Monday, October 31, 2011

10-31 (aka Halloween)

Merry Halloween everybody!  School was off due to the holiday today so that was pretty nice.  I pretty much just sat around all day, so it was nice and relaxing..... Boy don't I wish the previous statement was true!  But, no, we did not have off for halloween, it was learning, and learning and learning as usual!  I even had my first quiz today.  It was forty multiple choice questions (about equivalent to an exam in undergrad but its just a quiz in vet school, makes me excited to see what an exam is like! (that was sarcasm there just in case you didn't catch it ;)  I felt pretty good about the quiz, there were a few anatomy questions I wasn't totally sure on (such as "What is the nerve that innervates the muscle(s) that attach to the popliteal sesamoid?")  I did go to a review trivia session last night, but wasn't real impressed by it so won't go back this coming Sunday anyways.  However, the rest of my weekend was real good (minus the 6 hours of studying I put in on Saturday).  I went to Eureka and spent time with Uncle Dan, Heather and Andrea (hi Andrea, I would say hi to Heather but she doesn't really look at this blog!)  They had a singing Friday night and then Saturday I studied, and studied, and......studied.  I did take a study break however and went to see the deer that a relative of mine raises.  Here's just a couple photos that I shot while I was there:

This one here is a picture of a few of the fawns in the fawn pen:

This one has a doe in the doe pen and also a fawn in the adjacent fawn pen:

It was neat to see the deer up close like that.  I will, however, get to see them even more close this coming Sunday afternoon when I head over there when the vet comes to inseminate the females.  I will talk more about that once it is over but I am quite excited to get the opportunity to watch/assist where I can. 

School does continue to challenge me, it is definitely the most intense schooling I have ever done.  However, the material, for the most part, is interesting and that helps make it easier to study (although I still don't always feel like studying!)  I can't believe that we are in our third week of classes already.  It really is amazing how the time just flies! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvest Party

Tonight, the young group and sunday school kids gathered at Wayne and Char's and had a fall party.  We had pizza and soda for supper and then it was time for activities.  I have some good videos however the blog is not letting me upload them.  I may try again another day and see if I can get it to work, but here's the pictures anyways.
 The first activity was pin the stem on the pumpkin. 
Here is Seth on his way to the pumpkin:

There was plenty of an audience watching!

This picture of the row of girls is a bit blurry but I'm including it anyways.

Even my roommate Loren gave it a whirl!
Here he's getting ready thanks to Rachel:

Next up was the pumpkin seed spitting contest.  It was kind of funny watching everyone spitting and sputtering trying to be the one who gets the seed the farthest.

  The farthest was Stephen who got the seed from the garage and had it land on top of the car.  Here's a picture to show how far he got it:
So, he shot it from the garage and onto the top of the car to the left, it was quite impressive, although he is also the guy who plays the bagpipes so that might have helped him!

The final organized activity was the pumpkin pinata.  It was a literal pumpkin hollowed out with candy in it.  The kids seemed to have fun whacking at it until the candy was exposed!

Finally, we all hung out in the basement and played a variety of games.

It was a great time, a nice break from the studying! One more day of school and then off to spend some time with the family in Eureka!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This week has been going fine thus far.  Classes are all fine except for anatomy which just keeps loading on the information like you can't believe.  Just as I start feeling semi-comfortable with the dog hind-limb, its' time to start learning the horse hind-limb and then dissect out a horse and cow hind-limb.  Oh well, that's what studying is for right?  I have my first quiz this coming Monday, it is 40 (yes that is the correct number) multiple choice questions.  That would be an exam in undergrad but in vet school it is just a quiz.  I plan on heading to Eureka for the weekend and then coming home Sunday afternoon in time for a five o'clock trivia review at the vet school.  It will be interesting to see how hard the questions are.  This is always a tough time for me, not knowing how the professors ask their questions, or how hard the exams are.  Another thing that will make the quizzes and exams harder is that each one covers all the classes.  There are not separate exams for each subject (anatomy, physiology, etc.)  Each quiz as well as the midterm and final covers all the classes in one including questions that will combine stuff we learned in different classes.  It will be interesting to see how it goes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


This past weekend was a lot of fun.  Friday night consisted of studying fat metabolism, nerves, and cells under the microscope.  Saturday morning I helped work on a house about half an hour away from Champaign which was in dire need of repair.  A lot had been done already but there was still plenty of work to be done.  I helped paint a room and then helped move a lot of loose clothes, curtains, boxes, etc from the kitchen to other areas of the house so work could be done in the kitchen.  The people who live there are kind of pack-rats so there was plenty of stuff to get in the way.  After I helped move some furniture it was time for lunch and then back home to study the muscles and bones of the hind limbs.  We had provings and baptisms here in Champaign which was nice.  There were visitors from Wolcott and Bluffton North, Indiana as well as Fairbury, Roanoke, and Princeville, Illinois.  Also, my Uncle Loren and Aunt Joan came down and visited me before they leave for Lester, Iowa and then back down to Arizona for the winter.  We went out to dinner, us three and Josh, one of my roommates, which was nice.  It was a great weekend but now its back to the real deal starting tomorrow morning!

Friday, October 21, 2011

First Week of Class

Well, I have finished my first week of classes.  It was everything that everyone said it would be, a whole lot of information thrown at you and you hope you can retain some of it.  Fortunately, I am comfortable with histology so that one wasn't bad at all this past week.  Neurobiology wasn't bad at either, pretty much basic biology of the nervous system.  Physiology has been almost all biochemistry so far which is not my favorite subject in the world.  The real killer is anatomy though.  The amount of information they want us to know is incredible.  They want us to know the bones and all the lumps and bumps on each bone of the hind limb, all the muscles on the hindlimb, where they are attached to, what they do to the hindlimb and what nerve controls them!  Now they are teaching us the arteries and veins of the hindlimb.  One of the kids in my anatomy group and I were talking today and saying that anatomy's motto should be "All you ever didn't want to know about the dog."  I am glad, however, that I do find most of the information interesting and know that it can be useful to what I want to do (unlike many of my undergrad classes).  Tomorrow morning I am taking a break from studying and participating in a World Relief project, although I'm really not sure what the exact project consists of. I will find out in the morning though!  Well, one week down, four more 'til Thanksgiving break, and seven more 'til Christmas break! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Professors

For those of you who would like to see who is teaching me this quarter, I am placing links to the professor's webpages.

Anatomy: Dr. Gerald Pijanowski

Physiology: Dr. Margarethe Hoenig

Neurobiology: Dr. Megan Mahoney

Histology: Dr. Marie-Claude Hofmann

For those of you who know Dr. Shapiro, the pediatrician in Vernon, I believe that Dr. Pijanowski looks similar to him.  There is also another professor who is helping with the histology lab for Dr. Hofmann, Dr. Rex Hess.  My clinical correlations course is taught by a number of different professors and only meets about once a week.  We also have two lab assistants, Scott and Sherry, who run the anatomy lab.

Also, just to give you a teeny peek at what we do in vet school, here is a website that we use to help us learn the anatomy of animals on x-rays.

 Imaging Anatomy

If you click on an animal, then click on a part of animal you want to see and click on an example # you can see x-rays of different parts of different animals.  When the image comes up you will see words on tabs just on top of the image.  Those are the names of the different parts of the bones that they would like us to know.  This is part of the reason why there is so much studying to do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Classes went fine today.  After classes it was back to the anatomy lab to finish skinning and cleaning our dog's hindlegs so that tomorrow during lab we can work on dissecting out each muscle.  The smell of the formalin (the solution that is preserving the dog) is intense and sticks on your clothes.  It can get very strong at times and can make my eyes water.  It also irritates people's noses and throats although I have been lucky in that that has not happened to me.  It is not the most pleasent smell to have on my hands for the whole evening, but oh well, that's how it goes. Now I know what one of the higher level vet students meant when they said that we would smell like formalin our whole first year, I'm starting to believe them!

Monday, October 17, 2011

First Day of Class

Well, I have completed my first day of classes.  I talked some about it on my last post.  This afternoon I had my first anatomy lecture and then it was off to the anatomy lab.  My group of four has a rather large dog, completely fixed in formalin.  Today we skinned the hind legs and worked to remove all the connective tissue to reveal the muscles.  It took quite awhile and we plan to continue working on the hind legs tomorrow.  There is a tremendous amount of information, even today on the first day.  It will require a lot of time and studying on my part to keep up, but I think (hope) I am up for the challenge.  I have anatomy lab three times a week so between scheduled lab time and extra time spent there trying to learn I am bracing myself for many hours spent laboring over my group's dog.  If anybody ever wants to see what vet school is like, you can just come on out and I can give you a taste, I'm sure it will make you want to go to vet school too! :)

Catching Up

Last Friday was the last day of my rehabilitation rotation.  We worked with more dogs on the treadmills and such and thus ended the rotation.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  This past weekend I spent in Sabetha Kansas for a wedding.  It was a really nice time and even got to see more people from home (yes, that means you Joan!).  Today is now my first day of classes.  Us first year vet students take histology, anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, and clinical correlations for the next seven weeks.  I am also taking a zoo medicine class as an elective.  Each week I will be in class for about 30 hours counting labs.  I have survived the first morning of lecture which is always good!  I had two fifty minute lectures on carbohydrate metabolism and another lecture on the cells of the nervous system.  Studying here I come!  I do have a pathology club picnic and bonfire which should be nice but I will have to get home and study after it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Week 8 Day 4

Today was a pretty short day at school.  We had a few dogs on the underwater treadmill and a couple on the regular treadmill and that was about it.  We did check for reflexes in a cocker spaniel who cannot walk due to a back disorder but did have surgery to help her.  Other than that I've been around the apartment doing some laundry and studying of the bones of the limbs of dogs.  One more day of rotations, then off to Kansas for a wedding, and then on to the real deal of classes at school!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 8 Days 2 and 3

Yesterday was my first real day of my rehabilitation medicine rotation.  I must say that there is some real neat stuf that goes on.  Yesterday I got to see a dog on a receiving pulse signal therapy (PST).  The machine uses an electromagnet to generate a pulsed signal that helps stimulate bone and cartilage growth.  All the dog has to do is lay on the bed area underneath an arch and the machine goes to work.  Here's a link if you want to see what they look like:

PST machine

I also got to learn how to acclimate a dog to a treadmill.  We have a treadmill that is not as wide as a human treadmill but longer and has metal fenced sides on it.  The dogs seem to do real well on it! If you want to check out how they work here's another link:

Dog Treadmill

  I also got to learn how to run the underwater treadmill which is really neat.  You just put the dog in the box (the treadmill is the floor of the box), close the door, tie the dog up so he can't just run everywhere in the box, fill the box up with water as high as you need it, and then start the treadmill.  Once the dog is comfortable moving along you can even turn on the jets.  I have to say that helping with these dogs on the underwater treadmill made me wish I was in a hot tub.  Afterwards, the treadmill is stopped, water drained, and the dog is released and let out of the box to be dried off with a towel and then put in a cage dryer.  The cage dryer is pretty much a big metal box that warm air blows through to dry the dogs. Here's yet another link, this one showing how an underwater treadmill works:

 Underwater Treadmill

This dog obviously cannot walk right now but they are working on training it how to again.  The water helps keep the dogs body up and allows its feet to come under its body.  We actually have a dog that is in that situation right now and seems to be doing a little better although she's not walking yet. 

While I'm on a treadmill video roll, I figured I would show you a horse on a treadmill as well which I saw about four weeks back or so.  It is real neat:

Horse Treadmill

Today, we learned how to train a dog to walk loose-leash as well as continuing to help with treadmill and underwater treadmill work.  We did have a lecture this morning on honor code which was basically a repeat of the honor code lecture we got at orientation.  I have enjoyed my first two days on my rotation and am looking forward to the next two days as well!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Small Glimpse At My School

So, I took just a couple photos of my school today.  There are three main buildings.  One is the clinical skills learning center which I don't have any pictures of but is where we can practice many clinical skills such as blood draws on llamas/alpacas, bandaging horse legs, intubating dogs, etc.  The second building is the basic sciences building:
I will spend the rest of my year in this building as it is the place where all the first and second year vet students have their classes including labs. 

On the corner of the building is this sign that proclaims this building's purpose:

The third main building is the veterinary teaching hospital.  This is where students are when they are on their clinical rotations and where fourth year students spend much of their time.  The hospital is split up into small and large animal portions.  Here is the client entrance for the small animal hospital:

And here is the client entrance to the large animal hospital:

The two hospitals are connected to each other so you can walk from one right into the other which is nice.  The large animal hospital has four wards.  Ward 1 is the farm animal ward, Ward 2 is the equine ward, Ward 3 houses some research horses as well as the horse treadmill, and Ward 4 is mostly used as a teaching ward to teach students equine material.  The small animal  hospital houses primary care (regular exams, vaccines, etc.), ophthalmology (eyes), anesthesiology, dermatology (skin), emergency and critical care, intensive care unit, wildlife medicine, and more. 

The basic sciences building and the hospital are very close to each other which is nice for us students:
That's the basic sciences building on the right and the hospital on the left.  The clinical skills learning center is to the left of the hospital but is not pictured. 

If you want to see more of the vet school, you will just have to visit me!

Week 8 Day 1

Well, today was a rough day.  I had an animal welfare lecture from 8-850 and then I was done for the day!  This week I have rehabilitation medicine however the tech who is in charge of the rotation is not in today so I don't have my rotation.  So I have almost the whole day off which is nice.  I plan on taking a few photos of school today so that you can have a glimpse of where I spend a lot of my time out here so keep checking for those photos coming soon. 
This past weekend I spent in Congerville, Illinois.  There was a gathering of single members from our church there.  There were folks from Iowa City, Lester, Oakville, Burlington, West Bend, and Bloomfield, Iowa, Washington, Fairbury, Congerville, Eureka, Champaign, and Belvidere, Illinois, Bluffton North, LaCrosse, Valparaiso, and Wolcott, Indiana, Bay City, Michigan, Akron, Ohio and Rockville, Connecticut there.  It was a nice time of meeting new people, eating good food, and singing together. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 7 Day 5

Yesterday was my last day on my ophthalmology rotation.  It was pretty laid back, we just saw some appointments and checked on the horse that had its eye taken out on Thursday.  He was doing real well and went home yesterday.  We did have pizza for lunch courtesy of one of the veterinary ophthalmologists.  One neat thing that we saw yesterday was a box turtle that had proptosis which means that one of its eyeballs was completely out of its head which was kind of weird.  Last night, a couple from church had the college kids from church over to their house for a weenie roast and hay ride which was a lot of fun.  Today, I plan to head to Congerville and then back to Champaign tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 7 Day 4

Today went quite fast at school.  In the morning we watched another phacoemulsification and aspiration (break-up and removal of a lens with cataracts).  Then, this afternoon we watched an enucleation in a horse.  An enucleation is the complete removal of the eye.  The horse's eye was real bad so the doctor cut the eye out and then put in a black ball to take the place of the eye so that the skin wouldn't sink into the orbit (hole where eye resides).  It was really neat to see, I had never seen anything quite like it before.  Right before we left, one of the doctors did an eye exam on a squirrel and a kestrel (a type of bird).  The time really flew since we had a good amount of stuff going on most of the day. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 7 Day 3

Today started out with a colloquium lecture on study strategies.  During this lecture, the lady said that a study had shown that on average, vet students study 35 hours a week.  Wow, I cannot wait for classes to begin! ;)  On rotation, we examined a number of animals with eye problems including a horse that will have its eye removed tomorrow.  Near the end of the day us first years as well as the fourth years on the ophtho rotation had a nice chat about glaucoma with the ophtho clinician which was interesting.  Tomorrow will be another surgery day so I will be in surgery for a large portion of the day.  Also, today was the first patho club board meeting.  I mostly just sat back and listened.  We plan to have a bake sale around halloween and also to have a picnic/bonfire on the 17th of October which just so happens to be the same day us first years start our core classes.  Well, I believe my bed is beckoning, good night all!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 7 Day 2

Today was quite an interesting day.  It was surgery day for ophtho so I got in on two surgeries.  The first one was on a small dog that had cataracts in both eyes.  The doctors performed phacoemulsification and aspiration.  What this means is that they went through the cornea, broke up the cloudy lens (a cataract is essentially a cloudening of the lens in the eye) and sucked it out of the eye.  They then put in a synthetic lens made of acrylic.  This made it so that the dog no longer had cloudy eyes and could therefore see much better.  The second surgery was the placement of a scleral prosthesis.  The dog had glaucoma (high pressure within the eye that can lead to blindness) which caused the eye to look funny.  The veterinarian cut a hold near the top of the eye ball and sucked and pulled out everything in the eye so that all that was left was essentially the shell of the eye.  Then, a dark ball (the prosthesis) was was placed into this shell which gave the eye its natural shape again.  It was really neat to see this performed.  Although the dog will not be able to see out of this eye it is done for cosmetic purposes (make the dog look better) since the dog wasn't able to see out of the eye anyways.  These two surgeries took up a bulk of the day with the rest of the day being spent checking on the ophtho patients throughout the hospital. 

Tonight I went singing with some of the U of I young group at a nursing home in Champaign and wanted to share a little story.  While singing there was an older lady sitting in a wheelchair near a set of closed doors. She kept on trying to open the doors and was saying "Help me, somebody help me."  Finally, after a little bit she looked at us and says, "I know you can't help me but at least you could come talk to me."  She did not seem to be in a very good mood.  So, one of the girls that was singing in our group went over to her and talked to her and ended up bringing her over by us and gave her a songbook.  At first she says, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do."  It seemed that she didn't really want to sing.  However, it didn't take long and she was moving her mouth some with the words as we sang.  Sometime later she apologized to us for the "tough spot she put us in."  When we went to leave she said good-bye and said it was nice to meet everyone and thanks for coming.  Her mood had completely changed.  The girl who went over to her had displayed a simple act of kindness and compassion, and it broke through the woman's not so happy mood and by the end she was happy.  It just struck me, what a kind gesture can do to brighten someone's mood. 

Well, the week is almost half-way over, I really don't know where the time goes.  I have my first pathology club board meeting tomorrow (unless I miss it due to my ophtho rotation).  I am looking forward to it! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Fall Lecture Schedule

So, today I got my fall lecture schedule.  It is a day-by-day account of what I will be learning and when.  Looking at it makes me excited to start classes because I feel there is so much to learn.  I also realize that once I get into it, I will at times wish I was back on my clinical rotations.  If you would like to get a glimpse at what my schedule will look like starting two weeks from today until December click on the following link:

Fall '11 Lecture Schedule

In between all those classes will come hours and hours (and hours) of studying.  I will also be attending a "ZooMed, What's Your Diagnosis?" class on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-6pm as an elective. 

Before I end this post I have to give credit to my sister who is much more computer savvy and whose computer program intelligence far surpasses mine.  She helped me to make it so I could get my schedule online so others could look at it.  She sure knows what she's doing!  Speaking of Heidi, if you are looking for another blog to follow, here's hers:

Well, another blog without pictures (sorry Ashley!) but I just don't have any to share.  I am allowed to take pictures at school if I want to however I cannot post them on social media which I would consider a blog to be.  Well, now that I successfully wasted a good hour on my blog, I better go and attempt to get something else accomplished before its time to hit the hay!

Week 7 Day 1

Today started off with a lecture on career options in regulatory vet med, in other words vet med jobs in government.  After that it was off to my first day of my ophthalmology rotation.  I saw both dogs and horses get their eyes worked on today.  It was pretty neat.  It seems that every animal we saw had some degree of cloudiness in their eye due to either cataracts or glaucoma.  Two of the patients we saw today are going in for surgery tomorrow so I will get to be in the surgery room tomorrow which will hopefully be neat.  I will describe the procedure tomorrow.  I was at school at 745AM and didn't leave until almost 6PM.  Vet school so far has been like a job, you are in early in the morning and get out late afternoon early evening.  It is much different from undergraduate however I am not saying that is a bad thing.  The rotation seems like it is going to be a good one and I look forward to another week full of learning!

Vet School Open House

Yesterday, Sunday October 2, was the vet schools open house from 10-4.  I worked the 1230-4 shift at the pathology booth.  We had the heads of a two headed calf out, a one eyed piglet, a couple dogs bladders with bladder stones, a dog heart with heartworms, an enterolith from a horse (basically a big ball of mineralized contents that can form in horse's intestines), slices through horse feet (one normal and one with laminitis) and many more such exciting specimens.  I enjoyed talking to both kids and adults about the specimens we had out and about vet school in general.  The night before, I went to Tremont for a chili cook-out.  Overall it was a good weekend.  Now, I start my ophthalmology rotation this week.