The Externship Project Blog

How did your Externship impact your veterinary career?

Posted September 11, 2018

Dr. Jodi Boyd, OVC 2015 (2014 Externship Blog Project)

I worked in veterinary clinics prior to veterinary school but obviously never within the role as a veterinarian. The OVC externship allowed me to practice that role without the pressure of doing it completely alone and having all of the responsibility (and pressure) fall on me. It also provided a real-world experience. It was like having training wheels on a bicycle before being forced to ride it.

The externship also allowed me to gain some comfort and experience in large animal medicine. I streamed...

On the road – large animal calls

Posted September 7, 2018

My first few weeks on large animal calls at Heartland have flown by! Being out on farms and traversing the country roads has been eye-opening and a very welcome change from studying at my desk. There’s something special about the rural life, and I am so grateful to be spending time learning from vets, farmers, and of course the animals themselves. I wasn’t sure what to expect in my new role as an externship student, so for those who are curious, here’s a summary of some common and important calls one might see on large...

Parasite party in all seasons!

Posted September 5, 2018

As much as we don’t like to think about it, parasites are everywhere. I’m sure most of us are familiar with the wide range of insects we can find both indoors and outdoors. However, a lot of people don’t think about the dust mites that inhabit our houses or even the mites that most people can find living in their eyelashes! Luckily for us, these are microscopic and don’t usually cause us much harm.

While there are many harmless parasites, there are also...

The money shot

Posted September 4, 2018

Hi everyone! In week five, I learned how to perform a new surgery, got to practice my orthopedic and neurologic exams, and got to see a pretty dramatic case (I have pictures!).

Let’s start with the new surgery. In school, one of our lectures included a condition called an “aural hematoma”. It’s a relatively simple condition, but one I figured I wouldn’t see often in practice. Was I ever wrong! At this point, I’ve already seen about five or six dogs come in with...

The true role of the veterinarian

Posted August 30, 2018

When someone asks, “What does a veterinarian do?” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? If I had to take one guess, it would probably be” OMG I’m so jealous you guys get to play/cuddle with puppies and kittens all day”. Was I close? I don’t blame you; it’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the job, but also a very small percentage of it. We’ve probably all seen this funny meme below. As...

Year of the Northern Dog

Posted August 28, 2018

The first time I laid eyes on my dog, his name was Petey. He was a stocky husky-something, with a dusty red coat and a reserved attitude. I was a member of a team from Cat Lake Friends of Animush, and we were in Northern Ontario delivering a spay/neuter and vaccination clinic for the local dog and cat population.  He was a dog who needed a new home, and my family was ready for a dog. I’ll confess to having reservations when he arrived home with us – he came with little history, had never lived in a house, and seemed sensitive to loud noises...

Open wide and say ‘ahhh’!

Posted August 24, 2018

As many of you in the veterinary profession know, dental care is exceptionally important for the overall health of our patients. Clients are always encouraged to bring in their cats and dogs for regular dental cleanings to prevent the onset of dangerous dental disease, such as tartar buildup and periodontal disease. But what about our 18 hand tall and 2,200 pound patients? Horses need regular dental care as...

The very first visit!

Posted August 23, 2018

The first two weeks of externship with the Timmins Animal Hospital (TAH) was just as exciting, if not more than what I anticipated. All I can say is – the learning curve is real steep, but with the support of the team, I feel that I am slowly getting the hang of it…..especially when there are puppies involved!

Of course, vaccination and fecal testing are crucial parts of the puppy and kitten visits to make sure they are well-protected against different diseases and parasites. Topics like nutrition, behavior, house training...

Healthy feet mean happy cows!

Posted August 20, 2018

You know that feeling in your feet after you’ve been walking all day? Or when your toe nails get a little too long? Believe it or not, cows can experience the same thing! We use our feet to get around everyday and so taking care of them is important; the same goes for cows. Hoof care is crucial in maintaining a happy, healthy, and productive herd no matter where cows are in the world. In Canada, cows often split their time between being inside the barn and out in the fields. When in the barn, their food is brought to them by the farmer so they don’t often have to search for it. Cows have their hooves trimmed regularly by trained professionals to make sure the bottom of the hoof, or the sole, and the sides, or the wall, are balanced. Balancing the hoof allows...


Posted August 17, 2018

My fourth week at Picton Animal Hospital is over, I can’t believe that I’m already halfway through! Here are the answers to the cytology quiz in my Happy Long Weekend blog.

The little purple footprints you see in this picture are a yeast called Malassezia. Malassezia is not part of the normal flora in dogs’ ears, so if it comes up on a swab, the yeast infection should always be treated.  

These cigar-shaped mites are...