Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ER Day 2

Today started out slowly but got busier as the day went on.  During part of the morning we were in the CSLC to learn how to read PCV (packed cell volume, this measures the percentage of red blood cells in the blood), TP (total protein in the blood) and also how to make and read blood smears.  In the afternoon we were back in the CSLC to learn how to fill out ICU flow sheets which has pretty much all the info on a certain animal including what drugs it needs and when, what fluids it needs, how much of them and when, etc.  Throughout the course of the day I also got to see some pretty neat cases.  I saw a rat terrier that got into rat poison.  I was only involved for awhile and eventually it went to ICU so I don't know the final outcome of it.  I also saw a huge dog that was with its owners who were traveling from Georgia and ended up getting sick.  The owners were under the impression that the dog had some kind of infection that could be treated.  Unfortunately, after doing some testing on it, the dog was found to have lymphoma.  This is a cancer in which your lymphocytes (white blood cells that help fight infection) proliferate uncontrolled.  Unfortunately, the dog ended having to be euthanized.  There was also a nice old beagle that came in in the afternoon.  It was not walking on its hind legs.  However, it was noted that the dog did have a mammary tumor between its hind legs.  After taking x-rays, it was noted that there was a problem with one of the vertebrae in its back.  It was thought that it was probably cancer in the spine which probably had come from its mammary tumor.  That dog did go home today but was going to be brought to its regular vet for euthanasia.  Also, at some point in the morning/early afternoon we had a Yorkshire Terrier that came in for a supposed hit by car.  It was not walking on its hind legs.  However, upon examination, it was determined that the dog had not been hit by a car but was actually most likely suffering from IVDD or intervertebral disc disease.  This occurs when one of your vertebral discs that separate the bones of your back from each other actually pops out of place and pushes up on the spinal cord.  This can then lead to severe problems with the parts of the body more towards the butt of that patient from the squished spinal cord.  The owners had not seen the dog get hit by the car and the dog was not badly bruised or scraped up at all leading to the suspicion that there was probably no car involved. Dogs with IVDD can be fine one second and then all the sudden go down and not be able to walk which is what happened to that dog.  That little Yorkie ended up getting back surgery to fix the problem and hopefully, with the help of rehab, will be able to walk again.  Well, thats my day in a nutshell (albeit, a rather large nutshell).  So far I have really loved ER, it's been really interesting!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend/ER Day 1

This past weekend my friend was baptized in our church here in Champaign.  Saturday before his testimony he got a group of people together to paint some offices and the church area for Restoration Urban Ministries.  Then after the baptisms on Sunday I went out for my roommates birthday with his family for dinner and then went to some friends house to spend some time with them and some of their family.  It was a great weekend, I really enjoyed it.

Today marked the first day of my small animal emergency medicine rotation.  It started a little slow but we did go to CSLC to learn how to draw blood from veins, learn about the different types of needles and catheters and to learn about different fluid pumps and monitoring machines.  I did get to see a dog that had to go into surgery since it looked like it had a foreign body in its intestines as well as a dog that was having bloody diarrhea.  I was kept pretty busy most of the afternoon with the dog who had to have surgery.  Also on this rotation I have to act as a fourth year this weekend.  Normally us second years don't have to be around on weekends.  However, a number of the ER fourth years are going to some conference this weekend so us second years have to act as fourth years in their place this weekend.  My two shifts are Friday from 7AM to 6PM and then Saturday at 4PM to Sunday at 3AM.  All of us second years are a little intimidated and nervous but also excited about this opportunity to do this.  I will definitely let you know how it goes!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ortho Day 5

Today was a rather slow day which was totally fine with me.  I helped my fourth year take care of her two cases in the morning and then headed off to colloquium where we learned about managing a practice.  Then it was back to the clinic where I spent a lot of time just hanging out and talking with other people since my fourth year didn't have any surgeries or new cases.  I did have my clinical skills assessment this afternoon which went fine.  I had to drape a patient, scrub in for surgery, identify surgical tools and perform hand-ties while being watched by the faculty.  After that it was back to the clinic for rounds and then that was the end.  I really enjoyed my week on orthopedic surgery.  The fourth years were awesome and I learned a lot from them!  I also received my final exam grade and I should be good to continue on in my veterinary schooling as I didn't flunk out so I am happy.  I will be in Champaign this weekend as we have a baptism so am looking forward to that.  Next week I will be on small animal ER!  Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ortho Day 4

Today again started at about 630 as my fourth year and I took care of her two patients that are in the ortho ward.  Then it was off to CSLC to learn how to bandage legs.  Then, back to the hospital to go into a couple appointments, both dogs coming in for rechecks and both dogs were doing well!  It got pretty busy today in ortho.  There were three dogs that came in for appointments and ended up getting CT scans so that was neat, I got to see my first CT scans!  After spending some time in the ortho ward, it was back to CSLC to practice sewing on real stomachs, intestines, and arteries.  We practiced how to tie off the arteries during a surgery to prevent them from bleeding everywhere.  Then we ended the day as usual with rounds, reviewing the different patients we had currently there in the ortho ward.  Tomorrow morning will be my third straight morning of being to school for 630, so I best be getting off to bed!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ortho Day 3

Today I got to school about 630am to help my fourth year take care of her patients.  We had the cutest little miniature pinscher who had a big surgery today to take care of.  We had to get her exam done and have her in anesthesiology, where she would be "knocked out" by 730am.  After a boring 8-850 lecture on vaccinology (pretty much vaccines and vaccine schedules) I headed back to the clinic just in time to be able to go into the surgery room and watch the little min pin's surgery.  She had a "trochlear ridge recession and tibial tuberosity transposition."  This was all due to her luxating patellas (her kneecaps kept popping out of place).  It was really neat as I had a really good view and could see everything that was going on and was able to be pretty close to the surgery table.  After that it was time to head to the CSLC where we practiced different suture patterns on pieces of dog abdomens.  There are a lot of suture patterns and its going to take some serious practice to get them all down!  I ended the day with rounds (where we go over each case in the orthopedic ward).  Also, there were two other surgeries done by the orthopedic surgeons today.  One was an arthroscopy, where a scope was inserted into both of a dog's elbow joints and some stuff was taken out of its joints.  The second was a dog that broke part of its humerus (the big bone on it's front leg).   It had a screw and a pin inserted to help fix it.  Overall, it was a pretty good day and I definitely learned quite a bit!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ortho Day 2

I got to school today around 7am in time for morning rounds where the clinicians and fourth year students do a brief review of each of the cases present in the hospital (only in the ortho ward for us) at that time.  Then at 8am it was off to the clinical skills learning center to learn how to properly open a surgery pack and drape a patient.  After that, we went down to junior surgery suite to watch the third years as they spayed dogs and a few cats.  We were there for a couple of hours and then we headed back to clinical skills learning center to relearn hand ties.  Hand ties are sometimes used to tie sutures when you are in too tight of an area to really get your instruments down there to tie it.  After lunch we hung out a bit in the ortho ward.  I relearned how to find the PCV (packed cell volume which tells you the percentage of red blood cells in a patient's blood) and total protein of the blood.  I had done this back when I worked at the clinic however its been over three years since I've done it so it wasn't real fresh in my mind.  Then, at 2pm it was back to CSLC (I will refer to the clinical skills learning center as CSLC from now on) to relearn our suture patterns from last year as well as learn some new ones.  We even got to try some of them on fake intestines while the rest were done on suturing boards.  The real tissues come out tomorrow and Thursday.  Finally, it was back to the ortho ward for afternoon rounds.  Tomorrow morning I am going to school for 630am as my fourth year student has a dog who has double MLP (medial luxating patellas meaning both its knee caps are out of place) and will be having it surgically repaired tomorrow.  It should hopefully be pretty interesting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Catching Up

Wow, it's been a little while since I've posted!  The main reason for this is that last week on Thursday and Friday, my final exam for the quarter took place so I didn't really do a whole lot other than study last week.  It's over and I think I passed.  Friday night I went out to dinner with some family in Eureka.  Saturday I went to College Weekend in Bloomington and then drove after that to my roommate's parents place in Fairbury.  Sunday I was at a wedding in Forrest.  It was an awesome weekend, mainly because I saw a lot of people and didn't have to worry about school! 

Now, today, I started clinics.  My schedule for my clinical rotations for this quarter is as follows:
Oct 22-26: Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery
Oct 29-Nov 2: Small Animal Emergency Medicine
Nov 5-Nov 9: Small Animal Internal Medicine
Nov 12-16: Diagnostic Medicine
Nov 26-30: Small Animal Critical Care
Dec 3-7: Regulatory Medicine
Dec 10-14: Ultrasound
The last week of school will consist of what we call the OSCE.  I don't actually know what it stands for but it is basically a big clinical skills exam.  I will take the written part on Mon Dec 17 and my clinical part (where I have to perform various clinical skills such as scrubbing into surgery, prepping a patient for surgery, etc in front of faculty and technicians who grade me) will take place on Thurs Dec 20th.  I will then fly home on the 20th.

Today was the first day of small animal orthopedic surgery.  From 8-850 our class had a lecture on ways we could further our education after we graduate vet school (just what we all want to think about, more schooling!).  Then it was off to the clinics.  My fourth year I was shadowing only had a dog who came in for a recheck so it wasn't too crazy.  However, the fourth years were awesome, teaching us second years about TPLO's, TTA's, LFS's, etc.  (Does anyone actually know what those letters stand for?).  In the afternoon our group went to the Clinical Skills Learning Center and, along with the second years who are on soft tissue surgery rotation this week, learned (relearned really since we did it last year however I didn't remember near everything) how to scrub up for surgery, put on a sterile gown and gloves, prep the patient's surgical site, etc.  It was nice to go over it again, since it is important to know how to do that when you are in practice.  We ended the day getting a lecture on the different kinds of sutures and the different suture patterns and what they are good for followed by "rounds" in the orthopedic ward.  Well, I'm gonna head off to bed, I need to be at school for 7am tomorrow morning, yippee!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend/Week Ahead

My weekend went as follows:
Friday night: studied
Saturday: studied all day
Sunday: went to Champaign church and then went to Normal Community High School (right next to our Bloomington church) for a Christmas Carol singing lesson for song leaders.  I really enjoyed the lesson and learned how to sing some new Christmas songs as well.  Then tonight I studied some more. 
My week will be as follows:
Monday: 4 hours of general pathology lecture in the morning followed by 3 hours of general pathology lab in the afternoon.  Then off to take the final (not hard at all, not actually even graded) for my Fish Med and Surgery class.  Then study for the remainder of the evening.
Tuesday: study all day
Wednesday: study all day
Thursday: take part 1 of the final exam, then after a short break, study the rest of the day
Friday: take part 2 of the final exam, then run away from Champaign for the weekend (I figure I deserve a break!)
Hope everyone has a more exciting week than I'm gonna have!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fish Lab

Well, the week is cruising right on by, one more day I will have have already completed 7 weeks, it's crazy how the days/weeks just keep on trekking!  The week has been pretty uneventful so far.  Yesterday, I did have my lab for my fish medicine and surgery class.  Now, to set the record straight, I have very little interest in going into fish medicine.  However, the class is an easy elective, and with all the time I spend on my core classes, I wanted an easy elective!  Anyways, yesterday we broke off into pairs and we each got a small live goldfish.  First we had to anesthetize it which involved dumping it into a bucket of water containing MS-222, an anesthetic.  Once it was "out" we pulled them out of the water and placed them on moist paper towels.  Then we performed a physical exam, did a skin scraping, clipped the gills (used to check and see whether there is anything wrong with the gills by looking at them under the microscope) and drew blood from the fish's heart (you actually stick the needles right into the fish's heart and pull the blood from there).  The fish were so small that we didn't take much blood at all, it was more to get a feel for how it is done. It was pretty neat, actually working on live animals after sitting around in class for 6.5 weeks straight!

 Interesting fact: fish only have two chambers to their heart (not four like us); one atrium and one ventricle!  The blood from the body goes into the atrium, then into the ventricle and then it is pushed out of the ventricle and travels to the gills which is where the blood picks up the oxygen to bring to the rest of the fish's body.

This weekend I will remain in Champaign minus a little trip to Bloomington for a song leader Christmas Carol lesson.  Our final exam is a week from today and tomorrow, I cannot wait for it to be over!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Why hello there folks!  Things have been good out here in Illinois!  I completed week 6 of school successfully and the weekend was good.  I had a weenie roast Friday night and then vet school open house today.  Open house went real well, I always enjoy interacting with people from the community.  Tonight we had some friends over our apartment for dinner (just a young couple from church and their daughter.  We had a nice time, it's better than being alone on a Sunday evening, that's for sure!  While we were together, I had a picture taken of me and their rather adorable little girl, Piper. 
She was quite smiley for the camera!  She's a real pipsqueak, I'm pretty sure everyone loves her!  This is my last full week of class.  Next week I will only have class on Monday and then have two days off before taking my final on Thursday (10-18) and Friday (10-19).  I can't believe the quarter is almost over!  Next quarter I will be in clinics, I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hello!  I have been quite busy here in Champaign.  This past weekend I was in Tremont for some baptisms.  I even got to see some folks from Connecticut which was a nice surprise!  Now it's back to studying.  I am currently studying (or supposed to be studying but I'm procrastinating right now) different types of inflammation, doesn't that just sound thrilling?!  This coming weekend is the vet schools open house so I will be working at on Sunday from 1230 to 430 or so.  I like the afternoon shift so that I can be in church in the morning.  Well, I think that inflammation is calling my name, adios!