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Tips for Selecting a Livestock Veterinarian

The health of your livestock affects not only the individual well-being of each animal but also your bottom line and potentially the health of people who consume the meat or dairy products produced by your farm. Read on for tips on how to choose a vet for your precious farm animals.

Caring for Large Animals

As a livestock farmer, ensuring the health of your animals is paramount. Choosing the right large animal vet to provide your livestock with the preventive and urgent care they need to thrive can make a significant difference in your farm's overall productivity.

But how do you choose the best veterinarian to meet the needs of your livestock? Consider the following criteria:

The Right Experience

Many large animal vets focus on a specific species. Whether your livestock consists of cattle, pigs, sheep, horses or something more exotic, you will want to choose a veterinarian with a proven track record in the care of that particular species. An experienced large animal vet will have the skills to act fast and handle any complex medical issues that may arise.

Comprehensive Services

The services you require will depend on the type of farm you operate and which form of livestock you raise. Does the vet you are considering offer all of the services your livestock need to thrive

These highly skilled professionals should be able to vaccinate animals against disease, treat them when they are sick, and provide you with critical guidance on nutrition, housing and production practices. Can you call on them to treat colic, broken bones, cuts and other injuries that may occur? Do they offer reproductive services, care for pregnant animals and assistance during the birthing process? 

Emergency Response

Sickness and injuries can happen at the drop of a hat. When selecting a livestock veterinarian, be sure to consider whether they are able to get to your animals and provide care promptly. A veterinarian who offers on-farm ambulatory care for emergency situations can be a lifesaver!


Veterinarians are trained in routine procedures and a variety of surgeries. However, not all veterinarians offer the range of services that some farmers need. Assess the needs of your livestock and look for a vet who can provide you with the specific services you require. Some common procedures and surgeries performed on livestock include correction of abomasal displacement, castration, dehorning, tail docking, cesarean section, hernia repair, and teat laceration repairs.

Reproductive Care

Caring for pregnant livestock is a large part of what farmers and ranchers do. While many farmers are able to assist their animals during the birthing process, the skills and experience of a qualified veterinarian can be invaluable. This is particularly true if a calf or foal is breech. Will the vet you are considering be available to help if your livestock is experiencing difficulties birthing? 

In-House Care for Complex Health Problems

Some medical issues experienced by large animals are best treated at a veterinary hospital equipped to handle livestock. Does the veterinarian you are considering provide in-house farm animal care?

Equine Care

Horses, ponies and donkeys come with their own set of unique healthcare needs ranging from dental care, deworming and vaccinations to lameness evaluations and more. If your farm or stable houses these beautiful animals, be sure to look for a large animal vet that can provide all of the services your equine friends need to thrive. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for an experienced large animal vet in the Gillette area? Contact Red Hills Veterinary Hospital to learn more about our veterinary services for large animals.

New Patients Welcome

Red Hills Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Gillette companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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