Sunday, November 21, 2010

Globosus Amorphus...??

As we've said before, the job is full of surprises and challenges. The farm vet was called out to a farm where a cow was having difficulty giving birth. We call this a difficult "calving." The cow looked healthy and normal but when the farm vet examined her he knew right away what the problem was. She had a twisted uterus. There was no way this baby was coming out on its own.

One of the advantages the farm vet says he has over some people are his "monkey arms." His long arms enable him to work well with large animals, especially when doing procedures internally on a cow. This trait allows him to fully get his arms around the uterus of a cow and turn it over to untwist it. There has to be a good amount of strength and leverage to do this and he got it done on this cow!

He then pulled the calf out, alive and healthy, thank goodness. When he put his arm back in to check everything was OK in the uterus, he felt something else. There was something that had the texture of a furry ball. What he pulled out he had never seen before! A globosus amorphus!

"A what?!" I said. It is something very rare. The definition is:
"Globosus amorphus (shapeless mass) is an incomplete twin with a vascular connection to the placenta of its twin. All three primary germ layers are present (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm)."

In all of the calvings the farm vet has dealt with he had not come across this phenomenon yet. The farm workers were also shocked and couldn't believe what they were seeing. The definition and photo I found are courtesy of the Drost Project .

Nature is very unpredictable and keeps the job interesting and the farm vet on his toes!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Loss of a Pet

"When I see a man cry whom usually shows no emotion, that makes it even harder." The farm vet had to put down a dog for one of his dairy clients. This dog was part of the family and part of the farm. It was sixteen years old and went to work every day with his owner. Loyally, following him around the dairy day in and day out.

It was old age and he wasn't able to get up and move around much anymore. The dairy farmer finally decided it was time. This is the dairy farmer that is very matter of fact about things, answers his phone in a gruff tone and is a bit difficult to approach about something that could be confrontational. So when he asked the farm vet to put down his old dog, there wasn't any expectation of an emotional goodbye.

This dog obviously had  a special place in the heart of it's owner. The farm vet prepared everything to put the dog to sleep and the owner started crying and left because he did not want to watch. The farm vet was shocked at the show of emotion from the man. An employee that had been working at the dairy for many years helped the farm vet and the employee also started to get emotional. He said the dog had been around as long as he had been working at the dairy. When it was done, the employee took the dog away to bury him for the owner.

Even the gruffest of men have a soft spot somewhere in their heart and this man's happened to be for his dog. There's no comparison to the loyalty of a pet like that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Being "Ag-Thankful" This Month!

We were flattered to be able to write a "guest post" for Ryan Goodman's blog, Agriculture Proud. He has a theme for his blog this month which involves guest bloggers writing about why they are thankful to be involved in agriculture. There have been some fantastic posts by Ryan and his guest bloggers. Please check it out when you have a minute!

What are you thankful for?