Don’t call Dr Facebook
I’m a complete fan and big user of social media, but there are some smallholding related queries (nearly always on Facebook – Twitter is normally a bit more responsible) that make me despair. My main concern is the number of people who use a Facebook post to try and get complete strangers to diagnose what are probably serious livestock ailments. They certainly get inundated with advice, most of which is entirely contradictory, some of which is terrifyingly ill-informed. Those who suggest that a vet should be their first port of call rather than Dr Facebook can get short shrift too, with tales of how useless their vet has been, adding to the general outpouring; it’s a feisty jungle of opinion out there!
My advice is, if you have any serious concerns about your livestock, call your vet, not do a straw poll among those who know little or nothing about your particular situation. If you have concerns about your vet, change vets. My vets are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and are always happy to spend ages on the phone and email (at no charge), unless they think a visit is necessary, in which case they are on site and dealing with issues in double quick time. You may be lucky to have a trustworthy farmer or far more experienced smallholder close by, in which case they are also a good source of advice. But if you are worried, don’t use Dr Facebook or just wait a few days to see if the situation will resolve itself – neither are appropriate routes for the responsible livestock keeper.