Rural Veterinary Outreach started as an idea to get rural areas served with veterinary care before Ken Brown even got past his first year in vet school. Seeing the lack of services and in rural areas, and often the accompanying lower resources (meaning money) to get help when needed, RVO was born to reach people who could use help, whether it be because of isolation, limited finances, or even just unwillingness to go to a vet office. The idea would turn to reality once Dr. Brown was a veterinarian and could devote time to the project.
While Ken Brown was in his last semester of vet school, he spent some spare time trying to contribute on Facebook regarding goat health information – a subject near and dear to his heart – as a way to keep the RVO vision of helping others by way of education. After vet school, Dr. Brown tried to help in other Facebook groups, but quickly realized the format was not conducive to educating by hearing from a vet, so Goat Vet Corner was born in September 2014.
Over time, the RVO mission has changed from providing low-cost services in rural areas (still a part of the plan, but not easily executed without financial help) to educating people on how to take care of their animals – using a unique format (see below) – and in a common place – Facebook. Dr. Brown figures that if you wish to be heard, go to where people can hear you and then you reach as many folks as possible. Efficient. Effective.
So Goat Vet Corner grew. Rapidly. Questions were answered by veterinarians, Topics addressed and people educated. Files were created so people could have common questions answered, review material on all sorts of subjects, and even keep a record of sessions where mini-seminars were conducted on new born kid care and parasites.
And then the veterinarians (now over 100 volunteering time) wanted place to talk, so Vet Corner was created as a way to confer and consult with each other.
And then came some chicken questions, and a Chicken Vet Corner.
And then people wanted more. So Horse Vet Corner was created for horse questions, and the horse vet volunteers started a side-group to coordinate their efforts.
And then Pet Vet Corner, and Animal Sense (behavior issues), and Exotic Vet Corner, and so on.
Veterinarians donate their time to answer questions, group admins and moderators keep the flow going. As of early 2022, in all groups there are almost 900,000 members (maybe more at this writing). A daily contact rate of over 600,000 visitors – people reading questions and answers and learning. RVO is achieving its goal of education, thanks to the tireless efforts of so many who believe that if given a chance, good information beats bad information every time.
The file libraries found here represent the memorialized info that effort has been made to retain – Facebook deletes old files and random materials, so it is placed here to keep it safe.
Below is a part of the “Must Read First” post for GVC that explains some basic group participation info.
Goat Vet Corner, a Facebook group dedicated to vets answering questions mostly about goats (and other farm friends). Vets answer questions, so you don’t wade through opinions of others. The entering post lists over 150 verified veterinarians from all over the world that can be seen at various times answering questions since 2014.
All of the Vet Corner groups have the same basic operating guidelines:
- The group is open to all, but “closed” so problems can be addressed and people removed and/or excluded when necessary. Exclusions are rare but will occur. Educating others so they can help themselves is the main focus – vets are not always available when needed (here or in the “real world”), but this is a start at reaching out with a source of information that may help.
- No question is too basic or too “dumb”. Knowledge is power, health, and prevents disease and death. You learn by questioning. Files section may help, so look there often.
- Vets (and a PhD) answer questions, not members. Unless a question is opened to members by a vet/PhD (hardly ever), the responses should be from a vet as this is the purpose of the group – vet point of view. If you see any response after a vet’s, it is not from a vet unless verified. Simple. If a name is not familiar or you do not see a DVM after the name, look at the profile of the user and see if they are a vet. Check the list at the top of this post.
- Veterinarian participation in this group is not an agreement by them to diagnose or treat your animal. Information provided is from many sources, often distilled into the words of the participating veterinarian. The same information can be obtained by research and study at vet school and much of it is in veterinary medical books you can purchase, so none of it is a secret. Do not construe the information received here as specific advice for your animal, diagnosing, or practicing veterinary medicine unlawfully in your state – it is not. You will see words like “if”, “when” and “consider” and these are meant to guide your decision making. The primary goal is education (sometimes immediately if it is an urgent issue) so you can do what is right for your animals. Think of this forum as a seminar you are attending on goat medicine and the questions are more “what could be wrong and how do you treat a wobbly 4 day old kid?” not “my 4 day old kid fell down and cannot get up and I need you to diagnose and treat him.”
- DO NOT PM OTHER MEMBERS WITH RESPONSES – it is again rude and violates the purpose of the group – vets answer questions. Just because someone answers in a PM does not mean it is in the spirit of the group – sometimes the info is bad, sometimes dangerous.
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