This past week, my classmates and I traveled to Hermann, Mo for our clinic day. Since this was a fairly intense day we were broken up into three groups that traveled out to this beautiful town over three days. My group ventured out to Hermann on Tuesday. Thank you GPS for taking us on all the windy back roads that it could find!
We arrived at the clinic (Hermann Veterinary Clinic) and discovered it was a mixed practice which means that it sees both small and large animals alike…not in the same room mind you! We began the day witnessing one of the veterinarians working on a cow that came into the clinic due to lameness. Needing to work on her hooves, his assistants got her into a rotary chute. It looks just like it sounds…the cow is corralled into the chute, restrained with a squeeze apparatus, and then rotated about 180 degrees so he can view her hooves. Upon examination, he discovered that she had an abscess on her hoof which ended up causing a hole in the sole. Lets just say that poor cow was in pain!
After he worked and trimmed that cow’s hooves, we moved on to more hands on work with the cows. We learned how to give vaccines and dewormers (which cows are much easier to give these to than horses…because they are in chutes!), watched and helped with a breeding soundness exam (which yes…entails looking at semen…don’t ask how we acquired it!), and learned how to perform an initial exam. At the end of the morning session, a calf had come into the clinic with an umbilical hernia and did not make it so the DVM did a necropsy (animal autopsy) on the calf. Thanks…right before lunch! You know you are a vet tech when you can watch a necropsy and still eat a turkey sandwich.
After lunch, we performed more vaccinations on calves, learned how to ear tag, tattoo, and ear notch the young calves, and watched the DVM perform an ultrasound on a newly pregnant cow. At the end of the day they let us play with the hydrolic chutes! It was AWESOME! They are controlled by levers that look basically like a stick shift in a car and they are pulled back and forth to move the chute in or out.
This was my first time working up and personal with cattle and I did truly enjoy it…though cows are quite stinky…but they are cute! I tried to convince Dan to let me get a baby calf…guess what his answer was?! Still hoping for a goat. Stay tuned for this coming week when we visit Purina Farms!