Well today was another 8am start with the Equine service with wound checks for the hoof injuries and bandage changes. This has been fascinating for me as I have attended some very interesting lectures on equine wound management with The Webinar Vet which talked about the different treatment options. This has given me the theory, however experience is very important here, and so being able to see the healing progress is very interesting.
Equine wounds can look extremely nasty especially when covering large areas, and as owners seeing a wound each day the differences are miniscule so it is hard to believe that it is in fact getting better. Something that we as vets are recommended to do with the advent of camera technology is to take photo’s to compare the wound to – personally I think this should be extended to owners as well so you can remind yourself just how much better it is with each week. Now wound healing comprises different stages, however one of the most important factors is contraction which is where the wound gets smaller as it heals. This means that a large wound may eventually (months or even years later) leave a little tiny scar.
After this I then ended up in the Small Animal Clinic again, this time was going to be different however I discovered that Marie (aka Monkeycat) was being adopted today which I think is really cool as she is such a cutie (really struggled not to adopt her myself!)!
Anyways there was routine stuff happening until I am about to leave at around 5:30pm when I get asked to help bring a emergency in. Now this is a neuro case and I was working with one of my favourite doctors who really can explain things so that they are understood. I cannot say anymore about the case however monitoring the patient during stabilisation the heart stopped. Luckily I had both the the doctor and a senior student in the room with me when this happened who both swung into action immediately. Whilst I started chest compressions a ET tube was placed into the trachea to keep the airway open and emergency drugs were administered. Sadly the patient didn’t make it despite our best efforts – it’s the first time that I’ve been involved in a patient dying this way so was a new experience. The thing that got me the most was that the owner had stepped outside just before it happened, and returned halfway in… Though I couldn’t understand the words I could understand what they were feeling, yet because of my lack of Slovak couldn’t say anything to her.
I’ve learnt several lessons from this, including some of the more important words in Slovak that are used within a veterinary clinic!
What a week! I am actually starting to feel like a vet student now and not only have started to apply knowledge that I have learnt over the past year but also from my previous degree! In addition to this I have also managed to pass two exams this week (Veterinary Physiology on Wednesday and Animal Hygiene this morning)!!!
So this morning started with an exam, it still feels weird to me having to dress formal for exams however dressing smart also gives me a boost of confidence so I do like it. I now have a week to prepare for my Anatomy exam on the 24th June – this will be my second attempt as I failed my first one back in January as I had no clue what to expect on the question paper. Basically you are expected to just list the different parts of the bone instead of trying to write a description of how it looks 🙂 Hopefully I will do better this time!
Now this week has been pretty cool, I’ve got through a lot of Equine stuff, seen a castration, endoscopy, and wound management. Today I was slightly gutted as I arrived late after this mornings exam to find that they had done emergency surgery on a corneal ulcer (a ulcer of the eye) in a sports horse. I arrived just in time to see the movement of the horse from the operating table to the recovery box. This was interesting as when animals wake up from anaesthetic they are unsteady on their feet (same in humans but we have the ability to know what is going on and that we should lay there) and usually struggle to stand. On Tuesday for example the horse was held on the ground until he had recovered enough to stand, and then was supported with people at the head and tail vertebra. The rest of today’s surgery went to the wound management of the hoof injuries, and endoscopy lavage for the guttural pouch empyema (the bump in the image below is a large swollen abscess).
Standard treatment for corneal ulcers is applying a graft which helps healing whilst also preventing the eye from rupturing, and whilst I missed this I got to watch something else pretty cool. Now administering eye drops to a big horse is not something I had ever considered before, thinking about touching a painful area and the legs flying towards me I realise that it does require careful thought. In this case a supraorbital (above the eye) lavage system is used. Basically a small incision is made into the upper eyelid and a tube passed through this which is then fixed in place along the head. This allows a syringe to be connected and drugs to be applied directly to the eye which I think is pretty cool and makes it easier.
Well today I ventured into the Small Animal Clinic here on campus for the first time with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised (the small animal surgical unit is separate to the clinic which is a medical unit). I was lucky to be paired with a friend who is close to graduating and can understand Slovak whilst speaking English so can fill me in on what is going on. Most of the doctors here can speak at least some English however a lot of the clients cannot so again this is a motivator for me to learn Slovak faster (I’m picking up a few words now).
So I cannot say much on individual patients for the obvious reasons, however in terms of skills I picked up I can say much! 😀 So this morning started at 8am getting permission from the Dr’s to be in the clinic, I then started with observing vaccinations (and how the records are managed here in the vaccine book). An interesting case of canine otitis with a bacteria known as Malassezia dermatitis which is a yeast which is usually commensal (aka lives in harmony with the host on the skin). This means that the small amount present is usually not able to cause disease, however when there is a disease or the animal is stressed this microorganism can take advantage of the weakened immune system and grow.
I also got to observe an euthanasia and was asked to help restrain a particularly fractious cat on another. Many vets say that when you do not feel any more with euthanasia’s it is time to leave the profession, and though many times a brave face is put on in front of clients it is hard every time. Personally for me I feel that being able to relieve suffering is a great gift, however its also important to use it at the right time which is a great responsibility. I do however agree that if I couldn’t feel then I definitely shouldn’t be here!
Some of my time went to cleaning, something that is never ending! I lost count of how many times I washed my hands today! We have had a few cats in for rehoming including two little kittens who are very cute with their circus act. The rest of my time went to checking IV’s, giving a dog water by syringe and learning how to look after a recombinant patient.
I guess today’s highlight was actually being shown how to do sub cutaneous injections during a quite period, and actually injecting my first patient this evening. I finally managed to leave the clinic at 8:30pm… Not bad for my first day!