The Externship Project Blog

Pyo what?

Posted November 12, 2018

As a general practitioner, some of the most frequent procedures that are done in the clinic include the ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus) of the female, and castration (removal of the testicles) of the male. During my time at Hird and Partner’s, I was lucky to have performed a few of these procedures under direct supervision. It was a great way to get obtain more surgical experience before having to perform them on my own in just one short year (is it really that soon?!).

While most clients...

It’s what’s on the inside that counts!

Posted October 22, 2018

Growing up, I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Well, veterinary medicine takes this phrase to a whole new level when it comes to diagnostic imaging. With advanced imaging modalities such as CT scans and MRI, we can get a very detailed picture of pretty much any organ or tissue inside an animal. While radiology (X-rays) is probably the most common imaging technique used in general practice, there are some disease processes that require more advanced methods to make a...

Big or small – there’s something for you

Posted October 19, 2018

Before I got into vet school, I never really envisioned myself working with species other than dogs and cats. I had no experience with cattle or horses prior, so you could imagine me struggling in the beginning. It was quite daunting to handle horses and cows, and we have to start with the basics – putting on halters, tying knots and learning safety precautions. Thankfully I have amazing colleagues and mentors who are experienced with large animals and willing to teach. Over time I have become more comfortable working with cows and horses and they certainly have a special place...

Dreamworks’ Shrek is not a substitute for veterinary advice

Posted October 16, 2018

Our discussion this week surrounds a disorder which has become particularly important to me in the past couple of months, as it affects a furry friend who is close to my heart. Arthur is a petite tuxedo cat who came to us as a stray and effortlessly purred, chirped and cuddled his way into our home. While he appeared healthy initially, soon he began to demonstrate a sporadic hacking, wheezing cough which left us puzzled for some time. These spasms lasted several seconds, and unfortunately seemed to be initiated by Arthur’s purring – I was becoming reluctant...

Insights for aspiring cow vets

Posted October 11, 2018

Ikendale Farm Inc., a family owned dairy farm is a familiar fixture located in Walkerton, Ontario. They house 300 milking cows in a clean and modern barn equipped with a 30-stall rotary milking parlor. Their youngest partner, Tyler Kuntz is a third-generation farmer who became more involved with the family farm operation after graduating from the University of Guelph in 2004. Tyler is also highly engaged in the community and loves introducing his passion for dairy production to anyone who wants to learn. Our veterinarians visit Ikendale Farm at least once a week to do herd health checks, and Tyler and his team...

The last gift and the final moments

Posted October 9, 2018

Every patient we see is a precious member of a family, a partner in crime, and a true companion that we get to share our lives with. As they step into the clinic, they always leave behind paw prints through our journey as veterinarians. In school, we spend a lot of time learning different disease processes, differential diagnosis, and treatment options, etc., but, we don’t talk a great deal about death and grief. It’s not a pleasant topic, but

What to expect – externship edition

Posted October 5, 2018

Hey everyone! I’d like to spend a bit of time today talking about what the incoming Phase Threes might expect next summer when they begin their own externships, and how Picton Animal Hospital schedules their days, because I think it’s a cool system.

There are five veterinarians at PAH, with one doing primarily large animal, two doing about half and half, and then two doing primarily small animal calls. The clinic allows me to choose where I spend my time based on my own interests, and all the veterinarians make sure to give me a heads up if they’re about to go and see a particularly interesting case. I have...

Help! My dog’s breath stinks!

Posted October 1, 2018

Oral health of pets is of great importance to us here at Hanover Veterinary Hospital. We take great pride in advocating to start pets on a dental hygiene regimen as early as possible. However, even with the most compliant owners, we still suggest a dental checkup under anesthetic as we have no way of checking diseases lurking underneath the gum line in an awake pet. This week I was able to assist Dr. Curtin in doing my own dog’s dental. Curious to see what your fluffball’s dental look like compared to yours? Here’s a typical day...

Calves, calves, and more calves!

Posted September 27, 2018

When we think of baby animals we often think of how cute puppies and kittens are, weighing in at sometimes just 200 grams. We don’t often think about livestock. However, some of the cutest baby animals are over 35 kg at birth! While here in New Zealand, I have been fortunate enough to work with lots of baby cows….and I mean lots. A baby cow is called...

How did your Externship impact your veterinary career?

Posted September 20, 2018

Dr. Melissa Wagner, OVC 2017 (2016 Externship Blog Project)

I did my externship at Prescott Animal Hospital in Prescott, Ontario. I am currently working in small animal general practice at the Brockville Animal Hospital in Brockville, Ontario. I live nearby with my husband, John, on our dairy farm with our dogs, Diego and Papito, and cats, Wallace and Myrtle.

The hands on and case-based learning experiences that the externship offered...