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 salivary glands of the digestive tract… (Day 169)

Histology of the anal sac and anal glands

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Find Pet Boarding

Through the past semester I’ve come to realise that though the subjects are taught seperately that they are intrinsically linked. We’ve just finished the function of the digestive system in physiology and are now looking at the digestive system in anatomy and in histology. In addition to which we are also looking at animal nutrition. Today we started with looking at the salivary glands of the mouth which not only product enzymes to help start the digestion of food but help the movement of food along the digestive tract. These are located in the base and roof of the mouth along with the cheek and on the surface of the tongue.

The glandular stomach then also secretes mucus and digestive enzymes along with “gastric juice” to help the digestion of food. Then entering the top of the small intestine with the duodenum you have the entrances of the pancreatic and hepatic (liver) ducts which add more digestive power to the mix.

We finished today looking at the rectum and anus including the histology of the anal sacs (which contain the anal glands) in the dog which as vets we have the pleasure of expressing. For something that can contain so much foul smelling liquid these glands are extremely small under the microscope!

Histology of the anal sac and anal glands
The anal sac with the anal glands in the purple area.

The start of my second semester… (Day 155)

Vet School Diary - Histological Section of the Canine Tongue 400x

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods

The new semester started today with Histology and Physiology (same as last semesters Monday timetable) and it was as if Christmas hadn’t got in the middle at all. This mornings histology lecture was looking at the digestive system with a large proportion looking at the structure of the tubular systems of digestion. Its kinda surprising just how many layers there are in the wall of the esophagus!

The practical session focused on looking at the tissues between the oral cavity and the start of the stomach (otherwise known as the esophageal-stomach junction). The first tissue type examined was the tongue (or lingua in Latin) which has different types of cells lining the surface which act as taste receptors, facilitate movement of food particles or secrete digestive enzymes.

Vet School Diary - Histological Section of the Canine Tongue 400x
The surface of the canine tongue under the microscope

For something so basic that so many people take for granted the tongue is a lot more complex than I ever imagined it to be. After the tongue we then looked at teeth, unlike in humans where we only have one set off permanent teeth quite a few animals have teeth that continuously grow. Generally they have the harder shell made up of enamel, dentin and cementum with a center composed of rich nerve tissue and this is what a cross section of a tooth looks like. The solid looking pink circle is the dentin, cementum and enamel outer layer, whilst the purple inner mesh like area is the nerves and blood supply within the hollow center.

Histological section of tooth showing nerve tissue
Histological cross-section of a tooth

This afternoons physiology session was then looking at the endocrine system which is basically the system of hormones that are released by, and control the functions of the body systems. The actual information that needs to be learned and memorised here is staggering with so many different hormones regulating so many different systems. First day back and the workload is already starting to pile up, and that is before adding in my fundraising and book writing!