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A Country Vet

I’m a mixed animal veterinarian.  This means I go from a white doctor coat to coveralls and boots on a regular basis.  I have been asked if I only work with puppies and kittens.  I have also been asked if the “big animals” scare me.  My answers?  Yes, I occasionally get to see puppies and kittens and yes, some “big animals” raise my blood pressure.  But so does a five pound Chihuahua whose only mission in life is to bite my face. 

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I am a farm girl and a rancher’s wife.  I love having the opportunity to help producers with livestock questions just as much as I love solving a difficult case of chronic vomiting in a dog. 

One “big animal” case that will always stay vivid in my mind occurred in the Spring of 2011.  I was 12 weeks pregnant with my son and was on day 2 of a 7 day illness with Influenza A.  It was 10 degrees outside and a heifer had just delivered her calf, along with her 50 pound uterus.  That’s right, her uterus was now on the outside of her body and it was my job to put it back inside.  Imagine trying to shove a 50 pound wet, slimy sack of goo into a hole the size of a volleyball.

Got it?

OK, now imagine doing that while suffering from a fever of 103 degrees, a cough that sounded like a freight train derailing, waves of morning sickness and extreme exhaustion.  I’m pretty certain this is the closest I’ve come to seeing “The Light”. 

But I did it.  All by myself. 

Sewed her up, gave her some good meds, told the guy “Thanks” and headed home.  It was over.  Then, 6 hours later at 1:00 AM, my phone rang again. 

“Hey Doc, the stitches didn’t hold.  She threw the whole darn thing out again.  You gotta come back and fix it.” 

I went back.  I did it all over again, only this time I used a much stronger stitch to hold that baby in.  Thank goodness I know how to sew. 

And so it goes.  I am a mixed animal veterinarian.  What animal do I like the best?  I guess it just depends on the day.

Read more from Lindsay and what it takes to become a vet, here.  

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About the author

Lindsay Waechter-Mead

Dr. Lindsay Waechter-Mead
Dr. Mead grew up on a diversified farm 30 minutes south of Hastings and graduated from Blue Hill High School. Lindsay graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then received her Doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University in 2008. Lindsay and her husband Clay have two children, Anna and Harrison, and keep busy with their Red Angus seedstock cattle herd. Furry family members include Mindy the dog and Klondike the cat. Have a question for Dr. Mead? Send her an e-mail to [email protected], [email protected] or visit them online at http://www.animal-clinic.org/