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Julia’s Weekly Column for the Middy – The foal with the largest wound

All’s well that ends well!

Last week, I started the story of the foal with the largest wound I have ever seen, here is how the situation played out.

After administering the sedative to numb the pain of the stitching needle, I was waiting for him to calm enough for me to start. Usually the sedative starts to take effect within minutes, however it was as if I had given him nothing at all, the foal remained as lively as ever. What on earth was I to do?

After a decent waiting period and a quiet conversation with my colleague – a friend from veterinary school who happened to be with me that day – I elected to repeat the dose. We had to go through the whole process of four people steadying him again, but eventually we managed to administer the sedative.

The foal began to sway, it was at this point I began reassuring his owner, saying, “Don’t worry, they never go down,” when the foal all of a sudden collapsed onto the grass.

This was not at all what I had expected or planned, although the way that the young foal fell turned out to be really handy – it exposed the wound to our care far better than if the foal had remained standing.

It took my friend and I at least two hours to check, disinfect and close the wound. On our knees, we started at opposite ends, gradually zipping him back up again, to meet in the middle. Luckily, neither the chest nor the belly had been perforated by whatever had torn his skin.

We were extremely pleased when it was done and the foal rose to his feet with no apparent ill effect. It was then time to settle up. I owed it to my boss to charge a reasonable fee for my time, and the equipment etc.

So, after some mental maths, I asked for what seemed to me, as a formerly impoverished student, a vast sum of money. As my experience in charging for procedures was fairly limited I was unsure as to how the client would react to my pricing, however there was no questions asked and the debt was settled in cash.

Overall a fantastic result for everybody involved!

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