June 13, 2023

Molly The Miracle Mule

A veterinarian’s work is never done.

​We can guarantee that even our veterinarians dinner conversations and phone calls almost always revolve around their patients and clients. Their passion and love for animals is revealed through their dedication to solve a difficult case and their desire to be an advocate for those who cannot speak. That is why we admire our veterinarians and that is why they are everyday superheroes (minus the cape).

Speaking of veterinary medicine and how unpredictable the job is - wait until you hear about this phone call! It was an uneventful afternoon at the clinic, that is until we received a bizarre phone call. Trouble with phone reception left us feeling like the “Can you hear me now” commercial. The only information our receptionist could determine was that the owner would arrive at the clinic with a mule that needed stitches. The truck and trailer rounded the corner and the mule quietly unloaded. Our team stepped in and quickly analyzed her condition. As Dr. Settles states, “At first, I didn’t think it was that bad, I noticed cuts and scrapes on her legs – nothing major. But, when I moved her tail to the side I saw a large, gaping hole.”

Turns out, the mule (whose name is Molly) had been the victim of a hit and run accident. Dr. Settles revealed, “While initially inspecting the wound, I pulled out what we believe to be pieces of the driver’s side window – pieces of glass were still attached to the weather stripping from the window.” Radiographs taken revealed that pieces of the back of Molly's pelvic bone had actually fractured off from the impact. The team prepared for surgery and Dr. Settles prepped the owner. Once in surgery, the bone fragments were removed and the wound was surgically flushed. Several more tiny glass fragments came out with the flush.

The same strong and sturdy mule that walked into surgery, woke up and walked right back out. Molly stayed with us at the clinic over the next week and our team fell in love with her! She patiently allowed our team to continually change the bandaging, apply medication and flush her wound. Everyone especially loved her distinct call, we describe it as a win-neigh!

Molly returned home a short week later to continue healing. Dr. Settles exclaims, “She has healed remarkably, with no sign of infection - I have no doubt that she will return to live out her life normally.” Normal life for Molly will include eventually rejoining her working mule team and of course letting the grandkids climb all over her.

Dr. Settles credits Molly’s owner for her remarkable recovery – his decision to immediately bring her in is what helped give her such an excellent prognosis. There was no opportunity for her body to react to the foreign objects (glass) and develop an infection. One piece of advice Dr. Settles would like to leave to all owners – “Don’t wait – the sooner you call us, the sooner we can decide what action (if any) should be taken.” If you find yourself wondering if the vet needs to come out, it’s best to call and describe the situation. In most emergency situations -

the sooner the treatment, the better the outcome, and the lower the cost in the long run.