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Tuesday
Nov022010

IVSA UPenn Thailand Trip 2010

By: Steven Fernandez

Class of 2013, University of Pennsylvania

The International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) University of Pennsylvania chapter took on the challenge this past year to organize a trip with a contact from a Thai veterinarian and practice owner of Vet4 Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand. Our IVSA UPenn chapter was unaware that this veterinary practice is a well-known and respected clinic in all of Thailand. Vet4 was the first clinic in Thailand to start hydrotherapy for dogs and third to do total hip replacements. Hundreds of emails later throughout the entire academic year, IVSA UPenn sent 14 veterinary students and one local veterinarian to Bangkok, Thailand to start their hands-on training 9,500 miles away.

The trip consisted of 5 clinic days where the students were able to do full spays and castrations from incision to closure at no cost to the owners. We held a series of wetlabs using cadavers weeks in advance to prepare for surgery thanks to the help of our IVSA faculty advisor and surgery residents. Throughout the year we fundraised as much as possible to reduce the cost of the trip and we received lots of donations to offer better medical care for our patients. We brought extra luggage filled with IDEXX Snap tests, injectable Metacam (courtesy of Boerhinger-Ingelheim) for pain management, sterile surgery gloves, lots of frontline (courtesy of Merial), and sterile drapes (courtesy of GEPCO). Students learned how to keep their patient under anesthesia using basic drugs that were available to us. One of the major challenges with outdoor surgery was the incredibly high temperatures dogs had while recovering. Nonetheless, animals did recover and were sent on their way once they were able to walk.

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Monday
Nov012010

A Lesson Learned too late

By: Alicia Agnew

Class of 2013, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Summer is supposed to be a time to relax, go to the beach, hang out with friends.  Unfortunately, I have an inability to balance my life which I need to work on before getting out into the “real world”.  Summer had several objectives for me: 1) earn enough money for school, 2) get more clinical experience, and 3) get my goats under control, a yearly struggle.

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Saturday
Oct302010

It's a Baby!

By: Lana Chumney

Class of 2011, Texas A&M University

I was so excited to start my fourth year in the clinics on the large animal emergency rotation.  As it turned out, they should have named those two weeks “the petting zoo rotation” due to the wide variety of animals that we saw.  These included a miniature donkey colt, a miniature horse, a pony, a mule, another donkey, a baby camel, a kid goat, a Dexter bull and a few horses.  About the middle of my week on nights, just when the lack of sleep was catching up to me, a miniature horse came in with a newborn 25 pound foal that was premature and having trouble breathing.  As it was my case, I spent a good deal of time questioning the owners on its history.  “We’ve only had the mare for three months.  We had no idea that she was pregnant.  When I got home I thought, ‘Why did the kids leave a stuffed animal out there with Rosey?  But when I got closer, I saw that it was a baby!”  Now you may be thinking, how does someone have a horse that is 11 months pregnant and not know that it is pregnant?  I continued to ponder this question as I continued with clinical rotations for the next month.  At this point, my mare had been at my parents’ house in a stall for a year with no stud horses on the place.  I had seen her a couple of months earlier and remarked on how fat she had gotten on the free choice coastal she was eating combined with her lack of exercise.  About that time I got a call from my mom: “Your horse just had a baby!”  As it turns out, the farrier had turned an uncastrated colt out with her for an hour 11 months earlier and the rest is history.  And that was the end of my pondering.

Friday
Oct292010

Heart Made Whole

By: Carissa Hersum

Class of 2012, University of Minnesota

Thursday
Oct282010

7 lessons of life (and veterinary medicine) learned in the milk parlor

By: Claire McPhee

Class of 2012, North Carolina State University

Many people had experience with cattle prior to veterinary school. I was not one of those people. And yet, when I approach a cow, I feel a little flutter in my heart. Among other things, this flutter has led me to a decision to focus my career around these wonderful creatures. Since my fellow food animal veterinary students have largely spent their lives around livestock, it turns out that I have a little bit of catching up to do.

2010 became “the summer of all things bovine.” In addition to working with two different dairy practices, I decided to spend some time on the farm. My destination was a mid-size Jersey dairy in New England. Jersey cows, I discovered, like to split their time between being incredibly friendly and trying to kill you. Most of the latter happens in the parlor, where they seem to forget their curious and gentle nature in favor of figuring out how to make life difficult for the milkers.

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