Tuesday, July 3, 2007

For Purple Mountain Majesties

Greetings everyone. I wanted to post a story last night, but I was on-call and went out on an emergency right when I was done for the day. While some may complain about having to stay at work until 10 PM, here was my workplace (the picture). This block has really given me an appreciation of the Appalachian mountains. We were called to a beef cattle farm where the owner noticed a cow went into labor Saturday morning, but remained in labor until he called us on Monday night. One might think that the owner was being neglectful, but in reality he wanted to contact us sooner but couldn't catch and wrangle the cow for us to examine her. This was one helluva experience. We restrained her in a head chute and reached into her uterus to palpate the calf....or at least that's what we expected. Instead, we came upon what is referred to as a "fetal monster": a horribly mutated (and dead) calf that cannot come out of the mother because of its horrid disfigurement. There are a few causes for fetal monsters, but in this case it was most likely due to a disease called Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD). What made matters worse was the fact that it had become rotten of the past couple days and there was a subsequent infection of her reproductive tract. Needless to say, it was Foul (note the capital F). Our goal was to get the beast out of the cow without having to perform a C-section, which we did, but it took over an hour-and-a-half. The doctor hooked up some chains to its head and limbs and was reaching inside to keep it lubricated as I got to pull on the chains with all of my strength. To put it in perspective, I was still standing while pulling, but at a 15 degree angle with the ground. Because the calf was becoming rotten, whenever we placed a chain on any part of the body, and I pulled, I just fell on my a** because the body part would just tear off (I say body part because only half the time we knew what it was exactly. After much fatigue and loss of patience, I yanked what remained of the monster out of the cow.....only to have it follow with all of the bloody mucus and fluid that built up inside that promptly splashed all over the clinicians lap.

While this has by far and away been the most disgusting thing I've had to deal with, I've been delightfully surprised. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I'm thinking about doing an internship in it next year. I feel it would be nice for me to work with dogs and cats most of the week, then driving around to farms a day or two per week. This would work out perfectly for my wife and I since she won't be graduating from her PhD program until a year after I do. I'm still entirely on the fence about this and would love to hear input from other people. What are your thoughts?


The Foodist said...

If you have ANY signs of interest in doing it, and you can do it...


but seriously, if you have an interest in it and its moved you enough to debate this long about it you already know the answer to your own question.

Life is to short not to take the chances at your doorstep.

I say go for the throat and do it.


GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! that by far my friend is the grossest cow story I have ever heard, It beats out your impregnation story and you know how much crap I give you bout that one.

all but 1 said...

I think you should go for it. There aren't nearly enough people willing to do large animal medicine (myself included), and you can actually make a good living at it. And cows, while they're little fountains of shit and piss, their front ends are damn cute and I wish more people could care for them well and advocate for their health and welfare.

Lis said...

i really think you should do it. large animal vets are a dying species and if it sparks your interest you should definitely give an internship a go. thanks for continuing to update us! i unfortunately have been really slacking with my blog. but hey, i think yours is more interesting anyways! :)

Josh said...

Wow, that was vile and unfortunate.

I pretty much agree with the other people, now is the time to experiment with your interests and really solidify what you want to do

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am leaving this in the hopes that you might be able to help me. I have a pug that is a year and 1/2. The other day he jumped out of the cart at petco. He landed on his back and since then his tail that used to have a double curl, is now straight. I took him to the vet right away and all he did was say he could have nerve damage and to wait about a week to see if his tail goes back to normal. He prescribed him baytril and azium (both of which I looked up and I don't know what they have to do with what happened). He didn't even take x-rays. Should I take him to another vet? Is there anything else I can do to try and get his tail back to normal? Since he's been taking this medication he's been acting very depresed and I'm really really worried about him. If you could help to ease my mind, I would appreciate it sooo very much! Thank you for your help and time. Kindest Regards, Natalie & Max (the pug) e-mail me at lvnatalie79@yahoo.com