Monday, September 19, 2011

Day111- Home is Where the Heart Is

Home sweet home....last night I landed in Orlando to start my Florida externships. I am spending 2 weeks with Dr. Lori Shank in Ft. Meade and 2 weeks with Dr. Gukich in Lakes Wales. I was overcome with happiness this morning as I drove to Ft. Meade for my first day. The fog, the orange groves, and the Spanish moss almost brought me to tears as I realized how much I miss home and long to live here once again. My heart defiantly belongs to this country life and I am counting down the days until I can once again be a member of this rustic community!
      Today was a day filled with puppies and eyeballs! We saw many puppies in for vaccines and had three eye cases, one of which we performed a tarsorhaphy, which means to sew the eyelids shut so they eye can have protection to heal! I am somewhat familiar with this, as most people who have ever owned a Hereford cow most likely are as well as pink eye is very common in this breed. We also got to go out to see a horse with Founder, or in vet terms laminitis. The farmers term, founder is actually from the Latin term sinking ship.This is where a diet change or rough ground makes the hoof wall detach from the coffin bone and it "sinks."


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 110- Pack, Unpack, Pack, Unpack.......

Well, it is been a rewarding yet exhausting two weeks as I wrapped up my dairy medicine externship in Texas. On my last day we started at 5:30am and palpated 150 cows in about 2 and a half hours. Needless to say I can still barely move my arm! Hopefully I honed in my palpation skills and I am ready to impress my possible job prospects in Florida! CAUSE I AM COMING HOME!!!! You can't even imagine how excited I am to do my next two externships at home. The travel and time away from family took more of an emotional toll than I expected. Although I do not regret my decisions to travel and do the externships I chose, I was extremely homesick throughout the last 5 weeks. I was advised by one of my professor to do some of my externship time in my hometown as these can sometimes turn into job opportunities, which I am desperately praying for! But aside for the possibly of a future job, I am looking forward to spending some much needed time with my family who I miss desperately! So today I am packing up my bags once again and will be heading to Florida tomorrow! Hello sunshine state!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 106- Dirty Jobs

      It seems as in many careers, being a dairy veterinarian has some thing that can be monotonous, and in the dairy world this being palpation. I wanted to do a dairy externship so that I could get good at palpating for pregnancy, and boy o boy did I get what I asked for! You see in the beef industry, when cows are checked for pregnancy status we typically only grade them by trimester. Cows carry their young for 285 days so we just call them 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester bred. Or if they are not pregnant the are classified as "open." This is because in the beef industry we select for fertile animals but typically only need to know if they were bred early, late or not bred at all. However, the dairy industry is much more dependent on time. The dairy cycle leaves very little room for error. Cows depend on being pregnant so it will stimulate their hormones so they will produce milk, it is essential to know almost to the day when they will calve. There is an unwritten rule that dairy vets are better at palpating for pregnancy than beef veterinarians because of the pressure they feel from producers to classify pregnancies.
       Well, I hope I am getting good, cause every single day without fail I am showing my arm up a cows butt! No matter how many times I wash my hands they still smell like poop. No matter how many times I wash my clothes they are still stained with poop. Yesterday I was soaked down to my brazier in poop! And no matter how many times I wash my hair, you guessed it, I still find poop! I hope all this poop is worth it....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 103- Keep Um Coming

     It is official, my arm is done! After palpating about 200 cows in the first three days of my dairy internship I officially can barely move my arm! Today was insanely busy, just the way I like it! We went on a call this morning for a "downer." There are two primary causes for this in dairy cows, most commonly it is from what the call milk fever. This is where the cow is producing so much milk that there is not enough calcium to make her muscles function. Calcium is a vital component for muscle contractions and when cows produce high volumes of milk it uses up the bodies calcium stores. The other is what we call calving paralysis, this is where the nerves that supply the hind limbs are pinched and thus damaged between the pelvic bones and the calf during birth. In both situations, the cow is down and can't get up..."downer" or down cow syndrome.

   After our milk fever case we went to other farm to see a sick cow. There we also saw a few prematurely born calves one of which was the cutest freaking thing I have ever seen, born 2 months early and barely weighed 20 lbs.

     We made our way back to the clinic and were met with a string of trucks with trailers full of cows waiting to be seen! These included a vaginal prolapse....

       A left displaced abomasum (the cow's true and forth stomach compartment which twist around and gets out of place blocking her digestive tract) in which we did a procedure called roll and toggle. This is when you lay the cow down on her back and  listen the the stomach with a stethoscope while thumping her abdomen to locate the abomasum by the sound/pitch difference and then jab it with a needle and tack it to the skin when it's in it's proper location.

     And many many more cases...but I can barely keep my eyes open or my left hand typing so more tomorrow.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 101- TexASS

      Today was my first day on my externship in what will forever be known to me as TexASS, because I saw a whole lots of ass today, that is pretty much the only thing I saw! By that I mean I spent the day palpating cows. I am doing an externship with a practice composed of three veterinarians who mostly service the dairies in this part of the state. Today we went to a dairy sale and we were in charge of aging (done by looking at the teeth) and pregnancy checking all the cows that went through the sale. If I tried to arm wrestle a three year old right now I would loose miserably. My arm is sore and swollen after shoving it up about 100 cows TexASS's! But I learned how to draw blood from the tail vein with my right hand while palpating little growing fetus's per rectum with my left hand....skills people....I got MULTIPLE skills!
     My living quarters are a small room much like a closet with a twin bed, mini fridge and TV. I was glad to get in some hard work today in hopes that I would sleep better tonight than last night. Between the busy road out front, being in a strange place, and the thoughts of my very bad decision to walk bare foot through the clinic to the shower on the other side of the building, I didn't get much sleep last night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


To my dearest family and friends. I have spent the last month rehearsing my..."I failed but I will never give up speach," and trying to think of inspirational ways to convey my deepest regrets with my never give up attitude to my blog readers, maybe something about how it took Edison over 1000 tries to make the light bulb and how he never gave up and never admitted to failure, as he would only say I have successfully found 1000 ways NOT to make a light bulb! Well y'all I DON'T have to give my practiced speech because I PASSED MY BOARD EXAM!!!!! I never thought I would be able to say that! I can't stop crying because there is a part of me that never thought I would actually pass. I have struggled so much trying to live this life long dream that sometimes I just think God is gonna challenge me every step of the way. Well God must have gotten tired of hearing my prayers cause I passed my first of three veterinary board exams on the first try!