Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-Bye CT

Tomorrow after New Years Day services, myself, my brother Evan, and friend Ben are heading out of CT and heading towards IL.  We will make a pit stop in OH for tomorrow evening and arrive in Champaign on Thursday.  Then, Friday evening, it's Mexico-bound!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Home for Christmas & Rotation Schedule

I made it safely home last night around 430pm.  I drove 6 hours on Friday, staying overnight at Bryan and Ambers in Smithville and then drove 9 hours on Saturday.  The trip went pretty fast so that was nice!  Now it's time for relaxation and enjoying time with friends and family!

Also, after I got home and checked my email, I found that my 4th year rotation schedules were done.  Here is my schedule for those of you who are interested (all rotations are at the vet school's own clinic unless otherwise stated):

3/31/14-4/27/14: Diagnostic Medicine

4/28/14-5/11/14: Cardiology at Purdue College of Vet Med

5/12/14-5/26/14: Small Animal Internal Medicine

5/27/14-6/8/14: Rural Animal Health Management

6/9/14-6/15/14: off

6/16/14-6/29/14: surgical rotation in Tanzania, Africa

6/30/14-7/6/14: off

7/7/14-7/20/14: neurology

7/21/14-8/3/14: small animal emergency medicine

8/4/14-8/17/14: small animal soft tissue surgery

8/18/14-9/1/14: small animal primary care

9/2/14-9/14/14: off

9/15/14-9/28/14: ophthalmology

9/29/14-10/12/14: equine medicine

10/13/14-10/26/14: equine surgery

10/27/14-11/9/14: small animal orthopedic surgery

11/10/14-11/23/14: small animal internal medicine

11/24/14-12/7/14: imaging

12/8/13-12/21/14: anesthesiology

12/22/14-1/4/15: small animal emergency medicine

1/5/15-1/19/15: off

1/20/15-2/1/15: dentistry

2/2/15-2/15/15: oncology

2/16/15-3/1/15: dermatology

3/2/15-3/15/15: imaging/anesthesiology

3/16/15-3/29/15: Wildlife & Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery

Each rotation is two weeks long with the exception of diagnostic medicine which is 4 weeks long. It is exciting knowing that I am just 8 weeks of class away from moving into clinics!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Done With Class!

Today was our last day of class for the semester.  We had six hours of lecture: one hour of bird skin diseases, one hour of bird and reptile endocrine diseases, one hour of reptile and small mammal skin diseases, and three hours of pig gastrointestinal diseases.  Now comes the fun task of studying for our final!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One More Week!

Only one more week 'til freedom!  I have six hours of lecture Monday, then off Tuesday and Wednesday (off meaning no sitting in lecture but lots and lots of studying) and then our final exam on Thursday and Friday.  I cannot wait, I just hope it goes fast! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Last Surgery for Fall Semester

Yesterday was our group's last surgery day for the fall semester.  I was assistant surgeon and Olga was surgeon.  Our dog was found as a stray and had been at the shelter for two months.  His estimated age was 5-7 years old.  He was a little cautious at first but quickly warmed up to us once we entered his kennel and started petting and talking to him.  He was a little wary of the stethoscope when Olga went to check his heart rate and listen to his lungs but he is fine with that now.  However, he definitely dislikes his temperature being taken and we muzzle him for that.  He also had fleas but was treated at the shelter so his hair is starting to grow back on his tail and his lower back.  He is an awesome dog once he gets to know you, I enjoy coming in with Olga and working with him with all the exams we have to do.  The surgery went fine, there was a lot of blood so as assistant surgeon I did a lot of dabbing blood.  He is doing real well post-surgery so we are glad for that!

Just four more days of class, can't wait to get the class (and the exams) behind me. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


This past weekend I went to Eureka for a Christmas get-together with Uncle Dan, Heather, Andrea, Jerry & Kathy.  It was nice and relaxing and I enjoyed eating, playing games, singing, and eating some more.  Here are just a few photos I snagged throughout the evening:

Today I was in Eureka for church and then headed down to Champaign to give a tour of the vet school to some family of mine from Roanoke and then to partake in the benefit dinner for our mission trip to Mexico in January.  It was delicious and my dessert (coffee ice cream and oreo dessert) all went so I guess it was well liked!  This is my last full week of class for the semester and it's gonna be busy.  It's my groups turn to do surgery this week again.  It is my turn to be surgeon but because the animals are all male and I have already done a neuter I will be assistant surgeon instead this week.  Only two more weeks of school, can't wait to be done!  Two weeks from today I will be home in CT!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Monday I received word that I had been one of five students selected for a surgery rotation in Tanzania, Africa in June 2014!  20 students had applied so I am happy to have gotten a spot.  The rotation is 2 weeks long and will consist of neutering and spaying dogs that roam around.  It will be an excellent opportunity for me to gain more surgery experience and myself, along with my 4 classmates who were selected, are all quite excited.  There is one other guy and three girls who were selected and I am very pleased with the group that is going, I think it will be a lot of fun! 

Today I took the final exam for the advanced dentistry class I was in.  It will be nice to have 3-5pm free again on Mondays and Wednesdays!  There are only 8 more days of class left before finals as we have 2 days off before taking the final exam so the semester is definitely on the tail end, hallelujah, I will be ready to have a nice four week break!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Break

Well, my Thanksgiving break is over. Here's how my break went:
Sat: went to Danville, IL and helped tear down a house with some people from Champaign and Cissna Park.  The house had been burned inside a number of years ago and the owners didn't have enough money to fix it.  After the holidays, the plan is to rebuild the house for the owners. Saturday evening Lucas and Diana and their four kids came from Bradford and we went out eat.  They stayed overnight at Walt and Janelles in Mahomet.

Sun: went to Champaign church and spent the afternoon and dinner with Lucas and Diana and kids.  Headed off to Tremont in the evening.

Mon: didn't do too much, went out with my uncle a little bit in the afternoon on a call to check out a forklift (he's a mechanic)

Tues & Wed: spent these two days helping with clean-up after the tornado in Washington and Pekin, IL.  The devastation there was astounding.  I have never seen anything like it, so many homes were totally destroyed.  There was wood, shingles, peoples belongings everywhere.  It was amazing that only one person died in Washington.

Thurs: was in Tremont for Thanksgiving services with Gramp and Gram B and then off to Eureka for Thanksgiving dinner.

Fri: hung out with Heather and Andrea and spent Friday evening with their Mom and her husband, had a good time!

Sat: drove to Bluffton, IN and spent some time with the Meyer family before heading off to testimonies

Sun: was in Bluffton for church and baptisms and then headed back to Champaign

Now tomorrow it is back to the grindstone, just three more weeks of school!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Last Dentistry Lab

Today was my last lab for my "Advanced Dentistry" elective class.  Today we learned one way to fix a palatal defect (when there is a hole in the roof of the mouth) and also learned how to perform a hemimandibulectomy.  This is performed when an animal has a tumor that is occupying one side of an animal's lower jaw and involves actually removing that one side of the jaw completely from the animal so that they only have half a lower jaw left.  While cats don't tend to do very well with this procedure dogs actually can do quite well with only half a jaw. I have the last lecture in this class the Monday after Thanksgiving break and then the final on the following Wednesday; signs that the semester will be drawing to a close soon!

Tomorrow morning I don't have lab, yippee!! I do have a tour to give at 1030AM and then a meeting regarding clinical rotations at 12pm followed by two hours of endocrinology lecture.  In the evening is our young group's annual Thanksgiving feast.  I'm looking forward to a more laid back day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dystocia Lab

This morning, instead of having surgery (the other half of our class had surgery this week instead) myself and my half of the class had dystocia lab.  Dystocia is defined as difficult birth.  In the lab there were 12 boxes.  In each box was a bag in which had a water lining.  Inside each bag a calf (yes, a real calf, no not a live real calf) was placed in a position that is not normal for a calf being born.  We then had to correct the calf's position and get the calf out using chains, snares, muscles, etc.  It was neat learning how to put the chains on the calf's legs, how to place a snare, and being able to practice pulling a calf out.  I think that most of our class enjoyed it as there was quite a bit of hooting and hollering when someone would finally get the calf yanked out.  Now this Thursday morning I don't have lab which is pretty awesome! 

Monday, November 18, 2013


Well, yesterday was quite a day! Many of you probably are already aware of the tornado that wreaked havoc in the Washington, IL area.  I was in Roanoke for church yesterday and at lunch we were all ushered down into the basement due to the tornado.  When I got down there everyone was singing already, I really thought that was neat, singing in the face of danger!  Much better than sitting there silently fretting!  After quite awhile we headed back upstairs.  Little did we know at that point the devastation that was so close.  There were homes totally demolished just 3 miles from the church I was at.  We drove around a bit just to check things out.  Many of the roads were blocked off by rescue squads but we saw enough to know that there was major damage.  I had to think, there I was in the basement of Roanoke church chatting it up with people, while outside a tornado was obliterating people's homes, if I only knew what was happening outside at that point!  I was very relieved to hear that everyone from our Washington church was safe (although there were homes lost by people in the Washington church as well as at the Roanoke church).  Definitely makes you realize that you really have no idea what is going to happen when, even when you think you do!

If you wish to see a few photos of the destruction caused by the tornado go HERE.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Midterm Exam

Yesterday was my midterm exam for second quarter.  It was 125 questions covering dermatology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, and urology.  It was a difficult exam, no question about it!  Fortunately, the dermatology questions were the easiest and they were at the end so it helped me forget about all the questions I wasn't so sure on.

Last night I went to the Purdue singing and had a great time.  Now today I will head to Eureka to stay at my cousins, spend some time in Morton this evening, and be in Roanoke church tomorrow. It's a beautiful thing to not have to worry about school, I can tell you that!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Catch Up

Well, it's been a week since I've updated this blog, where does the time go?  Last weekend I was just in Champaign studying away for the exam that's tomorrow (our midterm worth 30% of our final grade).  So, the studying has also consumed the past three evenings and will also consume today. 

Tuesday morning was our group's fourth time in surgery.  This week was my first time being floater (which means the only thing I really had to do was scrub the patient after she was clipped and then hang out and get things when the surgeons/anesthetist needed them).  I have to say it was nice being the floater on the midterm week!  Our patient was a cat this time, first time not having a dog!  She was fine unless you fiddled with her too much then she got a bit grumpy.  However, Tuesday morning we pre-medicated at 720AM and didn't intubate until 915AM.  By that time the pre-med was well worn off and the cat was getting a bit fractious.  Our surgeon got a claw in her cheek and our assistant surgeon got numerous cuts on his hands and wrists.  She was quite a little jerk!  That is the one frustration we have with junior surgery.  Because of our location in the lab we are almost always the last (or close to last group) to get to intubate so our patient is usually waking up from the pre-medications at that point.  Fortunately this was our first patient who got nasty during that time.

Yesterday afternoon was my dentistry lab and I learned how to perform a root canal, so if you ever need a root canal you just call me up! ;)

Well, after tomorrow morning I have a free weekend, so no studying for me!  I plan to go to the Purdue singing tomorrow evening and then head to my cousins Saturday afternoon and be in Roanoke church Sunday as I have never been there before. I am definitely looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Only one more day to complete our 11th week of school this semester!  Yesterday I had my dentistry lab.  This weeks focus was feline dentistry.  We practiced extracting teeth from a cat head, practiced a procedure in which only the crown of the tooth was removed while the root stayed behind, and also learned how to take dental radiographs. 

Today's lab was the "canine therio" lab meaning dog reproduction lab.  The first part of the lab was learning about vaginal cytology in the dog.  Vaginal cytology involves taking a swab of the dog's vaginal vault and then examining the cells under the microscope.  Not everyone got to swab a dog as there was a limited amount of dogs and each one could only be swabbed three times (and the dogs weren't huge on being swabbed, I can't imagine why!)  Then we learned about breeding soundness exams in male dogs and how to collect semen for inspection (or artificial insemination).  We watched a video on how to do it and then they showed us a semen sample on the microscope to show us what you look for when assessing semen quality.  Finally, they showed us pictures of some abnormalities that can be seen with the sperm cells and what kind of impact those abnormalities can have on the dog's fertility.  Overall, the first part of the lab was alright, the second half was kind of boring. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Week 11 of 16 is practically half-way over!  Today I had my feline cadaver lab.  In this lab we had three procedures to practice:

onchyectomy (aka declaw): removing the tips of the cats paws in order to remove the claws on cats that are aggressive or that are scratching up the furniture.  It is the same as having the tips of our fingers cut off at the very last knuckle.

deep digital flexor tenectomy: cutting a piece of the ligament that allows the cat to expose their claws.  This way, the cats whole toe stays intact but the cat cannot extend its claws out of its pads.  Used for the same reasons as the declaw procedure.

subcutaneous lumpectomy: removing masses that are located just beneath the skin.

Our cat that we had happened to be an intact male.  Since myself and another of our group mates had never neutered a cat, we each got to try it.  It's really not hard at all once I figured out how to tie the spermatic cord onto itself. 

Tomorrow is another long day with five hours of lecture followed by two hours of dentistry lab.  These long days are killer but they really do go by quite fast!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Harvest Party

This past Thursday evening was the annual Harvest Party for the Sunday School kids at the Banwarts.  It was pizza for dinner and then time for games.  They spit pumpkin seeds to see how far they could get them to go, played pin the mustache on Caleb and then it was time for the pumpkin pinata.  The kids seemed to have a good time and I don't think the college kids were too bored either! Here are the photos I took at the party:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gramp's Auction

Before I post the pictures from Gramp's auction last weekend, just a quick update on school:
Wednesday I had my dentistry lab in which we practiced repairing gums that have been damaged due to some kind of trauma and also practiced a technique used to stabilize jaws that have been fractured.  I have to say, I would definitely get more out of the labs if it wasn't right after 5 hours of lecture!
Thursday was my last day of palpation lab.  It was my group's turn to palpate mares, and it was a good day!  I finally was able to confidently feel the mare's uterine horn up to her ovary, something that had never happened before.  I was pretty excited (yes I know that makes me sound really nerdy but that's mostly because I am)!  I also passed a speculum into the mare's vagina so you could see the cervix and perform a vaginal exam and also learned how to pass an artificial insemination pipette through a horse's cervix (much easier than the cows I tried last week!) And now, 10 weeks of school are behind us with only 6 more to go!

Okay, now, here are the pictures from Gramp's auction and a few other photos taken from last weekend:

Friday evening after I got to Tremont I took just a few photos of the equipment sitting out in the field:

Anyone need a wagon?

Farmer Evan checking out the goods:

This is now Saturday morning, the auction started at 10AM:

Gramp is second from the left and Gram is on the far right in the auctioneer booth:

My cousin Laura

Working the old scale:

Gramp watching his stuff being auctioned off:

Sunday after church we took some photos on Heather and Andrea's front porch.

The four siblings with Gramp and Gram (left to right): Uncle Richard, Aunt Colleen, Dad, Uncle Dan

Add Uncle Mark to the mix plus everyone acting naturally and it makes for quite the picture!

Got a picture with Dad, Evan, Gramp and Gram:

It sure was a nice weekend!  Now, I guess Mom, Heidi, and Carla will have to come out sometime!