Whether your appointment is for a complex, long-standing problem or for a routine evaluation or procedure, there are a few steps that you can take to get the most out of your visit and avoid unnecessary expenses. Take a look at following tips and remember that you can call at any time if you have questions (612-625-6700).
What information should I bring?
The more information that we have about your horse’s medical history and the problem of concern, the better we can correctly focus our diagnostic and treatment steps. Details can be important, so bring written records and original materials if possible. Pre-admission forms are available on the Admission Information page our website (link to Admissions page). Here are some things to bring if you have not completed and submitted the Patient Pre-Admission Form before your appointment:
- Veterinary Records - Records from previous veterinary visits related to the presenting problem.
- Calendar of Events - Date of problem onset with any available information about changes in signs. (It may be helpful to take a few minutes with your calendar and try to define a timeline of events before your appointment.)
- Images - XRays, Ultrasound images, videotapes and pictures related to the presenting problem. (In some cases your veterinarian can send these to us electronically, but they may need a reminder. If it is not already in electronic form, you may need to pick the up and bring them with you to ensure that they are available in time for your appointment.)
- Vaccination and Deworming Records (with specific names of vaccines and dewormers)
- Health History - A list of previous health problems. (In some cases, apparently unrelated events can be a key to an underlying problem.)
Do I need to bring any tack, feed, or other supplies?
The Veterinary Medical Center is well stocked with medications and a range of feed types. However, if your horse is on unique medications or feed and is likely to stay for a few days for evaluation or treatment, you might want to bring a supply. You may also want to bring any equipment that is specifically fitted for your horse that might be helpful in demonstrating the presenting problem (tack) or in keeping it comfortable (cribbing straps, halters, etc.). You are encouraged to check with your attending veterinarian or our office before your appointment if you have any questions.
- Tack – You may want to bring tack if your horse has a subtle lameness that is best detected when working under saddle.
- Medications – Dietary supplements, hormonal supplements, and daily medications are typical products that we recommend you bring with you.
- Feeds – If you have a particular cutting of hay or a grain mix that your horse prefers, we would encourage you to bring a supply if you anticipate leaving your horse for a few days.
Is there anything that I should do to prepare my horse for the visit?
If your horse is coming in for a lameness examination, endoscopic evaluation, surgery, or other diagnostic or therapeutic procedures that require heavy sedation or anesthesia (some advanced diagnostic imaging procedures) you may be able to save time and money by planning ahead.
- Shoes – If you are coming for a lameness examination, it may be necessary to pull your shoes for diagnostic tests or Xrays of the feet. In addition, changes in shoe type and/or hoof angle can create temporary discomfort and interfere with the lameness examination. For this reason we would generally recommend that you wait to reshoe your horse until after its visit. However, for many rechecks we may want to time this differently. Please call for advise if you are trying to decide about farrier work before your visit.
- Exercise – If your horse has a moderate to severe lameness, we would generally recommend rest before your appointment. However, if the lameness is subtle or mild and intermittent, exercise before your appointment may help express the lameness and improve our ability to localize and diagnose the source of the problem. We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian or with the veterinarian that you will see at the University before you exercise any lame horse.
- Feeding – If your horse is coming to the University for a procedure that will require heavy sedation or anesthesia, you may be able to shorten the time of your stay by holding your horse off feed. However, extending the period of time without feed beyond that necessary for surgical preparation can create additional health risks. Please consult with your attending veterinarian at the University before withholding feed.
What if I can’t come with my horse?
This is a common situation and easy to accommodate. One of our faculty members will want to discuss your horse’s problem and your goals for the visit with you before your horse arrives. It is particularly helpful in this situation if you can complete the client and patient pre-admission forms before your horse arrives. We will need signed permission to examine and treat your horse. Please call the office and we can fax this form to you. The accounting office will also need to know how payment will be made and arrange for a deposit if the horse will be staying overnight.