When it comes to vet work,
you get what you pay for.
BY COURTNEY S. DIEHL, DVM
Brooke Beaumont-Gordon wasn’t a bit impressed with me. “Courtney, I do all of my own vet work and I’m not pay- ing for a farm call and an exam just to get my horse vacci- nated. You vets charge too much and I can’t afford all that every time my horse needs something!” A few possible responses went through my head, but actfully I kept quiet, wondering what Brooke wanted. She was not one of my clients.
Brooke continued. “I’m taking my horses to a big show and they tell me I
need a health certificate, so I just need you to write up the papers. What is it,
like $15 for that? I can pick the papers up this afternoon.”
I laughed. “It’s much more than $15, and I can’t issue a health certificate
unless I’ve personally examined the horses. And they have to have current
“No, they don’t! I checked online and the show only requires the health
I took a deep breath. “The Coggins tests are required by the USDA before
the health papers can be issued.”
There was a long annoyed pause.
“Well, if I draw the blood and bring it to you, can you get it back in time?”
“Only an accredited vet can draw the blood,” I explained.
“Well, you’ve got quite a racket going, I must say! This is absolutely ridiculous and I’m calling Dr. Yesman. He’s never made me go through all of this!”
The phone banged down and I
rubbed my forehead wearily. It was
always a challenge for me not to take
it personally when someone behaved
so irrationally, and despite my years of
dealing with the public, it still left me
feeling awful inside.
I was taking deep, cleansing
breaths and trying a meditation exercise when the phone rang again.
“I’ll bring you the horses,” said
Brooke. “Then you can draw the
blood and write the health paper.”
I sighed. “I can’t write the health
paper until the Coggins tests are
returned from the lab.”
“And I suppose that’s another
charge and another exam?”
“No. I’ll issue the papers when I
receive the Coggins and you can pick