Rotations in Food Animal Medicine & Surgery

August 2019

This month has been quite busy. I started off the month of August in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery rotation. Growing up in Los Angeles, I had very little to no experience working with cows, sheep, goats or pigs. The closest to me interacting with goats and sheep were at the state fairs.

As you could imagine, I was very nervous to begin this rotation, as I did not want to look clueless when it came to treating these creatures. Low and behold, Food Animal rotation was by far one of my favorite rotations! I learned so much about treating lameness in bulls, as well as how to operate chutes. I was told that if I am able to learn how to operate chutes and learn the difference between alfalfa hay and grass hay, then I will be “golden”. I can confidently say, I have learned both things, and I felt accomplished being able to lure a bull through a head chute with some sweet feed (boy, do they like that stuff!). In addition to learning about lameness in cows and bulls, I also had first-hand experience with goats. One of my goat patients had severe respiratory distress, while another goat came in for inappetence and lethargy. Although we had to humanely euthanize these goats, I learned so much about fluid management and the various medications that is legal to use in these species. It was hard to see these beautiful animals pass; I wondered whether I will ever be strong enough to humanely euthanize an animal in my career. Compassion fatigue really hit me in this rotation, as this was the first time I was actively part of the euthanasia process. A fellow rotation mate reminded me that we did what we could for these goats, and now they are no longer suffering are in a better place. This made me realize how important it is to talk to someone when times feel tough, sad, and sometimes unbearable. I could not have gone through the rotation without the support of my rotation mates and the doctors.

Now that Food Animal rotation is over, it is time to move on to the next… Ophthalmology! I am super excited to get a feel for this specialty and see some cool cataract surgeries. Stay tuned for my Ophtho adventure!

Until next time,

Jacky

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”- Oprah Winfrey