Props to the Class of 2013 for constructing the most spectacular float ever! Debbie the Saltosaurus and Baby Salty, incubating happily in the giant dino egg on the rear of the float made their debut at the 2010 Picnic Day parade, complete with dinosaur sounds. A conceptual sketch of Debbie by Greg Bishop complete with ECG, IV fluids, jugular catheter, ultrasound, and x-ray machine won the Class of 2013 float design contest. Debbie was constructed by members of the Class of 2013 in the hay barn on the vet school campus when students were not in class. She came together marvelously, made from paper mache, and I am confident she won Best Float.
Aside from Debbie, I spent 9-4 with the Veterinary Emergency Response Team at the Vet School campus. We conducted 2 demonstrations of a helicopter airlift of a downed horse that went flawlessly. Interestingly, during the week we received an email from the veterinary school regarding “flying horses” following our training. Originally I thought it was SPAM, but here’s what it said:
Flying Horses (plastic!) — We’ve had a number of folks expressing concern about the “flying horses.” The School of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) has been conducting training on helicopter airlift of horses using Lucky the life size plastic horse manikin in a field adjacent to the VMTH. UC Davis veterinarians invented the sling support system used around the world to help horses which cannot stand and for rescue situations to safely move horses which have fallen or become trapped. The VERT team is composed of students, faculty and staff who volunteer their time for animal emergency and disaster response. VERT will be holding a public demonstration of the airlift procedures on picnic day at 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm just west of the VMTH. Veterinary students learn this life saving protocol using Lucky the plastic horse with safety and protocols developed by UC Davis faculty and reviewed by fire department personnel. Sacramento Metro Fire helicopter division has linked with UC Davis VERT to perform a portion of their mandatory flight training exercises for this horse (plastic!) airlift training and demonstration.
I managed to sneak away from VERT for a few minutes to check out the Equine Performance Center where they were demonstrating a horse running on a special treadmill — a Mustang 2200. This is the lab of the professor we had for cardiology, Dr. Jones. He was there explaining things to the crowd while we watched a horse load into the treadmill and go through the various speeds on the treadmill. I have to admit that watching a horse running at full speed is pretty amazing. If you ever get the opportunity to see a horse on one of these treadmills, don’t pass it up! It’s a remarkable sight! Hopefully I will get a video posted to YouTube in the near future!