On Thursday I got the good news that the ewe with the suggestive lump on her neck tested negative for CL, both on the blood titer and the culture of material the vet aspirated from the lump. When Simon called with the results, he said the next step was to lance and irrigate the abscess, since the contents weren’t an infective danger to the rest of the flock. “You can do that, right?” he said. I’m learning that the essence of being a new farmer is replying “Of course!” to questions like that, irrespective of my confidence level.
Today was another weighing day for the flock — I’ll report on the numbers as soon as I’ve digested them — so I had an opportunity to do some field surgery while #1402 was in the raceway of the handling system. I also had the benefit of helpers today, Jim and Leslie Casey (thanks!), so everything was going more smoothly than when I weigh the flock by myself. Simon instructed me to hold the lump away from the critical bits in the ewe’s neck, lance it with a sharp blade, squeeze out the contents, and irrigate the wound with dilute iodine solution (the color of weak coffee, he said). Jim was good enough to record most of the procedure, while Leslie assisted the surgery. I’m not generally a fan of trigger warnings, but squeamish folks might not want to watch.
And yes, farming means doing lots of laundry.