It’s a good thing that while I was at UVM, I learned how to get up and get my butt out the door in some form of functioning fashion. When I used to do calvings, I would get a call saying someone was in labor, and I’d throw on some clothes and race to the barn.
This came in handy this past week at the clinic while we were awaiting the arrival of a foal. We have very convenient live-feed cameras in the stalls, so when I spent time watching the mare I could do it from the comfort of my own bed at one in the morning. If she were to show any signs of foaling, I would call the vet who would run down to the barn. I’d be heading there too. The mare didn’t show any signs during my scheduled watch, but a call came in at 3:38 this morning–she was in labor. I was told I was too perky this early in the morning, to which I responded, “I’m just excited!” I snuck out of the house so as not to wake my parents and was off to the clinic! I got there just in time to see two little feet poking out. I got to help pull the foal, and at 4:15 am we had a very long-legged, adorable colt. It was amazing to be a part of the process, to see a foal come into the world and take his first wobbly steps and his first drink as we cheered him on. Besides the adorable emotional stuff, I also had the opportunity to inspect the placenta (and be quizzed) on its anatomy. Placentas are gory but also kind of beautiful in a “I’m a crazy vet student” kind of way.
Later in the day, we gave the colt his first all-over exam and took a sample to check his immunoglobulin levels. Then, the little dude went out with his mommy for his first outdoor adventure! All in all, a perfect day in the life of a vet student.