Tips for Finding the Best Vet

We all know it’s easy to find a small animal veterinarian – puppies, kitties, etc. But when considering a large animal vet to treat our favorite livestock companions, the choices are fewer and their locations are farther and farther away from our home.

What all does a livestock vet do? According to, “Large animal vets may conduct health exams, give vaccinations, draw blood, clean and suture wounds, prescribe medication, and perform surgery. They may also perform artificial insemination, help with difficult livestock birth situations, take ultrasounds or X-rays, and monitor reproductive health.”

Part of the staff at Donor Solutions, Rensselaer, IN

To get started on your search, you can always contact your local Cooperative Extension Service, or search the web for vets in your area.

Additionally, you might try asking around. Your neighbors with livestock will have some insight to which vets they use and prefer. Don’t be afraid to ask them why they use one over the other.

Once you get the names and numbers, you’ll want to contact the clinic. Southern States Co-Op, gives advice about choosing a new vet here. They suggest asking the following questions.

  • the types of hours they typically keep
  • when they are available for animal emergencies
  • what are the costs associated with emergency/after hour visits
  • what types of payment terms they expect
  • and the best way to contact them in case of an emergency
image courtesy of Penn State

You’ll want to feel comfortable around the vet, so you are confident they can provide the best care for your animal in the time of need. Once this relationship is established, the vet might be able to provide help over the phone (especially in emergency situations), as chances are they are located some distance away from your farm or ranch.

What other advice do you have for someone looking for a new livestock veterinarian?