Back at it!

Its the end of first week of Semester 2!! —which means that I went through an entire semester without writing a single blog post. I guess that goes to show how busy first semester was. Goals for 2nd semester:  improve time management skills.

The first semester of my DVM2 year was quite the ride. I took 8 classes:

  1. Regional Anatomy of the Dog (RAD)
  2. Parasitology
  3.  Locomotion
  4. Haematopoeitic, Lymphatic, and Integument Systems
  5. Epidemiology
  6. Virology
  7. Immunology
  8. Microbiology

This semester looks like it will be just as busy. This week we hit the books again. In one of our classes we are studying the brain. We’ve covered the anatomy and some of the physiology.  In our practical class we got to dissect brains. I found it difficult because my group had a small cat brain and many of the structures were hard to see. However, finding the cranial nerves and vessels was much easier when studying a horse or cow brain.

I’m excited because study of the brain means we will be covering pain and how to measure the intensity of it in animals. This also means we will be discussing analgesics (painkillers) and how to appropriately use them. Fun fact from lecture today—> Opium comes from poppies; the farms that grow poppies are very tightly regulated and at certain times of the year the crops are protected by security guards to prevent trespassing!

ttyl

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Baby roo from a wildlife carers house—thats another story! 

Semester 2

I think its about time I sent out a quick little update! After finishing my first semester of DVM the winter break in July was much anticipated! Now I’m back into the thick of it, and have just finished my first midterm of semester 2. The classes I am in this term are:

Cardiovascular System

Foundations of Animal Health 2

Animal Health in Production Systems

Cardio takes up a lot of my time, but I find it quite interesting! This is the first class I’ve taken where I’m actually required to build on knowledge I’ve learned in previous classes (last semester) to understand whole concepts. Previously I’ve just gathered knowledge, but now I’m starting to integrate it. We have had some cool practical classes in cardio so far, listening to equine hearts and trying to hear murmurs, testing out our stethoscope skills on dogs, trialing drug reactions on organ tissue, and practicing blood pressure readings.

Foundations of Animal Health 2 is a continuation of FAH1 that I took last semester, currently we have been learning about controversial animal welfare issues. A lot of these issues I learned about, researched, or wrote on in my undergrad (beak trimming, tail-docking, de-horning, housing systems/confinement, sentience/ability to feel pain, etc), however, it is now very different to learn about the issue from an Australian perspective. I’ve also been able to discuss some more Australian-specific issues such as: jump racing, kangaroo culling, and mulesing. So far I;m liking this course a lot better than I did last semester!

Animal Health in Production Systems has so far covered the different types of animal industries that I might be working or involved in. We have focused on swine, (pet) exotic birds, dairy, beef, camelids, sheep, and horses. This course included the information and handling practice I completed during my very first week of vet school! The lectures we have had on birds have been really interesting to me! While working in vet clinics I have seen many sick birds come in; now I have the background knowledge and husbandry tips to better understand this cases. The dairy industry has probably been my favorite for a few years now; I love working with the sweet girls and learning about the reproductive management on dairy farms. The Australian dairy industry is vastly different from the North America one so that has been difficult to wrap my mind around!

That’s it for now, I’m out for some fun this weekend after a long couple of weeks of studying/cramming!

A group of us hanging out and learning how ECGs work and how to read the traces to tell us information on heart disease.

A group of us hanging out and learning how ECGs work and how to read the traces to tell us information on heart disease.

Settling in to school

While it was all fun and games in my last post about my animal handling practicums… this week was the first week of real vet school. I started lectures!

Some of the lectures this week focused on teeth and dentition. I haven’t had a lot of previous classes on this subject and therefore found it quite interesting. At home I work in small animal clinic where we do a lot of dental surgeries. Having the background knowledge about animal teeth will be super beneficial when I go back to work. I can’t say that I find dental consults, cases, and surgeries the most interesting part of veterinary medicine but they are quite common!

Other classes covered the skull and associated bones and muscles; we also spent time looking at microscope slides and identifying cells. My favorite parts of the week were when we got to practice some hands on skills with greyhounds and sheep and do a dissection of a dog leg.

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The biggest bonus I have discovered thus far is that Hills (a major pet food company) provides all the vet students with free tea and coffee in our building!! If nothing else, I picked the best school solely for this reason alone 🙂

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Studying in the vet student kitchen area

By this point I have discovered that most things in Australia are ridiculously expensive (except phone plans!). As an attempt to save money and be more active I’ve bought a bike and plan to bike everywhere instead of taking the tram/train/bus. Hopefully I can keep up with this into the Australian winter season (I hear it rains a lot)… I’ll get back to you on that.

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Here I am (squinting in the sun) with my new bike on the driveway up to the vet building.

Cheers!