate progress and tweak the treatment plan as needed.

#5: Understand surgical options

Deciding when a case needs surgery or a procedure rather than medical treatment is not always straightforward, and surgery can be tricky when you’re in the field, or your clinic’s staff and facilities are inadequate for the situation at hand. The equine criticalist is an excellent resource when you’re making these tough decisions, and from their own experience, they can explain multiple treatment options, success rates, and risks. If you need a quick refresher on surgical technique, our consultants can help with that, too.

How VESPECON works

Our veterinary specialist consultants are skilled, knowledgeable experts who want to share their expertise to help practitioners in the trenches with real-world problems and challenges. When you use our services, you’ll consult with our team virtually, so you can build a face-to-face rapport and get real-time advice. Our team can also see your patient through video chat, which helps them to truly understand the problem and to guide your actions. 

Our team consists of several equine specialists with experience in critical care, emergency, internal medicine, and surgery. We also have staff specialists, including ophthalmologists, dermatologists, and pathologists, who treat multiple species in their discipline and who work together to provide comprehensive care. 

If you’re a struggling equine practitioner who could use some help or support, contact us to learn more about our services and how VESPECON can improve your patient care.