‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ Explains ‘The 1 Thing a Vet Should Never Do, Under Any Circumstances’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Dr. Jan Pol

When somebody who has been coping with animals for over 40 years, actually for all of his life, advises you on what to by no means do, it is smart to pay attention.

Always down-to-earth and sensible in his veterinary follow, Dr. Jan Pol presents sage recommendation from his legendary profession that’s price heeding.

Dr. Jan Pol
Dr. Jan Pol | KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP by way of Getty Images

Dr. Pol has been operating his Michigan follow since 1981

Dr. Pol and his spouse, Diane, have been operating their veterinary follow, Pol Veterinary Clinic, since 1981 and have constructed it up right into a business that farmers and surrounding neighbors have grown to depend upon.

Dr. Pol and his spouse, Diane

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“My first experience after graduating was working for a veterinarian in Harbor Beach, Michigan,” Dr. Pol instructed Today’s Veterinary Practice in 2012. “However, my wife, Diane, and I were eager to start our own practice here in Weidman, Michigan. When the practice opened in 1981, 80% of our practice was dairy, with the remaining 20% equine and small animals.”

“We worked out of a room built in the corner of the garage until the practice outgrew that small space. Diane and I managed to buy more property next door and build a clinic—a double-wide trailer, which was all we could afford with interest rates close to 20%.”

How Dr. Pol “sees” inside a cow

As a large-animal veterinarian, Dr. Pol is incessantly referred to as upon to achieve inside a cow who’s having hassle in labor. In his 2015 memoir, Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet, the daddy of three explains that, as soon as he has his arm inside a cow, he permits his senses to take over and inform him of what is perhaps troubling the animal.

“I always close my eyes when I do a pregnancy test so I can see with my fingers,” he wrote. “My fingers tell me exactly what is going on in there. Many years later, I tore some muscles in my left arm when a cow pulled away from me, so for three or four weeks I couldn’t work with my left hand.”

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Dr. Pol favors utilizing his left hand inside a cow, in order that his proper hand can inject the animal or do anything essential. He described a second when he forgot and positioned his proper hand within the animal as an alternative.

“One day I was doing a pregnancy check with my right hand,” he wrote, “and the farmer started laughing. ‘What’s so funny?,’ I asked him. And he told me my left hand was moving whichever way I wanted my right hand to move, as if it was telling my right hand what to do.”

The 1 factor vets ought to by no means do

As for what Dr. Pol feels each veterinarian caring for big livestock ought to keep away from? It’s simply as his guide title instructs: by no means flip your again on a cow – or any massive creature.

“Having grown up on a farm,” Dr. Pol shared, “I was more comfortable being around live animals than many of my fellow students [at veterinary school]. I knew that when I was examining an animal, for example, the most important thing for me to do was to let that animal know where I was at all times.”

“I learned that the one thing a vet should never do, under any circumstances, is turn his or her back on an animal. . . You turn your back on these animals and they will get you,” Dr. Pol wrote. “Every matador knows that – and so does every farmer or rancher. Most of the large animals I have dealt with are bigger and stronger than any person . . . These aren’t pets; a cow is not a sweet, docile animal. It is an animal that can kill a person without even intending to, without even knowing it.”

Next time you go to a farm or ranch, think about your self warned!

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