Thursday, November 09, 2006


Today the ZEAW (Zoo, Exotics, Avian, and Wildlife) Club had a speaker come to talk about moose in northeastern Minnesota. It wasn't a super interesting talk, although I did learn a few cool things. The oldest moose in their radiotelemetry study was a 20 year old cow, and the oldest bull lived to be 16 (males don't live as long because they use up so much energy fighting over girls). Up to 25% of births are twins, although that number is higher in some other moose populations, which indicates that NE Minnesota is good but not great moose habitat. Rarely, moose can have triplets. Moose can get infected with "winter ticks", evil little buggers that climb up to the top of tall grasses and link their little bug arms. Then, when a moose walks by, and one jumps on, 10 or 100 or 1000 of his friends come with. They've found moose infected with TENS of THOUSANDS of them at once. They stay on the moose all winter, and can make them get so itchy they scratch their coat off, and aren't as well protected against the cold. Older moose that are already weakened can die from the cold because of them. A significant cause of moose deaths is being hit by trains.

Anyway, tomorrow is my Clinical Skills practical exam. I have to go down to the teaching hospital, where I will have to go to either a cow or a horse and perform a few parts of a physical exam. I hope I get a horse! Cows are okay, but they are still a little scary for me. Plus, I have the very last test time, so I am going to get a grumpy critter that's been poked at by first years all afternoon. Just remember to stand close, so that if they kick you, it doesn't hurt as much!

Reference ranges:
Respiratory rate- cow: 20-40 bpm, horse: 12 bpm
Heart rate- cow: 60-80 bpm, horse: 36 bpm
Temp- cow: 100-102.5, horse: 99-101
- everything's higher in a foal, and heart rate is slightly higher in Thoroughbreds

Wish me luck!

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