The end of Semester 2

Revision for Musculoskeletal system for Veterinary Anatomy

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

Well I’ve just finished semester 2 of vet school, now its just for exams and then I’ll have finished my first year of vet school! It’s still not really sunk in though I am looking at the lists of stuff we should know for our exams and having a moment of “how did we manage to cover all that?”. I’ve also managed to get some part time work over the summer to help with my tuition costs which I am glad about, my only problem is that there are just 24 hours in a single day.

In the next week I’ve got to catch up on my missed anatomy & histology tests from where I attended BSAVA Congress, and then the Monday after I start my finals with Latin. This is something I am not looking forward to as I really struggle with written latin as I am dyslexic so am going just give it my best shot! After that I have my Anatomy 1 final which is on the musculoskeletal system (aka all the bones, muscles and ligaments of different animals) and all the interspecies differences… This is the massive pile that I need to memorise for it!

Luckily I just need the muscles, ligaments and bones from the two big books, however one of the biggest test questions is asking what the differences are between animals. This is especially true of the skull which is composed of 17 parts with each having differences between species some of which are obvious in the shape of the head and others not so obvious with differences in the canals that the nerves and vessels lie in. Then there are differences with the muscles as different animals have different lengths of neck etc.

After this I have my Veterinary Genetics exam scheduled for the 6th June which is another big exam where I will be random asked 3 questions from a possible 80 covering different topics from dog coat colors through to the legislation for selecting which males to breed from! Its something that I find interesting however the amount of information that needs to be memorised here is absolutely staggering with the amount of different genetic diseases!

Hopefully after this exam is done I will have a bit more free time and so can write more diary posts which have been suffering with my current workload!

The salivary glands of the digestive tract… (Day 169)

Histology of the anal sac and anal glands

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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.

Animal Nutrition, and the start of Special Bacteriology (Day 159)

Gram Negative Bacteria - Pseudomonas aeruginosa gram stain under the microscope

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Scampers Pet Shop

The end of week 1 of semester 2, this week has literally flown by and I am honestly not sure where my time has vanished too! Its been interesting as now instead of just looking at structures we are getting introduced into the things that cause diseases and how to treat them! Fundraising is starting to go well however I did struggle to fit everything I needed to do into this week.

Today I started a new topic in Animal Nutrition which will be spread over two semesters, and the next stage of microbiology – special bacteriology – which looks at specific disease causing bacteria each week. Now Animal Nutrition is basically looking at how food is used by an animal for energy to fuel the body processes and to promote health (physiologically it is split across structural, energetic and reserve functions). Within cats for example excessive vitamin A intake during pregnancy can cause the kittens to be born missing the palatine bone (cleft palate) which means they cannot form a vacuum and so cannot feed from their mom.

The introduction basically looked at the different components of food which looks something like this.

  • FOOD
    • Water
    • Dry Matter
      • Organic
        • Carbohydrates
        • Lipids
        • Proteins
        • Nucleic acids
        • Vitamins
      • Inorganic
        • Minerals

Obviously you can see from this that most of the nutritional value of food comes from the dry matter, this is why it is such a problem when supermarkets etc add extra water to their food products to increase the weight and charge more. Enough of that for today though.

Starting special bacteriology today there are a few words that I am always going remember that went something like this…

This semester you will be looking at different pathogenic bacteria in the laboratory, we only have a level 2 lab on the university campus so some of the bacteria you will read about only as it is too dangerous for our lab. about 30 minutes later Nesseria meningitidis is especially nasty as one day you go to work, the next day you are dead.

To be honest I am kinda glad that I am not in a lab working with N. meningitidis, I don’t mind working with dangerous stuff when I need to, but playing with something so deadly just to see what it looks like is not logical to me. Anyways back to today’s bacteria and we looked at the pseudomonadaceae, burkholderiaceae, neisseriaceae and legionellaceae families of bacteria in the theory lecture. In the lab however we only looked at pseudomonadaceae which can be classed as either pathogenic or non-pathogenic depending on the ability to destroy body tissues.

Gram Negative Bacteria - Pseudomonas aeruginosa gram stain under the microscope
Gram stain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa under the microscope with red staining rods

There are loads of different species of Pseudomonas not all of which cause disease and several that are opportunistic and only cause disease when they are given a chance by other things (aka cuts/weak immune system/stress etc).