Posts Tagged ‘Glasgow veterinary’


Glasgow University has changed the structure of final year to now be a 52 week year- so that everyone has the most practical experience they can, before graduating as veterinarians.


I started my final year on Small animal core rotation, starting with the Dogs trust in Glasgow. This is a surgery rotation meant to let us spay/ castrate dogs. Because I got so much experience In Cyprus when I went do see EMS there, I was pretty confident. Each rotation we have to pass something called a DOPS, which is based of “day one competent” tasks we are meant to be able to do. I was DOPSed on a bitch spay the first day and passed  =). 


The next week I was on Dermatology, ophthalmology and rabbits. The week started with ophthalmology at the Glasgow small animal hospital with George Peplinski. We spent the day sitting in on all his consultations- getting to assess the animals that came in. I was a bit sad that we only had one day on ophthalmology because I enjoyed it so much at Willows referral hospital, aspecially that we didn’t get to see any surgeries. Tuesday and Thursday we were on Dermatology on a practice outside of Glasgow in Paisley, working with Pete Forsynthe in Derm referrals. He was a great teacher and made sure we knew how to do dermatological clinical exam on the patients that came in, along with dermatological sampling, cytology and allergy testing. I had a DOPS on dermatological exam of a hyper springer spaniel, but passed this one as well. Wednesday we were doing rabbit spay/castrations with miss Livia Benato. We weren’t that lucky with the rabbit spays for this day. Two rabbit were schedules for a spay, but one had complications during induction which lead to the surgery being pushed on week, and the next rabbit had a scar on its linea albae. When we opened up, it was discovered that the rabbit was already spayed previously. Therefore most of the day went to rabbit husbandry and handling instead. 


In the weekend I was asked to Guide the buss for the International society of Glasgow to Alnwick castle, which is also known as Hogwarts, where a lot of the harry potter films were filmed. It was a beautiful castle and a really fun day out with Broomstick flying & Medieval fancy dress. Too bad the weather wasn’t too great down in England. The weather in Glasgow had really been amazing the past weeks with temperatures up to 30’c. 




This past week I was consulting for the PDSA aid hospital in Glasgow. I got to consult some of the clients that came in, then the vet had a look and I had to tell him what was wrong, formulate a plan and then talk to the owner and do what was needed. I really enjoyed this form of teaching. It made me feel like a vet, as well as I had the backup from the vet to be sure I wasn’t diagnosing the animal wrong. We had everything from dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, budgies, rabbits etc. It was a lively clinic with a variety of different clinical presentations. PDSA is a veterinary practice for people on housing benefits who can afford the ordinary vets. I really like that there is a place, so that these animals are seen to, even when their owners can’t afford the vet. Although most of what we did was free to the clients, there were a few health/ welfare issues where the owners had left things too long before bringing the animals in. we didn’t have to put any animals down, but severe/ long term treatment was needed on some of the cases. 

ImageNext week i’m in the PDSA as well, but this time on the surgery rotation, so I’m looking forward to that =) 

ImageAlso I’d like you all too meet a new individual in my life. Below picture is my new dog Tasha. She’s an 11 week old labradoodle girl. I got here yesterday and she’s very well so far. 







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Today was a big mile stone in my path to becoming a vet. Next year (our final year) we have rotations so this was our final day of lectures!!! It was a strange feeling. After 3 years of undergrad BSc and then now another 4 years, Im not going to have ANY more lectures. It’s a bittersweet feeling really. Its been a long road just to get this far. We have exams starting in  2 weeks so we still have a bit to go of 4th year, but hopefully this year will pass like all the rest and we can finally start doing what we will do for the rest of our lives.  Scary to think next year this time will be getting ready to graduate as the BVMS Class of 2014 =)ImageImage








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Hey guys sorry i haven’t been writing for a while. will try and post something in a bit.

I’m currently going to lectures, the gym and then library until midnight every day so have no life 😛

Running out of time to study for my last round of exams

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I finished my last day here in South Africa treating a rhino for an abscess on her hindquarters. She was darted from a helicopter, when running with 2 other grown rhinos and a calf about 8 months old. I was on the ground leading the “buckie” (truck) to where the helicopter instructed me to go when the animal was darted, and saw the rhinos running over the open grass field. I can’t explain the feeling of awe that went over me looking at these magnificent creatures. They got as close as just 20m away from me; full grown rhinos with horns! Unfortunately, it’s not often you see them with horns anymore. The reason for this is poaching.

Facts about rhinos killed in southern Africa is shocking. In 2009, 122 were killed; in 2010, 333 were killed; in 2011 448 were killed, including 19 critically endangered black rhinos. 200 were shot by pseudo hunters, 28 poached in Zimbabwe, 27 poached in Kenya and two poached in Swaziland reaching a shocking 705. In 2012, 281 had been killed by the end of July and it’s expected that this number will reach 595 by the end of this year. Numbers are increasing almost daily (facts from Getaway Sept 2012).

There has not been any medical proof found by traditional medicine that the popular myth that rhino horns (ground to powder) is an aphrodisiac is true. A politician in Vietnam ran a television campaign about how rhino horn cured his cancer, which caused an increase in demand. Other than that it’s believed that it reduced inflammation, fever and hangovers. In Yemen, the horns are used as a handle for daggers that men own. The fact that rhino horn is illegal and so rare causes the black market prices to rocket. A 2 kg rhino horn can go for 2 million South African rand. Seeing as minimum wage is so low in South Africa, poaching is therefore an alternative some choose to supplement their income. If successful they can earn a lot. A grown rhino can have horns up to 6 kg. Another problem is speculators who hedging against rhino extinction.

There are a lot of corrupt people in the anti rhino poaching industry as well. At the moment there is a trial going where a game farmer and two vets are charged with killing more than 39 rhinos and selling their horns on the black market. The cost of a rhino is a fraction of what you can get for its horn, so some game farmers might be tempted to hunt their own rhinos for their horns. I asked a farmer who said that the cost of a rhino could be around 240 000 R, whilst its horn several million. I find it horrible that vets, who are there to look out for the welfare of such animals, could be in on this. It doesn’t help the public’s trust in the vets that actually do good.

Poachers don’t always know how to properly kill the rhinos when they shoot them. They therefore often leave them hurt to the point that they die a slow death. The poachers won’t hesitate to start dehorning the animal whilst it’s still alive. I heard that poachers will shot the calf as well if there is one. The calves do not have horns, but because they often stay with their mums, the poachers are often afraid of them. Therefore rangers can end up finding both the female and calf rhino dead. I was told that the vet I worked with was called out once when the female rhino had been poached. The calf was found next to her alive, but soon after the calf got really sick. When the vet came, he found
that the calf had been shot too, but at a place that wasn’t very visible. The shot had penetrated the chest cavity right next to the right front shoulder, which penetrated the lung and diaphragm on the right side. This unfortunately caused the calf to die a few days later.

So I’ll try and write about some of the good the vets do to prevent poaching, from my experience the past weeks. Some farmers choose to dehorn their rhinos to prevent the animals being killed by poachers. If they don’t have any horns, there won’t be a reason for them to shoot the rhinos. The vet would dart the animal from a helicopter, then monitor its anesthetics safely, whilst using a chain saw to cut off the two horns. Care has to be taken not to cut too deeply, because this can cause blood loss. The process is documented with photos and a person from the government wildlife conservative has to be present. The vet also has to apply for a permit to do the procedure, which last
a month at the time. After the horn is cut, diesel is poured on the horns and they are burned to ash, which is documented again. A problem with the application to get a permit is that this process is very slow and by the time the vet gets his licensed for the needed rhino, it might have been poached in the meantime. Another problem with dehorning the rhino is that the female rhino uses its horn to defend her calf from the male rhinos, which can cause the calf to die if the mother can’t protect it.

Another approach is to microchip the horns. Another farmer we visited didn’t want his rhinos to live without their horns. They lose their pride and beauty if you take away their horn. So in this case the rhinos are darted. Then a small hole is drilled in each of the two horns and a micro chip is inserted into the horn. The drilled out bit is placed in jars, along with blood samples and some pieces of hair. This is all sent to a lab to be DNA profiled. If a rhino poacher is caught and some form of DNA is found with the poacher it can be traced back to that killed rhino and the person can be trialed. The problem with this again is that it won’t prevent the poacher from killing the rhinos in the first place. A person who has a permit to keep a rhino horn, will have to have a microchip in the horn, there are then people who come and check yearly that the person has not sold that horn on the black marked.

It is horrifying to think that these magnificent animals might become extinct in my lifetime!

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This year 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the Glasgow University School of veterinary Medicine was founded by James McCall in 1862.

The 5to 7th of October we had a “New Horizons Research Symposium” providing both history and current perspectives on veterinary research at Glasgow. It was amazing to see how big a contribution Glasgow vet school is making to the research in its field and made as all very proud to be a Glasgow vet student. The final James McCall Memorial lecture was delivered by out former dean Professor Stuart Reid, who is not the principal of the Royal Veterinary College in London.  All the student came for the Friday lectures. But all in all there were over 400 alumni that came from all over the world for the weekend events.

I also bought a book that has been published: The Glasgow veterinary school 1862-2012). If anyone else wants to buy it. I can be bough online www.universityofglasgowshops.com or at amazon.

James Herriot books has always been a great pride of the Glasgow vets. Alf Wight – pen name James Herriot graduated from Glasgow. For the 150year anniversary his son Jim Wight came and had a talk to all the student: very inspirational as a vet student.  His also given an interview you can watch here:

Jim Wight Interview

James McCall founded the Glasgow Veterinary College in 1862, one hundred years after the establishment of the first Veterinary School in Europe. The first class had 10 students enrolled and lectures lasted three hours a day. The fees at the time for the three year veterinary course were 16 pounds for the first year, 18 pounds for the second and 20 pounds for the third. The student numbers continued to increase and one hundred and forty-three student had enrolled by 1894.

Glasgow Vet 150 years

Today the university of Glasgow veterinary school is pre- eminent in teaching, research and clinical provision. They have researchers, clinicians and students from around the world providing an expert referral institution for Small animals at the Small Animal Hospital, Horses at the Weipers centre for Equine Welfar and Farm animals at the Scottish  centre for production animal health and welfare.  Glasgow also keeps getting awards for its research not only in Scotland but around the UK as well.  The school is also accredited with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The north American veterinary licensing education (NAVLE) pass rate is up to 87% for 2011. We also became associated with SCAVMA(Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association ) last year as the first UK vet school, in addition to our Accreditation with, RCVS (Royal collage of veterinary Surgons), BVA (British veterinary Association) and BSAVA (British Small animal Veterinary association) plus a few more =)

Glasgow school of veterinary medicine is located on 80 hectare on the northwest boundary of Glasgow city, about 30 minutes from the main university at Gilmorehill. The school has 190 hectars commercial farm and research centre at Cochno, 15 minutes from the Garscube campus. There is about 179 staff: academic, research and support with additional 65 postgraduate research students and 30 post graduate clinical scholars and 500 undergraduate students here.

The university of Glasgow is constantly pushing their students to the limit academically and clinically. They emphasise that being a student is not only in the classroom but in the veterinary community as a whole. Being a good veterinarian isn’t just about small animals or large animals, it’s about incorporating veterinary medicine into our lives and giving back to the community, wether that’s is here in Scotland, Africa, India, Scandinavia or America. They focus on producing well rounded veterinarians that have the ability to flourish once they graduate and enter the great big world.

Me and Professor Stuart Reid

Me and our old Anatomy Professor Jack Boyd

All in all I can say that I’m proud to be a 4th year vet student here at Glasgow. I’m lucky to have the chance to be a part of their family. Cos that’s that we are here at Glasgow- one big Family

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All classes, exams and courses at the University of Glasgow – including the campus in Dumfries – are cancelled today,with very strong winds expected from 12 noon onwards, the University has decided to close with immediate effect. All staff and students are encouraged to return home as soon as possible.

This was the message we got this morning after staying up almost all night reading for pathology. Last year some of the exams were cancelled because of the snow, but this year its wind. it is getting up to 90mph and its said to reach 100mpg.

The only problem is that the exam we have left now is the one i havent read that much for, and its also not cancelled. Its tomorrow and Glasgow University kicked everyone out from the library. Its hard to read at home- better get on with it i guess… sigh…


Hundreds of schools are closed in Scotland today as Britain is battered by winds at over 100mph.

Snow is expected as far south as Birmingham as Arctic conditions sweep in across the country. London will experience gusts of up to 55mph, forecasters said.

High winds: The coast at Saltcoats in Ayrshire, Scotland, is battered by seawater as the coast is hit by gusts of up to 90mph today


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The last blog I wrote in February ended with my mum coming to visit, we had a lovely weekend where she stocked up on some homemade food for me to have in the freezer. She made Norwegian Kjøttkaker and Labskaus..mmmmm.

A couple of weekends later Ivan came to visit. At this time id been asked to photograph the 5th years for this years naked calendar. They aren’t actually naked, they do wear underwear and then place animals or instruments to hide the underwear. The money for the calendars are given to charity. It was a lot of work trying to organize the 5th years and get them to meet at the sites that we were photographing in the end, but everyone seemed happy with the outcome. I’ve always been a landscape photographer so I got a crash course by Scott McGinley (http://www.scottmcginlay.tk/)  who is a graduated vet from Glasgow. He had been doing the calendar before and gave me some really good pointers. He also helped me edit the calendar=)

Anyways Ivan came to visit. Spring was coming to Glasgow compared to Norway which still had now. I went hacking with Ivan on horse, which was quite funny seeing he hadn’t been riding since he was 8 years old. I must say he did very well, but he was walking a bit funny on the next day! We also went reading at Garscube state park and went to the lock 27 with the other vets one of the nights which was very nice.
I decided to do something fun and educational one day and went to Strathblane Falconry, which works with birds of prey. For two hours, north of Glasgow in the country, we worked with Graeme and his birds, learning about the different popular breeds, seeing them fly, basic first aid, how to handle them when the come into the clinic, and common diseases we might see with them. At the end, we even got to have one land on us. It was truly amazing to see these birds and I really would like to spend some more times with these amazing creatures. Graeme knew everything there was to know about these birds and I think we all walked away a little bit more interested in Birds of prey.

After the dramatics and the hospital during easter break I came back ready to kick some butt and get the may exams done. As I said in my last blog I had convinced the doctors to let my try and take my exams even though id missed all the reading during easter break, but its better to have a few resits in may than all of them. We had 1 month to read all that we could to pass our exams. Me and Brianna paired up like last year. We worked out from 7-8 then showered and started reading at 10 everyday until 10 at night. It was hard days so when the annual Glasgow Rodeo came we decided to read in the morning for then to give our self a treat. The committee for this year’s rodeo was from our own 2 year (the 51th annual Rodeo) and I must say they had done an amazing job getting everything in tip top order for the day. There were dog shows, duck herding, birds of prey, agility, stands from all the animal charities and some breeds, ferret races, exotic and small animal tents, face painting, amusement parks, farm animal etc. Me and Brianne got our faces painted with flowers.

In the evening of the rodeo me and Brianna had got tickets to the Scottish Ballet who were played Alice in wonderland. They are amazing dancers, but they had changed the piece, so I wouldn’t say I liked that Alice in wonderland as much as others I’ve seen before.





My mum came over for a weekend and cooked for me and Brianna. She also helped us made a plan for the remaining days until our exams so that we would get an idea to get through it all. Even though she was there, we still ran or did Tracy Anderson every other day and read from 10am to 10pm. There was as you see underneath  quite a lot of material to get through and the picture of all the labelled noted under was only in anatomy.



Time flew, It was warm and sunny in Glasgow so we really just wanted to go outside rather than sit inside all day reading for professional. One day Brianna got flowers on the door from here boyfriend Ryan in the US. I told Ivan about it at night when skyping him. A couple of days later I got a huge package outside my door when I got home at night. Inside was an apple tree. There was a card. This is the tree of knowledge, love Ivan. I laughed so hard, I’ve never been given a tree before and he assured me that a tree lasted much longer than flowers:P
The professional exams came and we started off with biochemistry. The following day we had physiology. Physiology was cumulative meaning they would test you on material from both year 1 and 2. It was a double test, where you first had 3hours in the morning, then a break and 2 hours in the afternoon. Even with all this time, I felt like there wasn’t enough time in the test. We had a day break and then Husbandry for 3 hours. We were lucky and had the weekend off before anatomy written was on Monday and practical was on Tuesday. This year was different than all other years because you no longer have the opportunity to have an oral if you are between 45-50%. In phys I was unfortunate and had about 47% and therefore had a retake. But because of my situation with the gallbladder I kind of expected a resit. Just happy it wasn’t four, but only 2. I’ll catch you up on the summer break another day.






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