Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

This past week I was off from school.  It was nice to take a break from school and spend time with family.  I was in Eureka with my cousins last weekend.  Then it was off to Tremont to spend some time with my grandparents.  While there, I did some studying for anatomy.  I had my bone box out (a dog skeleton with real bones) and my cousin Neal was quite interested in them.  Here he is, examining them:

For one of my study breaks, I asked him if he wanted to help me put the dog together, which he readily agreed to do:
The set only has enough ribs for one side and we did not put all the foot bones and other real small bones out.  He was pretty interested in it!

Then, on Tuesday evening I headed up to Fairbury.  Tuesday night we sang at a nursing home, then Wednesday I worked around the Zehrs' farm and visited some of my great uncles and aunts.  The Central Illinois Sing was Wednesday night and there were probably around 300 people there, it was pretty nice.  Wednesday night it was back to Tremont so I could be with family for Thanksgiving.  This year I went to one of my Dad's cousins houses.  My cousin Anna and second cousin Laura took plenty of pictures for me with my camera!

Grandpa and Uncle Dan (my gramp had shoulder surgery so his arm was bundled up a little bit):

Kasi and Andrea:

Heather and Anna:

Laura and Cali:

After dinner, we just hung around and visited and played some games:

We had to be careful not to be shot:

Playing telephone pictionary (a very fun game):

We went and checked out the animals in the barn as well; goats, ducks, and chickens:

It was a great evening and a lot of fun!

Saturday evening I went to Gridley, Illinois to spend some time with some of my extended family.  Again, I had a real good time.  Tonight, I came back to Champaign, and went to the anatomy lab to work on dissecting out some of the front limb muscles of our dog cadaver.  Now tomorrow, it's back to the real deal for another three weeks.  Then I will have completed one semester of vet school!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Midterm Exam

Well, I have received my full midterm exam grade and I am happy with it.  I did well so I haven't flunked out yet!  Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Baskets

Today I was with some people from the Champaign church as well as the sunday school to make Thanksgiving baskets.  While the younger kids and some of the mothers stayed and decorated the baskets, the older Sunday School kids and young group folks went shopping.  There were three teams and each team had two families.  I was the head of one team along with Laura, a single member of the church and then we had four Sunday School boys who went shopping with us.  After getting back we organized the groceries into baskets and then went on our way to hand them out.  Our decorating team went with us as well as another person so we had ten people altogether in our group.  We stopped at the first house, gave them the food, and then offered a prayer on their behalf.  Since the people there spoke Spanish, Laura had a prayer in Spanish, something I had never heard before, but which I really enjoyed.  Then it was off to the second house where we did the same thing except I had the prayer.  After we were done delivering, it was back to church for a pizza lunch.  It was a really good time!  Now, I will be heading away from Champaign for a little over a week to visit some folks and spend some time with family for Thanksgiving.  Hard to believe Thanksgiving is upon us already!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Only In Vet School....

So, today we were sitting in our histology lecture when two kids, a boy and a girl, in the front row started laughing a little bit.  Our professor looked at them, smiling and asked what was so funny.  If you knew my professor, she's a cute little lady who laughs even though sometimes she doesn't even know what she is laughing at.  Anyways, the girl responded with minimal hesitation and complete innocence, "Oh, we were just talking about ovaries."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Midterm Part 2

Today was the second part of our midterm exam.  It consisted of seven pages of short answer questions.  I feel that it went fine, I'm pretty sure I passed anyways.  I also gave my first official vet med tour today to two prospective students and one of their mothers.  I enjoyed talking with them and showing them around.  I did NO studying this afternoon, so it was a nice break.  Tomorrow it is back to the books though with three hours of physiology and three hours of histology.  However, Thanksgiving break is only five days away!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lab Exam 1

Well, I had my first lab exam just a little bit ago.  I think it went fine, I'm sure I didn't get a 100 but I don't think I failed it either.  I started my exam on the anatomy part.  There were forty stations, each with a different identification question.  There were horse legs, cow legs, dog legs, cat legs, and then some hooves out and we had to identify different muscles, arteries, veins, nerves, bony prominences, as well as parts of the hooves.  Then, my group went into another lab where we had to spread out and then opened a document that had thirty different histology slides and ten different x-rays on it.  For histology we had to identify different sturctures or make comparisons between structures.  For the x-rays, there was an arrow pointing to a bone or other structure which we then had to identify.  Sometimes it pointed to a part of a single bone and we had to name that specific part of the bone.  It was challenging but fair.  Now I have to continue to study as I have my midterm exam this Friday and Monday.  I can say one thing, next Monday afternoon will find me pretty happy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This weekend was a good one.  Saturday afternoon I headed to the Morton fellowship hall for the Washington young group invite.  There were a pretty good amount of visitors which was nice.  Then today I went to Washington church for the morning and then it was off for some deer work in the afternoon.  A veterinarian from U of I vet school (hmmm, that sounds familiar!) was going to my mom's cousins house to inseminate six deer and I went to watch and help out.  When I got there, this is what I saw:

These three does (female deer) have been tranquilized and are ready to go!  There were three others that you cannot see in this picture also tranquilized and ready to go.  They were tranquilized using this gun:
You can see the darts up above the gun and the two tubes to the right are the tubes that the semen is kept in when it is frozen. 

Shortly after I got there, the veterinarian (along with a young veterinarian and a tech) showed up.  It didn't take long and things were a-hoppin'.  It was very obvious that the vet knew exactly what he was doing.

Here is the very beginning, these are the first two deer all loaded up and ready to begin the process:

The younger vet shaved the abdomen of the deer and gave lidocaine (a local anesthetic to help numb them) under their skin in their abdomen as well.  She also gave some antibiotics under the skin near the ribs as well just to make sure they don't become infected. 

Then it was off to the "surgery area" where the deer were flipped upside down on their stretcher, two small holes were cut into their abdomen, and a scope (used to view the inside of the animal) and a device to hold the semen tube were placed.  Before they inserted the tubes into the holes, the doctor used air to blow up the animals abdomen so he would be able to see what he was doing.  Then, he used the hole on the animal's left side for his scope and the hole on the animals right side to insert the tube containing the semen into the abdomen.  He then proceeded to administer the semen directly into the uterine horns.  This puts the sperm cells in close proximity to the egg cells to help ensure pregnancy. 

Here you can see the deer flipped upside down on the stretcher:

Here is a deer with the two tubes sticking out of her:

Now the vet has the scope attached and is waiting for the semen tube to be handed to him:

Here he is now, administering the semen into the uterine horns:

He was very nice, he even let us all take a peek through the scope so we could see what he was looking at, which was kind of neat.  Upon completion of the surgery, he removed the tubes, and stapled the little incisions closed.  Then it was up to us helpers to lower the deer down, untie the legs, and carry the deer out of the barn and lay them down in the pen so they could receive a shot to reverse the anesthetic they had received.  Here's just a couple shots I took as they were waking up:

Here's a photo I took of the fawns in their pen:

Here's a photo of a buck in the buck pen.  He's a little difficult to see through the fencing. He has had his antlers removed (as all the bucks there have) as they can be kind of rough with each other when the females are in heat (as they currently are).  So, the antlers are removed to try to avoid as much damage as possible. 

So, after all the surgeries were done, we had to move a buck from one pen to another to be with one of the females which the vet couldn't perform the insemination on.  After he was tranquilized, five or so of us helpers went in with a contraption to carry the buck on.  We were told to hug the fence until we got straight across from the buck and then go straight to him.  We did just that however when we got to him, he moved his legs and head and made some noise.  Well, we were all green at handling deer so weren't exactly sure what exactly to do.  "Throw a coat over his head" were the instructions shouted to us from outside the pen.  So I took my sweatshirt off and put it over his head which worked!  However, it was about this time that the other eight bucks in the pen went nuts.  Instead of just going in the opposite corner of the pen they started racing around the pen, hurling themselves into the fence, and attempting to jump over it.  The fence is around eight feet high and some of them were getting almost up to the top.  While it really was an impressive sight to see it was somewhat unnerving as we were right smack dab in the middle of the pen and the deer were running everywhere going crazy.  The vet was still there at that point and he shouted at us to get low and be as one, so we huddled close to the ground together.  The deer did settle down then some, enough that we were able to remove the buck without us or any of the bucks getting injured.  The people outside the pen said that it was very scary to watch, and was very nervewracking.  Watching large deer hurl themselves against fences in desperation is quite intense, however it could be quite dangerous as well!  It was something I won't soon forget!  I will end this post with a picture of all of us that helped the deer owners with this escapade today:

It really was probably one of the neatest veterinary experiences that I have ever encountered.  I will remember this day for a long time to come!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Yesterday was the final day of my third week of classes.  Time sure does fly!  Yesterday morning after lecture I was thinking, "Man I have a lot of studying to do after these lectures."  We had an hour physiology lecture on hormone signalling and then two hours of neurobiology lecture on spinal reflexes.  During the lectures the material seemed kind of confusing and hard to grasp however when I studied it later, I realized it wasn't really that bad after all, which I was glad for!  This afternoon I plan to head to Washington, IL and then this coming week is the start of our exams.  I have full day of classes on Monday, then on Tuesday I only have histology lecture from 9-10 and lab from 10-12.  Wednesday brings no school until 1 at which point we have our lab exam, where we will be asked to identify different structures on bones of the pelvis andhind limb as well as muscles, veins, arteries, and nerves of the hindlimbs.  We will also questions about histology slides as well as x-rays, so it ought to be a challenging exam, however it is also a marker to see how much we have learned (or should have learned) already.  Thursday is no school as it is our reading day where we will study for the midterm exam.  Friday's part of the midterm has each class (anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, histology, and clinical correlations) split up with a total of 100 multiple choice questions.  Then, next Monday, there will be a written portion of the exam, where they will integrate all the classes together, and for each question, there will be information from at least two classes that you will have to use to answer them.  That is the part of the exam that worries me the most but hopefully it will go well!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Quiz

Well, we got our first quiz grades back today.  The average was a 76.7 which was apparently higher than normal and in my opnion is quite good.  After all, like they said at orientation, C=DVM, meaning as long as you maintain a C you will graduate as a veterinarian.  I did well so I am happy!  Tonight, I attended a practice lab exam.  It consisted of different dogs and bones out on tables in stations, and you had to go to each station (1 minute at each) and identify the muscle, artery, vein, nerve, ligament, or tendon that was pinned.  It was all back leg structures and I found that it wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be (although I definitely have room for improvement!)  It was a nice preview to what we will be doing next Wednesday afternoon!