Monday, December 15, 2008

Burning wrists

Well, I just got out of my histology exam. It was an open book exam, but never have I felt less prepared for an exam! There was so much writing that you didn't have time to open a book otherwise you wouldn't finish. I wrote my little butt off and now my wrist feels likes its on fire! Oh well, I feel better about the lab portion thats occurs tomorrow, hopefully it will go bettter.
On the other hand I got the mark back from my last anatomy exam and......

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The little parts of life

How can things so small be so complicated? Love the lab part of this class. Looking at the cells and using skills of visual interpretation is SO much fun, but the lecture material is ARGH! Too many little cells with too many individul differences. Spent all day at school studying for this exam monday and tuesday.

Can you tell I don't get out much... I have never once mentioned the weather! Well it is -30 with a severe wind chill warning overnight. AKA COLD so yours truly will be hiding out at home tomorrow studying and catching up on laundry.

It is so hard being a student around christmas as we are so busy with exams that we don't get to partake in the christmas festivities. Bought a poinsetta this week and its our one christmas decoration in our apartment. I thought it was bad in undergrad, but at least then we didn't have classes, but vet school has full classes, labs, and exams right till christmas. Bought a Reba McIntyre christmas CD o try to get me in the mood while studying. Maybe I'll start seeing christmas trees and reindeer in the mass of cells to interpret... wonder how that would go over if I wrote it on the exam for an answer....

Got a genetics exam back too on firday 85%! YAY! Maybe starting to hit my stride with this whole vet school thing. Though as you can probably tell I am still mark obsessed, need somewhere to brag as its definetly not kosher to do so in school ;)

Want to check out what I am doing then head to for a taster.

5 days, 3 exams, and 12 classes till I get to go home!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Into the deep freeze

Winter has seemed to come out of no where these past few days. It is really windy here in Saskatoon and with -20 +snow + wind = miserable. Makes studying a little more bearable though. I got 95% on my last embryology quiz, just the pre-exam boost I needed! I write anatomy tomorrow, histology Monday and Tuesday, and cardiac/pulmonary physiology next Friday so I am digging in deep with the studying. I love anatomy, has to be my favorite course. I am a super visual learner, all my notes a are drawings, and the current anatomy professor is really big on you being able to recreate the relevant anatomy on paper so I am really looking forward to this exam. Histology Lab I really like for the same reasons, its super visual but the class part is so hard to pay attention in as it is really not interesting at all.
I head to Cuba on the 21st, and have been going to tanning in preparation. Its my little me time every second day and I feel so good when I am done. Nothing like a little vitamin D to brighten up your day!
Louie is doing really well too. He gets his flight feathers trimmed this weekend to make training a little easier. Right now when I do something he doesn't like he just flys away. He is becoming more habituated to handling though. He was always happy to sit on your finger, shoulder, or head, but you had to put him there and heaven forbid you try to tough him. He also never liked landing on your hand, he had to land on his treat stick. now he happily lands on your finger, loves to sit on my shoulder for hours and play with my hair, and is letting my rub his keel. We have also learned NO when it comes to biting. He gets so excited when I come home, I walk in my room and re starts chirping away at me and if I don't move to let him out he hangs form the cage above the door begging to be let out. He is also getting more adult feathers and is starting to get a nice blue rump!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An awe-inspiring experience

Well, as you can see the busier I get the less I post! Last week I had quite the experience that I feel I should share. As many of you know most veterinary colleges utilize terminal labs as a way of demonstrating principles to students that otherwise would not be seen first hand till it occur ed when in the clinics and the animal had to be saved. This week we had a 12 hr hemorrhage and transfusion lab to see the effects that schock and severe hemorrhage have on the body and its normal responses. To do this lab we used retired sled dogs from up north that are not re-home able due to behaviour. We worked in groups of 5 or 6 with many vets and lab TA's floating around helping everyone. This was all of us students first time "operating" and working with live animals. Each group had an anesthetized dog and it was our responsibility to monitor and maintain the anesthesia throughout the lab. I was in charge of anesthesia for my group. Our dog had breathing problems throughout the lab due to the chemical agent used to induce the dog and the poor health status of our dog. We had to surgically access the femoral artery and vein along with the carotid artery and cannulate all with catheters. I got to do the femoral artery and felt so proud of myself for accomplishing that small task. Wonder what it will feel like the first time I do a spay? We also had to expose a loop of gut. Through out the day we monitored, pulse, resp rate, blood pressure, ecg, as well as anesthetic monitoring signs. We gave doses of nor epinephrine to see the bodies res pone to a stimulus. We induced severe hemorrhage by draining blood through the cannula's to ~ 44 mmmHG, while normal is 120. While draining the artery catheter popped out spraying blood everywhere, though we clamped the artery off so quickly and managed to recannulate fast enough to barely even note a change in blood pressure even though it seemed to loose a lot of blood. We then recovered our animals using first ringers solution then whole blood and noted changed in nor-epi responses. I know this doesn't seem like it would take a long time but it took over 5 hours to just get to the blood draining part and another 5 to recover the animal. at this point we opened accessed the chest cavity. The thoracic cavity once pierced required us to manually ventilate the lungs. I got to hold beating heart in my hands, which is possibly the most awe inspiring experience I have ever had. We then simulated hardware disease by filling the membranous sac around the heart with fluid. WE then shocked the heart into fibrillation and the then schock it back into rhythm. At this point we euthanized the dogs with KCl.
There was a lot of debate going into this lab about the ethics of using animals in terminal labs. I for one found the experience very rewarding, not only for the greater understanding of the principles being demonstrated but it was also a great confidence booster to work with live animals and under the same conditions that recovery surgeries will later be held. It was the sacrifice of one for the good of the many.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back to the grind

After two lovely weeks of no exams we are back at them in full force! Wrote 2 this week: genetics and an embryology and I think both went well. 4 more to go till christmas!
It was my birthday on Sunday. Went out friday night to the WCVM christmas formal and happy hour. Was a lot of fun to party in a nice dress! Spent the entire weekend studying. Got some nice western clothes for my birthday along with some nice jewelery, a mug, and other assorted things. Best gift of all though was the video my mom and aunty Sherry made of my horses. I miss them so much and It was awesome to get such a great video of them. 3 long weeks till i get to see them and my family again..........

The horses arent really that short backed and fat..... issue i hear with the new video camera

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I just had the most fabulous evening. As a 1st year member of the Pathology club I got to attend a suturing lab this evening. About 15 students were in attendance with one of the small animal surgeons and a couple interns. Every student got a cat cadaver from the local SPCA. We learned how to perform laparotomy's (exploratory gut surgery), spays, neuters bladder stone removals. We then got to stitch up our cadavers to our hearts content. This was the first time practicing on real tissue and it so different then our Styrofoam. Real tissue is so elastic, and all the different layers are so near how they vary in texture and density. Learning how to sew each individual layer and the preferential stitch pattern was amazing! Unfortunately this was held in the pathology lab which is a bio secure area so I couldn't bring in my camera but wow! I can't wait till 3rd year and we learn how to do these kind of things for real on live animals!
Got all my midterms back finally, marks ranged from 69 to 85. Never failed and was only below average on 2 out of 6. Survived round 1, round 2 is knocking.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

What time is it??

Now that that is out of my system........

Went home early Friday for the biggest party of the year, Bar None on the weekend. Hit up the warm up dance Friday night. Got to see all my friends as the Aggie's were there to party, the U of S Agros came down, and the pre-vetters were hosting the party. All my favorite 200 some people all rolled into one big night. Danced with more guys than I can count and had a blast!
Saturday went to Ceres Pancake Breakfast. Ceres is a Women's Agricultural Fraternity that I used to be the president of before coming to Saskatoon and I miss the girls so much. I then had a Ceres alumni association meeting that went fairly well and we had a record number of alumni present seeing as it was bar none weekend and most were in town. Pre-Drank and partied it up with some friends on campus before a very fun train ride to the agricom that involved beer and chanting dirty Aggi songs.
Bar None itself was amazing. Brett Kissel opened and was amazing, had a beautiful 9 min rendition of Amarillo by Morning. Gord Bamford was the head liner and also did an amazing job.
Spent Sunday recovering from the party before being picked up by my fellow vet-school Bar None Junkies and came back to Saskatoon.

Awesome weekend, miss my friends tons, and now down to the books.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My "creativeness" for the weekend

The angry colt just minutes before I got kicked......

Out for a battery recharging with my buddy

All dressed up for the CFR!

*** Plus just found out I got 85% on my anatomy mid term. Who Hoo!

Gotta love a holiday and money!

It was a 4 day weekend this weekend so I flew home for the weekend! Saw my horses Saturday. Worked with my yearling Eurus and after not seeing him for a month could not believe the size of him! He is bigger now than my 8 year old gelding. He had a brain-fart moment though and I wound up getting kicked. Nice bruise now as a reminder of his love..... Rode my gelding too on a nice trail ride. Riding completely recharges my batteries and I miss it so much when I am away.
Went to the CFR Saturday night with my aunt and uncle and my mom. Had fun shopping and the perf was awesome! Went Sunday as well as I was a recipient of the Bill Kehler Memorial Scholarship and was awarded it during the performance. Sunday night headed back out to the farm.
Spent Monday at Onoway Vet. Reminds me why I am in vet school. I did a pile of blood work and was amazed when I could not only analyze but also understand all the results. What a great feeling.
Woke up Tuesday to snow and headed off early to the airport for my flight home. Have not studied 1 second over the last four days for my physiology midterm this week so it will definitely be time to buckle down to work when I get home.
Will add some pictures later.....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What year is it?

What the kitty thinks of the birdie

Nah Nah!

Who Hoo! Embryology down, only physiology left to go! Spent the afternoon in lab learning how to work a horribly outdated ECG machine that we will never encounter outside of the college. The results is the same, but man do I thank god for technology, those things we use are using are beasts!
Between outdated profs and machines I feel like I spent the day in the 80's.
Another picture of Louie! Convinced him to sit on my hand.....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meet my new room mate Louie!

Well I finally bought a lovebird! I had been wanting one for quite a while and had been waiting for just the right one, and I think Ive found as close as I am going to get. I am sick of only ever handling dead animals and need a companion, so meet Louie! Louie is a 6 week old fischer love bird who has taken up residence in the far corner of my bedroom. He is a shy little fellow, but I caught him sneaking a peek at himself in the mirror and head bobbing along the Garth brooks all ready. He still has his juvenile down on his back and his colours will really birghten up with time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Attack of the midterms!

Arghhh! Midterms! What I first thought would be a nice midterm schedule has turned into hell. 1 midterm a week for 5 weeks in a row is not so nice as 5 midterms in 2 weeks as you have that much more time to stress and worry about them. The attack started with animal behaviour which I though I had done well on, however after receiving my mark Thursday I didn't do so well. This professor is very fanatical and not really forgiving of how things have been done historically or in a private practice when it comes to things like dehorning and castrating calves. we kind of butted heads a bit over some things so I think our difference of opinion led to my sub standard mark. 2nd was biochemistry, a subject I really detest, though I found out today that I didn't do as poorly as I had thought I would. Yay for one good mark. Last week we had anatomy. The amount of material on that exam was astronomical and I think I stressed myself out too much for that one. I did fine I think on the lab poriton, but I misread a question on the written and drew the stay apparatus of the equine forelimb instead of the support apparatus of the fetlock. I have embryology this week and physiology the week after. Then I believe we get a 2 week break before they start again before Christmas.

On to better news, we had a great Halloween party. The 2nd years put on the Halloween happy hour in our buffeteria and sold alcohol and supplied a potluck dinner for everyone. Lots of faculty were out and tons of students with amazing costumes. I went as a peacock, which turned out really well. We then all crammed into the lecture hall and watched all the 2nd years skits again which are even funnier when you have been drinking. We then proceeded to a big pup-crawl for the rest of the night. It was great fun.

It has been 4 weeks since I have been home and I am so excited to fly out this Friday and visit. I miss my horses tons as well as my family and auntie sherry. and my fish, and dog and birds, and so on and so forth......... I better get back to studying embryology, wish me luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well its been a while. School is keeping me pretty busy! I've been busy keeping up with midterms lately, and then my beloved Nana passed away on Oct 14th. I flew to Winnipeg for the funeral and hung with the relatives for a while. It was really good to see everyone and realize the support of your family in situations like that.
I've been trying to escape the vet students. Its really hard spending everyday with the same 76 people, and even worse when you live with two of them. I have been hanging with the Agros (Agriculture students) and really enjoy having a way to just leave school alone for a lil while. Spent last night out with them though and am definitely a little under the weather today.
School is getting more interesting though, as they are really trying to give you as much clinical and practical experience as possible early on. We are currently in a course, called biomedical rounds, where you work in teams and are slowly given more and more information about a case. You discuss daily as a group the progress or what you have found out, and on your own you research the topic of your case. I really like it and was pleased when my first case was equine related and about bog spavin. Being the only person in my group who knew what a bog spavin was nicely head swelling.
I won't be back in Edmonton now till the second week of November, which will be a very long horsey dry spell for me. I recently received some scholarships and am being awarded one at the Sunday performance of the Canadian Finals Rodeo very exciting...... what to wear what to wear.....
"Catch you on the flip flop"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Hello everyone! This is my initial post- very exciting. I am currently about 1 month into my first year of vet school. I slept in this morning instead of goingon large animal rounds. This is very bad of me but I desperately needed the sleep. I spent about 3 hours in the dissection lab working on my dead formaldehyde dog and just about died from the fumes. I dispise working with all that chemical residue. This afternoon I had a cattle handing lab out at one o the university farms. I ended up with all of the greenhorns in my group which made for an interesting afternoon. I couldn't help laughing at their complete lack of knowledge about our animals used in industry. Simple things like why we need feedlots and just can't just raise our cattle on pasture. I guess I take for granted all the previous experience I have with industry but a simple thing like moving a cow through a chute could be hard for a lot of the kids who have never worked around cattle before. We took blood both jugualr and tail vein. It is still hard to shake all the nerves even though I have done this countless of times. I hope that will dissapear now that I am in vet school and the selection committee is confident in my skills and that I can do everything.
This evening I attended a lecture from one of the premiere equine facilites in Canada, Morsan Co. out of Calgary on nuclear scintigraphy. God it looks like such a great career and I would love nothing more than to be one of western Canadas top horse vets, I only worry that the economy and fuel prices may drive the equine industry out of buisness. Horse vets are also looked at as the snobs of the industry. I think though that it is time to do what I want for me, and for no one else.