What did you do today?
Haha! Charlie Horse, you forget we are tropical birds. We will follow the migrating ducks back to Texas, flapping our arms as hard as we can, before the first snow flake falls. This is hopefully to be a summer escape from the Texas heat only.
I hope it all works out for the best!
Thanks, Nan.
I drew blood today and I did amazing, even if I do say so myself!! I've never been so successful. I had five goats to draw--one of mine and four for a friend. Phil and I usually both end up frustrated when he has to hold goats for me to draw blood, but this time he held the goat just right. It helped that it was Coral and she's the sweetest, most patient little goat in the world and stood perfectly without flinching. I found the vein immediately and got it on the first poke, so I felt quite confident when I drew blood on the four other goats for my friend. Three of the goats went just like Coral... found the vein in two seconds and had the needle in on the first jab.

One goat gave me trouble. I couldn't find the vein to save my life. I poked the needle in once when I thought maybe I found it, but I was wrong. I kept feeling and feeling on both sides. I even tried choking off her whole neck for a few seconds to see if the vein would bulge but it refused to appear. We walked her around the pen to see if we could get her circulation going. She wasn't a fat doe but she had a very fleshy neck and thick hair. She was super cooperative but I almost wonder if she was plain TOO relaxed! Anyway, after what must have been close to ten minutes, I was kneeling there with my hand on the doe's neck and staring absently toward her legs while I tried to find the vein purely by feel. It was then that I noticed the prominent veins that run down the insides of the front legs and I said, "BINGO!"

I've held babies for my vet when she puts them under to disbud, and we always use a leg vein. The same vet also once used a leg vein on our buck, Rocky, because his neck was so thick and fleshy she couldn't find the vein (it always makes me feel better when sometimes even the experts are defeated). I'd never drawn blood from a leg before, but I thought since I could SEE the darn blood vessel staring me right in the face even without me raising it, it couldn't be too hard to hit with a needle. I picked up the doe's leg and started to poke but she flinched back and I realized I'd need a smaller needle. I was using a 1 1/2" 18 gauge needle on the necks, but that was much too big for a leg vein. Luckily I had some 3/4" 22 gauge needles in the bag and I grabbed one. I had it in there on the first jab. It took a little longer to draw because of the small needle, but the doe was quiet and I was able to get a full sample. I was so proud of myself I almost did a happy dance. I think next time I might actually feel confident when it comes time to draw blood! I'm usually a bit nervous, and my repeated failed attempts never help.

I'm going to have to tell my vet. Usually when she helps me draw blood, she starts out holding goats and after about two I have to hand her the syringes in shame and let her do the rest, not only so it doesn't take all morning but also for the sake of both our sanity and the goats' necks. I have been slowly getting better over the years, but I've never been THIS good! Wheeee!!!

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