One of the unique experiences I have had on my last rotation through food animal medicine and surgery is the opportunity to work with camels. Ohio State has a reputation for being a good hospital for camelids, because several of the clinicians have a lot of experience with them. During my two-week rotation, we saw seven camels and treated diarrhea, lameness, parasite issues, and orthopedic problems. I started the rotation not really knowing anything about medicine and care of camels, but I am leaving having learned a lot. I have also learned some valuable camel handling skills and that when several camels are “barking” in the hospital, it can sound a little like Jurassic Park (no joke, they can sound like a dinosaur).
Overall, it was a really neat experience, and I gained some confidence in working with these guys, which can be difficult — they don’t always enjoy being handled or even having their temperature taken. They especially don’t enjoy having intravenous catheters placed in their necks and they do, in fact, kick. Working with them definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, since I had never worked with this species before. It is always good to be pushed out of your comfort zone in an academic environment when professors are there to support you.