How Much Does A Horse Vet Visit Cost?

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If you own horses, you know their care isn’t cheap. 

Feeding, housing, hoofing, and grooming are just a few things your horse will need. Apart from those items, your hooved companion will need healthcare – which is often one of the most expensive aspects of horse ownership. 

This article will answer the question: How much does a horse vet visit cost?

Once you understand the basics of veterinary care costs for horses, you can start budgeting for your animal’s routine needs and emergency vet bills. While reading, consider the expenses we mention and whether you can afford them for your horse. 

If you feel overwhelmed by all the dollar signs, that’s okay. We’ll dive into some ways you can simplify managing your horse’s care.

This article will go over:

  • How much a horse vet visit costs
  • Common injuries and illnesses for horses
  • Costs associated with treatments and procedures
  • If pet insurance covers horse vet visits

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    Horse Vet Visit Cost Guide (2022)

    An average horse vet visit starts at around $300 and then climbs depending on factors such as:

    • Required testing and diagnostics
    • Procedures needed
    • Farm call costs
    • Patient behavior

    Equine care costs are hard to pin down because they vary depending on several factors. However, you can still understand them better by seeing samples from various veterinary care providers.

    We reached out to veterinary clinics near Raleigh, North Carolina

    (Neuse River Equine Hospital and Summit Equine Hospital) to get concrete examples of horse healthcare costs.

    Here is what we found:

    Injury/Illness

    Estimated Expense

    Equine ulcers

    • $400 for testing
    • $200-$300 for treatment

    Colic 

    • $300-$600 for diagnostic testing and treatment
    • $5,000-$10,000 for emergency surgery

    Strangles

    • $750 for testing and treatment

    West Nile virus

    Cushing’s disease

    Desmitis

    • $500-$2,000 for surgical repair

    Tetanus

    • $10,000 to diagnose and treat

    Common Treatments, Procedures, & Costs

    In the following sections, we’ll saddle up and go over some standard veterinary services your horse might need. We’ll list sample prices to give you an idea of how to best budget for your buddy’s care. 

    These prices are estimates and will vary depending on your location and the type of horse you have. Your vet bill might also include administrative and farm call fees, so remember to factor in additional costs.

    Injections

    According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, joint injections can help decrease inflammation and ease pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions. Many horse owners seek injection therapy to help treat a horse’s lameness or abnormal movement caused by joint pain.

    The vet will probably conduct a lameness exam to determine if your horse needs joint injections. This price list from the Foundation Equine Clinic has lameness exams starting at $80.

    The veterinarian will analyze your horse’s working history and inspect its posture while it stands and moves. The vet may then need to further assess your horse’s problem by performing MRIs, ultrasounds, X-rays, or radiographs. Equine radiography pricing can start at around $150 and increase for every region that needs imaging.

    If the vet prescribes joint injections, you’ll pay for the treatment per joint. According to Mid-Michigan Equine Services, each joint injection for your horse can cost $150-$300. Depending on your horse’s specific needs, it could require joint injections up to two times a year. 

    You can also give your pal joint supplements in between injections to help reduce inflammation and manage pain. Such supplements range in price from about $50-$100.

    Tests, Examinations, and Checkups

    Here are some average test, checkup, and exam prices we found from various equine veterinary practices:

    Mid-Michigan Equine Services

    • Emergency/after-hours visits – $100-$150
    • Lameness exam – $40-$100
    • Coggins test – $45
    • Health certificate – $20-$35

    University of Helsinki Veterinary Teaching Hospital

    • Administrative fee – $44-$88
    • Lameness exam – $190
    • Gastroscopy – $212
    • Endoscopy of respiratory tract – $129
    • Radiography – $95 for first two images, $16 per additional image

    Central Equine Vets

    • Standard visit fee – $44
    • Emergency visit fee – $115
    • Examination – $44
    • Dental exam – $40
    • Fecal egg count test – $9

    Foundation Equine Clinic

    • Coggins test – $40-$89
    • Complete dental exam – $190
    • Fecal egg count test – $35
    • Lameness exam – $80+
    • Chiropractic assessment and adjustment – $130
    • Health certificate – $43-$48

    Lima Veterinary Center

    • Wellness exam – $45
    • Coggins Test – $35

    Layup

    Layup boarding is when horses go to a facility to recover from health conditions and receive continued medical treatment for injuries and illnesses. As you know, boarding your horse anywhere is pricey, and boarding your horse for medical reasons tacks extra onto that bill.

    The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine offers boarding and layup services. Vacation boarding fees start at $32 per day. Layup rates range from $44-$64 per day.

    Other boarding facilities list prices starting at $900 per month for layup services.

    Vaccinations

    Annual vaccinations are an essential part of your routine horse care. You can save thousands of dollars on equine veterinary bills by simply taking a proactive approach to your horse’s health.

    Take a look at sample prices for vaccinations from various equine health practices:

    Mid-Michigan Equine Services

    • Eastern/Western/Tetanus/West Nile/Rhino – $70
    • Influenza/Rhinopneumonitis – $38
    • Rabies – $20
    • Potomac Horse Fever – $34
    • Strangles – $44

      Central Equine Vets

      • Flu vaccine – $37
      • Tetanus vaccine – $25

      Foundation Equine Clinic

      • Eastern/Western/Tetanus/West Nile – $49
      • Influenza/Rhinopneumonitis – $41
      • Rabies – $26
      • Botulism – $57
      • Strangles – $56
      • Potomac Horse Fever – $49

      Lima Veterinary Center

      • Rabies – $20
      • Eastern/Western/West Nile – $35
      • Influenza/Rhinopneumonitis – $40
      • Strangles – $38
      • Potomac Horse Fever – $36
      • Tetanus – $20

      Additional Expenses When Taking Your Horse to a Veterinarian

      Horses aren’t the easiest pet to transport. 

      For this reason, equine vets often travel to farms to examine and treat horses. Farm call fees are another essential factor to consider when planning for veterinary care costs.

      Farm call fees typically depend on your farm’s distance from the veterinary practice and how long the veterinarian works on your horse. This veterinary center in Lima, N.Y., charges $40-$150 per farm call, depending on the distance from the vet clinic. Another provider listed $50 for farm calls “to most locations.”

      Another expense to consider is emergency or after-hours care. A regular vet visit might cost around $40 for your horse. If the visit is an emergency or requires on-call services, you might pay up to $150 for the appointment alone – not including the costs of diagnostics, testing, treatments, and follow-up.

      We don’t mention this to scare you; for any pet parent, the key to affording necessary vet care is being prepared. Preparation starts with preventive healthcare and budgeting for emergencies before they happen. We’ll talk about how you can save on veterinary costs in the next section.

      Does Pet Insurance Cover Horse Vet Visit Costs?

      Pet insurance is a financial tool that can help you prepare for unexpected veterinary bills. With a pet insurance policy, you’ll pay predictable monthly fees in exchange for coverage of unplanned vet costs.

      ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a top pet insurance provider for dogs and cats. The company is also one of the only pet insurance companies to offer plans for horses, making it a significant player in the pet health market.

      ASPCA’s horse insurance plan covers exam fees for your horse’s vet visit and costs associated with diagnostics, testing, and treatment. However, the company doesn’t cover farm call fees or expenses you incur transporting your horse to and from the vet.

      Look at the company’s coverage features and exclusions for its Colic + Accident + Illness plan:

      What’s Covered

      What’s Not Covered

      • Exam fees 
      • Colic 
        • Impaction
        • Viral and bacterial infections
      • Accidents
        • Punctures
        • Cuts
        • Hoof abscesses
        • Toxic ingestions
        • Trailer accidents
      • Illnesses
      • Hereditary conditions
      • Pre-existing conditions
      • Accidents or illnesses that occur within the 15-day waiting period
      • Arthritis
      • Navicular disease
      • Join injections
      • Horseshoes and farrier services

      If you select ASPCA pet insurance for your horse, you can also purchase an add-on wellness plan for your buddy’s preventive care. ASPCA’s wellness plans cover annual costs of $175-$425 for services like routine dental care, wellness exams, WNV vaccinations, rabies/tetanus vaccinations, fecal testing, Coggins tests, and more.

      Final Thoughts

      We hope this article helps you understand how much horse vet visits cost. Now that you have a better understanding of the cost of your horse’s medical needs, you can get started on a plan for budgeting and saving on those big bills.

      We understand if you’re afraid your horse’s veterinary care will put a dent in your savings. You want to give your horse the top-notch treatment it deserves without worrying about the price tag – but hefty bills are still stressful. 

      We recommend purchasing a pet insurance policy for your horse to focus less on cost and more on keeping your buddy in tip-top shape. You can read about the best pet insurance for horses to learn how you can save on the essential care your pal needs. 

      We have no doubt you’ll find a whinny-worthy plan that will cover all the way from your horse’s hooves to its shaggy mane and everywhere in between.

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