I have had a smart phone for a while. After kicking and screaming a few years ago, my husband dragged me into the 21st century, touting the values of a smart phone. Why, this thing tells you the weather, the price of tea in China, your horoscope, your dog’s horoscope, and your odds at winning blackjack when an ace and a three of diamonds is on the table. What else could you possibly want?

 

Admittedly, I am a little behind the curve when it comes to technology. I have been called a Luddite, which I find a little insulting since I do know how to use the DVD player and my otoscope just fine, thank you very much. But I have been known to scream at the GPS when it took me on a ferry to get to a horse barn in a county that was on the same side of the river that I was to begin with. I also screamed at my ultrasound machine when it gave me fuzzy images on a very unhappy and equally screaming alpaca that I was attempting to check for pregnancy. Maybe I just scream a lot.

 

My own blood pressure aside, these smart phones allow the user to download “apps” which, in my Thomas Edison-era mind, are like mini computer programs that allow you to do stuff like calculate your truck’s mileage (12 miles per gallon — seriously, it’s a heavy truck), recommend recipes (white chocolate cookie dough popcorn anyone?), and record weight loss goals (two whole pounds!).

 

Relating everything in my world to the veterinary field as I am known to do, naturally I have searched for veterinary-related apps and the following is what I have found:

  • Searching “veterinary medicine” provides an array of dose calculators, manuals, and quiz software. Also, quite a few private veterinary clinics have their own apps, which is neat from a client point of view.
  • If you search for alpaca apps, you come up with a few alpaca games and then, if you dig deeper, apps relating to Al Pacino, which raises the question: Why would anyone want an app on Al Pacino?
  • Most equine apps are in one of three categories: horse racing, horse games, or horse photos as wallpaper for your phone. One app offers animated pictures of a horse near a volcano, which means that someone out there specifically noted there was a need for pictures of horses near volcanoes.
  • If you search for cow apps, you will find a disturbingly high number of games involving manure slinging.
  • A goat app search results in a game called “Goats versus Tigers.” I’m hoping the goats are equipped with laser guns or something, otherwise that’s not much of a game, for the goats at least.

 

In conclusion, if you love Al Pacino and have a burning desire (pun intended) to observe horses in the vicinity of active volcanoes while competing to see who can sling the most manure and pit goats against tigers, smart phone apps in the veterinary realm appear to be right up your alley.

 

I myself have downloaded a NASA app and something that screams at me to do more sit-ups. I am, however, debating over the volcano horse app. Purely for market research, of course.

 

 

Dr. Anna O'Brien

 

Image: Horse at bromo volcano, Indonesia, by apinunrin / Shutterstock