Zoonotic

(Ron Wilson) I’m proud to say that my daughter is a veterinary student at Kansas State University, and as a result I’ve been able to learn some things too. This is a term she shared with me. The poem is entitled, Zoonotic. As boys were working cattle one day in early spring, a veterinarian watched carefully a checkin’ everything. A vet is a terrific guide for all these operations. He was preg checking cows and giving vaccinations. We moved in a bunch of cows at the boss’s direction, when the boss spoke up and said, Hey Doc, I’ve got a question. What is Zoonotic? He said, I saw that word while reading about possible diseases in a herd. Well doc replied, It’s something we’re not often seeing. It’s a disease that transfers from livestock to a human being. We watch this very carefully with diagnosis or a blood sample. In case a germ jumps from a monkey to a human, for example. Doc continued to explain as we got the cattle headed, till we had just one cow left, but it was the cow I dreaded. This old cow was honorary. Had a mean streak a mile wide. She was tossing and a-kicking and all snorty and wild eyed. Young Billy tried to head her in but as he got in close she turned her head and kicked him right into a fence post. The other cowboys pushed her in and got her in the shoot, while Billy cussed that angry cow and kinda nursed his wound. Old doc gave him some vet wrap for where she broke the skin. That tickled our old boss and he got a little grin. He said, Doc, you’re an expert on disease and antibiotics. Would young Billy’s ailment be considered zoonotic? Doc said, Well, in one sense as anybody sees, young Billy might be called a victim of mad cow disease. Happy Trails.

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