Late night emergencies are a reality of vet practice, and every practitioner has to learn to cope with them. Not every situation is life or death, and I don’t mind arriving to a patient who is not as bad as the owner thought. I can put their mind at ease, feel relieved that it wasn’t something worse, soothe the patient with some medical care, and return to my bed feeling good about the world and my place in it.
Raising an orphan foal isn’t easy, but a miniature
donkey is up to the task. BY COURTNEY S. DIEHL, DVM
Even better are true emergencies
that I can save, even if it means no
more sleep for me that night. On the
nights when I lose a patient and have to
drive away leaving a stunned owner and
a still body covered in a tarp awaiting
burial, I have to reassure myself that I
did everything I could and the suffering
animal is finally out of pain.
Mares After Midnight
When I got the 3 a.m. call about a
newly foaled mare in trouble, I knew
this was going to be one of those
times when I couldn’t get there fast
enough. From what the owner described, Mocha was in severe distress
and it sounded to me like she might
be hemorrhaging internally.
I tripped over a throw rug and
bonked my head as I snatched a bag of
frozen colostrum out of my freezer. I
double checked my supply of emergency drugs and fluids on the truck, then
drove to the farm as fast as I could.