Last Saturday, I was invited to speak at the Southern Maine Dairy Goat Association’s Fall Education Day. We spent the day talking about GI parasites in goats and had some great conversation (and cheese!) . Getting together with goat people always makes me (even more) excited about goats and happy about being part of the goat community. 🐐💙🤗 . #goatvet #goatmed #vetmed #vetlife #goat #parasitecontrol #adga #smdga #dvm #veterinarian #education #knowledgeispower #smallruminants #ruminant #buildabettergoat #promotethegoat

A hard truth about vet med: Sometimes you can’t fix it. . I’m a problem solver. It’s what I love about what I do. I can identify a problem and help implement a solution. Sometimes it’s immediate and gratifying. Sometimes it takes weeks or months of work and follow up and communication, money and diagnostics and interpretation, involving owners, technicians, staff, referrals, specialists, diagnostic labs, and second opinions. Sometimes you can do all of those things, and no matter what you do, you can’t help that patient. Sometimes you can’t fix it. . There have been a handful of patients so far in my career as a veterinarian that I will always remember for that reason. Nature is cruel and biology is cold. It doesn’t care that that Jersey heifer was the absolute center of that little girl’s world, or that that cat, barely even a year old, was like a human child for that young couple, or that the heartache of losing those animals was so deep. It doesn’t take any notice of the handful of people in an exam room, people who just met, and who are trying to piece together what happened to their beloved pet that declined so quickly in such a short amount of time. Those patients and those situations and those memories leave a real and lasting impact. It could be very easy to become numb to this, to think, “Why should I even bother trying? Entropy is real, the world is uncaring, and none of us is getting out of here alive.” . Life is a beautiful and mysterious and delicate thing. To think that we, as humans, have all the answers or could ever hope to fully understand it, or think that that we could always fix all the things is a pretty arrogant assumption. The more you learn about something, the more you realize that you know so little about it. But I’ll keep trying to learn more, and keep trying to help solve problems. To try to make my patients’ and their humans’ short time we share as good as I possibly can. Because, even if I can’t fix everything, I can help some things. And I’d like to think that makes a difference. . #vetmed #vetlife #vettech #dvm #vetstudent #veterinarian #veterinarymedicine

Hey y’all. I’ve not done this before and there are a few more people following my instagram account after the sticker party last week and I wanted to take a minute to say hi to everyone and tell you a little bit about myself. And I’ve not really introduced myself on here before, so here goes. . I’m Dr Cara Sammons-Shepard, DVM – the Goat Doc. 😉 . I’m a lifelong Mainer, with a couple of stints of living in Massachusetts (Boston and Grafton) first for first my undergrad degree (BFA with a concentration in Glass from Massachusetts College of Art @massartboston) and then for vet school (DVM from Tufts @tuftsvet.) . My husband and I have been raising Nubian dairy goats since 2008 and running a licensed goat dairy in Maine, (Flying Goat Farm @flyinggoatmaine, which we started with two does in milk), since 2009. . I was a “non-traditional” vet student – I had another career before becoming a vet. I was an art teacher in public schools in southern Maine when we got our first goat, and the goats were what made me think that vet med was something that I could do. . I went to vet school with the intention of practicing exclusively large animal/livestock medicine after graduation, but during my clinical year, I realized that I had worked too hard to learn all the things about dogs and cats to give them all up, AND that small animal medicine can help inform and improve treatment of my large animal patients as well. I am a self-proclaimed #vetmedjunkie and there is not a lot about the field that I don’t find interesting and exciting. . I started my own part time ambulatory practice “officially” in January 2017, about 6 months after graduating. When I’m on the road, the majority of my patients are goats, though I’ll see just about everything as far as livestock goes. . I’m here on Instagram to #promotethegoat, connect with other goat people and #vetmed people, and share a bit about what it’s like being a #veterinarian and a #goat #farmer in New England. Thanks for joining me! 💙🐐💙🐐💙🐐💙