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    So, after much pestering, I finally landed a two-week placement at a large animal vets in the Easter holidays.

    I'm really excited, especially as I'll get some experience with horses and cattle - which is something I've always wanted to do.

    So I was just wondering if anyone could give me a few tips on what to expect, what questions to ask etc. as I want to get as much out of the two weeks as possible.


    Thanks for any help!
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    I've done quite a lot of work experience at a mixed practice and this is what I can remember off the top of my head that I've seen to do with large animal

    Cows...

    Castration....One of the first things I saw and quite interesting. A lot of farms tend not to do this (they use elastic bands a few days after birth instead) but some do. It's common to see many be done one after the other, giving you ample opportunity to see exactly what the vet is doing. All manner of questions you could ask there from why it's done to when it's done and then questions about the procedure itself.

    Caesarean (or possibly other calving problems)....haven't seen one myself as it tended to happen during the night and I wasn't called. Youtube will show you what to expect and again there's many questions to ask. For most farmers this will be in the case of an emergency. However, for some, it's a regular occurence...one farm here expects one a month! Generally based on breed of cow, bull used etc

    Pregnancy detection....something you might have seen prior to working with the vets if you have been on a farm. If the cows are docile, the vet willing to let you get hands on and the farmers quite calm ( ) you might be able to have a feel yourself. I guess there's lots to ask about how to tell what age the calf is, what problems might be expected to be found whilst doing a pd (mummified calf/barren), how to treat these problems, where everything is positioned in the cow etc Some vets use an ultrasound which would be a good thing to compare with the good old fashioned way



    Horses...

    Laminitis...not sure what to say about that lol Treatments, symptoms, how it's caused etc?

    Expect to see all manner of hoof problems really! Some will be serious, some not so intense...some they'll have just happened, some might be reoccuring etc etc This is more of a case by case situation.

    Lameness, scratches, kicks from other horses, unexplained everything really! If you are confident around horses then you might be asked to help hold the horse (normally halter or sometimes holding a leg up). Might be xrays, anaesthesia etc

    Vaccinations! I've found this is the most common work with horses that I've seen. Routine work but still lots to ask eg what vaccinations etc



    Sure I've forgotten lots but if I remember something else I'll post Happy to help if you have any questions too
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    Oh! Dehorning for cattle aswell...but generally that's done by the farmers too.
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    lots and lots of lame cattle, cattle with fertility problems and cattle with various cuts and abcesses
    make sure you wear lots of warm clothes coz its often lots of standing around on farms and make sure you scrub your boots before you leave farms
    watch out for "friendly" horses biting you if youve been asked to hold onto them, theyre buggers for taking a chunk out of you when youre not really paying attention!
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    erm... did no one mention TB testing?
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    LDA's... Pretty common and will show you signs of ketosis too.

    Urmmmm if i were you, know your fertility cycles:-Hormones, 2/3 wave cycling etc. And know your bovine repoductive and digestive anatomy.

    I'll pass on giving knowledge on horses however as i only spend time with a bovine specialist... Also i would learn to give IM injections to cows... embarrassing if your asked to and you dont know how.
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    (Original post by Mooseyboy)
    LDA's... Pretty common and will show you signs of ketosis too.

    Urmmmm if i were you, know your fertility cycles:-Hormones, 2/3 wave cycling etc. And know your bovine repoductive and digestive anatomy.

    I'll pass on giving knowledge on horses however as i only spend time with a bovine specialist... Also i would learn to give IM injections to cows... embarrassing if your asked to and you dont know how.
    Just been told off by LilacTweet. She doesn't know all that and got 3 offers. Im just a BITTT of a cow geek

    Still i'd be impressed if you knew hormone cycling
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    (Original post by Mooseyboy)
    Just been told off by LilacTweet. She doesn't know all that and got 3 offers. Im just a BITTT of a cow geek

    Still i'd be impressed if you knew hormone cycling
    hahaha! i didn't full on tell you off :P
    I guess i know looadsss about horsey stuff though, so we all have a particular area of interest

    Yeahh but to the OP, i didn't know quite a bit of what tom said... still got in :P
    Just learn about what you see, and if something interests you quite a lot -learn it in detail i did that for other things.... just not cow things like tom :P
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    When you finish up, make a note of what you saw and learnt, and note down any questions for the next day. It's also a very good idea to learn about large animal handling, so you know where not to stand, etc.
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    You know, that best thing you can do, rather than worry about which hormone goes where, and what needs vaccinating with what...is which end of a cow to stand at.

    You wouldn't believe how many people get to the end of vet school and still stand and wonder why a cow won't go through a crush when they're standing at it's nose. Be efficient, know when to get out of the way, understand the nature of the work you're doing and try to support the vet as much as possible. Ask your questions at appropriate times, and make a note of interesting things you've seen and done, so you can talk about it at interview
 
 
 
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