Posted By: Flo - Farm Vet

Why working alone as a Farm Vet is really all about teamwork.

Lots of people might think that life as a farm vet is a bit lonely; a lot of time spent on the road and going out at all hours of the night but actually I find it’s quite the opposite and this article is all about why working alone is all about teamwork.

Firstly we work in a big and bustling practice made up of 13 farm vets, 3 TB testers, 2 vet technicians and 6 office admin staff. Whilst we all work together when in the practice sometimes we’ll work together out on farm too. When it comes to big, complicated and sometimes high pressure operations like caesareans we ideally like to have two vets out to help each other and so when the calf or lamb comes out one can focus on baby and the other can focus on mum! Our vet techs often come out with us too especially when we have long days of TB testing they provide fantastic logistic and occasionally much needed moral support!

The next group of people are the ones we work with the most; the farmers. We’re very lucky as a practice to work with kind, committed and professional farmers ranging from those in their teen years to some over 90 years old. When we go out to examine an animal what we find is very important but so is the history the farmers give us. Just like when you bring a sick pet to the vets we want to know how they’ve been the last few days and will ask more specific questions depending on the animal and the nature of the problem. For this to work our farmers need to know their animals inside out and amazingly they do. Cattle and sheep are all identified by numbers on tags in their ears but so often a farmer can tell you their name (either nickname or pedigree name), who their mum is and any problems they’ve had in the past just by looking at them. Farmers often work incredibly long hours under immense stress and pressure but I find them hugely supportive and understanding if I’m ever struggling with something on farm sometimes even offering a cup of coffee and biscuit during those long cold mornings.

We definitely cannot forget the animals too. Although some people may not see these multiple different species as part of any team they offer companionship, humour and when behaving badly can be very disruptive (although I’m pretty sure this isn’t unique to the veterinary working environment). I particularly love cows and feel so lucky to work with these magnificent animals every day their individual personalities are amazing and seeing a sick cow get better or a caesarean calf up and sucking makes it all worthwhile.

Finally a key member of my team is my little puppy Squid. Since he was 9 weeks old he’s been coming about with me in the car listening to me moan, keeping me company and always being pleased to see me no matter what time of night it is. A lot of the vets have dogs as we are so lucky to be able to bring them to work and I suppose the reason we undertook this profession in the first place was not for all the lovely people we work with  but the animals that keep us going along the way! 

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