Debrecen Airport for Kosice Slovakia (Day 203)

Debrecen Airport World War Bomber Station

Today’s Diary Entry is Sponsored by Find Pet Boarding

Well today was an early start as I travelled back to the UK to spend a couple of days in Cambridge before moving up to Birmingham on Wednesday. Generally the way that people travel back and forth between the UK and the UVM Kosice here is by Budapest. This used to be good with flights into Birmingham however these stopped in January this year 🙁

Anyways Budapest is around 3 – 4 hours away from Kosice by taxi, or there are two trains a day which takes around the same plus travel from the train station to the airport. Recently there has been a new route added from a place called Debrecen which has just one flight a day, but is around an hour closer to Kosice by road. At the time I booked flights were a fraction of the cost here and so I decided that I would try flying from Debrecen. Now arriving into Debrecen and driving along the airport it felt like we were driving onto a military airport with hangers with massive blast doors and grass over them like bunkers.

Debrecen Airport World War Bomber Station
Grassed covered hangers…

Looking into this further I’ve found that in World War II it was the base for a Hungarian Bombing squadron. After the world war it was then taken over by the Soviet air force who remained until May 1991 when they handed it back to the Hungarian state. The flight was on time, however it is the smallest airport that I have ever flown from so far – though because of the past use of bombers it has an extremely long runway.

Debrecen Airport in Hungary travelling to KosiceDefinately an alternative route to getting to the UVM Kosice from the UK!

Off to BSAVA Congress… (Day 202)

Today’s Diary Entry is Sponsored by Pets Bureau

Well those that have been following me on twitter will be aware that at the start of 2013 I became the first ever BSAVA Student Rep at a veterinary school outside of the UK. Next week is BSAVA Congress and I am flying over to engage in a wonderful learning opportunity whilst also catching up with my sponsors – and hopefully securing some additional sponsors. This past week has been extremely busy with work on my book (finally the end is in sight – so much more work than I first expected!), three days of classes and then working on my revision strategy for the next week…

Some of the lectures I will be attending include feline oral trauma, managing chronic kidney diseases, imaging in rabbits and reptiles. I am also going to a lecture on using ultrasound to look at the liver as well as a lecture on understanding and recognising pain in animals and a special lecture on controlling pain in reptiles. This is something that I personally feel is often overlooked as animals cannot tell us they are in pain so it is up to us to be aware off and recognise the symptoms of pain. In addition I am also going to a free lunch and learn from Supreme Petfoods on rabbit nutrition with Molly Varga which I am looking forward to!

Something I am particularly looking forward to are a set of lectures on forensic veterinary medicine which is something that I don’t think has made its way onto the veterinary curriculum yet at any vet schools. Basically this is how to deal with abuse cases to ensure that a successful prosecution can be brought which is something I am passionate about. Until recently there has not been any formal learning at all in this topic leaving vets to fend for themselves in the confusing chain of custody and how to produce reports.

Though I do not start surgery until next year I am planning to try and pick up some basic tips with a few surgery lectures and a couple in emergency medicine as well! Anyways my flight is in around 12 hours time, and I want to grab a few hours sleep before I leave. Tomorrow I will be flying from Debrecen airport in Hungary instead of Budapest as its closer to Kosice, and also as its not so well known the flights were considerably cheaper. My next diary entry will come to you after I land in the UK!

Standing in solidarity against animal abuse (Day 191)

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Scampers Pet Shop

This is a special diary entry as instead of looking at my classes today I will be talking about a video I have been involved in this evening. You can view the video below, the text is in Czech/Slovak however it does not include any talking…

This video was filmed this evening by a 5th year vet student from Brno vet school which is across the border in the Czech Republic who is trying to promote the welfare of animals within shelters within Eastern Europe. Obviously animal welfare is something that I feel extremely strongly about and so welcomed the opportunity to get involved! The video shows a stray dog being rescued, before then moving to vet students showing support for the cause (I’m top right corner if you can spot me :p).

I took a little time afterwards to discuss the project, and was suprised to learn just how different eastern europe is to the UK. For example in the Czech Republic microchipping dogs is already compulsory, and will be so in Slovakia from this year. Also euthanising healthy dogs in shelters is actually not allowed in the Czech Republic either. Something that did come up was the difference in laws in terms of dealing with stray dogs on the street as only a dog warden can take a dog from the streets in the Czech Republic.

I know this is a big issue in some countries at the moment as councils are forcing vets to send all dogs to the council pound whether or not the owner has been identified – with big fines for the vet if they don’t! This then means the owner will be charged rather substantial release fee’s from the pound and it is believed this is simply a money raising scheme by the councils – though they insist its to stop the dog escaping again… What do you guys think?