Monday, April 2, 2012

Armchair Veterinarians

I'm sure we have all met and/or had personal experience with armchair veterinarians. Before now, I hadn't really had intense personal encounters with this in the horse world. Brumby's veterinary issues were not for me to consider, let alone hypothesize about - not because I didn't want to be involved but because his owner did not welcome my thoughts, despite the fact I spent at least as much time with him as she did. Perhaps I myself came across as an armchair veterinarian. Of course, I will say this is doubtful!

In the begining, I was good-spirited about people's ideas and suggestions as to what was wrong with Willy. His owners and I had pretty much discussed every possibility by the time Dr. B was out the last time, so no one really presented anything new. Still, they meant well and I graciously discussed possibilities with those who started the conversation about it. I myself had stopped discussing it without provocation with all but a few - his owners, my coach, and a boarder I trust.

The problem became that I was/am "provoked" for information a lot. I don't do well when it comes to withholding information, so I tend to tell everything like it is - even when it would probably be best if I said less (to quell the humour-mill). And my barn is pretty low on the rumour-mill scale - one reason I like it so much!

It seems everyone has their favorite theory about what is wrong with Willy. Never mind the fact that I've already wracked my brain considering every possibility, spoken with knowledgeable people I trust, and - most importantly - sought veterinary advice on multiple occasions. everyone still seems to think they have the answer.

I admit I am growing tired of hearing how all I have to do is have the chiropractor out or that "all horses do that."  Then there are those who think I'm not asking for enough focus during rides (explain then why his issues resolve under saddle and why he does it during turnout).  I have not closed my mind to any possibility but I really do not need to hear about everyone's pet theory every time I see them. Considering I'm at the barn almost every day, that amounts to a lot of opinions! It amazes me that people seem miffed when I say I am going to follow my veterinarian's recommended course of action.

Anyway, Will was supposed to be at the clinic all day today but they had to cancel because my vet had to be out of town. I was able to reschedule for next Tuesday. Not ideal, but it's the earliest we could manage with my work schedule and the Easter weekend.

On a happier note...

Video of the not-so-orphaned filly 'Ari' (Aristocratic Lady) and her surrogatge mama, Annie. Annie still looks a little rough but she has definitely cleaned up a lot since coming to our barn. I don't think she stopped eating for the first three days (except maybe to drink lots of water)!  She is a very sweet mare who takes everything in stride and definitely thinks this new little one belongs to her! Nature is truly amazing.

 Ari - sleep to canter transition.Camera pans
to show new mama Annie and then Gemstone, in
another pasture, who is overly keen on the baby.


Golden the Pony Girl said...

That is frustrating! I am sure those people think they are being helpful but.... they aren't. It is a a good reminder to me as well. I don't think I am an armchair vet but I am sure I have put in my two cents when it was not asked for.... like my grandpa used to say "never miss a good opportunity to shut up" :)

I hope Willy feels better soon!

RuckusButt said...

Oh, I'm sure I've done it too! It's natural to want to help solve a puzzle and I am certain they mean well. It just gets a bit much after awhile, especially with some people who are quite insistent. I can say that when I give my 2 cents I try to be as unassuming as possible and I make my point once and let it go.

I have managed to keep the frustration out of my communications with these people, which I think is good. I have taken to giving very short replies and, of course, venting on my blog!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I think there are constructive ways to share thoughts and opinions, and intrusive/rude ways to do so. A lot of so called experts seem to convey their opinions in non-constructive ways. I hope you get some answers on Tuesday, it is such a frustrating position to be in, more questions than answers. We all end up there with our horses at some point.

RuckusButt said...

I think you're absolutely right Melissa. I'm generally very open to ideas and readily admit that the veterinary world of horses is fairly new to me. I think that my openness might have encouraged some over-enthusiastic opinions once I actually had a mystery problem.

I guess I just wish people wouldn't feel the need to hammer their point repeatedly and also have some sensitivity to recognize what this is like for me. Just because I can regulate my emotions in public doesn't mean I'm not worried sick over what this could potentially mean long term.

Anyway, hopefully Tuesday will answer some questions and tip the scales in our favor.

Laura said...

So frustrating! I'm sure I've done that at some point though - it seems that keeping quiet is a hard thing for horse people to do! It's too bad that you appt. got delayed, as I know you are anxious to get some answers.

BTW, Theresa and I discussed your ulcer theory for Dolly and we both think you are right. We are changing her food and the vet is out in a couple of weeks so I'll check with him then.