Saw this on Facebook. I love their names. Hope this makes you smile! :)

That is extremely unusual, and I love the names they chose.

Dairy cattle often undergo treatment with various hormones to induce ovulation at the correct time for AI, so it’s possible she was accidentally overstimulated. She did well carrying four calves to term.

Unfortunately three of these calves are male, which means the heifer is likely to be a freemartin and consequently infertile, so they will probably not have long and productive lives on a dairy farm.

Old cattle vets

One of my favourite lecturers at vet school was an old cattle vet. Retired from practice long ago, his demeanour was best described as “jolly but practical” and he had seen many years of students pass before him.

Many years. It used to be he would be teaching bovine obstetrics to a room full of strapping Aussie blokes, each more than capable of lugging a 40kg jersey calf around on their shoulders. Nowadays most of our class were women, and a fair chunk of those were petite international students, barely bigger than the aforementioned 40kg jersey calf themselves.

He knew very well that most of these smaller women were likely to end up in small animal practice, but that wasn’t going to stop him from trying to convert them to the joys of cattle medicine.

I remember him very clearly in the bovine obstetrics lectures,pulling a calf is a seriously physical task. Cattle are BIG and they are all muscle. When a cow decides she is going to push a 40kg calf at you the simple fact is that you cannot push against her. That uterus of hers is stronger than your forearms, and she’s prepared to push all day. Fortunately, there are drugs for that.

Our lecturer would merrily tell us some very colourful stories about pulling calves and the sorts of farmers he had encountered, including their unfortunate tendency to try to pull a calf first, using a tractor if need be.

Attaching a calf to a tractor and then driving away from the cow does not, in fact, make it any easier for her to give birth. If it’s stuck, it’s stuck, and no tractor is substitute for a lot of lube and some intra-uterine calf leg Tetris.

So what do you do, he specifically asked the international girls huddled down the front, when you show up at a farm, and the farmer, built like a brick house, and his son, also built like a brick house, have already tried and failed to pull this calf?

You walk up there, and you show them how it’s done.

You have a veterinary a science education and ten litres of lube. You can get the calf out. Use your brain, then give them the ropes to pull and use their muscles. Take control. Tell them what to do. Climb onto a box if you have to. If you’re particularly little, you can get both hands up there. You CAN pull that calf.

Up until that point, I don’t think those students actually expected to be able to really do it. But he expected them to.

And if all else fails, he continued, do a Caesarian. They won’t be judgemental if you didn’t pull a calf if they’re already tried anyway.

And you know, I personally know at least one of those petite little students ended up in cattle practice.

You can do it.

anonymous asked:

I have a demon character with horns. Can horns break? If so, is it painful? can it heal / grow out? Thanks, and love your blog!

An excellent question my friend. It depends on what sort of horns we’re talking about.

(Ram Image Source)

Animals with true horns, which are mostly ruminants like the ram and friends, which is also the classical demon look, have a core of living bone in the center of the horn. The outer layer is composed of thick keratin, but it is the shape of the living bone core that dictates the shape, size and direction of the horns. The living bone core is often much smaller than the keratin component.

(Goat skull showing bone core of horns)

The keratin has no nerves and little blood supply. The living bone core has a whole bunch of nerves, an impressive blood supply (it is bone after all) and if you break the horn too close to the skull then you will also have a big whopping hole into the frontal sinus.

This would be at least as painful as breaking one of your bones.

Horns can certainly heal, but they often heal in a not quite right manner. If you haven’t completely fractured off the living bone then the shape template for the new horn will be different. If your character has lost the living bone core, but still retains the germinal layer of cells around the base, then they can develop scurs.

A scur is like a remnant horn growing without a template. They often occur when de-horning hasn’t quite been done right or after trauma. They have an unpredictable shape, can grow in any direction, and are frankly quite annoying.

(A particularly funky scur)

These are often tipped (cutting off a portion near the end) and sometimes have no blood supply. They have no feeling, and can twist around to grow into other areas of the animal’s head.

There are other structures animals have which we often refer to as ‘horns’, even though they’re not true horns like these.

(Rhinoceros image source)

Rhinos do not have a living bone core in their horn. You can cut off parts of these horns, they’re made of keratin and can be thought of similar to a very fancy finger nail.

But uh, don’t be tempted to do it like the poachers do it, where they cut a straight line including both horns and part of the skull. That is going to be the equivalent of fracturing a true horn at the base and entering a sinus (or nasal cavity in this case). I’m not posting those pictures on here.

But lastly, another anatomical feature we humans sometimes think of as ‘horns’ are antlers.

Antlers are dead bone with no covering when mature. They are shed every year. When they are mature they have no feeling and no blood supply except at the very base. While they are growing they have a good blood supply,  but when mature they are inert. Antlers don’t grow bigger as such, they are shed each year and regrow, sometimes into a bigger or more pronged shape, depending on the species.

So take your pick. I don’t know which sort of horns your demon has, but I hope that’s answered your question.