Equine Vets: Summer Season


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Region plays a key role in what equine veterinary practitioners focus on in the summer months.

What are your equine veterinary practitioners up to this summer? It depends on what region you’re talking about.

For states like Florida in the south, the summer months are slower. That’s because the temperatures in Florida can hover in the high 80s to 90s. With the humidity and the bugs, veterinarians are checking for skin issues. “In Florida, our winters are the busiest because everybody comes out to shows and events,” said Leann Kuebelbeck, DVM of Florida-based Brandon Equine Medical Center. “And then we transition to breeding season. But summers are slow because of the heat.”

In the northern states, the summer is the busiest time of the year, because it’s the season where owners will use their horses the most. That means veterinarians may check for for lameness issues.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, Robert Blohowiak, DVM, CVSMT, medical director of Wisconsin-based Great Lakes Equine, said he is expecting a busy summer season. “It will be high volume,” he said. “Each doctor will see 6 to 15 horses daily.” Because of the busyness, Blohowiak said distributor reps can help by providing simple support with short information on new products, making sure the veterinarians are aware of any specials, as well as what’s available for continuing education.

Distributor reps can also help veterinarians prepare for the fall season. Great Lakes Equine will be busy in the fall with vaccinations, tick-related diseases, and dentistry. Vaccinations will be top of mind in the south as well. “In Florida, we’re typically vaccinating twice a year, because we don’t really have a hard freeze,” said Kuebelbeck.

Keeping pace with patient volume

High volume was a common theme among equine practitioners Veterinary Advantage spoke to. Blohowiak said volume at his practice has increased 20% since the pandemic. Wellness exams and vaccinations will be top of mind in Southern states as well.

“It’s been crazy,” said Kuebelbeck, who noted that her practice is seeing an increase in activity. “I’ve heard that from my colleagues at other practices, too. So I think we’ve kind of fallen along with the companion model since the pandemic. Our practice specifically is year over year about 40%.”

Kuebelbeck said she believes the high volume can be attributed to people that owned horses still being able to go outside during the quarantine, plus expendable income being more accessible. With people spending less on vacations or dining out, that money was instead getting pumped into the horse industry.

“I do think patient volume will normalize some,” she said. “It’ll flatten out the later we get into the year.”

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