Day in the Life of a Veterinarian: Working With Your Wife

So you know how spouses aren’t supposed to work together? Well here Carolyn and I are, working together and stuff. We both rock this veterinarian thing with each other, like two peas in a pod.

“Two peas in a pod” is silly phrase when you think about it. There’s never two peas in a single pod, but many peas. This idiom is illogical.

So how does this married team situation play out during the week? Since I don’t have a camera crew to follow us around and document it, I’ll try a timeline to illustrate an average day on the Drs. Carolyn and Jake Show.

7:45 am: Jake and Carolyn hop in the vet pickup and drive to clinic, sipping their coffee to gain their needed energy for the day.

7:48 am: The pair arrive at the clinic. It’s a long drive :).

7:50 am: Say hello to co-workers and check the schedule. Looks like Jake is going out to the country to work some cows while Carolyn has a cat spay to do. Both start to gather their equipment for the day’s tasks.

7:55 am: Surgery cat arrives. Surprise! It’s a feral cat that hates humanity! Jake snickers as his wife gets to deal with this furry ball of fury.

8:25 am: Jake heads out to the country to work cows. 75 heifers (a word for young cows that haven’t had a calf) need to be vaccinated, fly tagged and dewormed before being turned out with the bulls. Carolyn begins to spay a cat with a masterful skill that resembles the ability of a fine artist. Dang she’s good at this.

Alpaca Selfie

It’s hard not to be good when you look this good.

8:50 am: Jake arrives at farm to work the heifers. He sets up the chute and makes small talk with the rancher. Apparently the rancher got 1/2″ of rain last night. They start moving the heifers through the chute and get to work.

9:00 am: Carolyn is done with the cat and is working on her next appointment. It is a calf with diarrhea that needs to be hooked up to IVs. As she is moving the calf, he coughs and projects diarrhea right on to her stomach. That’s why we wear coveralls!

9:45 am: Mrs. Dwight Erbstein comes in with her Pomeranian “Mr. McCuddles”. Mr. McCuddles has been coughing for a few days and Carolyn needs to figure out why. She diagnoses Kennel Cough and wants to send home antibiotics, but Mrs. Erbstein says Mr. McCuddles won’t take pills. She asks if Carolyn will come over to her house to give Mr. McCuddles the pills this week. Carolyn politely explains she can’t do that, so the two talk through the options for a while. In the end, Mrs. Erbstein’s nephew Jeffery (he’s such a nice young man) gets volunteered for the job without his approval.

10:45 am: Jake is done with the heifers, has the chute packed up and is heading back to the clinic. But as he calls the clinic, he finds out he needs to stop at a farm on the way back and look at a sick steer. So he makes a detour to the farm and finds the steer in a large pen. Apparently the farmer doesn’t have a headgate to hold the steer in place. This is going to be interesting.

11:00 am: Carolyn looks at a dog that has been scooting. She puts her finger into the dog’s rectum (with a glove on, of course) to express the anal glands. The brown, foul smelling material shoots from the gland onto her shirt. Maybe we should wear coveralls for small animals too.

11:15 am: Jake finally has caught the calf and starts to work on him. It looks like there is a swelling on his back leg. As Jake looks down at the leg, the calf lifts his tail and defecates on the back of Jake’s head. Wearing coveralls won’t help with that…

11:30 am: A beef cow and her calf comes into the clinic for Carolyn to see. They have been out on a pasture, but the rancher noticed that the calf wasn’t thriving like his peers. The calf looks a bit thin and the cow has a swollen udder. Carolyn does an exam on the cow and it looks like the cow has mastitis. The calf is a little thin because he didn’t have all four quarters to nurse from, but otherwise he’s fine. She gives the cow an antibiotic that will clear up the infection, and gives the calf a bottle of milk to give it a little more food.

11:45 am: Jake gets back to the clinic and washes his head and face as best as he can. Looks like someone is going to take a shower over lunch.

Noon: LUNCH!!! Jake gets cleaned up while Carolyn makes a little Mexican food. They discuss the morning’s events over a tasty burrito made with lightly seasoned ground beef. Ask Carolyn for the recipe, because they are delicious.

12:55 pm: The veterinarian pair return to the clinic for an exciting afternoon of working calves. They work together to give vaccinations, deworm and castrate 80 calves. Since Jake just took a shower, he asks Carolyn if she will castrate the calves and get the manure on her arms instead. Seeing her furrowed brow that reminds him of the look he got for putting a whoopie cushion under her backside as she sat down in church, he realizes it would be best for him to castrate these calves. Looks like a two shower kind of day.

4:00 pm: The calves have all been worked and sent home, and the working area has been powerwashed clean. There is only one more appointment on the books for today, another sick calf. The two of them examine the calf and discover it has diphtheria. This disease is caused when the arytenoid cartilages in the back of the throat are scratched (often by a piece of hay or dust) and become infected and swollen. They treat the calf with sodium iodide and flunixin meglumine intravenously for the inflammation in the throat and the fever, and an antibiotic to cure the infection. Soon, this calf will be once again frolicking happily with his buddies.

4:45 pm: As everyone is wrapping up to go home, a person comes rushing in with a puppy that has diarrhea. It looks very down and out. It is 11 weeks old and hasn’t been vaccinated.  Suspecting Parvo virus, Jake starts to hook it up to IVs while Carolyn administers antibiotics. Once the puppy is started on fluids and isolated, they disinfect every possible thing that puppy could have even looked at.

5:30 pm: The two head home and clean up after working with Parvo puppy. One of them will swing back in to check on it after supper, but as for now it’s time for burgers and baked potatoes. One more day in the books!


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4 responses to “Day in the Life of a Veterinarian: Working With Your Wife

  1. If you had the energy. You should write events from every day down. Then you could publish them in book form.

    A day in the life of very important people.

  2. Sounds like you two are quite the pair! We enjoyed reading about your escapades!

  3. Pingback: Another Day in the Life of a Veterinarian | The Cow Docs·

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