Our recent winter weather has made spring seem like a distant event. Punxsutawney Phil gave us bad news a week ago when he saw his shadow. However, the new life that spring brings has already began even if the weatherman is not cooperating.
As a mixed animal veterinarian (or is that a mixed up veterinarian??), I get the privilege of working with animals small and large. One recent night I took a phone call from a young lady who was very stressed about the calving difficulty issue she was facing with her former 4-H heifer named Daisy. It so happened that her dad was away overnight on a trucking haul to Oklahoma; and she was left at home to tend to the cows. Sure enough, Daisy decided to calve on this very cold and blustery night. The young lady was nearly in tears on the phone, but with a little guidance and encouragement, she was coached to get Daisy loaded into the stock trailer and headed to our clinic in Bertrand.
Upon arrival, I could see that she had been crying, but luckily her older brother had joined forces with her to get Daisy delivered to our hospital. As this brave, young lady fought back the tears, we worked together to walk the heifer into the warmth of the obstetrical room. There we were able to secure the heifer and examine her to see if she was able to have the calf normally or if a C-section would be required. Luckily, Daisy had ample pelvic size to have the calf, but just needed a little help to get the job done.
After a bit more anguish (and a lot of tugging and pulling), we delivered a beautiful, healthy, red bull calf into the world. Daisy was introduced to her new arrival as the little guy was placed in front of her. If mind reading of a bovine is possible, I was getting the signal from Daisy that birth and delivery was not all that fun. But after a good sniff or two, Daisy decided that this little creature was worth all the trouble. Daisy's mothering instincts kicked in; and it was quite obvious that this story was going to have a successful ending.
Daisy's owner was elated. She called her dad to let him know the details. The calf was wrapped snugly in a blanket and loaded onto the warm, front floor board of the pickup truck. Momma was loaded into the trailer. Brother and sister drove off exhausted and smiling. I quickly texted their father and reminded him how proud he should be of his two children. I could feel the smile in his response.
Spring was definitely in the air that night. You just had to recognize it on the faces of those two, young budding farm kids. I love my job.
Larry Marshall, DVM