Article shared from, Outside Rein.
Ella Littlefield is an equine veterinary technician at Grand Prix Equine. This week, in an effort to give a little shout out to all those hard working, skilled, knowledgeable, tireless veterinary technicians out there, we dive a bit deeper into the background and daily life of Ms. Littlefield.
Prior to becoming a vet tech, what was your educational or professional background, as well as your experience with horses? I have been a little horse crazy ever since I took my first riding lesson at the age of seven. Since then, horses have been a constant in my life. With that being said, I went to school for Equine Science and Management at Morrisville State College. I began my career as a tech at Fairfield Equine with Dr. Cricket Russillo in 2012. Working for Dr. Russillo and Fairfield Equine was an incredible experience that taught me so much of what I know and use daily. I joined Grand Prix Equine in the Spring of 2016 working for Dr. Johanna Kremberg and haven’t looked back since!
What made you decide to become a vet tech? I was looking for a career change from riding horses to something that involved horses, but wasn’t in the saddle. I wanted to be able to utilize my education in addition to my experience. Growing up I was always an animal lover and shadowed my pets’ small animal vet as well as large/mixed-practice vet through high school, so the interest in veterinary medicine was always there.
What is your favorite part of the job? Being able to care for such special animals! Horses are my passion, and I don’t know where I would be in life if I didn’t have them. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such amazing vets and horses. It is incredibly rewarding to help our patients recover from an injury or illness.
What is your favorite/most used equine-related gadget? Our SAA (Serum Amyloid A) reader is used multiple times a week and can be so beneficial to the patient. SAA is a protein that indicates early on if a horse has an infection. It is a simple stall-side test that requires a few drops of blood and nine anxiety-ridden minutes as it works, and then it provides an instant result that can help the doctor decide if a horse requires antibiotics, and what kind.
When you’re not working, how do you pass the time? I seriously can’t stay away from horses! If I’m not working you will find me at the barn (surprise, surprise!) with my horse, Johnny. We are currently aiming for our first low-level event this summer. He has been a project but is really coming along nicely. Wish us luck!