It was one of those baffling cases they don’t tell you about veterinary school: a Holstein cow that simply refused to get up.
As I knelt by the motionless animal sprawled in the stall, the owner, a gruff old farmer with 50 years experience with livestock, stared at me with one eye closed. “Me dad would have me cow on her feet if he was alive,” he said in a booming voice. “Two things need to add always did for downed cows. Pour water in their ears and cut a piece of their tails to let the poison out. You never did that.” True, I had not tried either remedy. I was an inexperienced veterinarian, less than a year out of a vet school, and still trying to prove myself.
- Allison Maher