Tuesday, 10 July 2012
If you can't stand gore - don't look! WARNING
This morning the farmer found a heifer dead in the field. When he walked round yesterday afternoon they had all seemed as normal. The trouble is, as he keeps telling me , this is such unhealthy weather, both for animals and for plants. She was lying flat out in a pool of water (there are pools of water everywhere, in every dip in the fields)and directly under the electric wires, so he did wonder whether or not she had been struck by lightning.
Because of this and the fact that lightning strikes mean insurance claims may be met, the vet came this afternoon and did an autopsy. I just had to be there to witness what it entailed and I took some photographs.
Oddly enough there was absolutely no blood whatsoever. She was very bloated and we were advised to stand back as the vet stuck a knife in to let the air out. He also let out the most appalling smell, although she can't have died before 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon.
Because he knew I was interested, he talked us through the 'operation'. First of all he made a cut directly along her tummy and then up behind her head. Feeling about inside her he then brought out her organs one by one in order to establish that they were healthy. Lungs were very healthy, as was her heart. He then made another incision to bring out her spleen - also healthy. Then, feeling about inside he brought out an enormous, very enlarged and very unhealthy liver. There was the cause of the problem. He thought probably a virulent infection that overtook her so fast that she exhibited no symptoms before death.
So there you have it. One dead heifer in the yard waiting for the 'knacker wagon' to come - she is cut up into pieces and the vet's gloves and apron are stuffed inside her. He scrubbed up using a bucket of hot water and disinfectant. I must say he seemed to enjoy the job and also enjoy talking us through it. But I really cannot begin to describe the smell of it all.
It is always sad to see an animal die.