We, like most ranchers, try hard to keep our cattle in the best health possible. They're fed well, have clean water, are given salt and minerals to make up for anything lacking in their diet, and are vaccinated and dewormed regularly to prevent sickness. If one happens to get sick, we try our best to treat it as quickly as possible. There are some rare occasions when a cow or calf is sick and doesn't respond to treatments, or when one is unhealthy and we (or the vet) cannot determine the cause. My uncle has two catch-all diagnoses for these animals. If it's a calf, it must be an unclaimed twin. If it's a cow, she's swallowed a wire. Whether these two options are probable or not usually require further investigating, but at least they offer some kind of answer.
Grady has "swallowed a wire," or, in the non-cow diagnosis, he's teething. Or so we thought. He's been teething now for two months with no sign of a single tooth. He started in December. First, he broke his sleep-through-the-night rule, then he started drooling like a Labrador looking at a duck. A tooth! we thought. We ran our fingers across his gums every day, awaiting its arrival. And we waited. The drool piled up, our fingers got sore from Grady trying to eat them, and nothing. It's nearly February and he's still as toothless as a crack-head.
We took him in for his six-month check-up yesterday. You know those Test Your Strength: Swing the Huge Mallet as Hard as You Can and See How High the Ball Rises games at the fair? That's like weighing Grady. "How high do those scales go?" I finally asked. Turns out, they go high enough, but Grady's a weight-savant. 97% in weight (and that's as high as our doctor's chart went). If he were twice his age, he'd still be average weight.
No one at the pediatrician's office seemed concerned about his chubby-toothlessness, but Grady must have developed a little complex from all of the fat-jokes. He spent most of the night, and morning, throwing-up like an actress getting ready for the award season. Poor little buckaroo. He's resting now, but it sucks to see your kids sick. Unless, of course, barfing is symptomatic of teething. If that's the case, welcome chompers! Probably, though, he's just swallowed a wire.