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Posts Tagged ‘Vet school’

This week I’m located down in the west Midlands doing Equine fertility work with John Newcombe and Gary Kelly. John Newcombe is one of Britain’s most prominent equine stud vets and is an expert in his field. He works with Embryo Transfer all over the world and Mare Fertility/ pregnancy diagnosis. John also does a lot of research within equine reproduction. Gary is also an equine fertility vet, but he also works with Equine dentistry.

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The problem with being a new vet is that it’s expected that you know so much when you graduate even though your not allowed to do much before your qualified when seeing practice. Therefore I decided to travel to Brownhills in West midlands, just outside of Birmingham to gain some experience in equine reproduction with the famous John Newcombe. I flew in from Glasgow on Sunday and already on Sunday evening John was having me rectal examine his mares to locate the uterus and ovaries. He would then ultrasound these structures to identify what stage of the cycle they were to potentially cover them with a stallion.

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Rectal examination of horses is quite a tricky thing to do in the beginning, because you might know the theory bind what your meant to feel, but you don’t know how it feels or where to located what your meant to feel. All mares are different as well, which makes it hard to standardise the learning. The only way to learn this method is to practice it, but then again many clinics won’t let you practice this as student, because of the danger that the mare will have a rectal tear, in which case she might have to be put down. John has over 50 horses at his yard, which are all used to him examining them. So I was allowed to examine them when brought in. In the beginning I had problems locating the uterus, especially in the older mares because the uterus was often located much further in and I’m not a very tall person.

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I’ve now been here a week and with being allowed to rectal examine horses 3 times a day, I’ve notices a huge improvement. I can now locate the uterus in all the mares that come in as well as locate most of the ovaries. I’ve also started to be able to assess the tone of the uterus body and horns as well as the size of the ovaries. This is important because the uterus and horns will change in tone depending on where in the cycle the mare is. The ovaries will also change in tone right before ovulation as well as some mares being more tender at this point. Its therefore important to assess all of the mares behaviour, not just oestrus behaviour.

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Several of the mares were covered/mated when I was here as well. John is doing research where he flushes the Mare after a certain amount of hours after she has been covered to compare how many inflammatory cells there are in the uterus after natural service (stallion) compared to frozen or chilled semen inseminated. Therefore 4-6 hours after the mare was covered, we flushed here, often at midnight.

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Warren house if one of the few veterinary clinics in Britain that y regularly and successfully carry out Embryo transfer.  This procedure is when you take a 7 day old embryo from one mare (“donor”) and place it into the uterus of another mare (“recipient”).  The recipient mare will then carry the pregnancy to term and mother the foal until weaning. The donor mare is then free to be mated again to achieve more pregnancies in the same year or continue her competitive career.

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Next week I’m of to do Veterinary dentistry at a referral clinic in North Berwich.
Talk soon
Annette

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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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February is a very social month at Glasgow. The third years have their half way dinner, which celebrates the third years being halfway through vet school. I can’t wait until next year when I get to celebrate being half way done. Thursday night was Mr. Vet School, the competition where the guys of the vet school go through rounds where they compete for the title to become Mr. Vet School. This years acts wasn’t as good as last year though, but I think it’s very brave to get up in female lingerie in front of the entire school. They also played twister bathed in baby oil, drank laxative, waxed eyebrows and chests. The nasty eating round this year was completed by all the guys, so I don’t understand why then some of them didn’t continue, I think there were some problems with the QMU union during the show!

Ivan came Wednesday from Africa and got to come both for Mr. Vet School and the Vet Ball. Ryan who is Brianna’s boyfriend had come from the USA for the event as well. I don’t think the guys liked Mr. Vet School much, but seeing there were mostly girls there, Ivan actually got grabbed by someone at the bar, hehe.

Saturday Night was the Annual Vet Ball. It was held at the Hilton Hotel Glasgow again like last year.  Me and Ivan sat on a table with Brianna & Ryan, Laura & Kegan, Amy & Matt, Christina & Alix, so there were at least other guys for the guys to talk with. They had spelled Ivans name wrong, despite Christina emailed them with the right spelling, so his new nick name is now Sjoberry instead of Sjøberg, hehe! We had a table in the middle on the right side so we could see the stage pretty well. There was a fish appetizer, the main course was chicken breast filled with mushroom mousseline covered in pastry lattice, whilst for dessert they served champagne jelly, clotted cream ice cream & raspberry compote.

After the dinner the dancing started. They started by playing swing music. Me and Ivan decided that we should take a swing course seeing none of us really got it 😛 It could also be that we have never danced together before. Then it was on to Ceilidh dancing (the Scottish folk dance). The dance floor was packed so it was a bit hard to move but I must say that me & Ivan did a lot better at this than the swing, well we think we did, hehe. At the end they switched to a DJ with normal club dancing and old classics like mc hammer 😛 I can at least say the feet where soar when we left after 8 hours at 2am. All in all a really good night!

Everyone looked so good in their dressed and all the guys dressed up in their kilt. Ivan wore his Military Ball uniform so he kind of stood out. I even overheard some girls in the bathroom talking about that they wondered what he did, and all the Americans came to shake his hand to thank him for his service. It is a completely different culture with the Americans and the Army.  Today I drove Ivan to the airport and just slept to recover for another full week of lectures. I need to catch up on some reading after all these festivities. My mum is coming to visit for a week on Wednesday so looking forward to that.

Write more soon=)

~Annette

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Hi just wanted to show  you guys so me pictures from how its been in Glasgow the past couple of days whilst Im stuck in the library reading for Professional exams=)
Its been really sunny and 15-24*c.

My flatmate Natalie (syd) has gotten herself a rescue cat names Amos. He was starved by hes previous owners and was so thin that we could feel all his ribs. After feeding him up a bit hes looking quite healthy, although my rats are terrified=)

Today was the vet school annual rodeo. It’s basically a big fun fair with lots of animals and all the proceeds go to several animal charities. This year it went to Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Riding for the Disabled, PDSA and the Vet School Development Fund. We raised over 14,000 £  for local charities, and had a great time doing it. There were events such as Falconry, Duck Herding, Magician, Highland Dancers, Dray Rides, Chainsaw sculptor, Ferret Racing, Western Riding, Vaulting.. and many more. Me and Brianna were in charge of taking register for people entering the dog show for the first half of the day. It wasnt a read dog show, but just for fun where the catagories included who had the waggiest tail, who looked most alike (dog & owner) and fun obedience. After we had done our part, because 1st years always help out with the event seeing its the second year students who arrange the whole event, me and Brianna walked around a bit before heading home to hit the books again.

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