Note to Reporters: At least 24 hours advanced notice is needed to make arrangements for a reporter to travel to the ranch due to the challenges of connecting with the veterinarians while at the ranch. This is not intended as an invitation to the public; only reporters and photographers are invited.
WHAT: Colorado State University veterinary students will help ewes on a commercial ranch give birth to healthy lambs as part of a clinical rotation preparing them for large animal practice. The rotation offers students an intensive, week-long experience that allows them to think independently yet be supervised by a CSU veterinarian in a real-life scenario before they graduate in May.
WHEN and WHERE: Daily until April 23 near Cheyenne, Wyo.
DETAILS: Students and several CSU veterinarians have been making daily trips to Cheyenne to visit a sheep rancher with a herd of about 3,500 ewes who are lambing within a 6-8 week timeframe. As a final step in preparation for a large animal practice, the experience empowers students to diagnose, plan treatments and do procedures while under supervision from CSU veterinarians.
The course is designed to help students learn to use examination skills and clinical logic to develop a therapeutic plan, help the animal and work with the producer while still upholding high standards for quality of care. The students and faculty work with minimal laboratory support on site and basic veterinary equipment, carrying only a blood glucose monitor and basic veterinary supplies. The rotation puts students in a situation where all clinical decisions have to be made in real time and in an isolated, rural area. Students must rely on their physical examination skills without the luxury of X-rays, blood work and other tests.
Students, who each attend the rotation for one week, deal with emergencies such as difficult births, complications during birth or an ill or injured lamb or ewe. Daily work may range from cleaning out stalls to doing an emergency cesarean section. Some typical procedures that students practice include minor surgeries, pain management and providing an overnight monitoring plan for ranch workers to follow. The experience also provides students with multiple opportunities to learn to identify what a healthy, normal and routine birth looks like so they can better identify if a ewe or newborn lamb is in crisis.
Reporters are invited to visit the ranch with the students during the weekday rotation; to make arrangements, please call Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or e-mail DellRae.Moellenberg@colostate.edu. At least 24 hours notice is needed in order to make arrangements.