The Intestines and visiting the hospital (Day 171)

New hospital in Kosice, Slovakia

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Petfoods

Well today has been long, Anatomy lecture this morning was at 7:15am and I’ve just got back this evening from self study at 9pm. The good news is that I got a B in my anatomy credit test this week on the Esophagus and the simple and complex stomachs. I got a little confused with the name of the opening between the larynx and the trachea which lost me the A today however I am still pretty pleased.

Anatomy today was looking at the intestines and the topography (layout) of the abdominal cavity which was really interesting as its at the stage where I am trying to learn every single thing possible to prepare for surgery next year! For example those that read my physiology post on digestion the other day will know that you can listen for stomach sounds on the left side of the animal which is where the stomach is located. However the intestines are on the right side meaning that the animal needs to be in a different position to access these different organs.

Something I have been trying to arrange since I arrived here was vaccinations, and with summer fast approaching I feel its essential for me to get my Tick Borne Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). I went with a friend to the hospital today to try and get this done, and also see about having my wisdom tooth with a broken crown removed. Now walking round trying to find stomatology we met a dermatologist who randomly tried to sell us a “very good cream for dry skin” for 2.5 euros which was interesting. I did however manage to get a prescription to pick up the TBE vaccine which I plan on starting once I deal with my tooth.

New hospital in Kosice, SlovakiaThe hospital here is not run like in the UK but has different private clinics run by independent doctors for various specialities. It’s kinda good as you get to see a specialist in the field you need, however can involved running around. We visited the 2nd floor for stomatology to be sent to the 4th floor before then being sent to the 5th floor to find a oral surgeon capable of doing a surgical extraction of the tooth. The good news here is however I do now have an appointment for x-ray on Friday morning at 8am, however in typical Slovak fashion the surgeon said that they would see how busy they are as too if they will do the surgery on Friday morning. I am pretty petrified of dentists (though find animal teeth fascinating) so also have arranged for some sedation for the procedure which is under local anaesthetic. It’s going be interesting as the surgeon needs to open a flap, cut the tooth in half, and then extra the two roots separately to one another.

Anyways enough about that, after getting back from the hospital I headed into self-study to recap the intestinal system covered in lecture today as its a large topic area so I wanted a head start. Looking through the digestive tract of the pig I randomly discovered that it also had the cervix, uterus, uterine horns and ovaries intact. I found this pretty interesting as it was totally unexpected so couldn’t help but snap a photo to share!

Click to show Image
WARNING: This image is from a dissection and shows the pigs reproductive tract

The start of Anatomy II, a look inside the mouth… (Day 157)

Pulvinus Dentalis - The dental pad in the cow and ruminants

Today’s Diary Entry sponsored by Spikes World Ltd

Well now that I know the bones, muscles and ligaments it is time to learn about everything else that actually makes the body work. The start of this is with Splanchnology which is the study of viscera or soft internal organs of the body. Today started at 7am with the anatomy lecture which was looking at the structures of the mouth, tongue and teeth which was pretty interesting (and a relatively easy topic to learn before we start the stomach next week).

Now the mouth is where digestion starts, with the teeth being responsible for the mastication or mechanical breakdown of food and a wide range of glands secreting digestive enzymes and saliva to help the process. Now within the mouth there are two cavities, the space inside the teeth, and the space between the teeth to the lips and cheeks. Within the space inside the teeth (Cavum oris proprium) there is the tongue which has a range of different types of glands at various positions and in varying numbers depending on the species. In fact the actual shape of the tongue even varies within species with the tongue of a horse containing cartilage, the tongue of the dog having a groove in the middle, and the tongue of the cow being split into two parts divided by.a groove across the middle.

There is also the mouth to pay attention to with the hard palate forming the roof of it lined with ridges across it and off course the teeth Now some of you may already know that ruminants (cows) actually do not have upper front teeth. Instead the have a hard pad made from tough tissue called the pulvinus dentalis. Wanna see it? Thought you would so here goes maybe my one and only dissection picture ever!

Pulvinus Dentalis - The dental pad in the cow and ruminantsAs you can see it looks almost like the same material as horns at the front where the incisors normally are, you also have papilla along the sides which help with movement of food. At the front if you can look closely you can see that there is something that looks like an upside down “v” – this is the papilla incisiva which are the openings for the ductus incisivi which secrete digestive juices.

There are several classes of teeth when it comes to animals, with some animals having combinations of more than one type.

  • Brachyodont – Where the tooth has stopped growing after reaching a certain point and its surface wears down with use. This type of tooth is divided into the crown, body and root and is the type of teeth that humans have.
  • Hypsodont – Where the tooth never stops growing (as long as the animal is alive) which means that it does not have a crown, instead it is just divided into the root and body. The most common examples are the teeth in rodents, rabbits, and more exotically the tusks of the boar or elephant!
  • Semihypsodont – Where the tooth continues to grow until it starts to wear out, the most common example are the incisors of the horse. This has the benefit of the tooth growing so that the surfaces of the teeth perfectly meet allowing the cutting of fine grass.

The patterns of the occlusial surface (the part that meets with the opposite upper or lower tooth allowing chewing) actually also vary among different species, with some being multitubercular where it has bumps or bunodont where it is flat. These are also divided into selenodont where it has moon like patterns, or lophodont where it has folds and ridges.