Iowa State University Veterinarian: Volume 54, Issue 1
In this age of growing specialization, Iowa State's new species tracking program is enabling fourth year veterinary students to streamline their education. The class of 1993 will be the first to try the new fourth year curriculum recently approved by the University Faculty Senate. This tracking program will allow students to spend their time and energy in their specific areas of interest by choosing small animal, food animal and/or equine block options. The actual program in the way it was passed is shown on the following page.
Dystocia (difficult calving) is a major cause of loss for beef cattle producers. It results in an increased incidence of calf mortality at or near birth, increased cow mortality, and higher veterinary and labor costs. In one study, calf loss within 24 hours of birth was 4% when heifers gave birth unassisted, 16% when calving difficulty ensued. Of the calves that died at or near calving, 57% of these were attributed to dystocia.2Another study revealed that heifers calving unassisted weaned 70% of their calves; heifers needing assistance calving weaned 59%. Dystocia also results in delayed return to estrus and decreased conception rate in heifers and cows subsequent to their calving difficulty. Pregnancy rates following first calving in one study were 85% for heifers calving unassisted and 69% for heifers that had dystocia. Subsequent weaning rates for heifers that underwent dystocia in their first calving were !4% lower than for their non-dystocia counterparts.
Horses are especially susceptible to a variety of gastrointestinal incidents, manifesting themselves as episodes of colic or abdominal pain. The anatomy of the equine gastrointestinal system is long and has marked variations in its diameter which contributes to tl1e increased incidence of colic. Possible displacements and twisting may also be attributed to the sparse attachment of intestinal tract to the abdominal wall, which leaves areas of the gastrointestinal organs to move about freely.
The genus Lama includes four species of South American Camelids (SACs). Llamas and alpacas are domesticated while guanacos and vicunas are free ranging species in South America. All four species may interbreed and produce fertile offspring. There are an estimated 30,000-35,000 llamas and alpacas in the United States and Canada presently and they are the focal point of a multi-million dollar industry. With the growing numbers of SACs in the United States, there is a high probability that the veterinarian will have some exposure to them. Many SAC breeders are new to animal husbandry and have little herd management experience. Thus, the veterinarian will be called upon not only to provide medical care to SACs, but also to advise and instruct. The baby SAC neonate is called a "cria," a Spanish word used to describe the young 'from birth to weaning. Due to the high economic value placed on SACs, the survival of each cria will be of utmost importance. Therefore, the veterinarian should be familiar with the care and management of the pregnant dam and the neonate and be ready for any medical emergencies that occur perinatally.
Most of us are familiar with the old saying, "Don't just stand there, do something". Action taken in response to such a statement may be appropriate in a medical emergency, but it may be totally inappropriate when applied to the nlanagement of a veterinary practice. When it comes to practice management it may be best to change that old saying to: "Don't just do something, stand there".