With increasing frequency, small animal veterinary practice owners are being offered the golden (corporate) ticket to exit their careers gracefully, financially secure and with the knowledge that the hospitals they worked so hard to build will live on beyond their retirement. The major national players have been joined by more and more smaller, regional and sometimes family-owned entities, carving out groups that often include no outward changes in the practice at all.
So, what about mixed animal or equine practice? The same trend is most certainly not occurring in those areas, and there are some likely reasons why.
1. Small animal practices tend to be facilities with doctors attached, but equine practices tend to be doctors with facilities attached
Although there are no doubt exceptions, a large number of equine practices are centered around the owner or primary veterinarian and his or her vision. More often than not, they started as solo practices, grew to the point that they had about 150% of the workload they could manage and hired a single veterinary associate. Also, more often than not, the name of the associate changed every 12 to 18 months.