17 April 2007

Having your arm inside a cow's arse...

... is wildy overrated.

And painful.

And shitty.

I don't mind the smell, I don't even mind standing in the shit bcs I was wearing rubber boots and an overall after all and you become pretty adept at standing a bit to the side so you can avoid any jets of affection - and seriously, this is vet school, I've done so much worse, but having to scoop out cow faeces WHILE my whole body arm is still inside said cow [it's supposed to be done that way or air will come in and there won't be any rectal palpation to be had bcs you can't feel a thing] is like a bloody cornucopia, there's a neverending supply PLUS it becomes more and more liquidy as the cow becomes more and more stressed - and if you think I didn't enjoy it you should have seen the poor things, one of them actually collapsed from stress and wouldn't get up, which is a terrible and worrying thing for a ruminant to do. Eventually she did, after a lot of prodding, and was guided outside whereupon she promptly drank abt a bathtub of water. Poor, sad thing. She was in terrible shape even bfr we arrived, I hope she wasn't scarred for life. Literally - she started bleeding a little. But it wasn't my arm that did it!

Oy.

And it hurts, did I mention the dismembering? You wouldn't believe how much pressure a cow can apply. It's a literal struggle to get your arm in in the first place bcs they're not amenable, oh no, and then the arm becomes numb very fast in several locations as several thingies do their squeezing job, and you STILL cannot find the cervix or the uterus or the uterine horns, all the while paying attention to the legs bcs some of them were most certainly thinking of kicking, despite the rather feeble restraint. In the end I did feel them after one of the cows had emptied herself of her will to live and things became graspable. I'm sure they'd have sat on us if they could have. I know I'd want to if I were a cow. And this was a rectal palpation! I can't imagine being inside a cow in labour, poor, poor, POOR James Herriot. You have all my sympathy. I read abt it, but I couldn't imagine it, not really. Here's a shoulder, lad.

You know, I've been given a corneal ulcera by an annoyed cat and wing-slapped by a guillemot which caused a bruise that took over a fortnight to fade and had a [very weak at that] penguin hanging by her beak from my armpit which hurt like the bloody hell and had to jump wearing knickers only into a freezing, guano-filled pool to prevent moulting puffins from drowning and YES PLEASE, ANY TIME. If it were up to me to single-handedly determine large animals' reproductive stage for breeding purposes I'm afraid they'd all die out, I simply can't muster enough excitement. [Now, goat nail-clipping? That is cool.] I'm afraid I'll be feeling too ill to attend the next time we're supposed to get up at an ungodly hour to travel by bus [By bus! Oh the seasickness of it all!] to go stick our arms inside very-unwilling-and-who-could-blame-them cows.

15 furballs:

Udge said...

Mmmm, photos of cowshit just before dinner! Yes please. Remind me to tell you my Dutch TV joke some day :-)

Aurelia said...

Yahhh, can I just say that I sincerely believe there has to be an easier way to learn this? Blech...this would be where I would quit. I admire you.

Jack's Shack said...

Oy, that doesn't sound pleasant.

The End is Near said...

i've been lucky to be uninjured by angry guillemots (i have absolutely NO idea wtf a guillemot is, mind you) or even mildly annoyed cats and definitely by penguins. but maybe when we start clinics next week, that will end...

and yes, it's hard - i agree. my arm got so freakin' tired up in the cows arse...

noorster said...

T...the penguin.... armpit... I think I'll pass out

Nancy said...

you know... I have to say that the mental picture of a penquin hanging off an armpit is not one I'd have ever come up with on my own...and even now... the mind boggles.

I want to scream in pain in empathy...but I'm afraid the scream is really...well....one of laughter.

Poor James Herriot indeed. I'm pretty sure the penquin tops most things he had happen to him...well

there was that time he was trying to wash his arm with a chunk of ice, and the time he ate a whole jar of (what was it?) in order to be able to eat a piece of pure fat..

but really.

a penquin. hanging from your armpit. bwwaaahhahhaahahhahahah

Lioness said...

Oh Udge, you'll so enjoy you-know-what! I'll keep a bucket around, for your reassurance. But have a go, tell us the joke now! (BTW, don't think I ever did get around to congratulating you for your face come-out. Congrats! You look like I'd imagined! Oooh, you look clever!)

Aurelia, there actually isn't. You may use models but at the end of the day in you have to go. I'm not sure you read the sheep posts from the old blog - THAT's when I'd have quit if I were to. No wait, Osteology and Biochem are. Oh, so much to choose from in this bloody degree.

Jack, what?? What gave you that idea?? I LIVE for this. Makes me such a better person.

Hey everyone, meet The End Is Near! I found her yesterday bcs someone googled "I hate vet school" and found me, and I decided to click on the search and there she was, a fellow veterinarian wannabe and curser!A guillemot is called a commom murre in the US (Uria aalge if I still remember). They're sometimes wrongly called razorbills, it drives me batty, but they're not, that's Alca torda. Only reason I know is I worked w both - and puffins. They don't even look similar. They're adorable when they're chicks, and hilarious-looking when moulting. Must scan some pics some time, when I don't have exams. (Oh look, a joke!) Anyway, guillemots - small bird, considerable wing span, loads of punching power.

I'm also trying very hard to ignore the fact that you ACTUALLY do clinical rotations. We have a teaching thing that people call hospital but really? AH AH AH AH AH! No. I'm depressed now. More so.

Noors, it was all right, don't faint. First of all, she was weak bcs she was sick, so it could have been worse. Then, they were in the quarentine area so it was bloody cold and I was wearing a thick jacket (my kibbutz one actually). I must scan a pic I have with her.

Nancy, I'd laugh as well if I were in your place. I still think me having to strip down to my knickers to jump into the guano pool at 10 pm in a deserted oceanarium is one of the most hysterical things I've ever had to do - and no chance of a shower afterwards - but well, no pics of that thankfully. I read all of his books (this category is called My Own Private Yorkshire in his honour) but oh, he had it so much worse so very often. Remember when he was almost killed by the bull? When he had to show up in a farm drunk? When brucellosis caused him to berate that twat of a client? The poor man. And yet he loved it! He gives me hope for the future.

CarpeDM said...

I wrote this awesome comment that was filled with love for you and James Herriot and all this stuff and then blogger decided it hated me but I still love you and James Herriot so I am persevering.

Hi! I love you! And James Herriot! I used to love reading his books but it never ever made me want to become a vet. I don't know how you guys do it.

brooksba said...

Woman, you're my hero. Not that I want to put my arm up the backend of a Holstein, but the fact you can do it makes you my hero.

Penguins bite. I've heard that. They are absolutely adorable and always well-dressed, but they bite. Was that incident from your days helping where DM and I visited to see penguins?

Miss you!

Lioness said...

Dana, we have no choice! But it's all right, I'm filled with love for him and you as well. His books are absolutely stunning, so well-written and humble and filled with love for Yorkshire and its farmers. Oh and Helen, I absolutely love how much he adores her.

Beth, sadly no, I'd be a hero if I'd managed to actually find every structure I was supposed to in every single cow. As it was, it was a bot of a shit fest, not much else. And I wasn't "helping", I was working! Actual work, wich salary and all. A glorified penguin and Alcids maid, I was.

Agent Sierra said...

I'm sure one's world view is slightly altered on the other side of a cow's ass.... I have a whole new appreciation for rural veterinarians.

cat said...

Oh weeeeeeeeeeeeee and what a lovely post to come back to refind you and resub you to the ol' reader.

Brilliant.

Oh and hi! *wave*

Kristin said...

You know...once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be a vet. Your posts make me very, very glad that I decided to fore go that distinct pleasure.

elizabeth said...

Ah, hysterical! As a fellow vet student, I can relate, and I haven't even gotten to the large animal rectals yet. Can't wait!
Liz

Udge said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you the Dutch TV joke. Mist.