There are times when a video communicates a condition or situation better than any other means. Examples of this are problems that are exemplified by movement or motion, such as lameness, gait alterations, neurologic issues, chewing and swallowing difficulties, and many behavioral issues.
However, there are various limitations and pitfalls to this form of communication. Some subtle problems are not well captured in a video. Sometimes the video doesn’t reveal the whole problem, and sometimes I cannot assess the severity of the problem with a video alone. Poor quality video, lighting, resolution, and cropping can be misleading. Likewise, videos that are too large are not easily sent via phone or electronic mail.
If you are going to take the time to send your vet a video of an equine healthcare problem, take the time to ensure that it is useful, understanding the value and limitations of this form of communication.
How you approach this skill somewhat depends on the condition or issue you wish to capture. Nevertheless, keep in mind the basics of good video technique. Before you begin to film, consider what you are trying to capture and how best to do that.
Is it helpful to document your horse walking away from you, towards you, past you - or all three? Do you need to move your horse to a more consistently lit or brighter area?
How wide of a shot is necessary? Should you film close up to show some detail, use a wider shot to show the whole horse in movement - or a combination?
If the problem is intermittent and hard to predict, you may have to spend some time waiting for the right moment to film. Get comfortable but be ready at a moment's notice to start filming, and edit it or tell your vet the time range to view if you create a long video.
Tips for safety & Success
Talk to your vet about their preference regarding this form of communication. Some encourage it, others do not. Some charge for a consultation, some do not.
Talk to your vet about whether to send the video to their e-mail (if it is small enough) or upload it to YouTube, and alert them that the video is available for viewing. Always include basic information including your name, your horse's name, age, sex and breed, as well as a brief description of the problem.
Practice taking video clips of your horse and uploading them to Youtube before the need for this skill arises.