Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Beat Of More Horseshoes

The following day, I quickly shined my horseshoes and implanted them, and the day started with another calving call. The cow had been calving since the night before, they worked most of the night and the next morning to try to bring the head up to bring the calf out. When the cow was brought, I was told that if it had to be a cesarean, then not to bother, since they always died (and in my mind I thought, well then bring them in sooner then!) The hired man, who I don't believe had seen too many back end of cows in his life, left me to work on her myself to go to the garage. By the time he got back, the whole calf was out, and the cow was waiting to go home - the horseshoe was still working!Unfortunately the horseshoe seemed to lose it's power later the next day. Once again, a calving gone awry - one leg out and a head. The poor heifer had been calving for quite some time, and she was down and unable to get up, and the head of the dead calf was swollen. Knowing that there was going to be a bit of chopping up required, I MacGyvered a fetotome (a tool to help you cut pieces of a calf while protecting the cow) out of a stomach tube and a pipe - duct tape is an amazing piece of equipment in my arsenal! 
  We were able to get the head off, but the heifer was way too small, and I could not push the body back into her to try to get the other leg out - by this time, the poor gal was  in shock and things were not going to end well, even if a cesarean was done. A large dose of tranquilizer was given for her final trip to home - unfortunately the final treatment would be a bullet, with no withdrawal time.

Still my Oscar Myer patient from early on the week was still recuperating, and he was visited by his owner every day - and he was asked about by most of the town people. The little gaffer was quite known in the community, and figured that if he had a sympathy card signed, there would be no room left for me to sign it. I had even called Swift Current for unrelated business and was asked, "How is Loki doing?" Yup, the little dog was known in even the big city.
Finally by the end of the week, Loki was feeling a bit more chipper, and the patient went home.  I picked up my horseshoes and brought them home - another thorough cleaning would have to be done before the next round of excitement of a springtime large animal vet would occur.

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