Anatomy of the Liver, and some horse ethics! (Day 178)

Vet student Chris working with horses

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Pet Hooligans

Well today was another day of anatomy followed by horse riding, in anatomy we looked at the large intestine (intestinum crassum) of the horse and carnivores along with the Liver (hepar). Now this was interesting as the liver plays a crucial role in metabolism and stores the glycogen, fats and some of the protein. During the embryonic stages the liver also participates in haematopoiesis helping to form the blood of the body, and during life it also plays a role in removing old red blood cells from the body. The major role it plays in digestion is that it is responsible for the secretion of bile and is where the gall bladder is located within the body. The liver is an organ with anatomy that differs greatly between species and one which I think will be very interesting from a surgical perspective next year.

The size of the liver for one varies between species, and though not sure what they are I know there are special techniques for liver surgery as the tissue is very delicate. Also the number of lobes the liver has varies between species – carnivores have 6 lobes with distinct separation (one of which is in two separate parts) – whilst the ruminants have just 4 lobes with no obvious distinction between them.

Vet student Chris working with horsesThis afternoon was time for horse riding again, today we went over the basic skills of tacking up and saddling the horse. Though I have some horse experience it is very limited and was mainly in a natural (or traditional) horsemanship setting where the focus was on establishing a bond with the horse. Whilst many people have horse experience it is generally taught in a more master-horse relationship focus than in actually working with the animal, and is where the rider forces the horse to do their will instead of asking.

Something I am very passionate about is cruelty to animals, and I personally believe that a good horseperson is one that forms a bond with their horse. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Monty Roberts in the past who is a master of this, and through discussion have also heard other names mentioned. It’s hard to believe when you’ve not seen it yourself however with this bond you can do things like playing at liberty and actually have the horse choosing to run alongside you of its own free will. I will always advocate for animals to be treated as a person would like to be treated, if you would not like to be whipped or dragged by your nose or neck then what gives you the right to do this to an animal?

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