I have transitioned from the world of business casual small animal to the coveralls and steel toe boots of large animal. With the small animal staff I discussed seeing them later at the community center for zumba, with the large animal veterinarians I practice my karaoke as we belt tunes between calls (suggestions for duets appreciated).
One of the major differences between this past week and last is the amount of time we spend seeing each patient versus how much time we spend getting to each patient. In the small animal clinic the patient comes to you, and you move in and out of doors and rooms, like a game show with prizes consisting of puppies and kittens. At Vankleek Hill Veterinary Services our radius is approximately 45 minutes to one hour in all directions meaning that being a good conversationalist (or singer, or whistler) can be very valuable. At Hawkesbury Animal Hospital (small animal) an appointment for one animal may last 20 to 30 minutes. Large animal, a call may last 30 to 60 minutes but there’s a possibility of examining anywhere from one to 50 cows in that time frame.
One of the most frequent calls/appointments that I’ve observed since riding around with the large animal veterinarians (three different ones so far) has been the ‘preg check’. The farmer has had their cow bred either by live cover or artificial insemination and would like to know if it has ‘caught’ (if the cow is pregnant). The most effective way for a farmer to get this information, and to determine whether or not he needs to breed her again, is to have the cow’s uterus and possibly developing fetus scanned by ultrasound at approximately 30 days. If she is not pregnant the veterinarian can determine approximately where the cow is in her estrus cycle and recommend what the producer can do next to ensure a successful breeding. Normally the cows have been marked and lined up so that the veterinarian can quickly examine as many as possible. Other times the cows are scattered throughout the barn and in the largest game of Where’s Waldo we must search for the particular black and white cow we need.
At the end of most appointments a couple minutes are normally spent talking about the weather and the current lack of rain in Eastern Ontario. So in the spirit of things: What did one raindrop say to the other? Two's company, three's a cloud.
Photo caption: "no rain in sight" or "driving in the country".