The donkey that came in with colic yesterday did not make it. We continued supportive therapy today, but it was too little too late. On necropsy, we found that most of the small intestine was compromised and necrotic. The lesion was such that surgery early in the course of the disease would have been the donkey’s only chance at survival. I got a bit frustrated by having to stand back and watch the disease progress without the proper equipment to make a definitive diagnosis or the ability to do anything to possibly save the animal’s life. However, some good can come from this case: the other vet students and I, who watched and followed the animal’s clinical signs as the disease progressed, have found a new appreciation for what we will be striving to prevent in our own animal patients in the future. We have now seen a case of small intestinal strangulation progress without surgical intervention and correlated our clinical observations with the ultimate findings on necropsy.
Several more colics came in today. I wonder if the recent increase in colic cases has something to do with the unusual weather we’ve been having. I’m told it hasn’t been as hot as normal here for June (which doesn’t bother me personally). At sunset, there have been strong winds that are borderline cold! The colics we keep seeing are fairly mild, probably brought on by dehydration, and resolve with medical treatment.
Otherwise, our morning was fairly uneventful with a lull just before lunch time. Several more sheep came in with respiratory problems, as is common this time of year, when everything is very dry and dusty. One common parasite here seems particularly unpleasant: Oestrus ovis is a bot fly that deposits its larvae to mature within the nasal passages and sinuses of sheep. Affected animals tend to present with bilateral nasal discharge, and that sign during this time of year is considered to be pathognomonic. Any she