Animal Care at the Big Fresno Fair

FRESNO, Calif.

Sheep, cattle, and hogs -- these are just some of the hundreds of farm animals inside the Livestock Pavilion at this year's Big Fresno Fair. They're all cared for by one animal vet.

"I make sure the animals all look comfortable in their environment, that they're all eating correctly, they have enough time to rest," said fair veterinarian Stephanie Murphy.

Murphy is the only on-site veterinarian. Every morning she walks through and evaluates animals that may not look healthy. "I check the entire lamb and I look for any kinds of lesions and I just have a feel of their whole body so we can find anything that's going wrong at the time."

The most common illness is respiratory disease. "We just take the stethoscope and we listen to their chest."

If she sees any abnormal breathing, she medicates the market animals with approved drugs. That way when people eat them later, the animals are not contaminated.

On the other side of the fairgrounds, the race horses go through a more thorough inspection before their competition.

"All we're trying to determine is he sound or isn't he. Period, we don't go any farther than that," said horse veterinarian Don Dooley.

Horse vets and trainers examine the race animals to make sure they are ready to compete. If the horse turns out to be unsound at the time of the examination, then a scratch would be put in by the examining vet and the horse would be placed on the official vet list. If placed on the list, horses won't be able to perform for 5 days.

Precautionary measures taken to ensure a safe and competitive race. The horses are observed on race day to ensure they're in the best condition possible -- all so the public can catch an amazing race.

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