Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyWhere Do You Go to Get Good Animal Health Advice?

Where Do You Go to Get Good Animal Health Advice?

Doc Larsen with patient

I’ve just started reading a really great blog: Memoirs of a Country Vet. The author, David E. Larsen, DVM, ran a mixed vet practice for 40 years in Sweet Home, Oregon, treating people’s pets and their livestock both. He retired in 2016 and now he’s sharing stories of the work he did, the people he met, and the lessons he learned along the way. From the stories I’ve read so far, Doc Larsen is clearly a brilliant and very kind man. I’ve also been reminded how important it is to have a relationship with your local vet.

A great example is Monday morning’s piece, Harry’s Place. I won’t tell you what it’s about, because you really will enjoy reading it. But here’s what I saw: At one point in the story, Harry is convinced, based on passed-down folk wisdom, that his heifer is going to die, and he feels horrible.

It’s that kind of “common knowledge” that has the potential to be very damaging. I’ve seen things go wrong because of it many times.

So, let’s say you have a question like, “My calf has yellow poop. What’s up?” Don’t ask the people on Facebook what’s happening! You don’t know who they are or what they know. If you must hit your computer, use Google. Searching “yellow calf poop” will give you a quick blurb on what’s up, and some additional links for things that might be going wrong.

Better yet – call your vet.

Is there an expense involved? Sure! Education is something we all have to pay for one way or another. So you can pay for it with a dead calf, or you can pay for it by learning from a vet what’s wrong and what to watch out for. Over time you’ll gain some expertise of your own, though, for big things, you will always need someone kind and brilliant like Doc Larsen.

For an idea of what you might learn from this kind of relationship, check out Doc Larsen’s blog. His short stories provide great insights into both animals and people, and I bet, like me, you’ll feel a little happier for it.

Thanks for reading!



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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. Kathy, Thanks for the recommendation and the kind words. Truth is, I have always struggled with my writing and I have so many pending stories. I just hope I can keep going.

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