It's true. Sometimes we try to fit-in and get dressed up to go out to a nice restaurant. But it doesn't always work out. As equine vets we don't go anywhere without our Personal Emergency Communication Device. We also don't go anywhere without a bag that contains our specialized superhero costume. (You can make yours here!
) Whether we're at that restaurant or sitting at home on the couch, inevitably, it's going to happen. That Emergency Communication Device is going to go off, and we have to be ready to act.
Whether it be a colicing horse, a laceration or a stuck foal, we know we have to spring into action. We grab our bag (which, yes, we probably carried into the fancy restaurant), run into the bathroom to change and come out transformed. If it's the winter we may have our Carhartt overalls on and that always makes for an awkward moment leaving. While we don't have the ability of flight, we do have the "Vet-Mobile," a super-charged, fuel guzzling behemoth that goes 0-60 in about 12 seconds and is filled to the brim with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that would make Batman jealous. In our case, it's a Ford Explorer. As the engine roars to life, we activate our Emergency Locator Beacon and off we go. Hopefully we remembered to pay the bill!
Using our Night Vision Assistance Lamps which are outfitted on the front of the Vet-Mobile, we cautiously make our way to those in danger. We always have to be aware of those along the way who might attempt to thwart our efforts, the worst of which are D.E.A.R. (Deer Excitedly Attempting to get Runover) and that dastardly squad known as PATROL.
Once on the scene, we begin to assess the situation. (The cape tends to get in the way so we leave it in the truck - we only use that for media appearances anyway.) Like Superman, we often rely on our own personal attributes to determine and the problem. Primarily, while we don't have x-ray vision (but we have a gadget for that!) what we externally see can offer a lot of clues. Our ears become super-powered with the simplest of instruments, and our hands can be one of the greatest diagnostic tools we have (see our blog on rectal exams
The big difference (other than the fact that we're human and Superman is an alien with superpowers) is that we can't always save the day. We do everything we can for the patient but sometimes it just isn't enough. Even superheroes lose once in a while.
But if superheroes can lose, then why can't we be Superman? I mean think about it, have you ever seen your vet and superman in the same room at the same time? Time to go - the Personal Emergency Communication Device is beeping!