The Externship Project Blog

YOVO (You Only Vet Once)

Posted September 5, 2019

At this point, I’ve mentioned tirelessly that I’m a city girl, which means that I didn’t grow up seeing or handling large animals and food animals – this includes cows, horses, sheep, goat, pigs and chickens. Aside from a sprinkle of goat, chicken and horse experience, my first time truly working with any of these animals was when I set foot at OVC. It’s safe to say, I didn’t feel comfortable being around any of these species let alone being able to know how to treat them. However, as time went on and we worked with large animals at OVC, I slowly started to trust myself with handling cows, horses and sheep. By the end of Phase III (third year), I was comfortable with dairy cows and horses and...

Living the Dr Pimple Popper dream! Sort of…

Posted August 16, 2019

In my first weeks of my externship I was presented with Lily, a sweet 13-year young golden retriever owned by one of the new technicians at our clinic. Lily had a history of scratching her left ear repetitively which resulted in a big bulge on her ear known as an aural hematoma (aural = ear; hematoma = swelling of clotted blood within tissue). Luckily for me, this is a relatively simple surgery that is perfect for a vet student to tackle. Plus, who can resist the opportunity to cut into a fluid filled pouch and squeeze out whatever...

Pyometras explained

Posted August 16, 2019

Aside from the frequent spays and neuters I’ve seen at the clinic, another common surgery I’ve seen performed has been a pyometra surgery. There usually aren’t this many pyometras presented to the clinic, but there has coincidently been an increased number of them while I’ve been on my externship!

Pyometra is a common illness in adult intact (non-spayed) female dogs and cats, where the...

Once upon a pregnant cow

Posted August 14, 2019

There is no such thing as an “easy day” or “easy week” at the Gray County Veterinary Clinic – a morning packed with surgeries, an afternoon filled with appointments and a handful of off-hour emergencies is what I’ve gotten accustomed to. I wouldn’t have it any other way but after a 55-hour week of being on my feet and continuously using my brain, I typically look forwards to a Friday night of doing absolutely nothing. There was one particular Friday where I did the very opposite...

A day in the life of a mixed animal vet

Posted August 8, 2019

 

Growing up, some of my fondest memories were our trips out to the farm to visit my grandparents. Being from the Ottawa area, a short 30-minute drive from our front door was all it took to find yourself in a different landscape. Tall buildings and residential housing was replaced with green soybean fields, golden cobs of corn seated on tall stalks, and beautiful old barns lining the highway. I remember sitting in the backseat with my brother, full of excitement, as I repeatedly said “Did you see those cows Jake?”

As a kid, the farm opened up my eyes to a new world of wonder when it came to animals, and, ultimately, where my love of animals developed. My mom grew up on a...

The pawsibilities of wound management

Posted August 1, 2019

My first few weeks of my externship at Aylmer Veterinary Clinic have been off to a great start! I’ve been getting lots of hands-on opportunities doing spays and neuters, practicing blood draws, putting in intravenous catheters, and performing physical exams. It was very overwhelming to start appointments and get the hang of things at first, but I’ve settled well into the routine of things. Some days are quite challenging, whereas others I feel like I know what I’m doing, which I’m starting to learn is all part of the job! It is totally normal to feel this way as a veterinary student while I’m trying to apply things we’ve learned in classes to...

Jack of all Trades

Posted July 22, 2019

I’ve been a city girl for as long as I can remember. I was born in New York City and eventually when we moved to Canada, I was raised in/near Toronto. The dense population, fast-pace life, hustle and bustle is what I’ve always been accustomed to. So, when I made it to Pampa, Texas for my externship, a town with about 15,000 people, I experienced some very real culture shock. I quickly realized that there was no concept of unfamiliar faces in this town, everything was quiet and calm, and kindness oozed out of everyone. It was different but a good different. I always liked the idea of rural life, so I’m not surprised...

Bull breeding soundness evaluations

Posted July 22, 2019

Hello everyone and thank you for joining me on my Western Canadian veterinary adventure! I am so excited to share with you all the new and exciting experiences this province has to offer as I take my first steps into practicing veterinary medicine. I arrived on the ranch where I will be staying for my externship to find my one-bedroom cabin surrounded by beautiful views of pastures with grazing beef cattle and working horses. The huge prairie skies displayed incredible cloud formations and beach-like sunsets. To be living right within the heart of ranch country will provide many great learning opportunities for a young vet to learn...

One small bite

Posted July 19, 2019

As a veterinary student, I have felt a strong connection with animals for most of life. This connection is one of the reasons I chose a career in veterinary medicine. I pride myself on being able to read animal behaviour, and understand what an animal might be trying to communicate, however my interpretations are not always right.

About one week into my externship, I can feel a bit of confidence building. I’m starting to ask the right questions to clients; I’m starting to feel better about making differential diagnosis; and I’m starting to feel like my animal handling is improving. That’s when it happens. While doing a...

Why I wanted to become a vet

Posted July 17, 2019

As a child, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer always had something to do with animals (except for my earliest and most coveted dream of becoming a ballerina). Some standout dreams were to be a farmer, a wildlife photographer, or a to run a dog rescue/humane society. I eventually started going to an after-school program at the Kitchener-Waterloo humane society called “Junior Vets”.  That name somehow stuck with me and directed me towards my goal of becoming a veterinarian.

It was this program that also introduced me to horses as one of our field trips was to a riding stable. I convinced my parents to...