Doctor Differences

· Clinic Duties, Cows, Horses, Treatments

So I have been continuing my experience with Dr. C and while a majority has been with cattle, which is what I wanted there was an interesting aspect of observing a different veterinarian in general. Dr. K is a very polite, professional character that runs a clean ship while Dr. C is a get in there, get dirty and get done type of captain. While this leads to obvious personality differences it also leads to similar medical differences.

We started off the day with a trichomoniasis testing on bulls. Trichomoniasis is a bacterial infection in older bulls. It lives in the folds of the sheath and is considered untreatable. This can pass from bull to bull by shared mating of females. Trich can live in the female reproductive tract for a short time before it is flushed out so if an infected bull and an uninfected bull share the same female there is a transmission of the disease.

To test for trich you scrub vigorously in the sheath of the penis trying to dislocate the growth which is then collected and grown in a broth and tested two weeks later. This is a difficult test with a sensitivity of 89% meaning out of 100 positive cases only 89 will likely be identified correctly. This is a required test if cattle are being sold across state lines.

At the end of the day Dr. C checked for pregnancy in three mares. He gave descriptions of what to look for in a rectal palpation but did not offer me the opportunity to physically understand what he meant and all mares were determined to not have been bred.

The waiting period between these appointments gave me something to ponder. There was a canine dental waiting with a canine extraction. Dr. K’s technicians would always be gentle, preferring tugging over concussion or use of a scalpel blade. In a sense how I wish my mouth was handled. Dr. C on the flip side went straight to a scalpel and generally left my cringing constantly. This was not intended to be mean but a consequence of the practice. Dr. C is used to working with large animals that can kick a couple of ribs out of commission if you do not act fast. Over 1000 lbs of muscle fat and bones is also something you do not treat as precious little pookie. It’s important to be aggressive.

This understanding gave me a new understanding to how I wish to be the happy medium between these two extremes. I love Dr. C’s open attitude almost unprofessional familiarity and ability to be crude and fun. Dr. K also has her gentle hands that show great care and empathy for her patients.