Why I don’t want to be a farm vet

Just to get a tiny head start, every morning I receive board question via automatic e-mail. This was today’s question, with some helpful interpretation by yours truly:

Question of the Day:
You are called to a small feedlot to examine a 16-month old Hereford steer [castrated boy cow lucky not to have gone to slaughter yet] with a two-day history of anorexia [not eating], coughing, excessive salivation [drool] and mucopurulent [pus and mucus] oculonasal discharge [read: gooey crap coming out of eyes and nose].

The steer has bilateral [both eyes] conjunctivitis and inflamed nostrils with clusters of gray and yellow necrotic [dead/dying] foci [spots] on the mucous membrane [inside] of the septal mucosa [nose], just inside the nostril. Several other animals also appear to be sick with similar signs.

What is your clinical diagnosis ?

Yup, that pretty much sums up why I don’t want to be a large animal vet. Especially pigs and cows. For some reason mucupurulent (read: pus and mucus) discharge is just that much more easy to deal with when coming from a dog or cat. Probably because there’s less of it, them being smaller and whatnot. And the necrotic mucosa? Egh. Just how I want to spend my days. Small animal medicine here I come!


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