Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years from the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Small Animal Emergency Room!  Yup, I'm celebrating New Years Eve by manning the ER.  I mean, what better way to ring in the new year?  We were real busy when we got here at 4pm but have slowed right down and currently don't have any cases going on.  Maybe we will get busy after midnight when everyone gets home and finds their dog or cat is not doing well, we shall see. 

Enjoyed an afternoon spent with Dan and Dorothy and Olivia today.  I was glad they popped down to see me during their time in Tremont.  They checked out where I lived, we went to eat at Steak and Shake, then I showed them the vet school.  Was really nice to catch up with them. 

After tonight, I have just three more nights in the ER, then I'm off for two weeks, it can't come soon enough!

Friday, December 26, 2014


Well, it's already Friday, hard to believe.  Yesterday I was able to be with family which was great.  But, today it was back to it.  My first case today was a dog who had gotten into chocolate.  While she is still at the vet hospital for monitoring she was doing pretty well.  My second case of the day was a dachshund with a back problem.  We put her in the ICU so she could be monitored overnight and if she gets worse she may have to have emergency surgery but for now she is holding steady.  Although it is Friday, it doesn't really matter.  I will be at school all day Saturday and Sunday so it's hardly a weekend for me.  But in just over a week I will be off for two weeks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Monday began my second ER rotation.  It's been good, I enjoy the wide variety of problems that we see.  Monday I had a dog who was having neurologic problems.  Yesterday my dog returned for bloodwork, I had a nasty little dog for a knee problem, and a rabbit who wasn't eating, drinking, or pooping.  The dog with the knee problem was one of the worst behaved dogs I'd had in quite awhile!  Let's just say it's a good thing we had a muzzle!  This morning I am back at school.  Will be here 'til early evening but then I'm the lucky one day student who got off on Thursday which happens to be Christmas! Plan to head to Gramp and Gram's today and go to church with them tomorrow morning then head to Heather and Andrea's for Christmas dinner before heading back to Champaign so I can be in the ER again Friday at 7AM.  

Here's a picture of four out of five of us day students on Monday who all, randomly, happened to wear the same colored scrubs (L to R: Pat, Dustin, Brittany, me):

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I have finished my anesthesia rotation.  This past week, we were absolutely swamped with anesthesia cases.  Every single day we had a ton of cases and we were running around like crazy.  Luckily we were a good team and helped each other out.  Friday night I was on call so at 5pm I took over a dog that was having its hip fractures fixed after getting hit by a car.  I didn't end up leaving until 830pm.  I was lucky and didn't get called in during the night though.  That ended my anesthesia rotation. I learned a ton but wasn't a particular fan of the hurry, hurry, hurry environment.  Tomorrow I will begin my second small animal emergency medicine rotation.  It will last for the next two weeks and then I'm off for two weeks!

Last night I went to a Dailey and Vincent concert.  It was a great time, I really appreciated their sense of humor and their music was great.  I highly recommend them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chuggin' Along

My first week of anesthesia is just about over and it's kind of hard to believe.  Monday morning found me a little nervous as anesthesia seemed intimidating and I didn't know how things worked.  However, as the week has progressed, I have gotten more comfortable with the anesthesia process.  Tuesday I had no cases as there was just three anesthesia cases the whole day so I helped my classmates who had cases out.  Wednesday and Thursday two of my classmates were gone as they were taking boards.  As soon as we lost two classmates, the cases just piled on.  We had at least ten cases both days.  With only seven students, this led to a very busy two days.  Wednesday I had the first case in which a dog was having its knee repaired after tearing a ligament.  I got done with that case, had just enough time to eat lunch while going over my plan for my next patient with the anesthesiologist, and then got to work on my second case, a goldendoodle who had a mass in her ear.  The dermatology department put a video scope into her ear and used a forceps-like tool to remove as much of the mass as possible.  Needless to say, two cases in one day wore me out!

Yesterday was my large animal day, in which I was the anesthesia student who would take any large animal surgeries that were going on.  There was one horse who needed to have a camera inserted into three of his joints and have bone/cartilage fragments removed from the joint as well as be castrated.  So, I was in the large animal clinic all day.  I successfully knocked the horse out using drugs and got him intubated.  I did fail at placing a catheter into his artery (the tech had to do it for me) but other then that things went quite well.  It was slightly nerve-wracking at the beginning as I had never done anything even remotely close to that before but it was a good experience and I would do it again.  Sounds like I may have the opportunity as there are supposed to be about 10 horse surgeries next week. 

Other then living the life of knocking animals out for surgery, I did start my resume last night.  I can't stand doing it but it's got to be done!  Tonight is the Christmas party for our young group so I'm looking forward to going to that.  I am second on call tomorrow during the day and then first on call Sunday night.  So I will be in Champaign-Urbana land all weekend.

Monday, December 8, 2014


This past weekend was great, didn't do anything related to school and spent the weekend at my cousins.  Had a Christmas get together Saturday then got to see some people from Connecticut in Roanoke church on Sunday. 

Today was day one of my anesthesia rotation.  I was admittedly a little nervous about this rotation as it seemed like everyone was always hustling about and running around and I like things to be more laid back.  When the anesthesia group got together, there were only three cases for the day.  I ended up with a dog that had a laparoscopic spay and gastropexy performed.  On the white board the anesthesiologist had written VIP under the dog's name.  Turns out, the dog's owner is a rather well known individual.  I ended up taking that case to which some people said, No pressure Dave it's only "Jane Doe's" dog.  Everyone was really trying to make sure that nothing went wrong.  It was a little overwhelming trying to figure out everything that needed to be done as it was my first time, and at times there were around 10 people watching (my classmates, some other doctors, and 2nd year vet students who are shadowing us in the clinic).  However, we got her knocked out, into surgery, and recovered all without hitch so that was good.  There were five cases scheduled for tomorrow and since I had one today I was not assigned a case.  However, I will be ready to take one if another case is added on at some point.  

Friday, December 5, 2014


Wednesday was my big day to shine, or maybe fizzle and die out, depends on how you look at it I suppose.  I got to the testing center around 7AM and signed into the testing room at 717AM.  I did 180 questions (half the exam) and then took a break from 1023 til 1029.  I then did the remaining 180 questions and signed out at 125PM.  The exam was long (took me about 6 hours to comlete) and was quite challenging.  When I finally walked out I was the most mentally drained that I can ever recall being.  However, it does feel nice to not have to worry about studying right now.  I won't find out 'til the end of January if I passed which means I have almost two months of waiting but that's okay, at least I don't have to study!

Today is my last day on my imaging rotation.  After school I'm headed for Eureka to spend time with Heather, Andrea, Dan, Jerry and Kathy.  It will be my first weekend with no school responsibilities (studying, on call, patient care) since mid-September so it will be nice to get out of town and forget about school for a couple days!  Then Monday, it's off to my anesthesia rotation!