How many veterinary students does it take to cut off a cast? I am teasing about that, but it did strike me as funny when I took my yearling heifer back to the veterinarian to have her cast removed and the room filled with students interested in helping and learning.
Six weeks ago when we found this beautiful registered Angus heifer in the pasture limping, we called the vet school at Kansas State. They have a great facility and the ability to do surgery. It turned out the heifer needed two pins and a cast to heal the bone. After 6 weeks she is looking good and ready to have the cast removed.
They first gave her a light tranquilizer to calm her and laid her on a tilt table to have access to the leg. It took about 30 minutes to remove the cast and pins. She is doing well today.
But I tell you this story to highlight a very serious problem. Large animal vets are becoming a dying breed. They work long hours and take call every day, of course. But most of the work they do it's outside in the weather and with large animals who don't necessarily want to be worked on! It is physically and emotionally draining as well as for low pay! But my local vet is very dedicated and we do our best to take good care of him when he comes to our house for work--whether it is emergency work or regularly scheduled.
It is a big concern in many areas that the sheer number of vets has declined and fewer of them are willing to work late or in difficult conditions. I don't know the answer to this problem, but a knowledgable and dependable vet is invaluable to a rancher.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone