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Mobile/Traveling Equine Practice and Physiotherapy- Does this exist?

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EquusObsessed

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So I was just sort of curious if anyone knows of an equine vet who does this, and if it's even a viable option. Would being a "traveling" equine vet (as in covering multiple states and not really having a "home base" practice) be possible with licensing/client relationships? I plan to go into equine practice (of some capacity) and would like to eventually get certified in chiro/acupuncture/physiotherapy and mostly work in that capacity. (I am aware that isn't an "immediate" career goal, and rather a "down the line" sort of plan.) While I am considering a sports med residency I'm not sure I want to do three more years of intensive learning and research- vet school is severely burning me out and I'm not even sure I could cut it as a resident. As such, I'm just sort of casually starting to look into other possibilities beyond just your standard GP Equine work. I do know a few small animal practitioners who "travel" between areas and clinics and work as a sort of relief/as needed vet, but I don't think anything quite like that exists in equine; or at least I haven't heard of it. I do know there are some non-veterinary professionals (farriers, massage therapists, acupuncture, etc) who use this model of traveling to clients across multiple states, but I don't have a good enough understanding yet of how the legalities of a veterinary-patient relationship and licensing affect the ability to employ such a strategy.
 

JaynaAli

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A lot of the sports medicine practices have setups at shows all over so I’d probably ask them about the legalities? I think you’d have to be licensed in any state you travelled to. I think Outlaw Equine does some longer range mobile stuff in other states in addition to shows, but they have the home base? I worked as a tech for a vet right near the intersection of three states. He was licensed in all three so he could do farm calls in all three states. But technically if he was strictly haul in he would only need the license of his premises.

As for the client relationships, as long as you do an exam on the patient you’re establishing that VCPR. I think if you are the ‘primary care vet’ you may have to offer emergency services or have a plan for referral in the event of an emergency when you’re states away, but if you’re focusing on acu/chiro/whatever and not their primary vet I would think that’s sufficient but you’d have to read the state’s practice act to know for sure.

For most of these things, there’s usually a reason no one is doing them. To me, it sounds like a scheduling nightmare and a logistical nightmare with state licenses and DEA stuff. But maybe it would be worth it. I guess I’d try to talk to someone who does mobile or sports med to see their experience. I can’t think of a current SDN regular that does equine, but maybe someone will have a suggestion for you.
 

DrinkWater95

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I shadowed a mobile equine vet in Florida, she allowed me to do ride alongs. She covered the greater Jacksonville area. I don’t think she travelled more than 1.5 hours in any direction. The job in itself can be quite exhausting as well. Being on-call kind of comes with the job. Luckily, she had a deal with another equine vet and they alternated nights and weekends for being on-call. She was not specialized in physio though, so I don’t have much to say about that aspect.
Happy to answer more questions if you have any!
 

CalliopeDVM

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Your limits are your licenses - you can only work where you are licensed (but there's no reason you can't maintain veterinary licenses in multiple states, if you wish). If you are willing to do on-call work, I bet there will be lots of call for an equine relief vet (but I don't know if there will be a lot of money in it). Most equine vets I've known can rarely take a vacation because they can't find anyone to cover for them.
 
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