Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yay beefs!

Today we had our large animal rotation, and ended up working with beefs.  (I stole that phrase from a classmate.  I like it much better than "cattle," and at least it has a gender-neutral singular form.) 

First, we did a breeding soundness exam on a bull.  It involved a breif physical exam, examining, palpating and measuring the testicles, rectally palpating for the vesicular glands, ampullae, and prostate.  We then inserted an electroejaculator, and collected a semen sample.  It was really cool to get to see everything, instead of just reading about it.  I don't know if I'm the only person who sort of supplies their life with a soundtrack of songs that get stuck in my head, but the whole time we were doing the BSE, I had this song stuck in my head (warning, probably NSFW).  Stupid brain. 

After doing the BSE, we lead a bunch of calves through the shoot, and the vets vaccinated them, and then tagged and tattooed their ears.  While the brucella vaccine they were giving was required to be given by a liscensed DVM, they did let me tattoo and tag the calves.  It was pretty awesome.  And after working in tattoo studios for over 5 or 6 years, who would have thunk that the first tattoo I've done would be on a cow?

After that was all over, we had the opportunity to go back to school and watch a necropsy on a ram, which I really wanted to do, but after being out in the sun for 2 hours, and turning beet red, I was done for the day. 

It was probably one of my favorite rotations so far, and that's a lot, considering that I started vet school pretty cattle-phobic.  They still freak me out a little.  When I was a kid, we were out checking the fences at a relative's farm in Kansas, and all of the cows formed a circle around all of the calves, and looked like they were going to charge us.  Which is the same behavior that Triceratopses are thought to have done.  So I kind of grew up associating cattle with angry triceratopses. Laugh all you want. 

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