The longevity of modern veterinary inserts factors into responses given when company representatives were asked what advice
they give mobile practitioners and their thoughts on the future of equine practice vehicles.
Almost all believe flex-fuel vehicles and alternate fuel sources will be part of the next chapter in practice vehicles. If
fuel becomes less expensive or if alternative energy sources are found, then size and comfort will again be factors.
Newer equipment is being developed constantly, and high-end mobile practitioners already need room to carry digital radiography
units, thermo-graphy cameras and digital ultrasound machines, with more gadgets and devices coming soon.
Going smaller may not be possible for everyone, and may not always be better, Blais cautions.
"Remember that a mobile veterinary insert can weigh close to 200 pounds. Add to that the weight of all the drugs and equipment,
and it starts to add up. Smaller SUVs are not designed to handle that weight, leading to problems with the frame, wear and
replacement of shocks, brakes and tires. That may make smaller a poorer choice," he says.
If the cost of the units are factored over their average life and the difference in maintenance offset against the cost of
gasoline, then the decisions become a bit harder.
Still, the changing demographics of equine veterinarians and current economic conditions have likely closed the chapter on
the mobile equine practice truck.
As we have seen, a new vehicle choice will be made and modern equine veterinarians will still ride the roads and make
their rounds with a historical reminder that there is also, finally, "just plain everyday walking it."
Marcella is an equine practitioner in Canton, Ga.