The exams are here…

vet student exam study

It has been a very long sleep deprived. This past week I have done two of my end of year exams. Monday was pathological physiology and today was epizootiology (infectious diseases). Next week on Wednesday I have pathological anatomy so whilst I have done 2 in a single week, there is no time to celebrate and the study must go on.

Pathological physiology is the study of functional problems in the body, so why the body goes wrong and the processes involved in this. One of my questions here was about anemia – a lack of red blood cells. This is pretty simple right? Not so as the question started with the different classifications for anemia, then there are the different causes, and then finally there are the compensation mechanisms to help the body survive the anemia. All of these processes are intricately linked together and to other body systems – for example the kidneys are involved to increase blood volume to increase blood pressure.

Then it was followed up by ruminal alkalosis in cows, and then disorders of the parathyroid gland which is responsible for the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Epizootiology is the study of diseases – bacteria and viruses – their spread and the diagnosis. Today my questions were based on picornaviruses (the cause of foot and mouth disease), bovine herpesvirus, and the causes of Mastitis.

Sometimes there is just so much to take in that I just do not know where to begin. Now I am going sleep so I am fresh to start study for pathological anatomy tomorrow.

Day 600 of Vet School Abroad

Monitoring Anaesthesia in Surgery

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Hedgehog Food

Wow, where does time go? It feels like only last week I was talking about Day 500 (check out 500 days of vet school in pictures) where I did a photo roundup of my vet school highlights. So today I decided that I would talk about the highlights of my past 100 days (what I can remember of them anyways!).

So these 100 days have been nearly an entire semester of vet school for me, and in some cases such as food hygiene (the exam which I have tomorrow) my entire education in a certain area of veterinary medicine. It’s been interesting really to learn how meat is actually slaughtered, processed and packaged to go out to retail.

I’ve also started Pathological Anatomy which is the study of disease processes on the structure of body tissues, this is pretty cool as we’ve done 6 post-mortem exams during this class. The rest of the classes go towards looking at the microscopic changes in the structure, its really important to understand exactly what a disease does before you can work out how best to treat it. Its classes like this that separate vets from anyone just searching google for symptoms (and in some cases trying to self-medicate) – vets understand the small details!

Anyways this semester has also been my falconry and wildlife rehabilitation training which has been absolutely amazing. This is something that is not really touched on in a lot of universities however I am very lucky here that they do!

Another new thing we’ve started is Epizootology which is the study of infectious diseases, this is a 3 semester module so very big and so I hope to find some time in the summer to go over everything we have done so far this semester to try and stay on top of it! It is interesting as to me at least it shows how we fail as humans in turning a blind eye to things that are problems until they really blow up into a crisis.

This has also been my introduction to surgery and anaesthesia which has been a whirlwind tour of a massive field crammed into just 48 hours over the 13 weeks! Really scary when you think about it…

A little bit on foot and mouth disease… (Day 519)

Preserved parasitology specimen fasciola hepatica from 1756

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Vet School Statement Review

 So today we started epizootology which is the science of the spread of diseases between animals. Depending on the way it is taught it could be really interesting or really dull, today we started the lecture watching a rather old video on foot and mouth disease in cattle. This was interesting as it was produced after the 1967 epidemic, and basically predicted another outbreak which happened with the major foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. The rest of the lecture went to going over different terminology.

We have a practical session straight after with the group doubled up so all 23 of us are in a single class. Because of this there is no room in the normal labs so we got moved to the infectious diseases building. This is basically a mini fenced in compound within the university campus where the really dangerous diseases are treated or diagnosed. The practical session was another lecture on health and safety and ways to clean contaminated areas.

After this I then had my parasites practical, we’ve got a different teacher this semester and I found the style of teaching to be a lot better for me to follow along. We’ve now started looking at the worm families with today going to the trematodes which are the flat-worms and includes probably one of the most famous parasites fasciola hepatica which is otherwise known as liver fluke. What I especially find interesting are that many of the sample specimens we have to work with here are amazing preserved, this specimen was prepared in 1756 so is 258 years old!

EDIT: I have been informed that the label on the bottle is in fact referencing the person that first described this parasite. It was described in Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus a Swedish scientist responsible for much of the naming methods of living things today.

Preserved parasitology specimen fasciola hepatica from 1756