Visiting the hospital and calculating the mineral content of feed (Day 173)

Ash portion of feed in dessicator after incineration in muffle furnace

Today’s Diary Entry sponsored by CarPET Pet Hair Remover

Well this morning I went to my hospital appointment, half hoping that she would do the surgery today. I arrived at the hospital at 8am and was straight into radiography (x-ray) which was interesting as it involved broken Latin and gesturing to get me into the position she wanted. Anyways this was interesting as it was still manually developed so I got handed a film still dripping wet from the tank and told to take it back upstairs. After delivering this, I was sent to another floor to photocopy my European health insurance card and had fun trying to explain I needed 2 copies when she tried to give me one. I was then back up and sent to another floor to pay 1 euro for my anaesthetic drug (in this case sudracain). Anyways after all this I was called into the surgery where I was then told that there was not time to do my surgery today as they did not have a kit prepared. I was told to come back at 8am Monday morning with the intention of being back at uni at 9:45am for my histology practical.

Anyways today I got back to uni in time for my animal nutrition practical which was based around the mineral content of feed stuff. Basically within food you have the moisture portion which you can remove by drying leaving you the dry matter portion which is where all the goodness is (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins etc). Now looking at chemistry the only things in this group that are not carbon based are the vitamins and minerals. This basically means that we can “burn” the feed stuff and the remains that will be left behind as white ash are the vitamins and minerals. Burning is done in a special muffle furnace at a temperature of 400 degrees until just a white powder with no black dots is left! This is then weighed and the percentage of vitamins and minerals determined by calculating the weight loss of the sample.

Ash portion of feed in dessicator after incineration in muffle furnaceIn the microbiology practical today we were looking at Salmonella which is split into 2 species (S. enterica and S. bongori). Now S. enterica is further broken down into 6 subspecies which then contain thousands of serotypes. For example the species S. enterica subspc. enterica contains around 2400 different serotypes depending on their combinations of O and H antigens. Now salmonella is responsible for many different diseases including septicaemia and can cause abortions with the ability to also replicate within macrophages.

Vet School Microbiology Gram Stain of SalmonellaToday really has been a long day, and hopefully if I can get the pain from my tooth under control I will be able to get a lot of work done on my Emergency First Aid for Animals book this weekend.

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