The secret life of vets

The secret lifes of vets in shelter rescues

This week I’ve seen my Facebook full of people complaining about vet’s being uncaring and just in it for the money. Usually I just ignore it as vets are pretty used to people thinking they are stinking rich (actually a London tube driver gets paid more than vets for less work…) however decided to share some of the stuff that doesn’t really get spoken about today.

Unfortunately stray animals are a big problem in most countries, and the shelters try to do as much as they can however often they need veterinary help. Most of this “help” is given free or at a very low cost usually resulting in a loss of money through materials. That’s right materials from drugs, to suture materials, instrument sterilization materials, to the surgical drapes, gloves, mask, cap and gown. For what these are, they really are not cheap and can soon add up.

Surgery is never going be a cheap endeavour – at least not if it is done properly – and this week for example there are now 2 rescue kittens that have a chance at surviving because of a vet.

Luky is around 3 months old, and had been hit by a car – our initial xrays showed fractures in the humerus (bone between the shoulder and elbow) and the pelvis. Because the kitten was so small and weak we decided that 2 surgeries were needed on separate days to repair the arm and then the pelvis. I assisted in the surgeries and we spent maybe 4 hours operating over the two days to fix these fractures. This was all before the clinic officially opened with surgery starting early. Then there is the aftercare, the hours spent monitoring the kitten during prep and in recovery. A lot invested in such a little kitten, could also be called an expensive kitten – drugs, specialist plates, screws, rods, fluids and more.

Our second kitten is around 2 – 3 months as well, and had been attacked by a dog. The front leg was hanging off by just a couple of muscles and a tiny bit of skin. There was no stimulation from the nerves on this foot. Our only option was to amputate and we went straight into surgery with the hope that we could get rid of the leg and clean up the wound before the infection spread through the body. Our first surgery went ok and we removed the leg and cleaned the wound closing it with a drain with kitten to come back Friday for a check. So this afternoon when kitten returned the abdomen was very swollen, we went into xray and found that the bladder was very large and maybe leaking into the abdomen. A quick ultrasound confirmed the fluid surrounding the organs in the abdomen and so we went straight into emergency surgery to clean the abdomen and repair the bladder. So we’ve stayed past closing two days this week for this kitten, spent maybe 3 hours in surgery and now when I left the vet was taking the kitten with them to another clinic in the city with a working lab to check for peritonitis.

It is rarely people get to see this side unless they work within shelters, however this week we have spent hours, a lot of expense, and given 2 innocent kittens a chance at life.

What is an vet school anatomy test like, the Kidneys, and riding (Day 185)

Model showing the anatomy of the kidney in vet school

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Best Pet Hair Remover

I’ve had a request on twitter for an anatomy past paper so someone could see what a vet school anatomy was like here at UVM Kosice. The weekly credit tests (and the final exam) both are mainly oral exams to test your knowledge and so I will talk through today’s exam to give you some idea of what is expected in the anatomy credit test. On entering the anatomy lab I was told to find the cecum in this:

Click to show Image
WARNING: This image is from a dissection and shows week old equine intestines

This image was taken after I had sorted the pile of intestines and the cecum is the part that is descending towards the bottom of the photo. The next question was to name the different parts of the cecum – it has basis ceci where it connects to the ileum and colon, corpus ceci forms the body of the cecum, and apex ceci is the end of the cecum. The cecum is divided in sacculations haustra ceci by teniae ceci with the ileum entering through ostium ileale and the entrance to the colon ostium cecocolicum.

The next question was then to describe the intestine, in the horse this is in three parts the ascending colon (colon crassum), the colon transversum and the colon tenue. The colon crassum is then again broken down as it forms two u-shaped loops… The colon ventrale dextrum leading to flexura sternalis then coming back by colon ventrale sinistrum before flexura pelvina leads to colon dorsale sinistrum to flexura diaphragmaticus and finally colon dorsale dextrum. It then enters the colon transversum before then entering the colon tenue and the rectum. After describing this I was then asked to identify which animal a liver came from, in this case it was a ruminant liver as the lobes were undivided. I then was asked what the differences were with a pig liver – a pig liver does not have processes pappilaris. From knowing this I got a B today.

Anyways onto the main lecture which was looking at the kidney and urinary system. The kidneys are a complex organ which differ greatly between species both in their structure and the way that they function. The kidneys are responsible for controlling how much water is excreted from the body in urine as well as elimination of waste from the blood so as you can see below there is a very large blood supply going to them. The orange tube is the ureter that then leads to the bladder where urine is then stored for release later.

Model showing the anatomy of the kidney in vet school

On the way to horse riding this we rescued a dog from playing chicken with cars on a main road, had a collar so definitely has an owner we just have to find them. Horse riding was at the university riding centre this week which is on the edge of town, it’s somewhere I’ve visited before (check my diary entry on it) so I ended up leading the group. This session ended up being another session working with tack and saddling up. To be honest it’s helped my confidence loads as being perfect at the basics means that I have the knowledge and practical experience to advise clients in the future.