"I’m a final year Vet Student at the University of Nottingham, and I’ve just finished a 4 week farm placement with St. Boniface. This was for my farm elective, a higher level placement, which can be undertaken at any XLVets practice - chosen because they have the facilities and clinical caseload to provide experience of specialist practice.
Under the supervision of the Vets here, I’ve had the opportunity to perform reproductive exams of cows, including rectal palpation. Thanks to many farmers, and of course their cows, I'm pleased to say I'm now much more competent with this essential skill for fertility visits! My initial exploits into manual palpation at University involved a lot of confusion as to where the cows were possibly hiding their ovaries, and disbelief when friends claimed they’d felt a CL (Corpus Luteum). You may sympathise with me if you’ve ever had to learn to AI.
St. Boniface is one of a handful of practices across the country performing OPU as part of its Embryo Transfer services, so I was lucky to see some of this work, which is popular amongst those who show their Livestock.
In between the Herd Health visits, I’ve attended calvings, treated sick calves and helped with Bull fertility assessments, the latter being rather difficult to explain to my friends and family in the pub that evening! Overall I’ve had a fantastic placement, and I would like to thank all of the staff at the practice, and all of the clients, some of whom have put up with me on multiple occasions!