We have reached our last lecture of 2023! Sadly, our October lecture had to be virtual since Covid interrupted our plans. Let’s make this month our best turn-out yet! I hope to see you all at Dave and Buster’s; however, if not, the rest of us will take home your lunch and have great leftovers all week.br>
I’ve got another story for you. Bear with me, I had a lot of trouble condensing this one down. It’s the story of the craziest thing I’ve ever done! At the time, I wondered if I’d live to tell the tale!
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever gotten to do as a vet? For some, it might be a surgery you’ve mastered, or saving a life everyone thought couldn’t be saved. For others, it may be an opportunity you had to practice medicine in a different place, like a Native American Reservation. I was able to work on a species I had little experience with and do something I’d never done. I delivered a baby camel!
You are probably assuming that I went on a very coolvet trip where I had this experience. Going on a working trip to help animals is on my bucket list, but it hasn’t happened yet. The camel I delivered is right here in Pennsylvania! She was born at the rescue that got me started seeing small ruminants. The owner of the rescue’s dream is to have a camel dairy. She believes camel milk is healing. She bred 2 of her camels and one delivered uneventfully. I started texting her, asking when the other would be born. I hoped to be able to see the birth, or at least the newborn calf. On 1/23/23, Chocky the camel went into labor, and I got more than I bargained for!
Kristin texted me to come over because Chocky was in labor and they could already see the head! I was not able to go there right away, but I thought I’d stop over to see the new arrival after work. When I arrived about an hour and a half later, Chocky was standing calmly in her stall like nothing was happening. Kristin had a picture of the baby’s face protruding, with no sac around it, from at least an hour previous. The birth was not progressing and Chocky was in trouble. We were in danger of losing both her and her baby. Kristin did not have a trailer and she had already called a friend with a horse trailer to come and take Chocky to New Bolton Center; however, the people were an hour away and NBC was another 45 minutes. We consulted with a vet in Utah with camel experience. He said that the baby would not be alive by then and something had to be done now or she would suffocate. We did have oxytocin, but we knew it could do more harm than good if the baby was stuck.
I mentioned in my last column that I had vaccinated these camels very carefully. I had been warned that camels are very dangerous. I had also never delivered anything bigger than a puppy or a kitten, and it is rare that I even do that! I had no equipment with me and did not intend to do anything other than be supportive and watch the event. However, everyone was looking at me to do something! I felt that I had to try.
Kristin took obstacles out of my way. No gloves? She ran to get Rubbermaid kitchen gloves! No light? She gave me a headlamp. No lubricant? She called a neighbor to bring over some Vaseline! She hobbled Chocky’s legs so the camel couldn’t kick me. We put her in a milking stall and tied her head. A volunteer held a Little Tikes plastic wall between me and her back legs. Next thing I knew, I was reaching into a camel as she turned and bellowed at me!
Lucky for me, this seemed to be a case of uterine inertia. The baby was not stuck and her feet were coming first. I was able to get her into position and start pulling her out without too much difficulty. Once I had the front feet protruding, it did become very hard to pull out this 67# baby! I pulled on the legs with one hand with my other hand behind the calf’s head, making little progress. Finally, another person grabbed one of the legs. The baby was not moving and I felt sure she had died. We counted to 3 and pulled as hard as we could over and over. When the calf was about ½ way out, she suddenly made a sound! She gasped for breath, like a person saved from drowning. Kristin started rubbing her with towels and her head started moving around! One more big pull and she was on the ground. I have never been so excited!
Some of you have probably attended many dystocias. Do you ever stop having that feeling of elation when the infant arrives? What an amazing feeling! Lady Godiva the camel is 10 months old now and thriving. It was a happy ending except for one thing. Chocky didn’t make any milk! So much for the dream of a camel dairy! Instead, Kristin had to buy lots of camel milk from Lancaster farms to keep both of her babies fed.
I’d like to thank Dr. Stephen Dubin for sending some of his stories! What stories do you have to tell? Email me at email@example.com.
Have a great winter and enjoy the holidays! We will start up the hybrid seminars in March, but we’ve added a special, exclusively virtual, “bonus” seminar on February 21, 2024, entitled “Overcoming Overwhelm: Moving from Frantic to Focused.” The bonus seminar is free to members. Watch your emails in December / January for details about this seminar.
Christine Tranchida, VMD
DELAWARE ACADEMY OF VETERINARY
November 8, 2023
William Bush, VMD, DACVN
- Nonconvulsive Seizures
- Thwarting Life-Threatening Seizures
- Central vs Peripheral Vestibular Disease
- Upper vs Lower Motor Neuron Disease
Program Co-Chairs: Paula Colletti, Ted Robinson and Christine Tranchida
We will continue to offer hybrid seminars with in-person attendance at Dave & Buster’s Restaurant in the Plymouth Meeting Mall (500 W. Germantown Pike) and simulcasts of the seminar available via our WebEx platform. Seminars begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 4:00pm.
You will receive two identical join meeting emails with instructions on how to access the webcast (see below for full instructions) Sunday/Monday before the seminar. If you do not receive one of these emails by Tuesday before the seminar, please email us as soon as possible.
FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Please email Phil Rossi
Seminar Notes on the Web!
We advise all members to utilize the digital notes that were emailed to you or those available on our website.
NOTE: When technology permits and our presenters agree, we will post recordings of our webinar seminars on the Seminar Notes section of our website. Continuing education credit is provided to those who participate in the live presentation and will not be available for simply watching the recorded sessions.
Special Free, EXCLUSIVELY VIRTUAL, Seminar Added To Schedule for February 21, 2024
We’ve added a bonus seminar entitled "Overcoming Overwhelm: Moving from Frantic to Focused" on February 21, 2024. This seminar will be an exclusively virtual presentation and is free to members of the DV Academy and no additional registration is necessary to participate in this online presentation. Dr. Taylor Miller of Not One More Vet will present the following topics:
- Anxious in America
- Personality Traps
- Flavors of Fatigue
- Mindful Self-Care
Non-members may participate in the event for a fee of $40.
THE SEMINAR ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2023, WILL BE AVAILABLE AT DAVE & BUSTERS RESTAURANT AND ONLINE - LIVE
YOU WILL RECEIVE A LOGIN EMAIL WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ACCESS THE WEBCAST. You Do Not Need to Pre-Register to Participate in Person or Online - Only Login on the Day of the Seminar
NOTE: GENERIC LOGON INSTRUCTIONS ARE NO LONGER INCLUDED IN OUR EMAILED NEWSLETTERS / SEMINAR NOTES EMAILS. THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE USING THE LINK ON THE NEWS PAGE (see above).