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Client communication guide is released for equine veterinary teams


The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners collaborated to create the new resource for practices.

Veterinarian-client relationship

Photo: Weyo/Adobe Stock

An equine veterinarian performs and exam on a ranch while the client holds the horse.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) have partnered for a new resource for equine veterinary teams. The free Effective Equine Care Guide was created to help practice staff develop healthy lines of communication and positive partnerships with horse owners, according to an organizational release.1

Launched today—World Horse Day—this single-page guide can be printed out and displayed in the clinic or provided to clients as a tip sheet. The Effective Equine Care Guide shows a column of client expectations for an equine practice next to a compatible list of complementary behaviors requested by the staff. “Be provided with contact information for veterinary emergency services when needed” is a client expectation. In response, the staff requests that clients “reserve after-hours calls for true emergencies [and understand] that [their] regular veterinarian may not be the one to see [their] horse.”2

“The release of the Effective Equine Care Guide marks a significant step forward in the care of horses in the United States. This collaborative effort, at its core, is about nurturing the relationships between veterinarians, their teams, and horse owners to ensure the best possible care for these magnificent animals. Through open communication and mutual respect, this guide will empower both veterinary professionals and horse owners, leading not just to healthier horses, but also stronger, more positive relationships in our professional lives. This is essential in our mission to advance the health and wellbeing of animals and reflects our ongoing commitment to support the veterinary profession in all aspects of their invaluable work,” said Rena Carlson, DVM, president of the AVMA, in the release.1

“When the relationship between an equine veterinarian and an owner is rooted in mutual trust and respect, it is the health and welfare of the horse that benefits the most,” added 2024 AAEP President Katie Garrett, DVM, DACVS-LA, in the release.1 “The AAEP is tremendously appreciative of this opportunity to partner with the AVMA on behalf of every horse doctor and client.”

The launch of the Effective Equine Care Guide follows the release of recent data from the AVMA that found 9 of 10 veterinarians in companion animal practice indicated that they’ve experienced negative or escalated client interactions in the past year. When asked if a resource outlining shared expectations and responsibilities could help strengthen their relationship with clients, 7 of 10 replied affirmatively.1

Meanwhile, a 2023 survey by Banfield Pet Hospital found that more than 80% of the 1000 responding pet owners value a strong and positive relationship with their veterinary team. This survey also found that nearly half of all clients have had a disagreement or heated interaction with their veterinary team.3

The Effective Equine Care Guide will be housed within the AVMA’s reputation management toolkit. This toolkit is available to veterinary professionals throughout the industry on the AVMA’s website.1


  1. Better communication, better care: AVMA, AAEP unveil new guide for equine practices. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. March 1, 2024. Accessed March 1, 2024. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/better-communication-better-care-avma-aaep-unveil-new-guide-equine-practices
  2. Veterinarian-client agreement for effective equine care. Effective Equine Care Guide. American Veterinary Medical Association. Accessed March 1, 2024. https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2024-02/mcm-effective-equine-care-guide-2024.pdf
  3. After pandemic pet boom and rise in demand for veterinary care, good news: pet owners and veterinary professionals are ready for positive partnerships. April 11, 2023. Accessed March 1, 2024. https://www.banfield.com/about-banfield/newsroom/press-releases/2023/banfield-pet-hospital-avma-surveys-positive-pet-care-partnerships
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