Use a foal care program to build your practice (sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health) - Veterinary Healthcare


Use a foal care program to build your practice (sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health)
A foal care program can still be an important profit center in your practice.


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Equine breeding tends to ebb and flow with the economy, something many of you are witnessing firsthand as equine practitioners. But you can still make foal care services work for you—and earn your practice aprofit—if you take time to tailor the program to your practice and your client base. Whether you already have a foal care program that simply needs a little refreshing or you're considering starting from scratch, use these tips to build the program that offers the most benefits for you, your clients, and your patients.

Is it right for you?

How do you decide whether a foal care program is right for your practice? There are a few criteria you need to evaluate to determine whether it's a service your clients will embrace, says Tracey O'Driscoll-Packer, an equine business and practice management consultant.

Is your practice driven by professional horse owners and breeders, or is it driven by private horse owners? Clients who own their own facilities may be less likely to need foal care services. But if you have a large group of horse owners who need help with the foaling process, a program might be right for your practice.

One side effect of the current economy is lower numbers for professional breeders, Packer says. Look at whether those breeding facilities are interested in outsourcing. And evaluate whether some of your clients are still breeding their own horses. If you can identify their needs, you can create a structured program. Additional modifications also do wonders.

Next, Packer says, consider whether you can offer a foal care service package. The advantages: Clients buy in for a set number of services and they can budget the care.

"Foaling and foal care can be as much an art as science, and medical needs can be difficult to predict," Packer says. "But a package program allows owners to budget for unexpected expenses, and it gives veterinarians the opportunity to build even stronger bonds with those owners."


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