Horses Highlight: Seeing the Doctor

By Dan Roark

Or more precisely, the doctor came to the horses in the form of Dr. Jennifer Voellinger and her Precision Equine Mobile Veterinary Service. More about her in a minute, but she has a gentle personality conducive to both humans and horses.

Torrin and I helped Kim, the barn manager, bring each horse to the shower stall for their shots and dental checkup, then put them in the tacking area until the medicine wore off, then rinsed them off when they woke up because the medicine also made them sweat.

When I arrived, Kim asked me to get Missy. I got her halter from the board and brought her out of her paddock. When she saw the doctor, she started to dig in. Dr. Voellinger only comes twice a year as a general rule, but the horses remembered that April is the main visit. Missy didn’t give as much resistance as Cy (Cyclops) did. Sharla came and slapped Cy on the rear while I pulled on the lead rope and we got him going.

Olivia, however, was a different matter. Miss Priss wanted to play games. I got her halter on and got her out of the paddock just fine. Then she spotted the doctor and dug in. Sharla said she was coming to help out as I was straining, pulling on the lead rope. Just before Sharla got to us, Olivia seemed to say, “just kidding,” and responded to my directions. The other horses varied in their responses to the doctor until they received their shots. Then they were calm.

I took pictures with my phone since I was helping to rinse off the horses – in particular, I got to rinse Flash. That, and I held the horses while the doctor gave them shots and so forth. So I didn’t get pictures of the horses after they had their injections. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to. It was like looking at a bunch of drunk horses. Nothing the horses would want you to see. It wasn’t their fault.

More about Dr. Voellinger: After graduating from University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, she completed a one year equine medicine and surgery internship at Reata Equine Hospital in Weatherford, Texas. Upon completion of her internship, she had the opportunity to practice equine ambulatory medicine in the DFW metroplex for 3 years before starting Precision Equine Mobile Veterinary Services.

Dr. Voellinger’s primary interests include equine sports medicine, internal medicine and preventative medicine. Her experience riding and competing with horses (she competed in barrel racing growing up in Missouri and continues to do so) allows her to better understand the needs of equine athletes. Dr. Voellinger is an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and is a certified animal chiropractor through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).


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