“Paging Dr. Embertson …” Unexpected emergencies, veterinary interns high on sugar, and more from our chronicle of 24 hours during foaling season at one of the country’s top equine hospitals, in this excerpt from the Eclipse Press book Equine ER by Leslie Guttman.

No matter what time of day, the hospital is full of sounds: scrubbing, scrubbing, and more scrubbing É workers clean operating rooms, barns, stalls, entryways, and examining rooms. Hay rustles as horses feed, water drips from hoses and faucets, hooves clip across asphalt as clinicians conduct lameness exams. You hear the crinkly sound of granola bars being unwrapped by famished interns and externs (staff veterinarians never eat, as far as I can tell), the gabbing of a flock of birds that nests in the three evergreen trees by Barn 7.

 

 Dr. Rolf Embertson, right, at work.

The P.A. system constantly interrupts conversations, as it did after Saturday morning melted into lunchtime during these twenty-four hours: Dr. Rolf Embertson was being paged. A 1,400-pound warmblood had arrived from Indiana. He had gotten a leg caught in a gate. The laceration wasn’t serious, but it needed to be stitched up. In the admissions office, his owner, bossy in her worry,