Sunday, August 30, 2009


I guess I haven' t posted for a few days so I should probably put up the answer to the Merck Monday question: The answer is Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus! This is a disease process that large breed dogs get sometimes when their stomach fills up with air and twists on its own axis. By doing so, it also cuts off its own blood supply and then parts of the stomach and spleen (the spleen may rotate out of position as well) can start to die off! The gas filled stomach rotated on its axis with displacement of the outflow tract (pylorus) is what makes the characteristic bloated and compartmentalized stomach appearance on radiographs. As you can imagaine, this is a pretty serious condition that usually requires surgery to de-rotate (is that a word?) the stomach and remove any parts of it that might have died off.

So the radiolgy exam went as well as could be expected, there were a few radiographs that got me the "Seriously, that's your answer?!?!" face from the professor, but overall I think it went all right.

Since then, I have rotated to Food Animal Medicine, which is the part of the teaching hospital that deals with cows, sheep, pigs, goats, alpacas and llamas, etc. So far, we've had quite a few cases which is good for us students! :)

My favorite thing by far three days into the rotation has been calf pulling... we've had 2 pulls so far, both of which I was able to help out with. Ending up with a live calf and a healthy mama makes me feel good, and I love watching mama cows lick their babies clean :) Corny, I know, but soooo cute :)

One tip I learned the hard way about calf pulling for anyone who may have to pull a calf in the future is don't sit or stand directly behind the mom for awhile after you get the calf out, because there's a good chance she may try to expel the rest of her placenta and fetal fluids from her uterus. This doesn't occur in a slow trickle either, it's more like an explosion of nasty gooey sticky membranes and what seems like gallons yellowy-red fluid. I happened to be tube-feeding her calf directly behind her, so there was no chance for escape! The only good thing was that my face was turned to the calf, and so I only got this junk all down my side and in my hair, and not in my mouth! Gotta think on the bright side. The fluid itself was pretty warm, so I guess it might of felt good if it had been 20 degrees in some farmer's field at midnight. That being said, we were in the nice air-conditioned teaching hospital, so really it just felt pretty darn narsty.

Hope you all are doing well, see ya later!


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