Armed with wellies and warm socks, the Easter holidays saw me venturing out onto my first EMS placement as a vet student of the University of Surrey. I was rather nervous, although I come from a farming background I pictured delivering lambs far more fiddly than the calves at home! After an hour’s train journey I arrived in West Sussex to what was to be my home for the next fortnight. And what a fortnight it was! My hosts were the most considerate of people, I ate like a king from all the wonderful home cooked food!
My most memorable lambing had to be one of the triplets, as I gently inserted my gloved hand all that followed when I drew it out was a tail. On further examination I discovered the lamb was in the breech position – when only the bum is presented in the birth canal. Drawing on what we had gleaned from our lambing workshop at Westpoint vets back in January, I cupped each back foot and slowly brought them into the canal. Once both back feet were there all that was left was a gentle pull before the baby lamb was successfully brought into the world on that sunny afternoon!
This placement taught me many things, but what was really highlighted was the dedication and determination of the shepherd to ensure successful deliveries and post-natal care for each and every one of his lambs. I returned home with iodine stained fingers and a slight aroma à la sheep, but also as one very happy vet student excited for what is next to come!