Farrier services at private equine hospital practices in the USA


  • Dr Schwoegler's current address is 99 Lake Road Terrace, Wayland, Massachusetts 01778, USA.

email: carl.kirker-head@tufts.edu


Private equine hospital practices (PEHPs) may optimise patient healthcare by combining veterinary and farrier services. While PEHP veterinary services are generally well known, existing PEHP farrier services require better characterisation. To document farrier services at PEHPs in the USA, 41 PEHP Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and/or PEHP farriers completed a multiple choice questionnaire characterising PEHP farrier service prevalence and facilities; farrier details, experience and education; and farrier service finances, clinical services, training, education and research responsibilities. Questionnaire completion rate was 82%. Twenty-two of 41 (54%) responding PEHPs had in-house farrier service and 8 (20%) additionally provided ambulatory farrier service. Forty-nine of 50 (98%) PEHP farriers were male; 2 (4%) were <31 years old, 10 (20%) were >51 years old; 27 (54%) worked in-house <6 h/week. At 19 (86%) PEHPs, the farriers were paid by the client and at 3 (13%) by the PEHP. Thirty-five of 50 (70%) PEHP farriers had a professional certification. At 4 (18%) PEHPs, the in-house farrier service was profitable while at 14 (64%) PEHPs it met operational costs. Sixteen (73%) PEHP farrier services provided professional education in clinical settings and 11 (50%) in lecture settings. Five (10%) PEHP farriers participated in research activities. PEHP in-house and ambulatory farrier services in the USA are a valuable resource with the potential to enhance the quality and scope of PEHP services. PEHP farriers can contribute positively to patient care, care-provider education, and practice productivity.