The Primary Care Relationship
At Eggleston Equine we approach our patients and our clients in a different way than many equine veterinary practices and veterinarians, and in a way that some horse owners may not be accustomed. Let us explain.
Eggleston Equine provides care to patients in the context of a comprehensive primary care relationship. We pride ourselves on developing lasting relationships with our clients, on knowing our patients, and on providing the highest quality care tailored to each horse’s specific needs, whether that horse is a high-level performance animal or a retired pet.
It may seem intuitive that such a primary care relationship is how horses should receive care. Afterall, this is the way we interact with our own doctors, our children’s, or parents’ doctors. With horses though, historically, there has been a tendency to treat veterinary care in a transactional manner. By transactional, we mean that the veterinarian provides a limited service or product, think a vaccination or a laboratory test, for which there is a fee. Neither side of the transaction seeks or engages in a more comprehensive relationship or assessment of the animal in question.
At Eggleston Equine, the primary care relationship means that we seek to know your “total” horse. It means that we’re involved in their vaccinations, dental care, nutrition, and parasite management. We routinely, at least annually, examine them and consult regarding your questions or concerns. We care about your horse’s soundness, and the farriery that they receive; we refer your horse to specialists as needed and are involved in the referral process and follow up. It means we seek to cultivate an intimate understanding of your horse, over years’ time, as we develop a meaningful and compassionate relationship with you.
In concrete terms, this primary care model can mean several things that horse owners may not have experienced prior. We will do a thorough annual physical examination on every horse in the practice, each year. We expect to perform the essential and customary care horses require, core vaccinations for example or routine laboratory tests. We will take time with the patient and client at every appointment, to understand our client’s desires, to communicate fully, and to provide appropriate veterinary care.
We will not provide medications, vaccinations, or laboratory tests absent the establishment of such a primary care relationship. We will not prescribe medications or treatments, for example antibiotics or joint injections, without knowing your horse and absent a diagnosis that warrants that medication or treatment. We will not provide emergency service without prior establishment of this primary care relationship.
Because the primary care relationship is paramount to how we practice veterinary medicine and run the business Eggleston Equine, it commits us to our clients in certain ways. We will:
Act ethically and professionally, in all aspects of the veterinary care we provide, and in our veterinary business.
Provide exceptional veterinary care to every horse under our care.
Provide only necessary and effective veterinary care.
Be transparent in the veterinary care to be provided, and in our billing practices.
Connect our clients with additional resources and/or referral when necessary.
Treat our clients and our patients with respect and compassion.
As with any relationship, though, there are always two sides. Our clients also have responsibilities to us. Our clients will:
Communicate fully about the health of their horse(s).
Care about our safety, health, and wellbeing.
Treat us with respect.
Pay their bill for services promptly and communicate with us about financial issues regarding their horses as needed.
Act ethically regarding the health and wellbeing of their horse(s).
At Eggleston Equine, we are committed to our clients and their horses. By building strong and lasting relationships with clients, and by knowing our patients, we provide the best care each horse requires, and deserves.