A Little Farm First Aid Lesson

Lucy in the pasture
Lucy in the pasture

I am once again in need of yet another bookshelf… and a place to put it. I don’t know if I could convince Mike to build me a mouse proof room in the barn for a library. I’m sure he’ll figure something out for me. He’s good at that.

For now, I’ve started reading “Veterinary Guide for Farmers, New and Revised Edition” by G.W. Stamm copyright 1975. I’m learning all sorts of things; shots, sutures, temperatures, diseases, viruses, blood, puss and stool samples. No one is sick or injured but it never hurts to know that you read something about that and now what was it… That’s how this will go. Someday one of the cows will be sick and I will be standing there thinking “I know I read about what’s going on here, hmm.” I’ve never been super interested in surgery and such. M*A*S*H* is pretty much the extent of it (and of the military movies too). I can stomach it but ‘eh I can do without though too.

We haven’t had too much first aid to be done on the farm as of yet. A few run-arounds with Wilma the chicken, and a few other birds. Of the four-legged critters it’s been pretty routine, hoof trimmings and so on with the exception of one of the dogs. Stinks was hit by the FedEx truck this summer and left for dead until the neighbor found her and let Mike know. She was in pretty rough shape. There was a lot of blood and swelling. I was surprised she lived through the night. Mike was able to nurse her back to health. She has a bit of a lazy eye now but it’s getting better. So a faint idea of basic veterinary procedures wouldn’t be too bad. If nothing else I will know what the page looked like that I need to find.

As I was reading about all the different types of shots, subcutaneous or hypodermic, intradermal, intravenous, intramuscular, and intraperitoneal, I thought of Mike. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t see stars when a needle and syringe enter the room but the last shot that was given on the farm Mike shared with Lucy. After reading the shot chapter I’m pretty sure we didn’t administer that one properly aside from them sharing.

It’s a long story and I’m not going to go into it because the vet pissed me off and I haven’t called him since. I will just take the shot excerpt of it. Lucy was to be A.I and to do so it was recommended that she be given a shot that would send her in to heat so the A.I. would take. Simple enough. I picked up the shot from the vet and Mike and I headed to the barn that night. We don’t have a head gate, chute, or even a stall to speak of, I did have the calf pen set up so I lead her into that. She was still pretty tame at that time, I could halter her and lead her where I needed her to be so getting her there wasn’t too big of a deal.

We used the two gate panels that formed the pen as a make-shift squeeze gate. Then was the tricky part, Mike giving her the shot. She didn’t care for him and still doesn’t. With me doing my best to keep all buck-20 of me pushed against the gate keeping all seven-fifty pounds of her against the wall, Mike climbed the pen boards and stuck her with the shot as quickly and painlessly as possible. She was, we’ll say a bit upset, throwing her head and kicking and such. I don’t blame her, I’m the same way when someone tries to give me a shot too. The shot was done in an instant, I opened the panels and she went running out of the barn.

The needle was bent some and when Mike went to replace the cap it went right through, and he stuck himself too. Good enough to draw blood even. Between the two of them the shot was successful, well Lucy went into heat any way, Mike was concerned but he made it through.

When it was all said and done the straws were paid for and unused, she was loaded up and brought to my uncles for breeding.

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