Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To Vet or not to Vet

That is the question. I recently took a poll asking if I (as a farmer) used a vet for my livestock. It was a multiply choice with answers such as:

No, if it's sick I put it down my self
No, I do all of my own treatments

Yes, all the time
Yes, for financially important or emotionally important animals
Yes, when I can't handle the situation

I realized that I am a Yes for some animals and a no for others.

I've never taken my rabbits to the vet. I treat them myself giving shots as needed but when there is an illness or trauma that is beyond my abilities I dispatch the animal. I have never contemplated calling a vet, though financially they are my money makers right now.

My Nigerian Dwarf goats on the other hand have had Vet visits. The first was an ultra sound on my very first goat to see how many we were expecting and that everything was going smoothly. I haven't done that since, mostly because I feel confident that birth situations will be normal. I hope that if I am faced with a breech I will get right in there, literally.

The second visit was for a dislocated hoof. I tend to think that as my herd grows larger I will be less inclined to take them to the vet for minor injuries.

Most recently was the birth of two Nigerians from a first time mom. We had been gone for the morning and by the time we got home, after lunch, one of the babies was happily chasing mom around for another drink, but the other was almost lifeless, and cold.
It was great to see my kids go into action as they grabbed blankets, hot water bottles, baby bottles and most important the bag of fluids and needles needed to give the baby subcutaneous fluids.
Thankfully the heat and fluids did the trick and the baby girl was eating, pooping and walking by bed time. I will admit that I thought about calling a vet for a brief moment and then recognized that I would but it down if the fluids didn't help.
I'm not an animal rescue I am a farm and choices are made with a heavy leaning towards the financial concerns. I do care deeply for my animals and their well being, and would not let an animal suffer. Ultimately the care of the animals will be done by my hands and it's my responsibility to be prepared with the knowledge and tools to care for my livestock.

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