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Owners ask for more education from Equine Vets


  • Owners ask for more education from Equine Vets

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    76% of horse owners want to know more about preventative healthcare from their vet at visits, according to a survey* of horse owners carried out as part of the Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy (KBHH) campaign, co-ordinated by MSD Animal Health. Other main sources of information for horse owners were printed materials, websites, social media and friends but owners express a wish to be educated by vets who are happy to listen and have a genuine interest in their horse.

    Fieke Bennett, Equine Business Manager at MSD Animal Health comments: “Our survey results should give equine vets confidence that owners want to be educated by them and by taking the time to do this they are increasing the value of their visit for both their clients and themselves. Quite rightly equine vets are perceived to be the specialists so showing an interest in the specific needs of a horse allows the vets to understand any gaps in knowledge or confidence the owner may have about their horse’s care.”

    Further details from the survey shed light on why some horse owners do not follow preventative healthcare protocols. Of those who choose not to vaccinate their horse 64% said it was because of a lack of perceived risk. Statements such as “my horse doesn’t come into contact with other horses”, “there’s no disease in my area” and “my horse doesn’t leave the property”, revealed a lack of understanding of the risk of disease by horse owners. Only 13% chose not to vaccinate based on cost. Fieke Bennett comments: “Many equine vets don’t proactively make preventative healthcare recommendations because they believe owners are not interested or that they may be concerned about the cost. Our survey suggests there are many other reasons why horse owners don’t proactively engage with preventative healthcare. 51% of owners who don’t vaccinate their horses would change their mind if they understood the risk of disease better. Equine vets therefore have a vital role to play in educating horse owners and improving the levels of vaccination in the UK and the health of our horses.”

    *Horse and Hound online survey, August 2017. 1650 respondents.
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