Ten Things These Veterinarians are Thankful For

Thanksgiving is here this week, which is one of my favorite holidays. Spending time with friends and family, watching the Lions lose and the Cowboys win, and eating copious quantities of very tasty food. It’s a great time, unless you are a turkey.

Turkey with "Eat Ham" sign

Which in that case, it would be your least favorite holiday. And probably your last.

But the most important part of Thanksgiving is remembering all the things we have to be thankful for. Both of your favorite bovine doctors have a plethora of blessings, but listed here are the top ten we have to be thankful for as veterinarians this year

1) A heated working cattle working facility. Being able to pull calves and fix prolapses in a lighted, warm, clean building is the only way to go. I’ve been there, doing a C-section on a cow in a 20 degree barn. You cut into the abdomen and the steam pours out so much it blinds you. It’s like an overzealous DJ that was so stoked with his new fog machine that he steamed the place up so bad, he didn’t realize nobody was on the dance floor anymore.

2) The Merck Veterinary Manual. It’s a red book that is about 3000 pages long that is filled with tidbits of information on things that you probably learned in vet school, but forgot. For example, what is the gestation length of a rabbit? What are some of the signs associated with maedi visna virus infection in goats? Is it normal for ferrets to eat their own poop? Whatever the question, the Merck Manual’s gottcha covered.

3) Coffee. I know this isn’t just for veterinarians, but really lots and lots of coffee is something to be thankful for. When you’ve been up since 2 am pulling calves and need to work a group of bulls at 8 am, coffee is your best friend.

4) Working with our spouse. Because who else will be so loving has to whip the manure speckled tail in your face while you are trying to castrate a bull calf? Only someone who has promised to love you until “death do us part”.

5) Being a part of the community. In a small town, a veterinarian is an essential part of the community. He or she is needed for the livelihoods of livestock producers and “man’s best friend” for everyone. Plus, that means as a vet you are valued.


Unlike that one guy. Nobody likes him.

6) Rompun. It’s an injectable tranquilizer that can be used on a wide variety of animals. This includes, but is not limited to, angry heifers that would rather grind the vet into the manure than stand still for surgery, squirrely dogs that hate having their nails trimmed and cats that are just plain mad at the world.

7) OB sleeves. If you haven’t heard of them, they are shoulder length disposable plastic gloves. They are perfect for touching anything icky. If it’s icky, we’re breaking out the OB sleeves. Preg checking cows, diseased deceased animals, or shaking hands with a trial lawyer are all perfect uses for OB sleeves.

8) Calm cattle. Cattle that walk into the chute calmly and let you do what you need to do, then walk out calmly make life go so much easier.

Graphic of a bull smashing a man

As opposed to cattle like this. These cattle are on my list of things not to be thankful for.

9) Frozen pizzas. Those days when you have emergency after emergency, sandwiched between all the appointments you already were going to do, a delicious disk of Italian-inspired eats makes life so much easier.

10) Our clients. They are really great folks to work with, and so are their animals!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody and eat well!

-Carolyn and Jake

Photo Credit: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/unlikeable-colleague-wants-to-come-to-the-pub-2015040997166