Tech School and the Farm Rotation Blues


When I think about tech school, I usually think of the loud students vying for the teacher’s attention, 50 pound book bags with broken wheels; anal glands, and mountains of note cards written for the one test that will end your veterinary career before it even gets started.

Oh yeah, and the field trip to work on the farm with livestock half the class will never work with again. Ah memories….

I remember the first time I came to a working farm in Illinois. Knowing that my 3 year experience on a working farm in Florida might give me an edge, I intended to observe and enjoy the subtleties between the different state routines.

We were there for all of 30 minutes before a wicked coughing attack came on me. The more I tried to clear my throat the tighter it felt. After 20 more minutes of this struggle, I told my teacher that I need to leave and  I quickly ( as quickly as possible) left the farm. Down the street my breathing became better but I was embarrassed to leave the class like that. My mom took one look at me when I got home and shoved 50mg of Benadryl down my throat. Of course she figured what was happening to me before I did. I was having an allergic reaction.

How crazy is that?!? I’ve practically lived my whole life around animals and now some funky farm is trying to drive me out of commission?!? What the heck was I allergic to? Well I wasn’t gonna waste time kicking myself when I had 10 more days of farming left on my rotation for school.

The next day and every day afterwards I sauntered back to that farm, equipped with 100mgs of Benadryl and heavy-duty face masks. Luckily I only freaked my fellow classmates out with my get-up; the horses were just happy to have someone clean their stalls.

Yes, I realized that it was probably the horse dander and hay that gave me a run for my money, but that wasn’t gonna stop me from receiving my passing marks and treating my “patients”. I’ve upgraded to a fancy inhaler since then ( fiery red like me ;-P) and take a few moments to check on myself before getting into anything sketchy. Safety first!

Man only for this job, I tell you…..and sometimes for milk by-products 😉

Do any of you have fun Tech school memories? I’d love to hear from you. Leave  your story in the comments section and I’ll be glad to read and possibly post it in a future blog.

Have a good one guys!