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!

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