Thursday, April 22, 2010

Modern-Day James Herriot

Last night the farm vet received a phone call from someone that had a depressed cow with a swollen udder and a high temperature. The concerned owner said the cow was his pet. The farm vet listened to the cow's history and symptoms and went through the possibilities of what would be causing the swelling and fever. He came to the conclusion with the owner that it most likely had an E. Coli bacteria causing mastitis in the udder. The farm vet instructed the owner on what to do and how to best handle it.
Like humans, cattle can get an infection in the udder when they are lactating and this is called mastitis. The farm vet sees cases like this on modern farms and has a lot of experience in diagnosing and treating these problems. This story is a good example of whether someone owns one cow or one thousand cows, those animals are still susceptible to the same illnesses. If they are addressed and treated early the cows will have the best chance to recover and be healthy, and this is the ultimate goal.
If you have time and have not read it already, All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot, is a great "easy reading" book. I read it when I was young and went back to it and have found the stories wonderful all over again. It is set in 1937 so naturally some of the medicinal practices and techniques will have changed. The things that have not changed are the natural problems that animals encounter, proving the need for professional veterinary surgeons still today. Many of the people and problems Herriot encounters in his stories are not very different from what the farm vet encounters in his daily adventures. I appreciate Herriot's "common sense" approach to handling and caring for animals. Happy Reading!

P.S. Happy Earth Day to everyone - show your love for her! Here are some photos of the gorgeous oak trees we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by.

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