Anyone who has recently cared for a sick or injured pet knows how expensive the cost of veterinary medicine has become. According to Andrew Pollack, reporting on “Start-Ups on Biotech Drugs for Pets” for the New York Times, “Americans spent nearly $56 billion on pets in 2013,” including the cost of veterinary care.

What many people may not realize is that the quality and sophistication of veterinary medicine is often comparable to care provided to human patients.  But that care can come with a hefty pricetag.

At a recent seminar for equine veterinarians, held in conjunction with the Hambeltonian, the premier Standardbred race in New Jersey, advances in equine medicine and surgery were on display.

Copyright: patrimonio / 123RF Stock Photo

An example of the topics presented included:

  • Approach to the Pruritic (itchy) Horse;
Copyright: modfos / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: modfos / 123RF Stock Photo








  • Selected Problems in the Growing Foal and Young Horse;
  • Equine Laparoscopy;
  • Use of Acupuncture for a Variety of Equine Problems; and
  • Equine Ophthalmology

The state of the art in these and other fields of veterinary medicine is remarkable.

However, not all clients can afford the diagnostic testing and treatments available.  Understanding that, veterinarians usually include alternate methods when discussing potential options with their clients.

When a costly procedure or diagnostic test can result in a significantly improved outcome, the owner should be informed of this option.

However, if testing will only lead to even more expensive treatments which the owner would not consider or cannot afford, then proceeding with the testing may not make sense.

But the owner, once informed of the options, should make the final decision.


Copyright: mbtaichi / 123RF Stock Photo


One thing is certain─veterinary medicine, like human medicine, will continue to evolve, providing better care and outcomes for animals.