One thing I love about being a vet is the variety, and this month has certainly been no exception.

From horse hearts and cows' eyes to caesareans done by torchlight and escaping pheasants, this month has certainly kept me on my toes!

It started off with a particularly busy weekend on call, with the emergency appointments spaced out just enough for me to return home in-between cases and get to my front door... before having to turn around and attend another sick animal.

Therefore, I was at a low ebb when the phone rang, late at night, and I was summoned to a calving.

However, I already knew the history - that this case was a young heifer that had been caught by the bull too early.

So, earlier in the week, we had tried to induce her to calve - this is a notoriously difficult feat to achieve - with the end result that I was about to attempt a cow caesarean by fading torchlight.

After a fair bit of thought, I gave into my desire to phone Rupert, the senior partner, and was glad of his advice and encouragement.

The surgery will live long in my memory as frequently during mid-slice with my scalpel, the one remaining torch would wink out of existence before it could be coaxed back into life, and I could continue the operation.

By the end, we did have a live calf and heifer - although some days later, despite intensive TLC by the farmer and his children, the calf died - a frequent outcome, unfortunately, for premature calves.

I have enjoyed seeing more horse cases this month, with probably Sam the 17-year-old Irish draught thoroughbred being my most intensively worked-on case.

Sam is used for hunting, which is very strenuous work, and so when he started to tire quicker than usual and would not get on' as readily as he once would, the owners called the vets. We very quickly ascertained that Sam's heart has a strange rhythm (arrhythmia) and that after hooking Sam up to an electrocardiogram (ECG) we found he was suffering from a condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is basically when two sections of the heart (the atria) do not fill with blood as effectively as they should.

This leads to the heart being put under strain and not being able to pump out as much blood as before - and why Sam had been struggling while out hunting.

The treatment for Sam's condition is a substance called quinidine sulphate, which is administered by stomach tube, every two hours. Meanwhile, he had his heart rhythm monitored by ECG to see if we could return it to a normal healthy rhythm.

I also had to be prepared for the side effects of the quinidine treatment as these, potentially, could have been fatal.

All in all, it made for a very tense day and, unfortunately, even after another half day's worth of attempts, Sam's heart still did not convert to a normal rhythm.

Although I am still researching other methods, Sam's prognosis is poor and I feel almost as gutted as his owners.