Friday, March 21, 2008

A Very Full Day

Tuesday was a very full day for Mina and I. We were picked up by Ivo Slezacek, a retired small animal veterinarian at 6:30 am. We went to Leppington farm which is the largest dairy in Australia. The farm is currently milking over 1700 cows three times a day. They are trying to get back 2000. One of their innovations was to buy bread at $85/ton and used a shredder to pull out all the plastic. This saved $ due to the high cost of grain. It was the cleanest dairy we had ever seen. We then met with the traveling vet, Bob Rheinberger. Bob does their herd health work. He has an extensive large animal practice with 2 other vets and he is starting small animal practice.

We then went to Strathfield in Metro Sydney. Dr Sarah Goldsmid, a boarded surgeon, gave us a tour of the Animal Referral Hospital. It was a crowded but modern referral center with 2 surgeons, cardiologist, 2 opthomologists, an oncologist (Tony Moore formerly of Tufts), CT, etc. The staff consists of 85 people. We were able to ask a lot of questions.

We then stopped at the Queen Victoria Building which is a large shopping complex in downtown Sydney for a quick tour and snack. We stopped briefly at the Sydney bridge and opera house for a photo opportunity.

We arrived at the Taronga Zoo 50 minutes before our appt at 3 pm. We were able to get visitor’s passes and saw chimps, gorillas, ostriches, elephants, etc while waiting. We then got a tour of the wildlife rehabilitation and zoo hospital with the lead vet, Dr. Larry Vogelnest. It was interesting to see all their capabilities with a full time pathology lab, quarantine facilities, post mortem rooms etc. We saw several small animals in their cages.

We returned to Penrith and were picked up by a small bus to go for drive to Keith and Marilyn Willoughby’s house for a barbeque. We had asked to get the team together Tuesday night and Marilyn offered her place. There house was large and gorgeous with a full bar and movie theatre, large deck overlooking the water. The hospitality was great and we had a lot of comraderie and great discussions. An unusual rendition of Swing low, Sweet Chariot will be a lasting memory. We returned home after midnight after a very full and very satisfying day.

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