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Entries in Ross U (10)


Animal Medical Center

Katheryn Johnson - Ross



Honk…Sirens…Cold dry air. My surroundings over whelm my senses as I find myself in the “Big Apple”, New York City. I walk to the Animal Medical Center (AMC) for my first day of a two week externship…

            What started out as a work horse parade event in 1907, to promote prevention of animal cruelty to animals by the Women’s Auxiliary, has evolved into the Animal Medical Center. They treat more than 30,000 animal cases a year. The hospital is equipped with specialty departments, a full staff of 70 Veterinarians, and treats small animals from dogs and cats to exotics like reptiles. I will share with you what AMC has to offer, what I learned there, and amazing people and opportunities it provides. Let’s first take a look at why the AMC has a diverse and numerous case load.

            The Animal Medical Center has specialty department and services to fit the needs of each patient and client that comes. There are numerous specialties offered, some of which include: avian and exotics, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, oncology, radiology, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, surgery, and rehabilitation and fitness, and more. All of these departments see a vast diversity of animal cases and provide the best treatment possible. AMC has state of the art equipment to provide proper diagnostics and testing. They have two digital radiology suites, ultra sound machines, five operating rooms with several top anesthesia machines, endoscopy suit, and more. The hospital provides emergency and critical care that is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The hospital not only provides amazing veterinary care to its patients, but provides vet students with a great opportunity for learning. Here is what I took away from my time there.

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An African Adventure

Breann Jolliffe - Ross



As the wheels to the plane finally touch ground, our pilot announces overhead, “Sorry for the abrupt turn, we had to avoid some vultures.  Welcome to Africa.  On your left are warthogs”.  At that moment, I knew this trip would be one I would never forget. 

A South African braai (barbeque) awakens our senses for our first meal.In August of 2014, a few friends and I expanded our experiences in veterinary medicine with South Africa World Vets.  This team is based out of Hoedspruit, South Africa and includes a wildlife veterinarian, a small animal veterinarian, a helicopter pilot, wildlife experts, as well as their support staff.  They were all welcoming, accommodating, knowledgeable, and had a passion for teaching.  

For two weeks, we stayed in cozy lodges on a large game reserve located near the Greater Kruger National Park.  Every night we gathered around a fire with a homemade dinner that was so delicious, I would go back for the food alone.    

 Our two-week trip lead right up to the weekend of the spring season game auction in Nelspruit, South Africa.  This auction gathers farmers who are interested in buying and selling their animals for breeding purposes.  The farmers keep detailed records of their animals including their birthdates, individual gestation periods, and even their lineages to prevent inbreeding.  This auction puts monetary value on the livelihood of these animals and therefore additionally helps conservational efforts.   Many of our experiences came from helping different farmers prepare for this event.    

This sable was sedated in order to load it onto the trailer for the auction.

Sedation and proper animal handling were used on every animal we assessed.  The type of sedative and handling technique used varied with species.  A few of the species we encountered were sable, impala, buffalo, nyala, eland, wild dogs and an elephant.  During our encounter with each species, we learned their different habits, family orders, different reactions to medications, and the characteristics desired for those at auction. 

Most of our experience came from working with the beautiful sable.  These farmers put a great deal of trust into their veterinarians, as this endangered antelope species can be worth over $1 million USD.   After the animal is sedated, we would assist by holding the head properly to prevent aspiration, check respiration rate and quality, and give intramuscular injections as needed.  We were able to confirm a few pregnancies via ultrasonography as well.  All of this was completed prior to gathering a team of 8 or more people to carry the sable in a sling to the transporting vehicle.  Once loaded, the veterinarian would give the reversal. 

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Casper the Christmas Squirrel

Ava Kilburn - Ross

Life as a Vet Student - Winner


Casper was a very unexpected addition to the fur family.  When having lunch one day on an outdoor patio of a local Mexican restaurant I watched a tiny ball of fur approach my table.  There were crumbles from a tortilla chip on the ground that I watched her approach and thought “please eat it, I can’t take you home.”  She didn’t.  I then watched her approach a balled up napkin and as she began to nuzzle it I knew the inevitable - the squirrel was going home with me.  The restaurant was right off of a busy road and I could only imagine what would happen if I didn’t pick her up.

 So Casper went back to work with me in a take out drink cup and I presented her to our veterinarian with a “Guess what I found!” Luckily he was fond of her, told me to keep her, and we ravaged the cabinets for some puppy milk to feed her.  I spent the next week or two bringing her to and from the clinic with me and waking in the middle of the night so she could have a syringe feeding every 5 hours. 

Casper spent all of her time on my shoulder, or watching me from atop the doors.  She also enjoyed running up and down the banister of the stairs.  If new people came around she would always give them a good scare by jumping onto their shoulder from mine or climbing up their pant legs.  The cats learned early on she was part of the family - and that she wasn’t afraid to nip their tails…  Her favorite treats were pecans, chocolate chips, Dr. Pepper and sharing PB&J sandwiches - in moderation! 

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My SAVMA Symposium Experience

Adam Silkworth, Ross University

Experiences, Entry


After spending the last 2 years on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts attending Ross University, the little snow that we received in Loveland, Colorado at the 2014 SAVMA Symposium was a welcome reminder of the world outside of the beaches and oceans that I had been currently living.

Traveling from such a long distance made the trip there in and of itself an adventure alone. We had to sprint through the Dallas airport, making our connection by mere seconds, due to our Miami connection being delayed. But not before we got Wendy’s in the Miami airport that we had all been talking about for days leading up to the trip.

We didn’t land in Denver until 11:10 p.m. the night before Symposium was to kick off and still had over an hour ride to the hotel. Let us not forget the time difference between the Caribbean and Colorado. By our body clocks, we didn’t land until 1:10 a.m. and arrive at the hotel until well after 2 a.m. Oh and did I mention that breakfast was at 6 a.m. No sleep ‘til Symposium!

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Ready for Anesthesia

By: Melissa Baker

Ross University, Class of 2012

If only they could come to school and make all those dots for you!