The stomachs, and the start of “Horse Riding”… (Day 164)

Snow covered road to UVM Kosice dorms in Slovakia

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods

Well today was my first anatomy credit test of the semester and covered the stuff I learnt about the animal mouth last week. We’ve a different lecturer this semester so there was a change in the exam structure with two of us being examined at the same time instead of the individual exams we had last semester. I’m still not sure which method I prefer more however today I did finish with an A!

We then went on to look at the two different types of stomach (complex and simple) and their differences across the animal species. Basically ruminants which eat grass have a specialised system for digesting the cellulose in the cell walls which the simple stomach cannot handle. This consists of a complex stomach with four different chambers including the Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum and Abomasum (for a description of the structures check out Monday’s diary for histology of the stomach). The simple stomach has just a single compartment which secretes enzymes and digestive juices to help breakdown the food that is eaten. Though I had looked at the complex stomach before in my previous degree it was fascinating to go into so much more depth looking at the different areas, and how it changes with age.

In young ruminant animals for example there is a gastric groove called the sulcus ventriculi which extends from the entrance through the reticulum, omasum and nearly to end of the abomasum and is formed from muscular lips. In unweaned animals this groove often closes to form a tube allowing the mothers milk to bypass the sections of the stomach responsible for digesting plant matter and straight into the abomasum where it is absorbed into the body. As the animal matures the tube flattens out until it is no longer used.

This afternoon I started horse riding which is an optional module available to the post bachelor students here at UVM Kosice. The name is a little deceptive as it is in fact a complete equine 101 module covering basic horse care, rehabilitation, handing and off course a little riding once the weather gets a bit better. The lecture today covered the different types of rehabilitation that are used for horses. Check out the road back to dorms with the snow we’ve had this afternoon…

Snow covered road to UVM Kosice dorms in Slovakia
Today’s snow covering the road to dorms…

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