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May 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Horses

This is a tale of two horses, with two different owners, and two different problems, but both are fine examples of why I.V. sedatives and anesthetics are handy things to have. Both of these horses came to our large animal facilities located at our home. Sometimes it is just easier to get the trailers in and out at our place, and there is more room to lay the horses down if need be.

The first horse, an old brood mare, had been having a weepy eye since the first part of the week. The owner couldn't really find anything wrong but as the week progressed, the eye continued to get worse. Dr. McGraw tried to examine the eye with some I.V. sedative, but the eye was too painful and an I.V. anesthetic was also required. The old mare wasn't too keen on being anesthetized, so she required another dose before she decided she just may as well go ahead and lie down.

From the picture you can see how swollen and red the conjunctiva is, the thick exudative tears, and the clouding of the cornea. The arrow is pointing to an ulcer on the cornea where a foreign object (pointed out below) was removed.

Luckily for this mare, the ulcer was not very deep, and with antibiotic ointment applied to her eye as directed, the eye should heal up nicely without too much scarring.

(The mare decided to have a little snooze since she was feeling a little drugged up at the moment.)

The second horse, a well muscled, 4- year- old quarter horse gelding, was lacking a little horse sense because he decided to smell a porcupine. He didn't have very many quills in his muzzle, but he wouldn't even let Dr. McGraw approach him without snorting and shying away, let alone trying to pull out the broken off quills. So he too was given an I.V. sedative.

The sedative worked like a charm and the quills were out in no time. (Just a second--I have to wipe blood and puss off the camera because he just snorted gunk all over it.) The swelling and discharge should clear up and his muzzle will be feeling much better in a few days as long as he continues to eat the antibiotics hidden in his grain.

May 17, 2009

A Down Cow

Seven AM on a beautiful Saturday morning--Ring! Ring! Down cow.

Coffee and toast to go, please ma'am.

Thirty minutes later--here's the three day old calf--a beautiful Shorthorn.

And here's the poor mama. She is not in very good shape. Being that she is pastured on new grass and just calved, odds are that she has an electrolyte imbalance called "grass tetanus".

But no, instead she has a very bad case of mastitis--or infection of her mammary glands.When she weaned her last calf, some bacteria probably got into the mammary gland and sat there until she started producing milk again. Then the bacteria started growing crazy on all the fresh milk. Sometimes it hits so fast you just find a dead cow. But in this case the left hind quarter was a dead sack of pus and the cow was so toxic she couldn't get up.

The only choice is to cut our losses (excuse the pun) and cut off the dead quarter so that the pus could drain out in the hopes that the toxins produced by the bacteria and dead tissue would drain out of the body instead of being forced deeper into the cow. She would never have been able to make milk in that quarter again anyway.

She didn't actually feel a thing because the tissue was dead, and as you can see-- there was very little bleeding. The drainage on the ground is the pus that was trapped inside. You can just imagine the odors that went along with it.

I treated her with some antibiotics, pain medications, and electrolytes and left some meds for the owner to continue treatment. It took a little assistance from the tractor, pulling, pushing, rolling, and a little grunting to help her sit up. She looks better, but has a long way to go...only time will tell. The calf will get introduced to milk replacer in a bottle. It won't be as good, but it's best option.

May 07, 2009

Cow Meets Porcupine

Just when you think you've seen it all, something new comes along. That should be the mantra for Veterinary practice. We get "dog meets porcupine" all the time and the occasional "horse meets porcupine", but this is the rare "cow meets porcupine".

Two cows were brought to our large animal facilities last weekend. The first cow had quills in her muzzle and right front foot, the second cow had them in her tongue. Who licks a porcupine? A cow, I guess. I thought cows were smarter than that!

Then the second cow decided she was done with the whole thing and tried to exit--out the top of the chute! Believe it or not, she nearly made it before changing her mind and going out the front of the chute instead. Cows.

May 06, 2009

Welcome to Bunchgrass Veterinary

Hello, and welcome to Bunchgrass Veterinary Blog!

This is the place where you get to know us a little better. We have been serving Whitman County for 26 years -- 9 years at our current location. Our clinic is located in a shabby old house at 707 N. Main Street in Colfax, WA. The house was built in the 1890s and served as a private residence until the 1990s when it housed a gift shop. In 2000, the interior was renovated to house our Veterinary clinic. We are saving up for an exterior facelift in the next few years. We also have an ancillary location at our residence with corals, holding pens, and chute for working and treating large animals.

At our clinic we treat just about anything you bring to us--cats, dogs, pigs, cows, horses, mules, sheep, goats, donkeys, llamas, alpacas and the occasional bird, ferret, rabbit, guinea pig, rat, hamster, and bobcat. If we are unable to help you, we often send you on Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. We usually send more exotic and/or wild animals on to WSU as well.

Our Doctors:
We have two veterinarians --a husband and wife team--on staff to serve you.

Dr. Randy McGraw graduated in 1983 from Washington State University with a doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM). He started his practice out of his vet truck soon after graduation, working 100% with large animals. Over time, he has worked in several different locations and the percentage of large animal patients has gone from 100% to about 30%.

Dr. Wendy Meek graduated from Washington State University in 2001 with a doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine. She joined Dr. McGraw's practice soon after graduation, and worked mostly on small animal patients for two years until a growing family forced a temporary "retirement" from clinic work. Dr. Meek does the bookwork, maintains the website, and hopes to return to clinic work when family matters allow.

Our Staff:
We have two excellent ladies that help us with everything from vet-tech work to answering phones, making appointments, and even maintaining the flower beds.

Kasey joined our clinic in 2009. She and her family have deep roots in Whitman County. She usually works in the mornings, and her specialties include patient admission, helping with the morning surgeries, and ordering supplies. She is "Mom" to horses, dogs, and even a pot-bellied pig.

Penny joined our clinic in 1999. She and her family also have farmed Whitman County soil for many years. She usually works in the afternoons, and her specialties include patient discharge, organizing inventory, and flower bed maintenance. She is "Mom" to horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, sheep, goats, and even a parrot.