Goats and University Vet Hospitals

Episode 100
For the Love of Goats

If you don’t have a veterinarian in your area who sees goats, you can take them to a veterinary teaching hospital. Many people don’t realize they are open to the public and even have emergency services 24/7.

In this episode, goat breeder Tammy Gallagher and I talk about our experiences utilizing veterinary teaching hospitals at Texas A&M and University of Illinois. Even though we both went there initially because of their emergency services, we have now become huge fans.

Since Tammy is close enough to Texas A&M, she has also utilized their field services team where vets and students come to the farm to do routine herd assessments and other veterinary care.

In addition to access to 24-hour service, we also talk about having a diagnostic lab on site, as well as specialists in reproduction, surgery, dermatology, and more.

Learn more about Tammy Gallagher online at…

Shady Paddock Farm Website
Shady Paddock Farm Facebook Page

Airbnb with Goats – another episode with Tammy where she talks about her adorable cottage and goats.

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Introduction 0:03
For the love of goats! We are talking about everything goat. Whether you’re a goat owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we’ve got you covered. And now, here is Deborah Niemann.

Deborah Niemann 0:18
Today’s episode is brought to you by Goats 365, my membership program for people who are living with, learning about, and loving goats, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Basic members get access to six courses covering housing, fencing, parasites, nutrition, and health, as well as things like composting goat manure and the basics of starting a goat-based business. Premium members also have the opportunity to attend live online meetings via Zoom to talk about goats every month. Visit Goats365.com to learn more.

Deborah Niemann 0:52
Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s episode! I am really excited today about this episode, because this is one of those episodes I’m doing because I keep getting a lot of questions, and this is the answer. So, in the future, when people tell me they don’t have a vet in their area, and I tell them, “You can go to a university teaching hospital,” I can then just refer them to this podcast episode so that they can learn more about that instead of spending time, you know, educating each individual person on it. And, I am joined today by Tammy Gallagher of Shady Paddock Farm in Texas. Some of you may know Tammy from my Facebook groups and Facebook pages, where she helps me to answer questions that people have about goats and chickens and stuff. Welcome to the show, Tammy!

Tammy Gallagher 1:39
Thanks, Deborah. Great to be here!

Deborah Niemann 1:41
I’m so excited to have you talking with me about this, because I started using a University of Illinois vet hospital after I had had goats for a couple years, because my local goat vet left. He sold his practice to somebody who only wanted to do small animals, so I no longer had a local vet. And, one day, I had a baby goat that was dying on me. And, my goat mentor, who lived in Wisconsin, said, “You know, can you get him down to the university, that hospital there.” And, I was so shocked. I was like, “I had no idea that was even a possibility.” And so, that’s what I did. And, I have been a huge fan ever since.

Deborah Niemann 2:20
Can you tell people a little bit about how you got started using Texas A&M?

Tammy Gallagher 2:24
Yeah. So, we moved closer to Texas A&M, which is nice, because I’m about an hour away, which makes it pretty convenient for me. But, the way I actually found out about them is I had an emergency situation with my llama. And, he was just almost dead. And, I knew that I needed the big guns to save his life. And so, we loaded him up. I called the Large Animal Hospital at Texas A&M, not having any idea what the feedback was going to be, what the procedure was, any of that stuff, or if I could even just load him up and take him. I had no idea. So, I called them up. They were so nice on the phone. I gave them the information on what was going on; they did initially try to just help me over the phone by, you know, kind of giving me some feedback on what they thought was going on. And, we kind of came to a mutual decision that it was best for him to go there. So, we loaded him up and took him.

Tammy Gallagher 3:27
And, I found out actually that he was very anemic. And, I had been out of town for a couple of months. And, I thought, “Oh my gosh, he’s probably, you know, full of barber pole worms. This has got to be what’s happening.” So, come to find out, it was not a parasite burden that made him so anemic. He was very zinc deficient. And, when your zinc levels get super, super low, it impacts the way you process iron. And so, he had iron deficiency anemia from massive zinc deficiency. So, learning all of this—and they saved his life. They gave him a blood transfusion, and he’s happy, healthy, no more issues in the past few years. But, I knew if he was that zinc deficient, most likely, my goats were probably having an issue as well. And, I mentioned it to the veterinarian as we were getting ready to leave, and she said, “You know, we have a field animal services. If you’d like to have one of our veterinarians come out to the farm and just do a herd health evaluation, we can do that.”

Tammy Gallagher 4:39
So, that’s how I found the animal hospital. And, that’s how I found out that they do more than just emergency services.

Deborah Niemann 4:46
That’s awesome. I know, I’m so jealous that you’re close enough to A&M to have them come out to your farm, because I’m two hours away from Illinois, and I have to load up my goats and take them in. And, it’s funny, because we had a zinc deficiency problem. And, it was one morning, I walked out there, and it looked like somebody had sprayed whipped cream all over the stall and all over my bucks. And, they wouldn’t eat. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, what is wrong with them?” They would not. I mean, I put hay in there. They wouldn’t even touch it. And, I called the university, and they’re like, “Well, you could bring in a couple of them for us to evaluate, or you could bring in all of them.” And, I loaded up all of them, and I think it was, like, seven at the time—and that was back in the days when I still would put them in my minivan. And, oh my gosh, that was so stinky to drive two hours each direction with, you know, all those bucks in my minivan. But, it was totally worth it, because that’s how I found out that my bucks had a problem with zinc deficiency. Because, I’d been feeding them alfalfa all winter, because I couldn’t get any grass hay that year.

Deborah Niemann 5:54
So, I know a lot of people think like that, “Oh my gosh, well, the vet hospital is two hours away from me,” or “three hours away from me.” But, the first thing I want to mention is that you said how you first called Texas A&M, and they gave you some ideas over the phone. That’s one of the things that I always tell people, too. Like, even if you’re three or four hours away from the vet hospital, you can call them, and they will talk to you over the phone and try to help you over the phone if they can. And sometimes they can. You know, sometimes they can offer us some information over the phone that’s going to be helpful. And then, at some point, they may say, you know, “Well, you need to bring them in for an evaluation.”

Deborah Niemann 6:34
But sometimes, that phone call has been all I needed. You know, like, when I had a goat that had bloat, I gave her some kind of vegetable oil from my kitchen—I don’t know, probably olive oil or something. And, after half an hour, she wasn’t any better. And, I called them, and they said, “Give her another dose.” Like, “Give her another ounce.” That was a mini ‘Mancha. They said to give her another ounce. And so, it was like, “Oh, I didn’t know I could do that. Okay.” So, I did.

Deborah Niemann 7:03
And, I wish I had called them when I thought I had a goat that had hypocalcemia, because that was a case where, like, the goat should have responded within half an hour. And, if she didn’t, like, that was a clear indication that it wasn’t hypocalcemia; it was something else. Unfortunately, I did not call them that time. And then, the goat died a few hours later. And then, I wound up taking her in for a necropsy—which is good, to learn why your goat died. But, it would have definitely been better if I had called them sooner, and they had been able to make some suggestions over what it could have been, other than hypocalcemia, based on what I was seeing.

Tammy Gallagher 7:43
You know, something that I just thought about when you talked about taking the goat in… And, I’m not sure if every university has this, but something that’s really nice and convenient at Texas A&M: They actually have, like, a little, tiny room that’s unlocked all the time that has these big refrigerators in it. So, you can go at your convenience and drop off laboratory samples. Or, if you have a smaller animal that you need a necropsy on, you just go in, and they’re kind of like… Kind of reminds me of when you go to the post office, you have post office boxes. So, they’re little doors that you open that have a key, and you put your samples in there; it’s all refrigerated. Or, you put the, you know, small animal in there that you’re wanting a necropsy on, and you close it and turn the key. So, it locks it, so that nobody else will have access to it.

Tammy Gallagher 8:35
And, it’s just really nice and convenient, because we draw our own lab work. And, I don’t want to take, you know, two hours to drive there and back during the middle of the day. But, we will schedule it to go on Friday. My husband and I will drive over, drop off the samples, go to dinner, and then come home. So, it’s pretty nice and convenient.

Deborah Niemann 8:59
Oh, that’s a great idea! I love that. Yeah, Illinois doesn’t have anything like that, but they do have people available 24/7. And, I have dropped off an animal for a necropsy after hours. You know, they just meet you there.

Deborah Niemann 9:12
One thing I did want to mention, because somebody in Alaska told me that she called their vet school and asked about bringing in goats, and they never called her back. And, that is because Alaska only has a two-year vet school. So, they don’t have a Veterinary Teaching Hospital, because the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is used a little bit by the earlier students, but primarily by the more advanced students. You know, like, that’s where the fourth years do all of their different rotations and stuff. And so, if you happen to have a vet school in your area… I don’t know which others there are that are only two years. Alaska is the one I do know of. And then, after two years, those students transfer to Colorado State. But, there are 32 vet schools in the United States, so the odds are pretty good that there’s one fairly close to you, especially if you’re near a large university.

Deborah Niemann 10:07
One thing a lot of people worry about is that it might be more expensive. And, this can vary tremendously. In Illinois, the large animal clinic is actually much cheaper than using a local vet. Whereas, I’ve heard from people… Like, UC Davis and Tufts are two that I know are actually very expensive. I think this may have to do with the patient population. And, I actually asked someone once; there was a resident at Illinois who had gone to Tufts. And I said, “So, why is Tufts so expensive?” And she said, “Because they can be.” And, I think that in Illinois, we have a lot of cheap farmers who, you know, would just try to do it themselves if it was going to cost them $1,000. I mean, a farm is a business. And so, if an animal is only worth a couple hundred dollars to you, you’re not going to spend a huge amount of money to get that animal treated just to butcher it, you know, six months later or something like that.

Deborah Niemann 11:13
And so, I think one of the reasons for the large animal clinic not being that expensive is simply because they have to keep their prices fairly low to keep people bringing animals in. Because, that is not the case with the small animal clinic. My youngest daughter went to the University of Illinois to get her bachelor’s degree, and she had a dog and a tortoise. And, she took both of them there. And, the small animal clinic is actually basically the same as what you would pay in a private vet, but she loved taking her tortoise in there, because they told her so much information. She basically took it in for a well-tortoise exam, and so she learned, like, “Oh, it’s a girl!” And, she had given it a boy’s name. And, you know, they told her, “She might start laying eggs soon,” because of how old she was, and hibernation, and all kinds of really fun stuff that she did not know before that.

Tammy Gallagher 12:12
You know, I had that exact same experience with Texas A&M. I’ve had to utilize their emergency services for my dogs, and I’ve had to use them for my livestock. And, there’s usually about a whole place marker difference in the bill from small animal to large animal. When I took my llama that time, and he had to have the blood transfusion, they did a ton of lab work; I was really expecting my bill to be at least $1,000, if not $1,500. And, I was absolutely floored that it was only $400. I couldn’t believe it. And, that included an emergency visit fee, a blood transfusion… The most expensive thing on my bill was the lab work.

Tammy Gallagher 13:01
And, the great thing is, it’s very similar to when you go to an emergency clinic, you know, in your hometown, as far as them telling you, “This is what we think is going on. This is the stuff we would like to do. This is how much it’s gonna cost. These are the things we would really like to do.” But, it’s kind of optional. So, you still get all of those options, and a little bit of control of how much money you’re going to spend.

Tammy Gallagher 13:29
But, the most expensive thing on my bill was that lab work. And, when I got the breakdown, when I checked out, I was so shocked. So, they did go ahead and deworm him. He did have some parasites; it wasn’t really a really high load. But, because he was so anemic, they went ahead and dewormed him, just to kind of cover all the bases, let him start from scratch. And, they charge me, like, 28 cents for the dewormer. And, I couldn’t believe it. When I saw that, my jaw just dropped. So, there just wasn’t that big, huge, you know, markup. Because, when you go to your local veterinarian, they’re a business. They have to feed their family. They have to pay their staff. They have to make their mortgage payment. They have a margin on all of those products, because that’s how they make money so that they can stay in business. And, I’m sure the universities also are functioning on some sort of, you know, grants and those sorts of things. So, they probably have other sources of income coming in, which helps—especially in the large animal hospitals—to keep those costs down for us.

Deborah Niemann 14:32
Yeah. I’ve had vets tells me that sometimes. You know, like, if an animal dies, they’ll say, “We have a grant right now that would cover the necropsy on this goat if you want us to do that.” So, that’s always been really nice. So yeah, they do have other sources of funding, and a lot of it. I mean, everything they do there is educational, too. Like, you know, their students are always learning from everything. But, I’ve seen the same thing. Like, I really think that they just charge you exactly what the drugs cost. Because, my goats, usually the cost of the drugs is, like, pennies or maybe a couple dollars. So, I’m like, “Yeah, that’s probably what it would be if you took the price of the whole bottle and divided it up into, like, what this dosage was exactly.”

Tammy Gallagher 15:20
Or, like you said, some places are going to be more expensive. But, I found the large animal at Texas A&M to be very cost efficient. You know, I had to use them again recently, because I had a situation with one of my goats that developed milk stones. And, in order to figure out what we were dealing with, we needed to do X-rays. My bill again… You know, I had a surgeon that took care of my goat while she was there and got the stones out. My bill, again, was $401. The biggest fee on that was the X-rays, which were, like, 250-something dollars, because they did three. They did two views to start with, and then, after the procedure, they did another view to make sure that they had cleared everything from the teat. So, the service itself—and that was an emergency service, I paid an emergency service fee to be seen. You know, it was just… I can’t imagine how much that would have cost to go into a local vet and have that done.

Deborah Niemann 16:21
And also, too, it’s important for people to know that you can call and just check prices there. I remember that years ago, when we had both Nigerians and LaManchas, I had a LaMancha buck who got in with my Nigerian does, and I wound up giving Lutalyse to every doe that had not been bred. And, four or five months later, I had a goat that was getting big, big, big. She was due to kid, and she hadn’t kidded. And, this was a doe I had not given Lutalyse to, because I had bred her. And, I started to worry, like, “Oh my gosh, she wasn’t actually pregnant when he got in, and he got her pregnant.” Because, the due date that I had on my calendar came and went. And so, I was freaking out that she was pregnant with this LaMancha buck’s kids, because she was already huge. Like, she was so big. I was like, “Oh my gosh, she should have kidded on the due date! If she didn’t kid, it’s because she’s carrying LaMancha babies!”

Deborah Niemann 17:26
And so, I started calling around and telling. Like, I called a couple of different vets, and I called them to see, and again, like, just for price comparison purposes—I want to say this was probably 13 or 14 years ago—and basically talked to them, like, “So, what do I do? Do I let her start pushing and see what happens?” You know, and all that kind of stuff. And so, you know, they talked to me about that. Like, you know, what to do when she goes into labor and everything. And, they also gave me price estimates on what a C-section would be. And, at the university, it was going to be $200. And, at the local vet’s, it was going to be $800. And so, I was like, “Okay, well, we are driving two hours.” My local vet, I mean, that was going to be an hour away. You know, so it’s like, “Okay, I drive an extra hour and save $600. This is a no brainer.”

Deborah Niemann 18:17
And, it turned out that that doe went into labor and gave birth to four normal-sized Nigerian Dwarf kids. So, apparently, somebody rebred her to a Nigerian buck and didn’t tell me. For years, I blamed myself for that. And then, I was like, “Hold it. I had two teenage daughters. And, I bet they rebred her and just forgot to tell me.” Anyway, this is why I always tell people, like, “Don’t ask your vet to induce your goat, because they trust the goat to go into labor at the right time more than they trust your record-keeping ability. And, having lived through a situation like that a few times, now I would say, “Yes, I trust my goats more, too.” So, I would not want to try to put a goat into labor, you know, like, three or four weeks before it’s actually due.

Deborah Niemann 19:04
One of the other things I feel really spoiled by the university vet hospital is the fact that they have the labs right there. You know, like, if you go to your local vet, they’re drawing blood, and then they’re sending them off to a lab somewhere. And so, you may not get results for a day or two. And, if you have an animal that’s really, really sick, they might be dead in a day or two. Whereas, at the university, the lab is right there, and you get your answers immediately. And, that was something that was really, really helpful. We had a C-section last year. And, like, it all went south. For 21 years, I have heard that goats do not do well with being anesthetized. And, that goat proved it last year. It took her four hours to wake up from the anesthesia after the C-section, and on top of that, all of her vitals went in the wrong direction. And, we knew that, because, like, there was a student whose whole job was to sit there monitoring her vitals while, you know, the two vets were doing their thing with the C-section. And then, when, you know, the student started to tell us that, you know, all of her vitals were going wonky, they could immediately draw blood and send them to the lab and immediately knew, like, what was happening and what to do to help her. Like, her blood sugar skyrocketed to over 400, so one of the things that they did there was they gave her a shot of insulin. So, it was just a lot of stuff. And, I even remember saying to the vet, like, “She never would have survived a barn C-section, would she?” And the vet agreed, like, “Yeah, there was way too much that went wrong with her afterwards, that, like, if you weren’t in that setting, we would never have known what was going wrong and how to fix it as quickly as it needed to be fixed.”

Tammy Gallagher 20:48
You know, the other thing, too… You mentioned that the lab is there, and it’s so convenient. But, the other thing is, they have so many specialists, there’s a specialty department for everything. So, if you go in there thinking you have one problem, and it turns out that you have another problem, they can do a referral, and immediately you have somebody coming in to take over the care and, you know, use the specialized skills in taking care of your animal.

Tammy Gallagher 21:16
The other thing with that, too, is a lot of times within those specialty departments, there are students doing studies. And, if you happen to come in with a problem that they’re doing a study on… Like, you mentioned before: the grants. They may ask you to enroll your goat in that study to be followed, and then a lot of times your lab work, your X-rays, you know, whatever comes with whatever needs to be studied is covered by that grant. So, you basically get, you know, free care for that situation.

Deborah Niemann 21:51
Yeah, that is really cool. And, here’s another one, too, that I forgot about, but my daughter, when she moved to Colorado to get her PhD, she was at Colorado State, which has a vet school. And, she adopted a dog. Very bad situation. And, it had this horrible, horrible skin condition. And, she took it to two different private vets who were recommending all kinds of expensive things that were not working, like a kangaroo meat diet and stuff like that. And finally, I said to her, “Well, you know, you’re right there at CSU. Take him to the vet hospital. And, she did. And, she saw a dermatologist who took one look at him and said, “Oh, this looks like demodex.” And, you know, did the lab work, and like, “Yeah, it’s demodex.” And she’s like, “Well, why didn’t somebody else know that?” And he’s like, “A lot of just general vets, they don’t see it enough to be able to recognize it.” So, you know, it was awesome that she saw a dermatologist, you know? And so, yeah, I love the fact that you can see specialists.

Deborah Niemann 22:59
And, we had a case at Illinois where they brought in their reproductive specialists, because we had this doe that was, like, a month after kidding, her uterus filled up with fluid for some inexplicable reason. So, you know, again, like you said, it’s great that they’ve got all of the specialists there to be able to consult if the frontline people are not entirely sure what’s happening.

Tammy Gallagher 23:24
When I had my llama up there, I had just recently started learning a lot about researching, and learning a lot about micronutrients. And, when the vet called and she said, you know, “This is what’s going on with him,” and she started telling me about zinc deficiency, and she was asking me if she could run a micronutrient panel, because she said, “He is profoundly anemic, and he’s got a very mild parasite load, and this does not explain why he is this anemic.” And, when they looked at his blood under the microscope, they could tell the shape of the red blood cells were abnormal, to the point that there was something that was causing this iron deficiency anemia. So, there was a clue that there was something else going on. So, she called and asked if she could run this micronutrient panel. And, I literally, like, almost started clapping and running in place, because I was so excited that I was talking to a veterinarian that knew about micronutrients and wanted to investigate it and help me understand what was happening with my animal.

Tammy Gallagher 24:37
Because, up until that point, my experience with veterinarians in general when it comes to mineral supplementation, a lot of them are a little nervous about mineral supplementation. The first time I started learning about copper bolusing, and I asked my vet at the time—this was years ago—”You know, I’ve been reading about copper deficiency, and I’m wondering if I should copper—?” “Oh, no! No, no, no. Do not give any copper. Do not—” And, it was just an adamant, “No.” So, it was really exciting to me to come across someone who was so knowledgeable about the stuff I was trying to learn about, so that I can advocate better for my herd.

Tammy Gallagher 25:22
But, that’s what you get when you’re dealing with the university, because these are professors that are teaching students. They’re teaching the newest things; they’re constantly learning about the newest stuff. So, you really do get new research and new information when you go in with a problem.

Deborah Niemann 25:43
Yeah, exactly.

Tammy Gallagher 25:46
The other thing that happened with that visit… I mentioned that, you know, I had talked to the veterinarian about my concern with my goats, and she told me about, what they call it there is the Food Animal Field Service Team. And, if you’re close enough to your university hospital, and they have this department, it’s really nice, because if you don’t have another veterinarian that is near you who is very knowledgeable about goats, you can make an appointment for the veterinarian to come out, and they usually bring students with them, just to do a herd health evaluation. And, it’s really inexpensive by the time you realize they’re seeing your entire herd. You pay for a travel fee. And, you know, it’s gonna depend on how far they’re willing to go out. But then, once they get out to your farm, they can do an assessment. They do a lot of teaching with you; so they show you what they’re looking at in your herd and teaching you things to keep an eye on.

Tammy Gallagher 26:53
And then, you have established a patient-client relationship with a veterinarian. And, when you have a problem, you have somebody that you can go to if you need, you know, advice on deworming. If you need advice on something in particular that’s happening in your herd, you can contact that veterinarian and say, “Hey, you know, you were out here on such-and-such day, and you saw my herd. I’m seeing this today.” And then, you have that relationship established, so you can get that kind of advice, that personal advice, for your day-to-day things as well.

Deborah Niemann 27:30
I love that. I’m so jealous that you’re close enough to the university that you can have them come out to your farm.

Tammy Gallagher 27:37
It was really great when she came out here, because, you know, I had always sort of had an idea about how to do body condition scoring. And, the first time I ever saw somebody do an actual FAMACHA exam the way it’s supposed to be done was with my veterinarian. And, she came out to the farm, and she was teaching her students how to do it, and she was teaching her students how to do body condition scoring, and “Why this goat’s a 3, and this goat’s a 4.” So, it was very educational.

Deborah Niemann 27:59
Yeah, I love that. I always feel like every time I take an animal to the university, I’m not just paying to get that animal treated. I also feel like it’s an educational fee for me, because if one of the professors is seeing your animal, and there’s students there, a lot of times they’re quizzing the students on things. You know, like, when I took in a buck one time that had an eye injury—and, oh my gosh, it was so gross. Like, the whole eyelid was completely turned inside out. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen. And, he was talking to the students about, you know, like, “Well, what kind of an antibiotic should we use?” You know? And, somebody said, “Topical,” and he’s like, “Why?” And, it was because a systemic antibiotic is probably not going to reach the eye, so a topical makes more sense. And, just those little nuggets of information that I have picked up through the years from taking animals there have been wonderful.

Tammy Gallagher 29:03
The other thing that I did want to mention is, I knew that the university was there, but I always thought it was, like, a specialty place. Like, you had to have a referral to go there, or your veterinarian had to call and make an appointment for you. I didn’t realize that it’s open to the public. So, not only are they open 24/7 for emergencies, so if you do have a situation at 2:00 AM, get in the car and go; they have a full emergency room there. Call them first. Don’t just get in the car and go. Call them and let them know, so the team can be ready. But, you can also just call and schedule an appointment for something. So, if you’ve got something going on, and you want to go up to the university hospital and let them take a look at it, you can just call and make an appointment. It doesn’t have to be, like, a referral through your veterinarian. I know that that’s the way they function here.

Tammy Gallagher 29:53
And, it’s really interesting just to go online, open up their website, and see all the services that they have. I didn’t realize that they have a virtual vet offering through Texas A&M until I saw it on their website. So, they actually have a program where you can—and this is at the small animal—you can drop off your animal for an appointment, and if for whatever reason, you can’t be back in the exam room, they can put you on a video conference so that you can interact with the veterinarians and the students while they’re doing the exam on your animal and tell you what’s going on. You can see what’s happening. And then, there’s also, once you’re established with them, you can do kind of like telehealth with your animals, as well.

Deborah Niemann 30:39
Wow, that is cool! I don’t know if Illinois has that; I’m gonna go to their website and see.

Deborah Niemann 30:45
I know telehealth has gotten to be really big since COVID. So, maybe that’s something that they’ve added. Because, the only thing we’ve had since COVID was that doe that had the C-section last year. But, I’m gonna go to their website now and see if they’re doing that now, also, because that would be really awesome.

Deborah Niemann 31:01
One of the things, also, that I noticed—because, like, we have certainly been there a few times through the years at 2:00 in the morning or whatever. And, that is that, you know, when your animal is there, that you know they’re being watched all the time. Because, like, a student gets assigned to them, to just pay attention to them, and keep checking their vitals, and that kind of thing, because that’s part of their education. So, I know when I have left some animals there that are just really at death’s door, like, I knew somebody was going to be watching them all the time. Whereas, I don’t think there’s very many local vets who have people in their office 24 hours a day, monitoring animals that are left there. And, I know if I have a sick animal on my farm, I’m probably not going to be in the barn with them throughout the night or checking on them that often. Whereas, the students, because I hear them talking about, like, you know, “Oh, the calf over there. The horse in that stall,” and stuff, so I know, like, they’re really watching them 24 hours a day, and that they’re getting constant monitoring.

Tammy Gallagher 32:05
And, they also will help you if you are by yourself and you need to get kind of a bigger goat or a larger animal up there. If you can get them loaded, and get there, they will help you get them out of wherever you’re at. So, they usually have different kinds of contraptions. If you have somebody that’s unruly… The last time we were there, I saw somebody with a little bit of a obnoxious cow that was misbehaving a little bit. And, we were watching the techs come out and rearrange this, like, Tetris of gates that swung this way and that way and this way. And so, they were able to get it. So, it was sort of like a loading chute that went right up to the back of a trailer. Or, they can open it up big so that it was more like a pen. So, they have all of those accommodations there, because they’re set up for it. You know, that’s what they do, 24/7. They’re set up for pretty much any sort of situation. So, if you can get them there, from there, they can help you with whatever you need.

Deborah Niemann 33:10
Yeah, exactly. And, even on the other end, like, I know when we had a llama go down from meningeal worm, she, of course, was in, like, the farthest pasture from where our truck could get, down a hill. And so, you know, I called them and I said, “I know I need to bring her in, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how to do that.” And they told me, they explained to me, like, how we could make a sling with a blanket, and how, you know, we could get her to the trailer so that we could bring her in. And then, like you said, once we were there with her, you know, everybody came out, and they were able to get her out of the truck—because she was completely paralyzed.

Deborah Niemann 33:50
So, even… Whatever you think your challenge is in terms of, like, going there, or the cost, or whatever, I would just really encourage people to find out what the closest vet school is to you, and see what are their fees like and stuff, and to learn more about calling them and taking your animals there when you need to.

Tammy Gallagher 34:21
They will. You know, and like you said, you had called and asked about C-sections. Even if you have a problem that you’re experiencing, and you’re trying to decide if it’s better—or you can afford—to take the animal to the vet clinic, once you explain to them the situation, they can sort of give you a little bit of an estimate on the phone. You know, they can tell you, “This is what our emergency fee is. This is what the lab work is that we’ll probably need to run. If we need to do X-rays, this is how much.” So, you can have a little bit of an idea before you take off and get there to see if it’s something that is affordable for you.

Deborah Niemann 34:49
Yeah, exactly.

Tammy Gallagher 34:50
The vet hospitals also have pharmacies that can mail you medication. If you’re seen there, and you have an animal that needs a long-term medication… For instance, my animals have to be supplemented with zinc every month. So, it’s a prescription just like any other vet hospital, and I just call the pharmacy when I need a refill, and they send it to me. And, it’s extremely reasonably priced. Very reasonably priced.

Deborah Niemann 35:20
That’s really good to know, too.

Deborah Niemann 35:22
Well, I hope that everybody now has a better understanding of exactly how the university vet hospitals work. Especially if you don’t have a vet in your area who does goats, that you will look into to taking your animals to the vet hospital next time you need veterinary care.

Deborah Niemann 35:40
And that’s it for today’s show. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to hit the “subscribe” button so that you don’t miss any episodes. To see show notes, you can always visit ForTheLoveOfGoats.com, and you can follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/LoveGoatsPodcast. See you again next time. Bye for now!

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