Sunday, April 5, 2015

kinda want to rant, but not sure if it's appropriate....

Kicking things off with my friend below - the drama llama - just so we all know exactly where things stand. 

'bitch said wat now?' - The DL

I've never owned a horse before, so decisions about veterinary care and medical treatment etc have never been mine to make. 




My understanding is that some types of treatment/medication are at the discretion of the owner. Other things tho might be considered as the barn mgmt's decision to make (for instance, what vaccinations are required to board, etc). 



Let's consider our current unhappy quarantine situation. Barn mgmt called the vet about a horse who spiked a fever after being unable to reach the owner. (Two other horses were already in isolation at this point)


This owner has, in the past, pitched a fit when the horse was given bute for a swollen and infected eyelid. She made it clear that under no circumstances should her horse be given medication without her express permission. 


























Well... when the whole barn is shut down and freaking out about a highly contagious infectious disease, barn mgmt wasn't really too interested in this owner's opinions about the merits of bute or medical intervention. Mgmt was more interested in controlling a potential outbreak. 


























But no matter, the owner is furious. She thinks it's unacceptable that barn management called the vet without her consent when the horse jumped from a temp of 97.7 to 103.8 in 24 hours. She told her leaser (a close friend of mine) not to bother with this month's check, and said she'd be "getting rid" of the horse once he's out of quarantine. 
























And frankly I'm angry about it. 


i'd really like to tell her to chill the F out

But, again, as a non-owner maybe I'm missing something? So maybe you all can chime in - have you been in a situation where your horse was dosed or treated without your permission? Are there scenarios when this is appropriate? Or should barn mgmt always secure the owner's consent before any medical intervention? 


Should we shrug it off as a simple case of emotions running high in a stressful situation?


Or is this owner throwing the baby out with the bathwater?



























Any and all thoughts are welcome... obvi I have no control over any outcomes so I'm mostly just curious... 

35 comments:

  1. There should be a section in your boarding agreement that covers when barn management is allowed to treat/call the vet without consulting the owner--such as in the case of an emergency like this.

    Most vets won't (and shouldn't) give medication to your horse without your permission. At the barns I've been at in the past and am at now, I've told my vet that my BO is allowed to treat my horse the way she and the vet see fit if I can't be reached, but that's also in my written board agreement.

    The owner seems like a drama queen regardless. :P

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    1. hm, there probably is a section. i've read the boarding agreement before, but not very closely honestly. but i guess i didn't know if there were times (like during a potential outbreak when the state gets involved) when the vet and/or mgmt could override an owner's wishes... but maybe not? in any case, definitely a drama queen lol

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  2. Well, the problem is that the owner is the one paying the vet bills, not management. So a reasonable attempt should always be made to contact the owner. Some vets wont even come out without owner permission. But in some cases, the vet just needs to be called, end of story. And this was definitely one of those instances. I've been both the manager having to make the vet call, and an owner. In most cases, owners are thrilled someone is looking out for their horse. And I've always told my barn managers 'if you can't find me and horsey needs the vet, do it!' The woman you're dealing with just shouldn't own a horse!!!

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    1. that makes sense about the bill pay - owners definitely don't want to get stuck with a bill they never asked for lol. i'm about 97% positive mgmt made a reasonable attempt to contact too... but just went ahead when they couldn't reach her. it's definitely tough to manage these situations - and while i'm happy to help whenever necessary i'm not really jealous of all that responsibility!

      re: this lady, if what she says is true she probably won't own a horse much longer... and it's probably for the better lol

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  3. At my barn they most likely wouldn't have called out the vet right away for just a fever (even as part of a spreading illness), but called the owner and given meds (maybe your barn doesn't normally have meds on hand to administer?) to reduce the fever even if the owner was not reachable. Then gone from there with calling the vet after talking with the owner and getting the okay. A fever that high can have really bad consequences when not brought under control quickly, so for an owner to be upset about that part is a bit nuts (sounds like owner is cheap/has a screw loose to start with). I think that as an owner it is important to make sure the barn has realistic expectations for what to do in an emergency with your horse. In my case, Stampede is prone to issues that when we (me, BM, trainer) first experienced them (talking about you cellulitis) required an emergency call. Now I keep meds on hand for that situation and I know what to do so several times now I've avoided having the vet out at all.

    Maybe your friend can afford to purchase the horse cheaply if this lady is really serious about getting rid of him? Sounds like this horse deserves an upgrade!

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    1. i doubt our barn would have called the vet for a fever (high tho it was) in usual circumstances, but we were already quarantined at this point and this horse had been on the trailer with Isabel... so it was pretty clear he had the same contagious illness.

      we DO have plenty of meds on hand - but not the injectable antibiotics the vet was using to treat these horses. plus the owner had previously been pissed when we just administered bute ourselves to... yea...

      i really hope my friend DOES end up with the horse haha - and her to drive over to the owner's house immediately to sign the paperwork.... but she felt it was advisable to talk it over with her husband first.... details details haha. we'll see what happens!

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    2. Haha, just a small purchase, no need to talk to her husband first...I hope it all works out for the best!

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    3. lol right? that's what i said!

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  4. Owner lady sounds crazy. I don't know why she wouldn't want to have her horse appropriately treated for a high fever. I'd rant, too.

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    1. owner lady is NUTS. i get that people have different feelings about medicine, and about what's natural and what isn't - and i respect that. (tho i might also be silently thinking, 'sure fevers are natural... but so is dying!')

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  5. This lady does sound crazy. However, your barn really does need a clause in their boarding contract for veterinary instruction just to protect themselves. This situation probably wasn't going to work out well for them either way. If they call the vet, she's going to get pissed and if they don't and the horse gets REALLY sick she's going to blame them. It leaves them open to getting stuck with a vet bill. Honestly, I probably would have just given him some bute myself, and just accidently not mention it to her, while I waited to get in touch with her (for a reasonable amount of time). I don't think I could stand to do nothing when her horse feels like shit and sit there twiddling my thumbs while waiting to talk to her ignorant ass.

    I feel really bad for your friend and the horse.

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    1. i'll have to check the contract again but i am pretty sure they already have something in there.. all the same tho, this lady has referred our mgmt to her lawyer so who knows what will happen...

      if circumstances were different we may have just tried to treat at home and conveniently not mention it... or done nothing. but in this case vet attention was definitely warranted given the possible worst case scenarios we were facing... idk tho, we'll see what happens!

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  6. My boarding contract has a clause where if barn owner can't get a hold of me in an emergency, she's to treat/call the vet as she sees fit. Vet knows of this and has my CC# on file as well. Owner in question sounds unreasonable, particularly given the nature of the problem - she can't let her horse be sick and not get vet care/vaccinations when the rest of the barn is at risk.

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    1. that's what i didn't get too - like, it's not just about YOUR horse lady, the whole barn is at risk and failing to treat your horse just guarantees that even more horses will get sick

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  7. I definitely think there should be a clause in the boarding (and/or lease agreement) about treating the horse in an emergency situation like this. As an owner, I guess I'd be peeved if no one at least tried to contact me first...but at the same time this is an EXTREME situation and if I were the owner of that horse I would be happy that there was someone looking out for my horse's help and I would also be completely understanding of the barn management's decisions in the interest of mitigating an outbreak of an infectious disease - that's scary stuff and I'd want to let the pros handle it! So yeah, I think that owner is being ridiculous. That much of a jump in temp is not trivial. I feel really bad for your friend and that horse as well - and for you and your entire barn also! Trying to send you some positive vibes from up here in MA for everything to turn out ok!

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    1. most of the other boarders are literally thanking mgmt for staying on top of the illness and for the great care.... so this woman is definitely an outlier haha. i feel really bad for my friend too... she's only been leasing the horse for a couple months but she LOVES him and has already invested so much into him... hopefully it works out!

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  8. Although I board both of my horse's privately, the land owner has explicit rights to call a veterinarian or intervene in an emergency and she cannot reach me.

    It sounds like there is more to the story, to be honest. You mentioned that her horse was previously treated with bute for a swollen eyelid. I understand why it was given, but if it was without her permission I wouldn't doubt she'd be pretty upset. I know of someone gave my horse bute without talking with me first, I would be angry!

    However, the whole "IM GONNA GET RID OF HIM" is a bit extreme. It sounds like she needs to sit down and talk with the BO about this, instead of getting up in arms and selling the horse.

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    1. Should say "IF she cannot reach me" not "and"

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    2. haha we kind of think there's more to the story too - that this lady is just not telling us something bc it just doesn't make sense at all to anybody. the bute for the eyelid definitely was a mistake on the part of barn mgmt - even tho it seemed like a totally obvious thing to do. the current situation is a little different tho and not treating shouldn't really be an option imo.

      the BO did actually reach out to the woman to say that they should meet once the quarantine was settled to discuss the owner's future at our barn. the owner simply referred the BO to her lawyer. yikes! just seems like she doesn't really want a solution, i guess...

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  9. I think that the owner is well within her rights refuse any medication be put into her horse and be utterly outraged at this situation and promptly get rid of her horse, if she is planning on eating it.

    That little bit of absurdity aside, your barn management was appropriate to both call the vet (to either get treatment or advice) and treat the horse to prevent them from infecting others in the herd. I'm sorry your friend is going to lose her lease in this situation, that really sucks.

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    1. haha i definitely laughed at your comment and sent it to the barn manager and my friend - and honestly, this lady is crazy enough that maybe she DID want to eat the poor horse lol....

      seriously tho, mgmt absolutely did need to halt the spread of this illness - that was stupid clear with 2-3 horses coming down with fevers a day... one lady's resistance was not going to stop them! i just wish i knew why she was so resistant... oh well fingers crossed something works out for my friend!

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  10. Usually, I am a big believer in, "Call me if you think something is wrong and I'll come check it out", but I am a crazy micromanager. However, because I have that attitude, I try to be available 24/7. It could be that crazy lady's horse has a medical condition, she uses a different vet, or a financial situation that forces her to be picky about general care. If she's going to be that way, she needs to be available 24/7, though.

    A 103.8 temp is HIGH; if it were 100, 101ish, maybe the vet could have waited. If it's a quarantine situation, you bet that barn owner is going to call the vet. Because you know who's head it will come down on if crazy lady's horse gets to run free and spread the disease? Barn management. I think it was totally justified in this situation.

    And removing her horse because of it? Nuts. Barn management was being responsible. I'm so sorry for your friend; hopefully, it was a knee-jerk reaction and she changes her mind.

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    1. your points are all pretty good ones to think about. in this situation i know the answers to a couple questions (horse does not have a medical condition; she does use a different vet, but it's a new one for her since she just fired her last one; financial situation is not known but is suspected to be just fine)...

      but essentially i really have no judgement for anybody who wants to micromanage their horse's care. we sacrifice a lot for them and we should be able to decide on their care. but like you say - that requires us to actually be available, which she isn't always... in any case i also hope she changes her mind or at least finds a solution where my friend can keep the horse in her life!

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  11. I'd want to be called first, but would never say not to callthe bet if the BO wanted to in that situation. Lady sounds like she doesn't need to own any horses anymore if you so me.

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    1. yea... i think the mgmt would agree w you about her not owning horses any more too haha. i'm pretty sure she *was* called first, but that they just didn't have a lot of time to wait for a response...

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  12. Blogger just ate my comment.
    So. Short version: yes, I'd be irritated. I'd want to be called first, but given that, I make myself available to barn management. When I know I will be unavailable (out of town for a week or so), another boarder has instructions that they can call the vet on my behalf, etc etc. We have similar feelings about when it's necessary to call the vet out and when it isn't, which don't always align with the feelings of management/the rest of the barn. I'd be uncomfortable with mgmt having blanket permissions to call the vet for colic, minor injuries, etc for reasons others expressed. Reactions probably depend a lot on how mgmt (current or previous barns) has handled this sort of thing, and maybe this was just the last straw for her. Overkill, probably, unjustified overreaction.. hard to say. Although again, I'd be available, sounds like she wants to have it both ways and isn't really available to make those decisions? Which complicates things.

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    1. that makes sense, and i can totally understand why she (or any owner) might be upset when treatment happens without knowledge or consent (tho i might think that after an email has gone out alerting everyone to the quarantine situation, owners might ensure that they're more available!!)

      but you might also be on to something with the 'last straw' comment. she's been increasingly absent from the barn, and the only communications she receives are details about a new scratch on the horse, or his tricky thrush case, and now this... so even tho these communications didn't happen super often, they weren't outweighed by any quality time with the horse bc she wasn't there... so it became a primarily negative thing maybe? idk... haha

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  13. I am the queen of getting irritated when barn management doesn't inform me of an issue with my horse. They treated a cut on Pig's leg exactly once, and that cut turned out to be way more than "just a cut." It was a severe bone bruise, and the cut they treated turned into proud flesh and has left a nasty scar. I am still kind of upset about that!

    Still, if there is something obviously wrong (it doesn't get much more obvious than a fever!), I would want my BO to call the vet out. I would want them to call the vet out if it was someone else's horse that could endanger mine. Actually, if they didn't call the vet for the other person's horse, then mine became ill because of that ... that is a litigation type of situation. I don't think your BO had much of a choice, and I think the owner might be a little nuts.

    (Actually, it sounds like she just wants out of horses and had forgotten to keep trying to get out of them and this reminded her, so she acted in a way that seemed impulsive.)

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    1. that's a crappy situation about Pig's cut that was mismanaged - i'd definitely be irritated (or worse) about that too! and yea, when barn mgmt went forward with treating the eyelid that was definitely a mistake...

      i think she *is* actually reconsidering her involvement with horses period, since she hasn't been around much at all lately and who knows that last time she even rode... it just seems mean spirited and malicious to use this as an excuse and blame people for an outcome that maybe she had been planning all along..

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  14. This woman is well within her legal rights to refuse veterinary attention/medication for her horse without her permission, BUT in a situation like this, I think she's being a bit ridiculous. If something like this were going on at my barn, and management was unable to contact me for whatever reason, they sure as hell better call the vet out and have my pony treated! She is being silly and selfish, and when it comes down to a life-threatening disease or injury, the RIGHT thing to do is to allow barn staff to have the vet out to address the problem in the event that the owner cannot be reached. I'm glad she's getting out of horses!

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    1. i was curious tho - CAN you refuse medical attention in a quarantine / outbreak situation? a day or two after this horse came down sick, the potential diagnosis switched to EHV and the state of maryland actually sent a vet that put a 28-day hold on our barn. that has since been lifted since we ruled EHV out... but in that kind of circumstances i didn't know if owners' decisions could be overruled?

      idk... it just doesn't seem like she was handling the situation in good faith (as in, the barn mgmt is trying to act in the best interest of the horse) but i could be wrong...

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  15. I think the other comments summed it up. Lady is crazy.

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    1. my thoughts exactly... it's just a shame tho :(

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  16. I've given explicit, written instructions to both barn managers and my trainer about how my horse should be handled in an emergency situation, especially if I'm unreachable.

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    1. that makes a lot of sense- haha maybe i should just give this lady a copy of your binder as a not-so-subtle hint to think a little more deeply about her contingency plans ;)

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