Baxter Black: The Rookie DVM | TSLN.com

Baxter Black: The Rookie DVM

How many of you have ever had a new veterinarian out to your place? You think you’re scared!

One of the hazards of a livestock veterinary practice is that it is the one specialty in vet medicine where the client almost always knows more than the new graduate veterinarian! Ya, see, in vet school we spent years learning diseases and treatments. We were taught hundreds of possible ailments that might afflict yer critters.

By the time we finally escape and are turned loose on the unsuspecting public, we are bursting with knowledge. They’ve packed it in our brains like sand in a rat hole! Only problem is, we haven’t figgered out which diseases get priority when we’re tryin’ to come up with a diagnosis.

Say I was lookin’ at a feedlot steer with a swollen foot. My brain would be swimmin’ with possibilities – ergot, frost bite, fractured sesamoids, BVD, corns…While I’m sifting my computer-like memory bank for tests to run to determine how to diagnose the limping steer, the feedlot cowboy is shuffling his feet. It’s the third steer like this he’s pulled this week and the 99th one he’s seen in the last five years. He knows what it is. The odds are in his favor.

Support Local Journalism

Or the rancher with an Anaplasmosis cow. He’s seen hundreds of them. The new vet’s never seen one! Same with Erysipelas in hogs or bumblefoot in sheep.

New livestock vets learn a lot their first year, thanks to the kindness and patience of many livestock producers.

The new vet that goes into a dog and cat practice still have the same problems sorting out priorities but the average dog or cat owner is not as knowledgeable in pet diseases. Horse practice is probably the strangest of all specialties. Backyard horse owners are much like pet owners in that they really know very little about the ailments of their equine.

But those brave new vets who take up racetrack practice or a horse show specialty face a mysterious clientele. In addition to the extensive list of legitimate problems and treatments encountered, they must also deal with a blithering array of mythical ailments and mystical treatments. Superstition, patent medicine and secret ingredients abound in the horse world.

So all I can ask is, when you have a “wet behind the ears” graduate veterinarian out to your place, cut ‘em a little slack. Who knows – with your help they might amount to somethin’ some day.


Support Local Journalism

Readers like you make the Tri-State Livestock News’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, relevant coverage of the livestock industry.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.