Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 192- Quiz Time!

On my last weekend of radiology I was called in three times on Saturday from 8am to 10pm. I wish I could complain about having to go in so many times but my very first case was amazing! As I shot the first x-ray and looked over my shoulder to check the quality of my radiograph (x-ray) I also saw my diagnosis.....

Can you tell what is wrong with this picture........

If you guessed hernia you are right! This is a diaphragmatic hernia, see how there are intestines over the heart in the thorax. They should be behind the diaphram in the abdomen and you should be able to see the heart in this picture!

This week I started a new rotation...Anesthesia, which I have been dreading honestly. Anesthesia is very scary because things can go wrong quickly and the drugs we use can easily cause death in our patients if not used appropriately and carefully. For example my very first patient turned blue and quit breathing after I administered his anesthetic induction agent yesterday in which I had to quickly respond.

 Can anyone take a guess as to what very popular anesthetic drug I might have been using that caused my patient to quit breathing and turn blue????

If you guessed propofol...your right! The very same drug that killed Michael Jackson is a commonly used anesthetic, however it causes apnea (fancy word for not breathing) so when using it the patient must be monitored closely and put on oxygen immediately if they have difficulty breathing, something that the pop stars doctor was not as diligent about!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 185- HALF WAY THERE!!!!

     I am now on my third week of radiology rotation, which as you may have guessed from my blogging activity is not the most exciting of all rotations! Our day consist of the "Hot Seat" rounds for the first two hours every morning in which we go to the front of the room, in front of our rotations mates and clinicians and they put a radiograph on the big screen and we have to interpret the film, diagnose the animal and give a treatment plan. To say the least it is one of the most stressful things of all time, so I spend every night devouring my notes to make sure I am not caught like a deer in the headlights on my next hot seat experience. The later part of the morning and the afternoon is spent taking and reading radiographs from patients throughout the hospital from horses and cows in the large animal barn to dogs and cats from the small animal department or last week we even had a baby kangaroo in from the zoo department that accidentally fell out of his mom's pouch and broke his leg!
      On a not so boring note, we have surpassed the half way mark! God willing, I am set to graduate in 173 days!!!! I can't believe it is finally that close, it still doesn't seem real. I constantly lay in bed at night and dream about the "what if's" in my future. What if this time next year I am a doctor working my dream job with my own mobile veterinary truck, driving from ranch to ranch living out my life long dream? What if we can buy a cheap house and finally begin our lives where our hearts belongs in Polk county? What if I can actually afford to go to the Publix and buy something other the market ground beef and figure out 7 different ways to prepare it for the seven days of the week? What if I can finally think about starting a family, something that makes me tear up every time I imagine been blessed by pregnancy, something I have longed for since the birth of my nephew but had to dismiss due to my career goals? The "what if's" seem closer than ever and push me to the light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 170- The Earth is Shakin!

      Last night I got a rude I slept peacefully in a NyQuil comma trying to fight off the reminents of a chest cold the walls started shaking around our apartment then the bed, get your mind out of the gutter people, Chad was snoring away. My first thought was we were getting robbed, then due to all the Halloween movies I watched during my bed ridden flu induced weekend, I thought for sure it was a poltergeist. Then I realized it was an earthquake, the largest one in the history of Oklahoma to be exact. Now I think it was my sub-conscience revolting against my up-coming rotation.
       Tomorrow I begin my Radiology rotation. This rotations is known to be torturous as we travel around the hospital doing cat scan, MRI's and x-rays of patients, this seems all fun but the clinicians have a reputation for being ruthless! But it will be nice to get back to the land of the living as my patients during the last three weeks have all been deceased!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 155- Back the Reality

    This week was my first week back in Stillwater, Ok after completing 9 weeks on "Off Campus" rotations. As I traveled from Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, then to Texas I was overwhelmed by homesickness and excitement to be in Florida again. As I packed my bags after a month in Florida I couldn't help but wonder where the time went. As the old saying goes...time flies when your having fun, and so it did. I enjoyed family, friends, and seeing my country.....the Spanish moss hanging on the giant oaks, the fog, the orange trees and the smell of the cows and the leather on the saddles of the horses as the cattle where driven into the pens at day break. Now that is home and the food for my soul. So I can't say that I was happy to return to Oklahoma, but I know this is my final stretch to freedom.
     My first rotation back began with Diagnostics, a rotation consisting of diagnostics procedures such as reading blood work, fecal (poop) samples and doing necropsy's (like an autopsy in a human). I am learning a ton and feeling more like a doctor each day but the longing for home persist. We have had some interesting cases such as a Boa Constrictor (snake), Koi Fish, a bull, a possibly rabid horse and many dogs. I still can't believe that by the end of this rotation I will have surpassed the HALF WAY POINT. Still seems crazy that in just over six months I will be a DOCTOR!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 144- Old Cotton Tail

     As I started my second week as an intern for a large animal veterinarian, it has been every more apparent that my dream job will include being a women in a man's world. My first day on the job we palpated almost three hundred cows and as I prayed for a lunch break so that I could take a pee break I noticed a truck coming up to the cow pens in which I frantically prayed..... please don't be someone bringing lunch....please don't be someone bring lunch, and low and behold it was someone bringing lunch. This meant for me that their was no pee break in site, I was either gonna have to hold it or find a tree to squat behind, well I held it, all 12 hours of it! With each new set of cow pens we visited and each new set of hundreds of cows I palpated, I constantly prayed for a lunch break that would have what I now refer to as a porcelain paradise.
     This weekend my sister came into town and I started to feel like a women again as we spent some mommy daughter time shopping with dinner and a movie during her weekend visit. But like everything in life things don't always work out as planned, I awoke Saturday at midnight with chills, cold sweats, and liquids shooting out of every orifice. As I prayed for daybreak so that someone could help pump me full of Pepto, I realized it, yup I had food poisoning.
     I had no choice but to pull on the big girl panties and cowgirl up Monday morning as I was too tough and too proud to call in sick! So as I played off the nausea as a simple gas of indigestion I prayed that our location would be porcelain paradise equipped....but you guessed it...NOPE. As I tried to force down the vomit that tried to creep its way up after lunch I was contemplating an escape route for my inevitable "episode" that was about to be the most embarrassing and possibly career ending moment. As the afternoon rain started to fall, Dr. G asked me to run to the truck and put away anything that couldn't get wet and I knew this was my one and only moment to escape the reticule of the cowboys who can fortunately whip it out at any moment when the urge hits them. I ran to the truck and desperately looked for "assistance" in the form of a paper towel and of course we were out, just as I thought it was too late I found a roll of cotton used to wrap horses legs and dashed into the bushes just in the nick of time. I escaped being completely mortified in front of half a dozen cowboys but will forever be known to my family as Luder Cotton Tail.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 135- Nervous Nelly

       The last two weeks have flown by in a whirlwind! Between working diligently during my first internship in my hometown and keeping up with school work as well as spending precious time with my family who I will not see again until next year at graduation, time has been cut short for blogging, but I promise to make a better effort!
       This weekend I attended the Florida Ranch Rodeo finals in which I had the honor of being a volunteer/time keeper for the forth year in a row. My dad, Fred Waters, has been a committee chair person for the rodeo since it's conception and puts his heart and soul into every aspect of it's organization. I couldn't have been more proud when they brought him into the arena at the start of the rodeo to thank him for his efforts. I found myself fighting back tears as I was over come with a since of pride in my family. Then I looked back at the rest of my family as well as Chad's in the stands and realized how very blessed I am to have such an amazing and supportive family. The rodeo went off without a hitch and was once again a huge success! If you weren't there I suggest you make plans to attend next year as you are severely missing out!
       It is 6am now I am wait with overwhelming nerves to leave to meet Dr. Gukich for my second internship in Florida! I am the most nervous about this one as Dr. Gukich has been a mentor to me since I was young and my biggest fear is that he would be disappointed in my progression as a vet student. So send some prayers my way!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day111- Home is Where the Heart Is

Home sweet home....last night I landed in Orlando to start my Florida externships. I am spending 2 weeks with Dr. Lori Shank in Ft. Meade and 2 weeks with Dr. Gukich in Lakes Wales. I was overcome with happiness this morning as I drove to Ft. Meade for my first day. The fog, the orange groves, and the Spanish moss almost brought me to tears as I realized how much I miss home and long to live here once again. My heart defiantly belongs to this country life and I am counting down the days until I can once again be a member of this rustic community!
      Today was a day filled with puppies and eyeballs! We saw many puppies in for vaccines and had three eye cases, one of which we performed a tarsorhaphy, which means to sew the eyelids shut so they eye can have protection to heal! I am somewhat familiar with this, as most people who have ever owned a Hereford cow most likely are as well as pink eye is very common in this breed. We also got to go out to see a horse with Founder, or in vet terms laminitis. The farmers term, founder is actually from the Latin term sinking ship.This is where a diet change or rough ground makes the hoof wall detach from the coffin bone and it "sinks."


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 110- Pack, Unpack, Pack, Unpack.......

Well, it is been a rewarding yet exhausting two weeks as I wrapped up my dairy medicine externship in Texas. On my last day we started at 5:30am and palpated 150 cows in about 2 and a half hours. Needless to say I can still barely move my arm! Hopefully I honed in my palpation skills and I am ready to impress my possible job prospects in Florida! CAUSE I AM COMING HOME!!!! You can't even imagine how excited I am to do my next two externships at home. The travel and time away from family took more of an emotional toll than I expected. Although I do not regret my decisions to travel and do the externships I chose, I was extremely homesick throughout the last 5 weeks. I was advised by one of my professor to do some of my externship time in my hometown as these can sometimes turn into job opportunities, which I am desperately praying for! But aside for the possibly of a future job, I am looking forward to spending some much needed time with my family who I miss desperately! So today I am packing up my bags once again and will be heading to Florida tomorrow! Hello sunshine state!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 106- Dirty Jobs

      It seems as in many careers, being a dairy veterinarian has some thing that can be monotonous, and in the dairy world this being palpation. I wanted to do a dairy externship so that I could get good at palpating for pregnancy, and boy o boy did I get what I asked for! You see in the beef industry, when cows are checked for pregnancy status we typically only grade them by trimester. Cows carry their young for 285 days so we just call them 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester bred. Or if they are not pregnant the are classified as "open." This is because in the beef industry we select for fertile animals but typically only need to know if they were bred early, late or not bred at all. However, the dairy industry is much more dependent on time. The dairy cycle leaves very little room for error. Cows depend on being pregnant so it will stimulate their hormones so they will produce milk, it is essential to know almost to the day when they will calve. There is an unwritten rule that dairy vets are better at palpating for pregnancy than beef veterinarians because of the pressure they feel from producers to classify pregnancies.
       Well, I hope I am getting good, cause every single day without fail I am showing my arm up a cows butt! No matter how many times I wash my hands they still smell like poop. No matter how many times I wash my clothes they are still stained with poop. Yesterday I was soaked down to my brazier in poop! And no matter how many times I wash my hair, you guessed it, I still find poop! I hope all this poop is worth it....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 103- Keep Um Coming

     It is official, my arm is done! After palpating about 200 cows in the first three days of my dairy internship I officially can barely move my arm! Today was insanely busy, just the way I like it! We went on a call this morning for a "downer." There are two primary causes for this in dairy cows, most commonly it is from what the call milk fever. This is where the cow is producing so much milk that there is not enough calcium to make her muscles function. Calcium is a vital component for muscle contractions and when cows produce high volumes of milk it uses up the bodies calcium stores. The other is what we call calving paralysis, this is where the nerves that supply the hind limbs are pinched and thus damaged between the pelvic bones and the calf during birth. In both situations, the cow is down and can't get up..."downer" or down cow syndrome.

   After our milk fever case we went to other farm to see a sick cow. There we also saw a few prematurely born calves one of which was the cutest freaking thing I have ever seen, born 2 months early and barely weighed 20 lbs.

     We made our way back to the clinic and were met with a string of trucks with trailers full of cows waiting to be seen! These included a vaginal prolapse....

       A left displaced abomasum (the cow's true and forth stomach compartment which twist around and gets out of place blocking her digestive tract) in which we did a procedure called roll and toggle. This is when you lay the cow down on her back and  listen the the stomach with a stethoscope while thumping her abdomen to locate the abomasum by the sound/pitch difference and then jab it with a needle and tack it to the skin when it's in it's proper location.

     And many many more cases...but I can barely keep my eyes open or my left hand typing so more tomorrow.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 101- TexASS

      Today was my first day on my externship in what will forever be known to me as TexASS, because I saw a whole lots of ass today, that is pretty much the only thing I saw! By that I mean I spent the day palpating cows. I am doing an externship with a practice composed of three veterinarians who mostly service the dairies in this part of the state. Today we went to a dairy sale and we were in charge of aging (done by looking at the teeth) and pregnancy checking all the cows that went through the sale. If I tried to arm wrestle a three year old right now I would loose miserably. My arm is sore and swollen after shoving it up about 100 cows TexASS's! But I learned how to draw blood from the tail vein with my right hand while palpating little growing fetus's per rectum with my left hand....skills people....I got MULTIPLE skills!
     My living quarters are a small room much like a closet with a twin bed, mini fridge and TV. I was glad to get in some hard work today in hopes that I would sleep better tonight than last night. Between the busy road out front, being in a strange place, and the thoughts of my very bad decision to walk bare foot through the clinic to the shower on the other side of the building, I didn't get much sleep last night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


To my dearest family and friends. I have spent the last month rehearsing my..."I failed but I will never give up speach," and trying to think of inspirational ways to convey my deepest regrets with my never give up attitude to my blog readers, maybe something about how it took Edison over 1000 tries to make the light bulb and how he never gave up and never admitted to failure, as he would only say I have successfully found 1000 ways NOT to make a light bulb! Well y'all I DON'T have to give my practiced speech because I PASSED MY BOARD EXAM!!!!! I never thought I would be able to say that! I can't stop crying because there is a part of me that never thought I would actually pass. I have struggled so much trying to live this life long dream that sometimes I just think God is gonna challenge me every step of the way. Well God must have gotten tired of hearing my prayers cause I passed my first of three veterinary board exams on the first try!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 91- A Quarter There!

    I can't believe I have been in clinics for three months now! It still amazes me how time flys. Although I have always dreamed about what the future holds for me, it has never been so close. It is finally starting to seem real that I may very soon live out my childhood dream and actually graduate from vet school...knock on wood...knock on ALOT of wood.
    Today the feedlot veterinarian I have been riding with had some meetings so he sent me off to the mixed animal practice in town to spend the day with them. I showed up at eight and met the lady I would be working with and as she greeted me with a giant dip in her lip I knew we would get along great, and that we did. She was an inspiration to me as I learned she has managed to buy the local practice, work 12 hour days and raise two girls, ages 7 and 9. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! This is one determined women and I was inspired by how much she is devoted to her work and family equally.
     We started off the morning by ultra sounding a pregnant mare and seeing another horse with an eye problem. We then headed inside to the small animal surgery room where she quickly did a spay and a dental on two dogs. Then we spent the afternoon at the local sale barn aging and preg checking beef cows that will sale tomorrow. All in all, a great day.
      I have been lazy over the past couple weeks about up loading pictures for ya'll so wanted to share some today.......

Wild Sunflowers and Horses in the Sunrise......Gods word was never so loud as it was when I took this.....
Breakfast....Come and get it.....

                                                   Sunrise in Kansas with Grain Elevators

                                                     Prairie Dogs....Look Closely

                                                     Heading out.....Pen of cattle moving out!

                                                Cows as far as the eye could see.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 89- Holy Cow

    This week has been insanely busy. It is 7pm now and we left the house this morning at 5:30am, this 13 hour day was a breeze compared to Monday and Tuesday which where both just over 16 hours. We started the week in Nebraska and the feedlot was over 500 miles away so we had to make it an over night trip, in which this sign was in my hotel room! Too funny...

     Today we went to 3 feedlots in Kansas in which I did 4 field necropsy's. Due to the high volume of cattle you will unfortunately have some that die during the feed out process. One of the lots we visited today fed 30,000 head of cattle at a time, so inevitably some will die and feedlot owners want to know why. Well I got this profound honor today. I know it sounds like loads of fun but luckily for me today it was 108 degrees and my specimens had gotten pretty ripe in the Midwestern sun. I literally can not get the stink off of me!
     As ya'll know this last year is a learning process and as new vets we will make mistakes and embarrass ourselves. So I would like to share a couple of this weeks...well...FAILS....
     The doc motioned for me to follow him back to a small office just outside the cow pens to print some reports for the cattle we were about to process. As you can guess the break rooms and offices adjoining cow pens are not very clean, and stink of cowpokes who don't wash under their finger nails. As I turned the corner to review the data with doc I got a big surprise, actually two of them....two big ole boobies on a calender on the wall. As I quickly narrowed my sites in on the computer and tried to be as professional as possible, i.e. pretend I didn't see the boobies, there they were...about 6 inches from my head, eye level and starring me right in the face...more boobies. I prayed that the data would be short and sweet but of course it wasn't. I had to choke down my laughter for at least 30 minutes while the boobies starred at me!
     On Monday I was introduced to the secretary at a feed yard and to be polite I attempted to make small talk,,,
     Her: So hun where are you from?
     Me: Florida! But I am really enjoying Nebraska it is so beautiful here!
     Her: That is great hun be you are in Kansas!
   Today, as I attempted my first so;o necropsy I was trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I could tell the cow was pretty rotten and expanded with air or bloated, but I knew my anatomy and knew how to stay away from the danger I thought! As I made my first cut into the skin the cow exploded....literally exploded, I jumped back, tripped over her legs and hung my head knowing the someone was watching! I was deathly afraid to lick my lips all day...they are now very chapped!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 85 Buffalo Bill

    Well I survived my first week as an extern with the feedlot vet. This week we traveled to Colorado and Nebraska as well as Kansas. The days are long and there is alot, and I mean alot of driving. Most feedyards he services are between a 2 to 3 hours drive from the house. This means early rising, I get up every morning at 4:15 am and we pull out by 5:30am. During the day we ride through the feedyards and look over each pen of cows, the yards we service hold about 12,000 head of cows on feed. Then we head home and usually get back around 6pm.
    One of the things I am enjoying the most is learning the history of the wild west. As you enter the town of Oakley, Ks there is a large statue of Buffalo Bill shooting a buffalo. I asked about the history behind the statue yesterday. When the west was being populated by settlers there were two men going by the name buffalo bill and neither was happy about the other. So they decided to have a duel, whoever could shoot the most wild buffalo in one day would win the name Buffalo Bill. One cowboy decided to round up the wild buffalo and ride along the outside shooting them, the other ran them down one by one, obviously not using cowboy skills and ended up taking less buffalo. And that is how the famous Buffalo Bill got his name and this hunt happened just outside of town!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 82- I'mmmmm Baaacccckkkk........

     Hello Ya'll! So glad to be back on my blog after my study hiatus! I wish I could give you all great news that the test went great, but unfortunately I found it very challenging and I am pretty sure that I may not have passed! But, it won't be the first time in my life that I failed at something because as I have learned from many failed chemistry classes and counselors telling me I would never get into vet school....ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE if you have DETERMINATION. So failing to me, although sad, hurtful and hard to over come is just a bump in the road to SUCCESS. I will find out my test scores in about a month and if I have to take the test again than I will just have to take the test again. Now I am not however promising that I won't cry my eyes out for at least a day and a half, I am tough but not that damn tough!
     Yesterday, I packed up and headed north! This week starts my 9 week stint of externships. This is where we wonder out into the unknown, (outside the OSU Teaching Hospital) to get real world experience. My first externship is with a feedlot veterinary consultant in Oakley, Kansas! Oakley is named after the famed, Annie Oakley! This vet services feedlots across the tri-state area in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. Today he showed me how to use a program that records the lung sounds as you listen to the lungs of cattle with respiratory disease with your stethescope, and the computer generates a score based on the harshness of the lung sounds. This score predicts how sick the cow is and how likely the cow is to recover from the disease, pretty freaking awesome, and he invented it!!!! I am with greatness people! Other than that it was a whole lot of driving, 2 hours just to get to this feedlot and even farther tomorrow and a whole bunch of cows and corn!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


   Yesterday I had to make the decision to either take my scheduled Christmas vacation, which I was looking forward to more than life or to work through my vacation so that I would be out early enough to celebrate with family in Florida. Although the break in December would be a blessing by giving me some time to rest and get emotionally restored before I complete the last half of my clinical year, I think this was a good sacrifice as I can now enjoy my graduation with my family and be back in Florida FOR GOOD!!!!!
   I can barely discuss my own sacrifices as my family sacrifices so much in my behalf. This last week I have had ongoing pep talks from my family members encouraging me and lifting me up for my big test on Monday. I have also gotten cards from them that truly touched my heart. Particularly my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ronnie and my Nana and Papa, who sent "gifts" to help me pay for my hotel room, gas and food for this weekend when I head down to Oklahoma City to take the test. I honestly don't know where I would be in life without the undying support from my family. I honestly feel like the most blessed person to have such a family. They are always their for one another and ALWAYS their for me. I am at a loss for the words of gratitude I feel for them as they have carried me through all my struggles as I continue to work to make my childhood dreams come true. I want to end today with one of my favorite passages that reminds me of my family... This hung in my Nana Waters' house and I remember reading it as a child and have never forgotten how it made me feel...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 68-72 Study Study Study

    Sorry ya'll for the lack of post lately, but I have been having panic attacks daily! My upcoming board exam is in only 7 days and I couldn't be more scared! But, as my family keeps telling me, this is not the end of the world. And it doesn't matter if I pass or fail because regardless of which, life will go on. I can always take it again and this may just be what I have to do! However, I am still avoiding everyone, studying away the days and trying to not think about it!
    This is my last week on Equine Medicine and as always I am sad to see this rotation come to an end. I have grown very fond of my rotation mates as well as the residents and clinicians. This week was slow but I did get to do my first equine dental or in the horse world a "floating" this week. A horse chews in a circular motion and the way the teeth and jaw are shaped this chewing motion creates points in their teeth. When the points get big it prevents them from making the circular grinding motion and they start dropping their feed and eventually loose weight. To fix this condition their teeth must be floated! This is where we grind down the points on the teeth so the rows of teeth are all level making a good environment for the grinding motions.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 67- Skill Building

   One of the most nerve racking things about nearing graduation is the annoying voice in the back of your mind constantly telling you that you can't do it, or you don't know how. Knowing that in less than a year we will be doing these things on our own, possibly with no assistance from a well trained tech, or a seasoned clinician looking over your shoulder. Knowing that in just a short period of time no one will be checking our work, or backing up our diagnosis is nerve racking to say the least. We will be out in the world alone and have to know how to do things we possibly have never done. We graduate reading about how to do surgeries and procedures and hope that we will get to practice these things in our final year. But the reality is that we may get a chance to do these things once, but maybe not at all. We will be out in the world very soon will no instructions and no help, and be expected to know how to do things we have never done and only read about! Talk about pressure people!!!
     A good thing about our lack of appointments yesterday was we got some time to practice some of these skills. Yesterday I put in an IV catheter in a horse as well as performed an abdominal centesis. This is where you carefully insert a needle into the abdomen to get some of the fluid surrounding the intestines. This procedure is a fine art as there are many organs to avoid hitting with the needle as well as the miles of intestines to fill the abdominal cavity. Adding to the difficulty level of this procedure is the the positioning, your basically crawled up under the horse stabbing it in the gut with a needle, and if he did decides to kick, well as the old saying goes..."off with your head."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 66- Slooooowwww Days

    We had no appointments in the Equine Medicine barn today which made the day go slow and gave me way too much time to worry about my upcoming test. My first of three board exams is in two weeks and I couldn't be more terrified. This could be a life changing test, and although not the end of the world, if I don't pass I would not only be heartbroken but I would not be able to get my license for more than 6 months after graduation. I keep telling myself not to think of that and the pressures surrounding the test, but I have found this feat near impossible. I constantly worry to the point of making myself sick. So please start praying now! I will take all the prayers I can get!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 66-67 A Much Needed Day of Rest

     Today I had a much needed day of rest. I was on call all day but luckily have not gotten called in for any emergencies....yet! (Knock on wood) This was a huge blessing as I needed some serious sleep! After a 29 hours shift I crashed Saturday afternoon but had to be back at the barn Saturday evening to discharge my colic horse that was now doing much better. I saw her off last night around 9pm and got an invite from her owner to come visit her at the ranch any time I wanted! We finally diagnosed her using the endoscope (camera) in which we found ulcers in her stomach. This is a fairly common disease of thoroughbreds as the race track and ongoing training can be extremely stressful! Tonight I will keep hoping for no phone calls so I can get to bed early and rest up for the week!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 63-65 Making My Mark

     Yesterday was uneventful but today made up for it three fold! Today was my first official case on Equine Medicine! My case is a 3 year old thoroughbred filly that has had three episodes of colic (extremely painful abdominal pain that can be caused by a variety of things) in the last month. Unfortunately, all the other rotations in the large animal barn were not very busy so all the other students came over to Equine Med to witness the excitement! This meant I had a 25 person audience watching me examine my horse and listen to me answer the unrelenting string of diagnostic questions from my senior clinician. Needless to say I peed my pants at least once and threw up in my mouth twice! Everyone had there eyes and ears pinned on me as I nervously struggled through my questions and tried with all my might to diagnose my horse correctly! After about an hour of shaking knees and nervous sweats the crowd started to clear and I was blessed with a "good job" by the senior veterinarian.
       My little filly is now resting quietly in her stall and I will be ending my midnight shift here in the barn in the next hour. But no rest for the weary tonight! As I leave here at midnight after a long 16 hour day at the Equine Barn the next stop is 6 miles up the road at the recreation park. An annual endurance race begins horse/rider check-in at 1 am. We have to do physicals and lameness exams on all the participating horses and give them the ok before they can enter the race. Once the race starts we repeat these exams at check points along the 50 mile course to make sure horses are in good enough health to continue! This will last well into the morning. Then my next stop will be back at the barn at 7:30am to check on my horse and perform more test as needed to treat her colic. No sleep for me tonight but I am so excited to see what this night will bring!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 61- 62 Three Pigeons

     So far I am love love loving my equine medicine rotation. Like Food Animal Medicine I see things daily that I am dying to get my hands on! Yesterday was an interesting day of threes. We saw three appointments and all three were presenting for the same complaint, an abscess on the chest region. This is a very common presentation for Pigeon Fever, which is a systemic bacteria that results in an abscess formation over the pectoral muscles of the chest! The treatment is an anti-inflammatory medication and sedation to lance open the abscess so that it can drain. This doesn't sound like much fun, but really it is! Lancing open a oowy gooey pus filled mass is nothing but fun!
     Today, we have an appointment for a mare that has had re-occurring abortions. I am very excited to work this up as it will be challenging and very interesting! So this case is TO BE CONTINUED....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 59-60! Sixty...Seriously?!?!?!?!?

     Today was the first day of my Equine Medicine Rotation. Finally I am starting to feel more confident and not so nervous that I want to pee my pants the entire first day of a new rotation! But it did make things easier that I was still in the equine barn and knew my way around since I just came off equine surgery! Today we had a horse with an abscess on her face the size of a kiwi, and a horse with hepatic lipidosis (liver failure with fat infiltration). The liver horse was a Fresian which is one of the most beautiful horses there is, so it was definatly neat to have her in (see picture)! I started off this rotation like any other one, with a bang! It is my first day and I have the first ICU shift so I got here at 7:30am this morning and will be here until midnight! But, as always I can always look to my family for support in my time of need. As I yawned and complained about my long night to my husband who brought me dinner and a card from the mailbox that my grandparents had sent, I opened the card was all better.
     We forget sometimes how much our families mean to us. Many times I feel tired and sad and wore out and the list goes on....and a short call to my mom, dad, sister, nana, papa or in-laws, and it all seems better. It is like my body's way of telling me I am homesick and their voices have healing powers. I can whole-heartedly say I would never have made it this far in life without the undying support of my family. I feel so blessed to have people in my life that never question me, never doubt me and most importantly never give up on me. Even after over thirty years of support (yes I said it out loud for the first time, 31 baby) I am still suprised at the level of dedication my family has for one another. Even with the bickering and the power struggle of too many southern women in the kitchen, there is never a blink of an eye when one of us is in need we all come together. God has blessed me in many ways in life but my family is the biggest blessing of all! Thank you Nana and Papa for brigtening my day with a suprise! Thank you Momma, Mom and Larry for your comments about my blog!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 57-58 Time Flies

    Yesterday was the last official day of my Equine Medicine Rotation. Just as with each rotation that goes by the last day is always a bit sad. It takes a couple weeks before getting comfortable with not only the daily routine of that particular segment of the hospital but also with the students and doctors. By week three you consider these people friends and almost family as you spend many hours of the day, everyday with them.
    On my last day, I completed my rotation with a very interesting case! I had a horse come in with weakness and stumbling in the hind end. After a very long lameness and neurological exam our tentative diagnosis was EPM, Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. This is a "bug" they get from wild animals, most commonly Possums who poop in their feed, water, or hay. The bug migrates to the brain or spinal cord causing a variety of neurological signs. Most horses do not survive the disease unless caught early, which hopefully we did!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 55-56 Balls of Fire

     Yesterday was a late night as will be tonight on Equine Surgery. I arrived yesterday morning and was informed a yearling calf was being hauled in with a severely broken leg and that because of the difficulty of the surgery the equine surgery team would be taking the case, so of course I immediately called dibs! When the calf arrived it was very apparent how broken her leg was as pieces of the bone were sticking out through the skin! After radiographs, we were all shocked at the severity of the break (it looked something like this picture, but even worse!)

So after a very long surgery of placing pins through the bone and putting on a giant cast we finally got the calf back to her stall and I got home around 9pm.
      Today will be no exception to the long day rule. We had 3 surgeries today. A laproscopic ovarian tumor removal on a Fjord pony (very rare Norwegian breed - see picture!)

Then we proceeded to cutting out a tumor on the epiglottis of a stallion with the endoscopic laser. He fainted while in the surgery stocks so that was fun and exciting! Then I got to do my first castration! I know it shouldn't be so fun to cut off some balls but is! The horse woke up nicely from surgery and went home a few hours later! Tonight I am on ICU shift which means I have to stay at the barn until midnight and check on the horses every hour and give medications when needed. Needless to say it makes for a long...long day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 54- Sweeny Todd

    Today was a bit slow but we did see one interesting case! There is a bundle of nerves that run directly over the shoulder blade. In almost all species there is a bony prominence that covers the nerves, except in the horse! This was made very apparent in the olden days as horses would become crippled from wearing the large collars used to hitch them up to wagons. The collars would pinch the nerve up against the the shoulder blade, this would damage the nerve and the horse would develop muscle atrophy of the shoulder muscles and eventually become lame, a condition known as Sweeney. Today we see Sweeney in horses that have a nerve injury secondary to a laceration or trauma to the leg.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 53- Point Taken

     So last night after I wrote my blog, somewhat "comp"plaining (pun intended) about my emergency call in's and lack of sleep, I was more than excited to snuggle up with my hubby to watch a movie and relax, and that was when the phone rang! Note to self, if you complain about getting called in for emergency the phone will ring about 10 o'clock to call you in for an emergency! Luckily it was a very rewarding emergency! A little mini horse came in barely able to breathe and obviously choking lead by her owners who were greatly shaken by the event! We got the little girl sedated and cleared her choke within minutes and she was back to normal and breathing well within 15 minutes of arrival. What a rewarding experience! complaining

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 50-52- A Day in the Life

    This weekend was a great example of a day in the life of a vet student! Saturday I had the day off and was more than excited to get some much needed sleep and study time in! I slept in, studied and then looked forward to a quiet evening at home spending some quality time with my husband! As we settled in to watch a movie, I got the somewhat dreaded but always exciting phone call, we had an emergency surgery coming in! After a very interesting colic surgery, where a horses stomach becomes twisted and needs to be surgically corrected, we cleaned up the surgery room and headed home about 1:30am. I thought to myself as I snuggled into bed around 2 am ...well at least I have tomorrow off so I can sleep in....I should have knocked on some wood! As I answered the phone in a blurr this morning I heard the voice say hello LuJean we have an emergency, please be here in 15 minutes. So after jump in the shower and quick dressing I was off again! So much for a rested weekend of quiet study! What can I say, just another day in the life of a vet student!

Colic Surgery 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 49- Surgery Room Rock Out

     Today we had two surgeries, an eye enucleation (removing the eye) on a paint gelding (castrated male) and we did an arthroscopy (using a camera to enter the joint) on our little longhorn calf! The calf's joint looks like it is one the road to healing and he was given a good prognosis once again!
     The enucleation (eye removal) was very interesting as we first did a cat scan and then moved the horse into surgery for the actual removal of the eye. As you can imagine moving a thousand pound horse around different parts of the hospital and from a table in the CT room to a table in surgery is no easy feat! But with a whole lot of effort and people we managed to do this fairly smoothly!
      Horses (as well as many other species) with white faces are predisposed to getting cancer around their eyes from the lack of pigment that helps deflect the suns rays. That is also why pink eye and cancer eye are so common among Hereford cows (all white face). Our horse today not only had cancer in his eye but it was obvious that it was a very advanced case. After we got the eye out we were all surprised to see what this deadly disease can really do. The cancer had eaten the bone of the eye orbit leaving a whole in the skull where the eye usually sits that was about the size of a penny. So before closing the eye completely we put a string of medical beads infused with chemotherapy drugs into the orbit. The purpose of the beads is that they will slowly release chemotherapy drugs over a long period of time, so we won't have to handle these dangerous drugs and the horse can get the long term treatment needed directly where the cancer was seeding. During this long surgery the whole room was rocking out to Bon Jovi to lighten the intensity of the surgery room (see picture)!

                                        Cancer Eye


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 48- Booooo

    Today was a day filled with studying, and I thought I wouldn't have to do that as much now that I am in my forth year...HA HA! This morning we did not have any surgery appointments so I was diligently studying up on castrations as I was more than excited about my first solo surgery on Thurs of a castration on a horse. Sadly my surgery cancelled and I am so disappointed!!! Never thought I would be so sad to be denied to cut off some testicles but man I was really looking forward to it! Hopefully we will get another one in! Due to the slow day I got to catch up on paperwork for my upcoming internships...One in Kansas with a Feedlot Vet (3 weeks long) then onto Texas with a Dairy vet (2 weeks). Then I will fly to Florida and spend 2 weeks with Dr. Shank of Ft. Meade (mixed practice) and then hopefully 2 weeks with Dr. Gukich if I can catch him when he is not busy to ask him!
     Then I got to come home a little early and got some ECFVG (part one of my three part board/licensing exam) studying in! 32 more days until the big test, so it is time to really crack down on studying no matter how tired I am!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 48- My Little Fighter

    Today we did our two big surgeries- screws and wires into the legs of our little knock kneed foal, who is doing very well so far. And we removed an ovary using a laproscope (camera) that was inflammed and had adhered itself to the body wall making it non-functional. Both surgeries went very well and I was so suprised how much more comfortable I was on the other side of the tracks again- that being the food animal side!
    Unfortunatly my little longhorn calf is back in the hospital. As like most cases of Navel Ill (where the calf gets an infection in the joints that was spread from the umbilical cord), the infection usually spreads to all the joints. Initially when the calf was first admitted at only 3 days old, only one joint was infected. Sadly only a week after being sent home our little fighter was back with other joints now swollen and sore. Although we new this could happen everyone was sad to see our little man feeling so bad again. Everytime I here his little moo's from the other side of the wall as, my heart just melts. I was able to sneak away from the equine side of the barn a couple times today to visit my little man!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 47- Knock Kneed Horses

      Today we admitted a very interesting case for surgery tomorrow! Angular limb deformity with Valgus of the Carpal Joint, which is the fancy doctor term for a foal that is knock kneed! She is extremely cute and rambuncious, but has trouble walking and has continued to get worse. Tomorrow her surgery will consist of putting screws into the bone at the point of the growth plate, with a figure 8 wire around the screws, kinda like braces on teeth. This will halt growth on one side of the leg so that the other side can catch up, thus straighting the leg.

    This can be caused by a variety of things from nutrition to injury to simply a birth defect. When this particular foal was born it not only had carpal valgus (knock kneed on the front) but it also had a mixture of valgus (knock kneed) and varus (bowlegged) in the rear legs, when they have both the condition is called "wind swept." It gets it's name by looking like the wind in blowing the legs over! In actuality one leg is bowlegged and one is knock kneed. Fortunately, like many foals born with this condition our little foal grew out of being wind swept but needed surgical correction for the knocked knees in the front.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 46- Sleep Relief

    My first week on equine surgery ended with a busy supply of lameness exams and appointments. But is wasn't until Friday at 4:30pm that I got the really exciting news. For the first time since I started rotations 7 weeks ago I was given a day off! I can't tell you what this meant to me as I was slowly but surely dwindling into exhaustion. So yesterday I made a promise to myself, no homework, no studying, no bills, no computer, no nothing! And that is exactly what I did...nothing. I woke up at 11, ate some lunch and went back to sleep to wake up at 4. Upon which I ordered delivery for dinner and went back to bed at 7. If was just what I needed and I feel rejuvenated and ready to start week 2 on Equine Surgery. Next week I have one appointment already scheduled, a castration! Apparently, unlike most of the very complicated surgeries on this rotation, the students get to do the cutting on the simpler surgeries like castrations! So I will be sharpening my mind and my blade in preparation for my first surgery! WHOO HOOO!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 42- Coffe, Tea or Me

    Today was pretty uneventful. We admitted 2 horses for surgeries that will be done tomorrow. On has Ovarian cancer and will have the tumor removed tomorrow! On of the most interesting things about these types of tumors is their behavioral component. Every man or women has both female (estrogen) and male (testosterone) hormones being produced at a constant rate. Yet, like most of you already know, in women, estrogen is dominant and in men testosterone is dominant. The cells that produce testosterone are called theca cells and if you have a theca cell tumor (tumor cells grow at a rapid rate) you have an ovary production of these types of cells, thus an over production of the hormones they produce (testosterone). One of the most common ovarian tumor of horses is theca cell tumors, and one of the predominant clinical signs is a change in behavior, you calm friendly mare suddenly becomes bad tempered and manly (acting like a stallion). I am now suspicious of several women I know, I think they may have this disease!
     Since I have to wear a uniform consisting of a green polo and khaki pants I plan to wear a pink bra and panties tomorrow in honor of breast and ovarian cancer day for this mare on my surgery rotation! Come on people, you gotta mix it up or this stuff would be way to boring!
    The next surgery tomorrow with be an arthroscopic bone chip removal. So basically we will take the tiny camera used yesterday and pass it into the joint and use a small grabbing tool to retrieve a bone chip that was left over from a previous fracture.
     Other than that I am in desperate need of coffee or tea as I will be here until midnight tonight and can barely keep my eyes open already and I still have 2 more hours. Tomorrow is going to come early and I am trying to be useful of my time and study for board exams but as the night lingers on my eyes cannot seem to focus on the important things in life like studying for extremely important test!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 41- That mule can be an Ass!

    Today was my first day on the Equine Surgery Rotation. I keep thinking it will get easier to start new rotation but each time a new one begins I find myself being as nervous as the very first one! Today was no different, I am literally emotionally exhausted from the nerve racking day, and of course physically exhausted as I was at the clinic until midnight last night!
    One of the cases of the day was a testy mule with an attitude who could really be an ass (pun intended!) My case was a not so well behaved Thoroughbred gelding who had a condition called Epiglottic Entrapment, which is basically where there is some extra tissue on the epiglottis making it not close properly and causing a lack of sufficient oxygen when to horse is racing. The best part of this surgery is that it was endoscopic ( a tiny camera is passed up the nose and to the epiglottis) and that the surgery was done entirely with a laser! Pretty stinking awesome, making the long hours completely worth it!!!!
    Tomorrow I will be at the barn from 7 am to midnight, I am dreading the long hours but excited for the schedule of surgeries cases which will be admitted tomorrow including an ovarian cancer case, a ovariohysterctomy, and bone fragments in a knee!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 39-40- The end of an Era

     Today is my last day on Food Animal Medicine, it was a very sad day but also very rewarding. My little longhorn calf is on the road to recovery to say the least! As we got him out of his crate today for his medicine he was jumping around kicking and bucking, a far cry from his initial presentation where he could barely stand. Today he went home with his owner and as I loading him into her truck I couldn't help but get an empty feeling. Needless to say I was very sad to see my little man go, but healing him has been the most rewarding feeling since starting clinics just 6 weeks ago. It is amazing how long the days can seem but yet how fast the time has passed since starting my venture here.
     Tomorrow is a new day, I begin my rotation tomorrow in the Equine Surgery Rotation! It is very hard to get used to finally getting comfortable in a rotation around the third week and then it is over and time to begin a new one. This week will be filled with moments of nervousness so great that I am sure I will want to cry or vomit at least once everyday this week. But here is to a new day and a new rotation, wish me luck!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 39 & 40- The days are getting longer!

      Sorry to my fellow blog followers for the lack of postings this week! The last few days have been long and hard but amazing in deed! My little soldier (my longhorn calf with Navel Ill) is doing great and got to come off his IV fluids today, which was just in the nick of time as he is getting more and more rambunctious by the day, making it much harder to get him still for an IV line! We plan on doing another joint lavage and infusion of antibiotics in the joint tomorrow and if the fluid from his joint is less infected he gets to go home! Can't believe my little man will have horns like this (picture) one day and I hope he is not as playful by the time he gets them or his owners better watch out! He gets to come out of his crate a few times a day and loves running around head butting and kicking and bucking! Too cute for words!
     This weekend is 4th of July and I will be on ICU shift from 5pm-12 midnight tonight and Monday and I am on call all day Sunday for emergencies. Every time I think about how tired I am going to be and how much it sucks to be working around the clock this holiday weekend I remember the people who serve and the sacrifices they make. I can't bare to feel upset or sorry for myself with a hectic schedule this weekend when there are people all around us that make these sacrifices every day! So thank you to those that serve! I will be thinking of you as you make your sacrifices, your time away from your families, your never ending dedication to our country and for our freedom! This weekend I think of my great great grandfather who served as a cattle drover in the civil war, my papa who served in WWII, uncle Joe who is retired after many years of service, my father in law, Larry Spridik, retired Air Force and my brother-in-law, Mark who continues to make sacrifices for our freedom everyday!
                                                           Pictured is Navy Chief Mark Benino

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 38- God Never Gives you Anything you Can't Handle

     I am sure not everyone that reads my blog has the same beliefs as I do, but today I have to give thanks.
As many of you know Vet school has taken a HUGE toll on my family, not only emotionally but also financially. My tuition is at an all time high and the cost of it, plus books and supplies and not being able to work makes life very difficult at times to say the very least. My entire family as well as Chad's has always done everything in their power to make sure I could fulfill my dreams. I always feel so guilty and bad for needing so much financial support and my family never blinks an eye to breaking themselves to make sure I see this through. Unfortunately this is not always enough. I have had many, many moments that I considered putting vet school on hold so that I could relieve my family members from this financial burden.
    Moving to Oklahoma was no exception. I considered very seriously putting this last year on hold but of course no one in my family would have it. It has been financially stressful but everyone has been pitching in to cover my expenses. What most of them didn't know is that I am registered to take my first board exam in 6 weeks and the study materials that I need for it have yet to be purchased. I have been praying every night that something would come through or work out so that I could buy the books I needed for the board exam. It has been weighing heavy on my heart that I didn't have the books needed to take the test and this test is crucial in getting my license. But, how could I possibly ask for more money when everyone was already doing so much! I just kept telling myself to pray and that it would be ok, and that God would eventually hear me!
    My family has been spreading the word about my blog and I had no idea how many people it reached, until today. Today God heard me. My dad got a card in the mail today with a check for 1,000. As he read me the card I could not stop crying and found it hard to believe but this is what I had been praying for and I knew God finally heard me and sent my blog to an angel. Someone I have never met has been reading my blog and saw the faith in me that I have so much trouble seeing in myself. On the card it said "This help came from God for his faith and trust in her ". I cannot possibly thank this person enough and I will forever think of them as someone who heard my prayers. Thank you for believing in me, and it is my promise to you to continue my life in your legacy, a person who has extraordinary faith in others and the heart of an Angel.

Day 37- My First Diagnosis

 Yesterday I was unable to blog about my day because I didn't get home until midnight and had to be back at the barn very early, so sleep became more important than blog. Yesterday my patient was a 3 day old Longhorn calf (similar to picture), that was abandoned by his mother and not nursing from a bottle. Upon examination my little man had a swollen joint and for once this rotation I immediately knew the answer!!!! When a calf isn't nursing, they are not getting antibodies from the mother and are extremely immuno-compromised which means they are very susceptible to infection. At birth, the umbilical cord is an open door to the bacteria of the outside world. Calves can normally fight off infections of the bacteria from their umbilical cord (navel) with the help of their mothers colostrum (first milk filled with antibodies). If they don't receive the colostrum and have an open door to bacteria they easily get systemic infections and the most common manifestation of this is infection in the joints, also known as Joint Ill or Navel Ill. After diagnosing my patient with Navel Ill, I put in a catheter, pulled some blood to help us define the seriousness of his condition, and gave him IV antibodies we then proceeded to flushing the joint and put antibiotics directly into the joint. Needless to say it was a long day and night, but completely and utterly worth it as I arrived this morning to a bright and alert baby that was ready to drink and play. Not only was this moment rewarding because my patient was doing so much better but I also knew what was wrong him all on my own, it was a " I am gonna be a doctor" moment that I will never forget!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 37- Get Dirty!

     Another busy day in the Food Animal Clinic as our time in this rotation dwindles down. Yesterday we had a miniature Hereford bull with a case of lumpy jaw. This is where bacteria gets into the bones of the jaw and cause bone growth and infection, which is where it gets the name lumpy jaw, I know it is very scientific! Next we had a bucking bull with a broken elbow, who despite his painful injury was trying to hook anything in site.

      Like a good southern girl, I had made a big crock pot (thanks to Nana and Papa for sending us to OK with a good crock pot) of boiled peanuts for all the doctors and students on my rotation. After dinner last night I realized I forgot to shut the peanuts off before leaving the barn and asked Chad to ride back with me turn them off. Upon arriving at the barn I got word that a dystocia heifer was on it's way (having trouble calving). So of course I asked to stay and help!
      When the heifer arrived and was palpated it was discovered that sadly the calf had died and was way to big to deliver normally, this meant that a fetotomy had to be performed. This is where you use wire the cut the calf into pieces so that you can get it out. The calf is already dead and this is much less traumatic on the mom than trying to pull the calf whole or doing a C-section. But as you can imagine this is a tough and DIRTY job. I jumped right in head first and got to make the head cut (pun intended)! After 2 hours, every doctor and student in sight looked like they were just in a mass murder seen, but we got the calf out and mom was standing and on the trailer to go home by midnight.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 36- Time to Step It Up!!!

     Today started the last week of Food Animal Medicine! I am so sad that my time in the barn is coming to an end. I am finally starting to have the courage to speak up and find the answers, which is the nature of the beast in our final year! As soon as we get comfortable in a particular area of vet med it is time for the rotation to end.
     Today I had a hoof wall crack that got infected and became an abscess within the hoof. Then I had yet another case of foot rot! So from now on, if I see a foot problem the answers will almost always be Foot Rot! Finally I had my most exciting case of the day. A bull with a prepucial prolapse (I told you it is all about the penis!) and weight loss. After doing a full physical exam, we proceeded to the rectal exam for more answers. Upon rectal exam I felt many hard knots over the secondary sex organs (prostate) and against the rumen and bladder walls. Then we ultra sounded the masses to determine their nature. We found that they were abscess's and he many more in his lungs, abdomen and spleen. This was a very interesting case and I was over joyed to be the student assigned to it! Our top deferential for this kind of disease process is something called Hardware Disease. This is where the cow picks up some kind of wire or nails accidentally when grazing and it gets stuck in their reticulum (one of the stomach compartments). The reticulum sits right against the diaphragm, and on the other side of the diaphragm is where the heart lives. With hardware disease the piece of metal pierces the wall of the reticulum when it contracts and can potentially stab the heart and create an infection. An infection in the heart "seeds" the body with the bacteria from the infection as it pumps the blood through.
     One of the most interesting things about Hardware Disease is that if you catch it early, before it pierces the heart, the treatment is very is a magnet! You heard it right! A magnet! By putting a magnet in their stomach it keeps the metal pieces from piercing the wall of the reticulum and therefor heart!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 33-25 The work never ends!

     This weekend was much like this week....lots and lots to do! It now seems the days are starting to blur together and hours turn into days and days into weeks. Looking forward to the weekend is only a tease and they seem to not exsist anymore. Today was the most time I have gotten off in since I started my clinical year 5 weeks ago. I was at the barn from 8 until 11:30am, getting the afternoon off now seems like a carribean vacation! I was home and back in bed for a much needed nap by noon! It is funny the way life changes as you go through different phases. There has been times in life that all I wanted was a new vehicle or time with my family or money to spend....and the list goes on. Although all of those things are still high up on my want now seems the only thing I really long for is sleep! A 3 hour nap today was enough to make me feel human again. But now I look forward to anouther long yet exciting week in the food animal ward and count my blessing one of which being much needed rest!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 32- Penis is the word!

     Penis's seem to be a popular injury for this rotation in the Food Animal Ward. We have two bulls in house that have penile injuries and are currently in treatment. Then, as mentioned yesterday, we admitted a camel for a penile injury. The plan for the camel today was a PU- Perineal Urostomy. This is a very strange but interesting surgery. To put it bluntly it is a sex change surgery! When there is an injury to the penis the PU surgery is used to save the animal and divert the function of the penis so that the animal may survive. In the PU surgery there is a small incision made under the rectum and the urethra is then incised and the walls of the urethra are sutured to the exterior wall of the skin. Basically this makes the male urinate like a female through a man made opening! It is done often in animals that get re-occurring blockages from bladder stones but can also be used for animals with extensive penile injuries. In addition to the PU surgery, our camel would also receive a penectomy (surgical removal of the penis). This all seems very strange to most I am sure, but in actuality they are amazing and interesting surgeries that are used more commonly than you would think!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 31- Camels Camels Everywhere

    Today was an exciting but crazy busy day. I got to de-bud (de-horn) some baby goats (kids) which was super fun and I got to practice local lidocaine blocks. We also did an LDA- Left Displaced Abomasum surgery on a cow, just like the one we did last week, were we used the gut fat to tack the stomach to the abdominal wall so it doesn't displace again. Then we did some lameness cases in cows and a Breeding Soundness Exam on a bull (measure testicles, electro-ejaculate them and evaluate the semen).
    We also had two alpacas for mange and a llama for a tooth root abscess. Llama's and alpaca's fall into the family Camelids. On the schedule we had one listed as "camelids, other." I knew it wasn't a llama or alpaca because they are listed under llama or alpaca, so I wondered all day what the "other" was going to be. Turns out that "other camilid" is actually a CAMEL! I freakin camel! The dromedary camel has one hump and the male we were seeing today was bleeding from his penis. So we got to anesthetize him and exam his penis more closely, pretty awesome, more the camel being awesome not the penis, although the penis was pretty cool too!

    We ended the day with "floating" our downed cow in the aqua cow tank. Our cow had calving paralysis, which is where the get paralysis of the hind end from the baby putting pressure on the sciatic nerve during birth! Our cow wasn't standing well on her own so she gets to spend the night in the float tank! This keeps her muscles healthy and helps the nerve heal by keeping her in an upright position!