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!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 30 - Sleeeeeeppppppppyyyyyy

    Today my llama and cria (baby) went home. Although I am sad to see them go and will miss them, it was sweet sweet relief! When you have a patient staying at the hospital you have to be their early to do am treatments and come in at 8pm to do their evening treatments. Which means you are at the barn from about 6:30am to about 9pm! So tonight is the first night since starting this rotation that I dont have to be their for 8pm treatments. In a twist of faith I am "on call" tonight so I will most likely get called in as soon as I fall asleep! LOL
    We also saw another cow with LDA-Left Displaced Abomasum (one of the stomach compartments twist to the other side of the body), a cow with calving paralysis (when the calf is being born it puts pressure on the siatic nerve and causes hind end paralysis), and an alpaca with a tooth root abscess. It was a busy day in the Food Animal Clinic to say the least!
   For now I am off to bed to try to get some sleep before I could possibly get called in for an emergency! Nighty night!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 29- Keep On Keepin On

     Nothing much to write about tonight! Busy day in the Food Animal Clinic! Super tired and just got home from the barn! We saw some goats with dermatitis, some cows that were lame, and some alpaca's that were not feeling well. Other than that just another day on the Food Animal Block, going to bed!!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


     As most of you know, vet school has been a long, hard road for me. I wasn't blessed with genetic intelligence, however I was taught the value of hard work. After 8 year of having adviser's tell me that I would probably never get into vet school I finally found a way. I wish I could say I continued to keep trying without ever wavering from my goal, but there were many nights I cried myself to sleep thinking I couldn't do it and that the adviser's where right and I did need to come up with a back up career plan. My parents. grandparents, sister and husband never lost faith! They continued to push me even when that was the last kind of support I wanted.
    Once I decided to take an alternate route and attend a Caribbean school, I continued to question my abilities. There were many times I thought I would never make it. Many times I had to study twice as hard as the other students in my class to get the same grades. Each semester I wondered if I would make it to the next and after many all night study sessions and undying support from family I would always make it to the next semester.
    My first rotation here at OSU was no different! After the first week, I wondered if I would make it and thought for sure I might fail my first rotation. After a few nights on the brink I tears and feeling like an idiot compared to the other students, I made up my mind that I would make it through my last year the same way I made it through the first 3...HARD WORK. There will always be others that are smarter and better than me, and those things I can't control. But there is one thing I can control....MY DETERMINATION. I knew ...well I hoped...if I worked hard and showed them I wanted to be here as much as anyone that I could eventually catch up with the other students. Yesterday I received my evaluation and grade from my first rotation.......

"Great improvement in skills and knowledge over the rotation; great hustle and determination; great positive mental attitude; infectious enthusiasm; keep working on skill set and knowledge base development; over all very fine job"

GRADE      93.5     A


I want to dedicate this post to my family and their undying support! Without them I would have never made it this far in life and never achieved my goals. On this fathers day I want to especially thank Daddy, Papa, Jimmy, Chad, Mark, Larry, and Justin, who always told me.....NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 27- WoMAN vs. Canula

      Each student in the Food Animal Ward is assigned an "in house" animal that they are responsible for. Each of these animals are used as blood and fluid donors for sick animals seen by the Food Animal Clinic. I was assigned the fistulated steer. His name is Rupert and he is a 1500lbs Angus steer. A fistulated animal is one that has a window surgically implanted in his side so that his rumen (largest stomach compartment of the cow) is accessible. Animals with multiple stomachs or ruminants use microbes (bugs) in their rumen to help them digest things like cellulose from grass that would normally be indigestible. During times of illness many ruminants loose the healthy bugs in their stomachs and the "bad bugs" can take over. By giving them rumen fluid from a healthy animal it can help them recover and regain the healthy bugs in their rumen.
   One of the task associated with Rupert's care taking is cleaning is cannula (the device that sits inside his fistula to close it to the outside world, it has a door that can be opened to access the rumen). This sounds like a simple task...not so much!!! By the time I finished taking out his cannula, cleaning it and replacing it, I was covered in sweat, rumen juice, water, and other substances that are unidentifiable! Needless to say the cannula got the best of me, but I will prevail!

Rumen Cannula  =  1
LuJean             =  0

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 26- In the Land of Food Animals

    Today we hit the ground running...literally, I have blisters on top of blisters! First it was a dehorn on a goat that his own horns we attacking him! He had two malformed horns that were growing into his head and face. Then a cow with abscess in her heart and lungs. Then my case, a cow with septic polyarthritis, she had a bacterial infection in both of her stifle joints, most likely from an endocarditis (bacteria in the heart). Then we had a lamb with Lamb-initis (pun intended). Then another case of foot rot, and a cast change on a 2000 pound bull (that was a fun one...LOL). That was followed by an alpaca (attached a picture) with a case of ADR. ADR is my most favorite veterinary term. ADR stand for Ain't Doing Right, and I am not joking! It is a phrase we use for client that can't point out a dominant clinical sign, but the animal is not himself. ADR's usually have a chronic disease that hasn't quit manifested itself but it starting to make the animal feel bad so they don't act right...ADR! Needless to say I sat down for about 10 minutes from 6:30am when I arrived at the barn until I got home at 8:30pm......blisters people big ole greasy blisters!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 25- Sleeeeppppyyyyyy

     So this was day number four on the Food Animal Rotation, and also day number four of 15 hour days! Needless to say I have blisters the size of Texas!
    Today I had a shining moment! I walked in after the doctor and student assigned to a goat case had just left the triage area and asked the technician what was going on with the baby goat she was holding. She said that the goat had tremors, arched back and thought he was blind but that the PLR-Pupillary Light Reflex was in tact (this is where you shine a light in their eyes and see if their pupil constricts, if it does it tells you that the nerves are in tact and not the reason for the blindness). I thought to myself man I feel like this could be Polioencephalamalacia (Thiamine Deficiency that causes neurological symptoms and blindness). As I mumbled the impossibly hard to pronounce word to myself the tech said "what did you say?" I said I think it is Polio but I probably shouldn't say that but it just sounds right! The tech then walked out to assist the doctor and later came back and said..."you where right! It was really long Polio word you said!!!!" I was overwhelmed to the point of tears that I diagnosed something all by myself, on the downside NO ONE WAS THERE TO HEAR IT (except for the tech that has no part in the grading system)! That part really sucks, I continue to freeze up when working up my own cases and struggle to be confident when the doctors are present. But I continue to pray every night that the answers will come when I am under pressure and I will get a little more confidence each day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 24- It's all about sex!

    I guess even after finishing my Therio rotation, the sex cases will continue to follow! Today we did four BSE's (Breeding Soundness Exam) on some Angus bulls. So we got to palpate their testes, measure them, rectally massage their prostate and then electro-ejaculate them to evaluate their semen. Then we lanced an abscess in the penile sheath of a bull, then treated a pull with a laceration on his penis and cosmetically castrated a pig!
    My llama is having some trouble rising again so we are gonna try her on some pain meds tonight. Her cria (baby) is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life and gives lots kisses with his little buck teeth! Wish I could take some pictures but all my patients are confidential so I attached a picture of a look-a-like from the internet!
    For now I have to study up on cosmetic dehorning in goats as we will be performing one tomorrow and be back at the barn by 8 to give treatments! Uggg long looooonnnnggggg days!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 23- The Pressure is On!

    My only patients today where my llama who is my in house patient. She got weak and couldn't get up after her baby or cria was born. So she had hydrotherapy aka she got to swim last week to strengthen her muscles. Now she just needs help getting up and down occasionally, but it doing much better!
    My out patient today was a momma cow with a swollen foot. Every time the clinician asked me a question my mind went blank!!! Such a frustrating feeling but hopefully I can make it up. On a good note we did a local perfusion nerve block to numb the foot so that we could clean it up! This is where you put a tourniquet on the lower leg and then inject anesthetic into a vein on the foot, so the anesthetic stays in the lower leg because of the tourniquet. So I got to put it in the vein and all my rotation mates, plus a intern, plus the head doctor are all watching, so of course my hands start shaking uncontrollably! So much so that I stabbed myself with the needle just trying to take the cap off. But I just lined up on the foot, closed my eyes and went for it with a big strong jab and WAH-LAH hit the vein first try! THANK GOD! Then my clinician asked me the lamens term for my cows foot condition and again....BLANK...damn you idiot think, I thought to my self...and nothing. Umm yeah it was Foot Rot, could it have been any easier...ole well better day tomorrow!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 22- Hit the Ground Running

     WOW! What a day! Before we could finish our orientation and get a tour of the barn and location of supplies we got called to the reception area for a client. Our patient was three PBR bucking bulls that were in for a feet trimming! Wow that was a site to see! Three giant bulls being lifted up on hydraulic tilt tables to have their toes manicured. Before we could finish I got called up for a FFA show pig with a rectal prolapse, which basically means his rectum had came inside out and was protruding out of his anus. The surgery to fix this is to put a rubber band around it and wait for it to rot off and the unaffected rectum area will grow to the anus and create a....well......a new butt hole essentially. I got to trim the tissue that was swollen and dying, which means my first task of the morning was to cut the buthole out of a pig!
     Next we had an LDA- Left Displaced Abomasum- The abomasum is the forth compartment of a cows stomach and is considered the true stomach. It normally sits on the right side under the ribs, in the case of LDA if flips over to the left and causing lots of problems. The best part of an LDA is the diagnosis!!! How do you diagnosis this you might ask! A PING! You heard it right! A ping, I know this is an extremely refined medical word! You basically put your stethoscope on the cows side and thump her skin with your thumb and it makes a distinct ringing sound, which is built up gas in the stomach that can't be released because of the twist in the stomach! The next best part is how you fix it! You make an incision in her flank reach under her intestines and pull the abomasum back into it's position on  the right, to make it stay you tack it to the skin! To do this you pull some of the fat that is in between the intestines and suture it into the skin!!! Too cool!
     I am now headed back to the barn to give my llama her evening treatments, my llama is very sweet! Unfortunately the one across the hall is not and she spit on me! LOL

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 20 & 21- Closing the First Chapter

     This weekend was uneventful, we treated our mares over the weekend and gave some good bye kisses to our favorites. Today was spent filling out my board exam application and packing for another big day tomorrow. Again I feel the nerves coming over me and with each item I put in my backpack and check off my list, like I was packing for grade school all over again, I feel the butterflies multiplying in my stomach! Tomorrow starts my Food Animal Medicine Rotation. Although I feel strong in the genre of vet med this is my first rotation in the OSU Teaching Hospital. I am again against the odds as the other students will know their way around the hospital and are now familiar with endless client paper work and interactions as they now have one in hospital rotation under their belts! I however, spent my first rotation at the OSU ranch, so I will be completely lost tomorrow on location at the hospital. I am becoming comfortable with this underdog position and intend to see it through!!!!! So here is to a new day tomorrow, wish me luck!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 19- Sweet SWEET Success

     Today was my last official day on Theriogenology (Reproductive Medicine) Rotation, although I do have to work this weekend doing treatments and checking mares for estrus. I knew today would be my last chance to palpate a mare and properly diagnose her reproductive condition. On Tuesday I diagnosed a mare with an infection and her uterus and treated her with a uterine lavage, we get free range to be the attending "doctor" with our ranch mares so it was left completely up to me to come up with treatment options! Can we say pressure!!! On Wednesday and Thursday, we checked her again and she continued to show fluid in her uterus on the ultrasound. Yesterday, the resident veterinarian said ...ok doc (referring to me) what do you want to do? So I decided to lavage her uterus again and try a round of drugs to make her uterus contract, hopefully pushing out the fluid. Today, I knew I would she would be my last chance to not only palpate and ultrasound a mare, but also to see if I had achieved my goal of treating my mare successfully, getting rid of her fluid and making her viable for breeding. When I went in to palpate I could feel the nerves building knowing this was my last chance to show my stuff. After some very trying days feeling like I was behind the other students this rotation, I went in the mare and immediately ran my hand over her uterus, uterine horns and ovaries! Then grabbed my ultrasound probe and went in for the kill. Not only did I immediately see the uterus, uterine horns and ovaries on  the screen, but if that was reward enough (after struggling with finding these structures in the past two weeks) there it mare had cleared her fluid and was back to breeding viability!!!!!!!!!!!! I had treated her and she had gotten better! Holy COW! Or should I say Holy MARE! I did it! I really freaking did it! Today was the first day I felt like a doctor and that was the best reward I have ever received!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 18- Bitter Sweet

     Tomorrow is my last official day of Theriogenology Rotation. Of course, just like the life of any vet, that doesn't mean that U won't be working on Saturday and Sunday! But tomorrow is our last day of learning. There are some things I feel completely ready to venture out into the real world on and others I wish I could have a couple more weeks to hone in my skills. I am very happy to be moving onto my next rotation, but will miss the ranch, the horses I have feel in love with (like my one eyed mare and her foal that was very eager to run around, jump and play even with his leg casted as we got to make a trip out of his stall for the first time all week), and of course the resident doctors and my rotation mates who have become family over the last three weeks.
     An update on little Joe, he got a good prognosis from the equine medicine doctor that specializes in neurological conditions and the ranch has decided to let him grow up in hopes that he can overcome his short comings. He is already doing much better and is becoming more normal everyday, he even got to join all the other mare-foal pairs is the nursery pen!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 17- Perseverance

     Today was a great learning experience as always! This afternoon we got the opportunity to learn how to do fetal sexing on cows. This is where you scan the fetus with the ultrasound probe and look for signs of sexual development. In males (TOP PICTURE) you can see a small appendage near the attachment of the umbilical cord, that appendage being the sheath of the penis. I told you people that you had to get comfortable with saying penis and vagina while I am on the reproductive medicine rotation, don't worry you only have to listen to it for a few more days! So back to the penis, if you look closely at the picture you will see an oblong thing sticking up on the top right of the fetus, that is umbilical cord. Then at the base of the cord on the right, there is a little something sticking off, that would be sheath, this = male! On heifers (BOTTOM PICTURE) you can see tiny points between their back legs, this is their utter and teats developing (Look on the left of the picture and you will see the legs sticking out like a toilet bowl view and right between the legs some pointy structures...teats!!!
      My second cow today gave me quit a hard time and was about to squeeze my arm off and continued to constantly poop all over me...literally! I was starting to get frustrated and down on myself and my abilities when my clinician said..."Anyone that covered in shit and is still doing her best to find the fetus gets an A for the day!" So I guess perseverance paid off today and I can always go back to the old saying...There are three things in life that allow you to succeed when you think it is impossible...those three things are...."Never give up, Never give up, and NEVER GIVE UP! (Justin Heimer)
     Needless to say I was completely covered in manure when I got home from today's lesson. I am embarrassed to say when I came home and went to give Chad a greeting kiss and he said I had manure on my lips!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 16- He's a Fighter

    I wanted to give everyone an update on little Camel Joe! The equine medicine clinician as well as the students on equine medicine rotation came out to take a look at our little fighter and confirmed that he is showing neurological signs. However, our little Joe is not giving up yet! He continues to put up a huge fight every time we have to give him treatments and is very active and vocal. Tomorrow, the neurologist is coming out to do a full neurological exam and give us a prognosis on little Joe, updates to follow!
    Today I got to palpate some more mares and I am getting more and more comfortable with this everyday. I can still remember my first day where this feat seemed impossible and I never thought I would be as good as the other students on my rotation, but I am quickly making my mark! Today I diagnosed fluid accumulation in a mare's uterus and was able to treat her all on my own, what a great feeling!
    I also got to freeze brand some horses! This is very similar to the traditional hot brand, but you put the branding irons in liquid nitrogen instead of fire!

Day 15- Like Riding a Bike-Not so Much!

     Today was awesome! Today I got to collect my first stallion (colected his semen that is, come on people this is the reproductive medicine rotation, you got to get used to the penis's and vagina's by now!). I wish I could act all brave and say it was awesome, and it was, but it was also SCARY as hell! But, I made it through and collected a great sample of semen that was then shipped accross the USA to make some babies.

     Also,as rotation mates we got to build a breeding protocol for one of the ranch owned pens of cattle using artificial insemination. After a week of using drugs to syncronize their estrus cycles, yesterday we got to AI them in the morning and at night. One of my dearest friends JB and I took an AI certification course in high school so I though it would be a breeze! Unfortunatly after not doing this for 10 years I was more than a little rusty! So I can honestly say that palpating a cows cervex through her rectum and passing a pipet filled with semen was not as easy as it once was, but after three cows I got the hand of it once again!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 14- The View From My Office

This morning was my first morning shift off since I started this rotation two weeks ago! What a amazing feeling it was to know I didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn. Chad and I got a cheeseburger and some red box movies last night and it was a much needed relaxing Saturday night at home. Unfortunately, during this next year of my life no time can be wasted, every second is precious! So This morning I was able to write a paper for my last week of Therio, we are required to present a current topic in vet med and I choose to write a paper on Equine Herpes Virus since there has been a recent outbreak. Next, I did my davenport homework and my davenport paper that is due next week! This afternoon I headed to the ranch to do treatments and was feeling very accomplished! Once at the ranch I observed our foal nursing his momma, so things are looking brighter each day for our little Joe.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 13- Camel Joe

    After the birth of baby number three last night, we jokingly called him Camel Joe as he had a great big dome shaped head making him irresistibly handsome. Unfortunately, after examining the placenta this morning we discovered there was some bad news on the horizon. The placenta was not in good shape and could have had an infection while housing the fetus, which can lead to a lack of blood flow and therefor oxygen to the fetus while in utero. This condition can lead to the birth of a "dummy" foal otherwise known as Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopthy. Basically this means that the lack of oxygen (hypoxemia) leads to lack of brain development. One of the many signs of this disease is a dome shaped head, very similar to our little baby number three, Joe. There are many levels of severity for the disease depending on the severity of the placentitis (infection of the placenta). This disease although treatable to a degree can be a grueling process of treating seizures and infusing nutrients as the foals usually loose maternal recognition and suckle reflex, and is most often a terminal disease. Fortunately for our little Joe he is getting plenty of nutrients as we checked his level of antibodies tonight and they were high! High antibody levels can only be obtained from the consumption of colostrum (mothers first milk), so his test results tell us he has consumed plenty of colostrum, this is a great indicator for Joe's survival! So we are watching him very closely as sometimes this condition can take 72 hours to progress and we are treating him for any complications as they arise. For now little Joe is comfortable in the foaling barn and proving that he is a fighter! He is very vocal and lets us know often that he isn't giving up just yet! Today he needed an enema and let us know he wasn't too happy about it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 12- Baby Number 3

    Today was another great day! We bred some mares, collected some stallions (semen that is), and worked some cows! We also got to deliver baby number three! In which Chad bribed the doctors into watching with some pizza, which worked like a charm! And this little baby boy needed a little help coming out!

Day 11- Getting Settled In

     I am now 2/3's of the way through this rotation and only have a little over a week left! This is very bitter sweet! I FINALLY got settled in this week and was comfortable giving IV injections, palpating and scanning the mares with the ultrasound machine, and now the rotation is ending! I assume this is why each rotation is set at a 3 week duration. The first week everyone is lost, by week 2 we get comfortable with our duties and the everyday routine and week three we are able to strengthen our skills.
    Yesterday was another long but productive day. We scanned and bred mares in the morning and ultrasound cows in the afternoon to determine days bred. I got home around 5:30 and was in bed by eight. Everyone always said when you get to your clinical residency you sleep every chance you get. That has never been more apparent! Tonight I am on foal watch so it is gonna be a very long day night, but that is the nature of the beast!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 10- Holy Tick

     Today was another great day of learning! Today I learned how to do a uterine culture, a uterine biopsy, and I did another uterine lavage on a mare. I also successfully diagnosed pregnancy on a mare that was only 14 days bred and the embryonic sac was only about the size of a nickle! It was a pretty amazing feeling to know that this time last week I could barely find an ovary and now I am improving so much! Each day I become more familiar and comfortable with the mares heat cycle and how to use the ultrasound machine and the drugs. It is amazing how the "hands on" clinical year really brings everything we have learned together and it is all starting to make sense!
     On a side note, although the OSU ranch is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen with rolling hills and green pastures, it is also the most tick infested place. Almost every cow or horse I palpate has at least one tick on their genitals and sometimes nine or ten ticks! And Chad has had several just from walking around the apartment complex. Last night he found one on my leg and we had to do a true redneck tick check when I got out of the shower!


Day 9- Houston We Have Lift Off

     Today was a GREAT day!!! I had a huge breakthrough today! At lunch we had a round table discussion with the resident vet where she quizzed us on the drugs we use for estrus synchronization and for the first time I felt confident and was able to hold my own against the other students in my rotation! I answered all my questions and it felt great. Apparently this confidence boost was all I needed for success! After lunch we brought up a pen of ranch owned mares to palpate them and I was able to find the entire repro track and both ovaries on my first mare, that has never happened! Then when I ultra sounded her I was able to find her track and ovaries again and measure the follicles on her ovaries! Sweet ...sweet success! Then I brought in my second mare, I was still feeling confident but I figured my first mare was just an easy track, but then when I went in, there it was here entire track and both ovaries. I got the ultrasound machine without the assistance of the resident vet this time and took U/S pictures of both ovaries and measured there follicles and then called the resident over to check my work! She said and I quote..." I am very proud of you! You had a huge breakthrough today!"
     Sometimes in life it is not about knowledge or skill but simply confidence. Even if we don't feel we are good enough or smart enough, but we tell ourselves we are enough than we might just be. Knowledge and skill can only carry one so far, at the end of the day you have to have confidence to be successful!