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Experiences from an Emergency Hospital

This winning submission from our Experiences category was sent to us by Kathleen Crossman from the Atlantic Veterinary College. Thank you for sharing your story Kate!


Last summer I spent some time in an emergency veterinary hospital and became fascinated with the fast-paced cases and surgeries. My favorite experience was being on hand when a 4-year-old lab mix presented to the clinic with a laceration to his back. His owners told us he had been running through the woods and disappeared out of their sight; moments later, they heard a loud yelp, and he came running back to them like the hounds of hell were at his back. The superficial laceration spanned no longer than three inches and marked his back at the base of his neck. He was sedated to allow for further exploration and debridement of the wound, as he was very high energy and quite anxious. Upon physical exam I palpated a small firm mass along his spinal cord at the level of his hind limbs, and as we debrided the wound, we realized that the skin was quite loose, and it appeared that whatever had lacerated the poor dog had actually skimmed right along his back, slicing the subcutaneous tissue clear to his hind legs. As we incised the skin and retracted it, bits and pieces of wood and clumps of his hair were visualized, and the firm mass I had palpated turned out to be a solid piece of a branch! The three-inch laceration turned into a surgical incision that spanned his entire spinal cord:


We nicknamed our patient Arrowhead for the unique shape of his surgical incision. He recovered smoothly and was able to go home with his grateful owners the following day. Arrowhead became one of the patients I aided this summer that cemented my interest in emergency veterinary medicine.

"Arrowhead" after his laceration repair.




"He Never Spooks...."

Sent to us by Matt Movassaghi from North Carolina State University, this winning submission from our Foot In Mouth Disease category hits a little too close to home for us equine folks.


Meet Virchow, the Panther Chameleon

Virchow is one of our winners in the Cutest Pet category! Thank you Linn Clarizio from the University of Minnesota for sharing this beautiful picture with us.


AAVMC Veterinary Health and Wellness Summit Travel Grant Recipients

The AAVMC veterinary health and wellness summit is a conference focused on addressing the unique mental health concerns and needs facing the veterinary community. This year the newly formed SAVMA wellness committee awarded travel grants to four students with the aim of reducing the stress associated with the expense of attending this conference. Below are the reflection statements of the four awardees for 2016. Each statement offers a unique perspective into what each individual feels is essential to their our wellness and essential to the promotion of wellness at their individual universities.

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Externs Abroad

Thomas Crook from the Royal Veterinary College submitted this winning piece about his time with camels in the United Arab Emirates. Who knew beauty camels could come with such a high price tag!?

After a tiring day of collecting and transferring camel embryos in the middle of a desert research complex, in the 35 degree heat of Al Ain, we were about to leave for the evening.  

On the way out of the complex, heading down a long tarmac road with desert and palm trees either side of us we got a call – an expensive camel was having a difficult birthing and the Bedouins were unable to assist her any further.  After rushing across the sand dunes in the 4x4 we reached the camel camp just in time.  The vet explained how uncommon this was in these hardy animals, and so this was serious.  As we approached the vet did a quick exam and noted that the calf’s legs had become tangled and jammed within the dam.  As we collected all the equipment from the car, the Bedouins managed to get the dam down onto her belly and we hooked up the calf to the chains.  After countless painstaking minutes of twisting, pulling and sweating under the hot Arabian sun, the calf was out!  After some anxious moments, the calf was lifting its head and breathing by itself – what a relief!  With the feeling of elation and adrenaline coursing through my body, we washed ourselves off and began to leave the camp, only to be greeted by a miraculous reward – meeting Nadiya, the world’s highest rated competition beauty camel worth a whopping $15,000,000, as she was leaving for a walk.  What a day.

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