Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just a Few More Days

To say that the morale of our equine surgery group is low would be quite accurate.  The clinician who is on surgery right now has never been known for his amazing bedside manner and friendliness.  However, I have never seen the effects of chronic rudeness on a group of people as I have now.  Here are a few quotes coming from him to us fourth years in the past few days:
"You are not going to be paid to stand there with stupid looks on your faces" (spoken in front of clients)

"When I ask a question, you need to answer me, you HAVE to have an opinion.  I have an opinion, and really that's the only one that counts"  (again, spoken in front of clients)

My classmate: I think she looks better than she did
Clinician: I don't, I think she looks worse and I'm better than you

It's rather unfortunate that the learning environment on this rotation has become so negative.  When students are not willing to talk because they know the clinician is just going to get on their case about it, I would rank that as a dismal learning experience.   This is just a sampling of his encouraging words he has been sharing with us.  Today, he laid into me pretty hard, grabbed the lead rope of the horse from my classmate, and told me (in a not so gentle tone) to watch the horse as he ran her down the hallway (part of a lameness exam).  He did end up apologizing to me later, the first apology I believe any of us have gotten.  Fortunately, the resident surgeons have been alright (although one of them has made some not very nice comments to people other than myself).  It really just drags the group down and we are all ready to get out of this rotation. 

On a good note, my big ol' draft horse went home today!  He spent 12 days in the hospital but is gone and doing well which is awesome!  I did also have a horse with left front lameness today.  We were able to send him home so he didn't have to stay in the hospital which means that tomorrow morning is the first morning on this rotation that I don't have a patient to care for. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Time continues to fly by.  This past weekend I was able to get away Saturday afternoon.  Had my first ride in a combine (even if it only lasted 20 minutes!), went to provings and baptisms in Washington, spent some time with my cousins, and didn't have to be at school at all yesterday which was probably the best part of my birthday! 

Today was a slow day in equine surgery as we had no appointments or surgeries.  Sounds like we do have a new horse coming in tomorrow, will have to see what it brings.  I did take my horse (the 1900 pounder) for a walk around the large animal clinic today.  One of the equine surgery doctors was upstairs in the clinic and said she could hear him walking from up there, definitely caught everyone's attention when he went by! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Still Chuggin' Along

Today is day 5 of equine surgery.  My 1900 pound horse continues to do well.  We are hoping that he can go home sometime this coming week.  I really enjoy working with him.  Yesterday, the new horse reproduction veterinarian at school wanted a student to go with him to pregnancy check some mares.  None of my classmates really wanted to go so I went with him.  It was great, I was able to feel fetuses in the horses and used an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and learned quite a bit along the way as it was just me and him.  For those of you who are wondering (which I'm sure you ALL are), this involved me putting on a big sleeve over my arm, putting lots of lube on the sleeve and inserting my arm into the horses butt.  When in there, I took my hand and felt downward.  Even though my hand was in the rectum I could feel the uterus and the fetus.  After a little bit the fetus would actually start bumping my hand.  After checking those mares we went and checked a couple non-pregnant mares to see if they were ready to be bred.  While there, I confidently felt most of the reproductive tract of a horse for the first time ever.  Not exciting for some, but pretty exciting for me! Anyways, sorry to go on so long about horse butts! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Equine Surgery

Today was my first day on my equine surgery rotation.  I took over a case that was already in the hospital, a 1900 pound Shire gelding (castrated male) who is fighting an abscess in his foot.  He is a pretty nice horse which is good because if he wanted to act up there's not a whole lot we could do about it!  It was a pretty good day, lots of foot stuff today but no surgeries. 

This past weekend I was able to sneak away Saturday evening later on to Forrest/Fairbury for their Invite-A-Friend weekend.  I had a good time and it was real nice getting to spend some time with my cousin Andy from CT!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Near the End of Equine Med

Today is my last official day of equine medicine although we will have some horses in over the weekend so will have some work to do this weekend.  I have really enjoyed the rotation, however, there have been some attitudes on this rotation that I don't really appreciate so it's probably time for this rotation to end.  Let's just say that people who only want to do small animals are not really into the whole horse thing and don't do a lot to cover it up.  Also, some of the folks on my rotation are not getting along real well with the equine intern who is on medicine right now so there have been some tense moments.  Luckily, I am not involved in this and so far have gotten along fine with everyone.  We have three horses with laminitis.  Two of them are doing pretty well, the third one unfortunately is not having as good a time.  The laminae that connects the bone in the tip of the foot to the hoof wall is damaged so the bones of the foot are sinking down, which is very bad and there's nothing we can do about it.  Some horses can have such bad sinking that they essentially walk right out of their hoof walls.  So, we will see what happens with her. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Equine Med week 2

Week 2 of my equine medicine rotation is scooting right along!  This past weekend I was in Champaign the whole weekend as I was on call both Friday and Saturday nights.  Luckily, I was never called in.  We have six horses in hospital right now but two are to go home tomorrow so that will leave us with four, three who have laminitis, one of them also has acute kidney injury.  The other is a horse who is experiencing pain when you push on its chest wall right near its right elbow but we can't figure out why.  I have enjoyed the chance to work more with horses and get to see some of their diseases up close and personal.  It's been a real learning experience! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Busy Day!

Today was by far our busiest day on equine medicine.  Last night, my classmate Ani was called in as two horses were presenting on emergency around 1AM with acute laminitis.  Laminitis is an inflammation in a horse's foot that can be extremely painful.  These horses got laminitis because they got into corn.  When horse's ingest large amounts of carbohydrates (corn, grain, etc), they become at risk for developing laminitis.  One of the horse's is worse off than the other and when he walks, its like he's walking on egg shells.  Then, around 8:30 this morning, a miniature horse foal presented for colic.  Colic is a generic term for abdominal pain.  He seems to be doing alright but him and his mom are both with us in the hospital right now.  I had the one regular appointment today.  It was a horse that had been having increased respiratory effort for a month or so.  We took radiographs of its chest and it looks exactly like recurrent airway obstruction, or heaves.  So, we performed a transtracheal wash which I got to help with.  You cut a hole in the skin just over the trachea and take a good sized trochar (essentially a big needle in it but that is not hollow) and pierce into the trachea (windpipe).  You remove the pointed part of the trochar and slide a catheter into the trachea, push about 20mLs of fluid down into the horse's lungs and then suck the fluid back out.  This gives a good sample of the cells that are down in the lower airways of the horse.  It was neat to see and assist with!

This weekend will be consisting of going into school for treatments of the horses and studying for boards.  Not the most enthralling weekend but a necessary one nonetheless!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Equine Med

Today was day three of equine medicine.  We had no appointments so our slow streak continued.  However, I did get to pass my first nasogastric tube today.  Here's my nerdy educational paragraph for today:
To place a nasogastric tube you put the tube up the horse's nose and into its throat.  When the horse swallows you push the tube forward so that it enters the horse's esophagus.  You continue to feed it down the horse's esophagus until you hit the stomach.  You can tell that you are in the esophagus because if you accidentally get the tube in the trachea, it passes with no resistance.  However, when shoving it down the esophagus, you get resistance because the esophagus isn't as wide open as the trachea.  Now, why would you go shoving a tube through a horse's nose and into its stomach?  Horse's get what is commonly referred to as colic.  It essentially means abdominal pain.  There are many reasons for this abdominal pain however, oftentimes, no matter what the cause, there is a fluid accumulation in the stomach which can be painful as it causes stomach distension.  When you stick this tube down a horse's esophagus, oftentimes the fluid will come out the tube and into a bucket or onto the ground.  This helps relieve some of the pain the horse is in.

Also, due to our slowness today, our group, including the doctors, went out for ice cream which was nice!

Tomorrow we have one appointment and it is another ophthalmology appointment so we won't be doing a whole lot with it.  Friday, there is supposed to be a horse with some respiratory problems coming in so hopefully it will. 

Had my second chiropractor appointment today.  Went well, never knew there was so many places my back could crack but it feels good!