Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stories from a Cow Vet

It took a while to motivate myself to start this blog. After a story I heard this week, I knew I must get started. One of my clients told me he had to do something that he never thought possible. He literally had to remove an A.I. (artificial insemination) Technician's (Cow breeder) hand that was stuck in a cow's rear-end. The cow was for lack of a better word, a "tight ass," having an anal stricture which made it extremely painful to palpate her. I refused last year after many failed attempts with copious amounts of lubricant. The bull ended up breeding her. After she calved this year, the client intended to place her directly into the bull group for breeding, but he was slow on the draw. She came in heat in the A.I. group, the breeder saw her, and succeeded in servicing her. Only problem is, he could not remove his hand. He stated that he felt like his wrist was about to dislocate when he tried to retract his hand. With his clean hand, he called the client with his cell phone and he came to the rescue. After squirting lube around his hand and with extra gut-wrenching pressure, all was well.

It's stories like this one that I really enjoy telling. They are the stories that most people rarely hear and find intriquing. Life as a dairy vet certainly is interesting and definitely keeps me on my toes! So here goes . . . my adventure into blogland has begun.

The Little Mutant
The main inspiration for this blog came from an experience I had earlier in the summer of '09 on a Sunday emergency call. One of my clients called with a very sick heifer who was down and 1 month from calving. She was extremely
dehydrated and emaciated and after reaching into her I realized she was aborting a live calf a month early. I immediately started I.V. fluids, but mid-way through the first
bottle, she died. Knowing that we may still have a live calf, I cut her open to try to save the calf and was surprised to find a two-headed calf. The calf was stillborn, which was probably for the best. The heads were fused at the base of the skull and the inside ears were also fused. Of course we had to take a few photos.

I used the top photo for Halloween Trick-or Treeters. Princesses, Ghouls, and Goblins had to identify what was wrong with the calf in the picture before they could grab a handful of candy. After realizing what they were viewing, the kiddos immediately ran to tell their parents who, of course, had to take a peek.