You’ll notice that this is my first post that only centers on one day, and there’s a very good reason behind it! This was our last day of hands on veterinary experience, as tomorrow we will be giving our final presentations, taking our exam, and having our “alumni meeting”…which is a surprise? I think? We started off our day with a 4 AM wake up call to take a tour of a Mennonite dairy farm. It reminded me a bit of the Amish farms I’ve visited in Lancaster, PA. While there, we learned how to perform a California mastitis test, which is used to detect mastitis so that contaminated milk doesn’t entire the milk supply.
Next, we finally got a chance to practice rectal palpation on beef cattle to detect pregnancy! The other half of the group got to do this last week, so my group was so excited that we got to do this on the last day. Shoutout to those at the Ryders Lane farm who taught me how to do rectals/fecals on horses; I felt like this helped me out a lot as I did rectals on the cattle. A common analogy used to describe the feel of a cow’s cervix is “like a chicken neck”. I always thought this was a strange comparison, but now I have to admit it’s pretty accurate.
After finishing up with the cattle and a brief lunch of nachos and fantastic cheesecake, we were off to castrate and vaccinate a whole bunch of pigs. We started off with young piglets and steadily worked our way up to the larger ones. The smaller piglets we were able to catch and grab, while the larger ones needed to be wrangled. It almost felt like we were in a wrestling match. We restrained the pigs by grabbing their ears, straddling them, and backing them into the corner of the pen for their vaccines, which was a workout! Keep in mind that this is a very humane way to restrain the pigs, and does not hurt them in the slightest. Everyone was cheering each other on like we were in a rodeo! By the time we were finished, we castrated about 15 piglets, and vaccinated close to forty.
After working with the pigs, we were all hot, smelly, and drenched in sweat, dirt, and dark blue antiseptic spray, so we took a detour on the way back to the hotel to a gorgeous little waterfall with a pool that was deep enough to swim in. It. Felt. Amazing. And I can officially check “jump off a rock into a natural pool” off my bucket list!
Until next time!