Before equine rotation started, it was the only large animal rotation on my schedule. After just two weeks when I finished half of the rotation, I decided to replace one of my externships with farm animal rotation. I was totally amazed by equine medicine and I loved it.
My first half of equine rotation was surgery. There were three students in my group and each of us was assigned three cases just on the first day. Because we had to do rounds at 8:00 am, all the 7:00 am treatments had to be done and all the records completed. One of us is tracking mixed animal, another one is tracking exotics and I am tracking small animal. So here we go. We arrived at school every day no later than 5:30 am and helped each other out. One was responsible for restraining, the case owner was responsible for the physical exam and giving medications, and the last one would change the water in the bucket, feed the horse, and change the foot bath, etc.
We had patients that were pleasure horses, race horses, from a horse farm, and even police horses. We had patients presented for colic, trauma, sinusitis, dental problem, bone fracture, tumor, dystocia, arthroscopy, skin graft and many more. I was thrilled to be involved in each surgery because there are many instruments that are not commonly used for small animal surgery. Even though I am not going to be an equine vet, the knowledge and skills that I gained through this rotation is valuable, especially the observation skill and the ability to learn new things. Being able to observe and describe an abnormality, in a lameness case for example, is important no matter which animal species you are dealing with. In addition, the willingness and motivation to learn new things can’t be stressed enough.
I literally had zero horse experience before and I was excited to see every equine patient that walked in. I enjoyed learning and then knowing how to interact with horses, which gave me more confidence when working with other animal species. What’s more, this whole new experience spikes my interest in large animal medicine and I would love to keep my mind open to learn more about them.