Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WW: Around The Farm

"If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wonders." -Imam Ali

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Great Alpaca Shearing

So busy working and learning and enjoying summer. I spend half my life in scrubs and the other half in muck boots, which doesn't leave time at all for much else (what little remains is spent sneaking in some GRE practice), but that's a-okay with me! Learning a lot, doing a lot, and spending a lot of hours with the animals I love. I've had a lot of unique experiences that most people will never get to...can't ask for much more!

This weekend was incredibly busy (and I have the sunburn to prove it) but this morning was spent shearing my boss's herd of alpaca. I've been learning all about camelids this summer and they're pretty cool. Shearing was a totally new adventure for me but a lot of fun. We got all ten alpaca done and dang they produce a ton of was interesting to learn about the different quality of the fibers and how its separated into the primary blanket and then the 2nd and 3rds. The Boss is going to teach me how to skirt and and process the fiber to be sent to the co-op, which will be pretty interesting...

                                                 Before and After of some of the ladies

                                                 I think we have some

Marty the rescue alpaca arrived yesterday. He was the only surviving alpaca of his herd of five who were in a hoarder situation. He was turned out with the females after shearing and having the best time ever running around and meeting new friends. He's only about a year old.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Compassion and Empathy

 "Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer." --Rachel Scott Joy

Days that end in unexpected euthanasias are never fun. With every ounce of my being, I do believe in euthanasia because I sincerely think that there are things worth than death (suffering for instance), but even with that heartfelt belief, I certainly don't enjoy it. It's always darn sad.

The events of today got me thinking about compassion and empathy and how there seems to be a firm line drawn between those who love animals and those who will simply never understand. It seems that those who truly love animals were dosed with a little extra compassion than those who don't, so as to be able to empathize with all creatures great and small... I was also thinking about how the gift that is compassion for animals often extends into a greater understanding and love of fellow human beings...

It can be both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply. There's definitely been times where I wish I could just turn it off...but then, I wouldn't be who I am...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Summer Break...Finally!

Holy camelids I'm FINALLY done! Actually, I finished last Thursday and I've been so insanely busy since then that the stress of finals seems like ages ago! Times a flying! All my exams went amazingly well and I'm insanely happy and even a little shocked to say that I managed that 4.0. It's amazing how motivated you can stay when you REALLY want something! I remember worrying this time last year if I would be able to make it in the sciences...kinda blows my mind how a little hard work can pay off...definitely don't underestimate yourself!

What a year, though! So much much growing much fun! 

The next three months are going to be just as busy as the last nine, though in a different way. On top of working full time at the clinic, I'm also cleaning stalls in the evening and on the weekends to earn some extra cash and get my horse fix. So crazy busy, but loving ever minute of it! 

It's funny because I haven't been on a horse since December (yeah, five months...crazy, right?!) and I am doing just fine with that. Between stall cleaning and my bosses horses and client horses, there's plenty of horses around me and I don't really NEED to ride to be happy at this point in my life. It's pretty bizarre to think about, but my life has been horses and only horses for so long that it's kind of nice to discover who I am beyond equus caballus. Five years ago I never would have survived horselessness, but today I'm doing just fine. Sure I miss that mare something fierce, but I'm doin' just fine (BTW, Kate and I exchange texts and she's living the good life!)

Lots of fun adventures planned for this summer and lots of awesome learning experiences, so I'll pop in ever now and again and share. 

Hope ya'll are happy and enjoying the wonderful riding weather. Go ride for me! I enjoy living vicariously:)

When I walked into work on Monday, this was up on the whiteboard. I love the people I work with!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



I'm officially done with classes. Only five exams, three paper revisions, packing up my whole dorm room, and seven exceptionally stressful days separate this girl from the end of the semester. What a year it's been. It went so insanely much growing up.

I'm genuinely ready for a break because I'd being lying if I said I wasn't totally exhausted and I'm looking forward to being at the clinic full time this summer (yay learning...and pay checks!) but I'm going to miss my friends...and this town like crazy. Nine months ago, the idea of leaving home and leaving Missy seemed so terrifying. I genuinely was wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life. Now EVERYTHING has changed, but in the weirdest of ways it really is all okay...better than okay, actually. Everything has worked out exactly as it was meant to. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and be willing to give up all the plans you thought you had in order to really get to experience the life that is waiting for you...the one you deserve.

Now to just not fail all my exams;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Extracorporeal Shockwave 101

Fall 2013

The history of what we today know as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or "ESWT" or often just "Shockwave" was actually first discovered in wartime. In the 1940s, during the course of World War II, submarine technology was being used quite extensively and submarine warfare was pretty common. One of the weapons used against submarines was what was called a "depth charge." It was found sometimes, that this weapon would leave submarines intact, yet the people aboard the ships had pretty serious injuries. Most notably, severe lung hemorrhages. It was found that these injuries were caused by incredibly strong sound waves.

So in the 1970s and 80s they decided to try to harness this energy for good and ESWT was born. I should probably mention that "Extracorporeal" means "outside the body" referring to the fact that its non-invasion. However, Shockwave's first uses in medicine (human or veterinary) were not of  musculoskeletal origin. Shockwave's first application in medicine was to break up large calcium oxalate stones in the kidney which could not be passed on their own. At this point in time, the only other option for such patients was surgery, so you can imagine how a non-invasive option, called "lithotripsy" in the case of it's use for kidney stones, was welcomed by many (because let's be real, who among us wouldn't go for the non-surgical option every single time, whether for ourselves or for our animals!)

It was noticed, during this time, that patients who were having shockwave treatments for kidney stones were also feeling the affects in other tissues (bone, cartilage, soft-tissue) and that it appeared that Shockwave had both analgesic and healing properties for some of these people. So they started looking at shockwave for musculoskeletal issues.

In the early days, the biggest problem with shockwave as a therapy was that the intensity of the waves was very high in early machines and wasn't particularly adjustable. General anesthesia was used for kidney stone patients, which seems worth it if it meant a chance at avoiding surgery. However, for a therapy, anesthesia adds a whole extra layer to the equation and when looking at it in terms of a cost benefit analysis, the risks of anesthesia often seemed to outweigh the potential gains received from shockwave as a form of therapy.

Thankfully, today's machines have intensity that is significantly more adjustable and anesthesia is not necessary. Therefore, Shockwave has really started to grow in popularity. While more research is being done, the idea is that a powerful acoustic (sound) wave is aimed at a specific, concentrated area, and, in turn, the waves increase cell growth and circulation, which leads to increased healing.

The vet that I work for, uses Shockwave a lot in her practice for both equine and canine patients a like, and has seen a great deal of success in it helping said patients. We tend to use it the most for soft tissue (tendon/ligament) issues, though we certainly have used it for healing in bone and cartilage.

Obviously, its not a be-all-end-all cure, by any sense of any one's imagination, but we've seen some really awesome success. Just something to keep in mind to talk to your vet about should such a need ever arise. It's a really interesting concept and I find the story of how it came to be rather fascinating. Just something I was thinking about because we had an equine shockwave case on Sunday...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Equine Affaire 2015

It was almost an Equine Affaire-less year for would have been the first in a very long time. It's just a weird year...a transition year from a life that was all horses all the time to one that has other interests and goals and commitments. It's a strange, my usual EA partner-in-crime, Margy, got stuck working this weekend. Nevertheless, I was still tempted to drive over for Jane Savoie's clinic on Sunday. I must have mentioned this to the fabulous ladies at work and they said they would be going today and asked if I'd like to go. So I did and had a great time! The company was fabulous and we laughed and it was a really fun EA...prob one of my best ever...and the only money I spent in all that glorious shopping was a $4 bumper how things have changed haha!

I'm going to help Doc with a shockwave case tomorrow and then back to school for 24 more days...finals are coming fast, but then, so is summer (we just won't talk about all the work that needs to get done before then!)! It's going to be a busy looking forward to it!!!



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kenai's Surgery

The blogging community is a wonderful place and I've been lucky to meet some really amazing people since I started blogging in '10. One of those really awesome people is Liz from over at In Omnia Paratus. Liz is a fellow West Virginian and Mountaineer, and we've been blogging for roughly the same amount of time. I'm sure most of you wonderful people read her blog (if not, get to it!) know that Liz is a super caring person with some pretty awesome animals.

Liz's  original partner-in-crime is her Husky, Kenai. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kenai when I visited Liz last fall, and he's such a sweet sweet boy and it's oh so clear that he truly enjoys the active lifestyle he lives with his Liz. Unfortunately, Kenai is having his third surgery is two years at VMRCVM in the coming weeks...and that's where we come in!  Us bloggers gotta stick together and I can't think of any two individuals who deserve a little bit of help more than Liz and Kenai...

Saiph, over at Wait For The Jump, started a GoFundMe page (FIND IT HERE) to contribute to Kenai's surgery. You and I both know that every little bits helps and it all adds up!

 Lets get Kenai back on his feet and back out there adventuring with his favorite human!