Sunday, March 10, 2019

Castle Sundays: Šariš Castle

Back once again with Castle Sundays and this time we visited Šariš Castle above the town of Velky Šariš near Prešov, about a 40 minute drive from Košice - I don't think I've ever typed so many š's in one sentence before!
Céline got a bit car sick but we were prepared with bags so nothing to clean up this week.
The castle was about a 45 minute walk from the car park and is 570m above sea level so pretty decent views from up there.

Once again we had Annica the photographer who got some awesome shots of the dogs
Céline on top of the totem pole
Winnie and Céline posing on a bench
and my favourite, Henry on Kolin who is trying his hardest to smile

Apparently there wasn't enough castle in last weeks Castle Sundays so we tried...


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Castle Sundays: Obišovce Castle

Slovakia has the highest number of castles per person in the world so it's only right that we visit a few...
Today we had a family day out to Obišovce Castle with five of the dogs, all from the shelter, including Nathan the puppy who is up for adoption.

Annica look these photos and I can't get over how cute they are!
Kolin, Henry and Céline...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

World Spay Day 2019

Today is the 25th anniversary of World Spay Day, held on the last Tuesday of February to raise awareness of the importance of neutering and the work that rescue centres and charities do.

Last year we held a Charity Bake Sale on campus to raise money and awareness, so did the same again this year. WVS ITC Ooty are trying to raise 30,000 rupees for an Oxygen Generator so I'm hoping the money we raise can go towards that!

Celine was an angel and greeted people to the sale with cuddles and even shared her special biscuits with visiting doggos.


Overall we raised €205 which is great going and will support WVS with the work they do.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

This little piggy...

...got castrated.

This morning we headed to a private pig farm to do some pigs work and it was actually really fun!
We had to don these sexy disposable overalls which are one size fits all, so a little snug.
My group started with castrations which I've never seen done in piglets before, the best age to do them is younger than 7 days old but the ones we had were just over a week so that we could practice giving intra-testicular anaesthetic blocks and being bigger I think they were a bit easier.

It was the usual "no no you do first" with people nervous to do it so I went first and it was pretty straight forward - kind of like a cat (scrotal incision and exteriorise) and a calf (using emasculators).
Afterwards we applied a topical antibiotic powder, injected iron, vitamins E, D, K and vaccinated them.

We didn't take our phones in to the pigs because of biosecurity with African Swine Fever and zoonotic Salmonella etc so no photos of piglets!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Vets4Pets Workshop

I got an email from Vets4Pets in September to say some Košice graduates on their grad scheme had nominated me to be a Student Ambassador.
As part of that I organised a workshop with Cat Curtis from Vets4Pets to come out with Bobby, a Joint Venture Partner, and Niamh, one of last years graduates, to come and speak to us about Setting Up for Success.

The workshop covered everything from writing a CV and cover letter to selecting practices, interview technique and how to make the job work for you - there has to be the right fit for both the practice and the candidate.
Feedback from my yeargroup was really positive in that they spoke generally and inclusively of mixed, farm and equine practice even though they all work in a small animal environment. They really didn't push the graduate programme at all and while the session was meant to finish at 4:30pm, people were still there asking questions at 6pm!

We went out for drinks on the evening and chatted more about jobs, recruitment and Vets4Pets. To be honest I'd never really thought about working for them before as I didn't know much about the group but speaking to Niamh and Bobby has changed that!

Friday, January 18, 2019

End of an era at the PDSA

I first started seeing practice at the PDSA in 2016, I've been there for a few weeks every year and I've loved every minute from the start. It's a busy practice with a high caseload, lots of surgery and the team are great. I've been to lots of practices before and since but this became like my "home practice" because I got to do so much and was able to be useful knowing everyone and where things are kept.

Last week I did my first flank (side door) cat spay with Tessa one of the vets and although she is really patient I fumbled through it and didn't think it went very well. I've monitored anaesthesia for a couple since then so got to watch the procedure and learn from other vets then today there was another on the ops list.
I started the morning with a dog castrate which went really well so the Senior Vet said I could do the cat spay all by myself, he was in Prep should I need anything so I induced and intubated the cat, helped prep for surgery and was pretty nervous before I started. I placed my drapes, measured with my fingers and re-measured, made my incision (which was the bit I was concerned about doing flank) and it all went smoothly so I was really glad I got to end on a high!

One of the nurses was doing post-op checks for this weeks surgeries and came in to ask if I'd done some of them as I close with intradermals and most other vets place skin sutures. The German Shepherd bitch spay I did was bouncing around and the intradermals looked great which is always good to hear!

This was my last couple of weeks seeing practice before my last semester of vet school and graduation so the team bought me cakes and a card signed by everyone which was really nice.
It was really weird saying bye but I've learnt so much from them so will always be grateful and they all asked if I'd like to work there in the future.
I'd like to apply for the PDSA grad scheme as I love the busy environment, there are often more complicated surgeries that would be referred in private practice that they get to treat, plus the added support of a mentor; so if there's a vacancy I'd love to go back!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Another week of charity practice

I'm back at the PDSA for a couple of weeks and since I was here last year they've had a few new members of staff so it's been nice working with new people.
One of the locums has been asking me questions throughout the week, I thought she was testing me for revision, then she asked me for the controlled drugs key and we both realised she thought I was a vet!! aha

I've got to do a fair bit of surgery and am confident with cat and dog castrates, fairly happy with bitch spays and closing the abdomen after other vets have done ex laps but I've still yet to do a cat spay!
I used to find dentals fairly boring to watch because you can't see much from the other side of the table but I enjoyed the session at BSAVA in Liverpool so made an effort to get stuck in as it were.
Tessa let me section some molars to extract them and it looks easier than it is so she had to help with some roots, we took out 4 molars and 3 incisors then did a scale and polish which is actually quite enjoyable! Later in the week I did another dental and have never seen teeth so bad and had to extract most of the teeth, bar the canines and a couple of incisors.

I'm quite aware that I'm happy with the practical procedures side but not as confident with internal medicine so Nam said I need to push myself and do some more consults. I've been calling patients in to take a history, do a clinical exam and then call a vet in at the end to dispense meds and answer any questions they owners have. They see lots of skin disease, ears and trauma (cat bite abscesses, RTA etc) so once you've seen a few you get an idea of the treatment plan and how other vets treat them.
Some of the diabetic cases are really interesting as the owners are more switched on and have really good control and we saw three dogs this week with ascites and Dilated Cardiomyopathy; sadly one which died at home overnight after we examined her as the owner hadn't been giving medication for the past month.

This afternoon the Friday (cat) cesarean came in which Nam sorted pretty quickly and she had two healthy kittens.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

BSAVA Liverpool Student Conference 2018

This weekend I travelled up to the Uni of Liverpool Leahurst Campus with two friends to attend the BSAVA Liverpool Student Conference 2019. It is the second year the conference has ran and as we have a break before our next block, we decided to go and it was great value at £60 for the two days plus a dinner on Saturday night.
We stayed with vet students I've spoken to online for a couple of years but never actually met, so was great to meet them too!

Saturday morning kicked off with a couple of lectures and then an Endoscopy workshop. I've done a bit before at the Endoscopy Weekend and scoping birds with rigid endoscopes but it was great to practice.
We had to retrieve foreign bodies from a 'stomach' and as they say, teamwork makes the dream work and we got the best time!

Next up we had a lecture on fluids with Jacqui Seymour from VetsNow which I wasn't particularly looking forward to but turned out to be really useful! I think in practice we often put animals on fluids without thinking too much about what, how much and why so it was really interesting to think about it and practice evidence based medicine!

The second practical session I went to was Rabbit Neutering with Frances Harcourt-Brown, an RCVS Specialist in Rabbit Medicine and Surgery, and her husband who both have a wicked sense of humour!
Frances spoke about surgical techniques and spaying, particularly about where to place the cervical ligatures and her evidence base for it ...which is different to what I've seen in practice.


Saturday night we had a formal dinner which meant several bottles of wine and we don't remember much but we all had a good time and sore heads the next morning!


I think my favourite session was the Communication Skills workshop with Penny Barker from VDS Training. I often see posts about VDS and know vaguely what they do but never really paid attention to them, Penny was really engaging and interactive especially considering it was last thing on Sunday afternoon.

She spoke about DISC profiling and we worked out which profile(s) we best fitted into and how we react to conflict.

I definitely think I'm a High I, while apparently most of the veterinary profession are C and S.
I sat there thinking about various friends and colleagues and which profiles they fit into and then related it to clients and how to interact with them.

Overall we had a great weekend so thank you to all involved organising the weekend, the speakers and Becca for hosting us!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Skopje, Macedonia

I passed my Ruminants State exam on Wednesday and then at 7am on Thursday I headed off to Bratislava to catch a flight to Skopje, Macedonia with Tom one of my best mates (depending on which day you ask me; think Marmite)

The flight wasn't too bad (and a bargain at €9.49) but we landed and realised we hadn't researched anything - currency, taxi's/transport - so booked a bus into town which took about 40 minutes and booked into the Nordic N-box hostel, with everyone having our own little pod thing to sleep in.

The whole trip basically consisted of eating and drinking so I will try and make it sound more civilised with some nice photos.
We found a local bistro called La Puerto selling traditional Macedonian food (Mexican) which was so good we went twice!

We spent a few hours sightseeing and learning about Macedonian history on a free walking tour of Skopje. We were the only ones who turned up as it was so cold and out of tourtist season but Vasko was an awesome guide and we stopped off at the Old Brewery halfway round for a beer or six hahaha

His son phoned him to say he'd finished school and needed picking up so he had to leave us.

I saw online that Skopje had a Zoo which was 100 dinah to get into (80p) so of course we had to go. Some of the old photos make it look really bad but they've just spent millions on it and I was really impressed, especially considering the entrance price!
We were pretty much the only people in there, including a lack of keepers, so we had a good nose around. I didn't see any stereotypic behavious and the big cats had lots of space and enrichment.

The best encounter for us was with the Hippo which you can literally lean in and touch

He came up to the bars, we tapped on them and he opened his mouth waiting for food, bearing in mind Hippos kill something like 3000 people a year!

Drinks were so cheap that it would be rude not to so we went to a couple of cocktail bars and worked our way through the menu, returning the next night to complete the ones we didn't manage.

Our hostel had a 10 week old kitten they found freezing outside and called her Luna

Then Mom picked me up from Luton. Normally I can't wait to drive when I'm home but I think I was still wayy over the limit so Cal drove


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Diseases of Ruminants State

Another one bites the dust! We all passed our Diseases of Ruminants exam and have finished for Christmas

To be honest I didn't really enjoy this block as much as I did Horses as we had a lot of free time (I was home for two weeks and went to the BVZS conference) which was great and we went on four farm trips which I really enjoyed, I just missed having a structure of daily lectures and practicals.
Anyone that knows me will know I need pressure to study and I didn't get "The Fear" until a couple days before this exam!

There were 'only' 17 questions for the Ruminants State so we are given 17 topics, study those, pick one from an envelope on the day and speak your answer to a panel of four examiners. The topics were really broad and of course I picked one of the topics I didn't want, Vitamins, but it was actually fine and I passed.

We're all heading home for Christmas over the next few days for some much needed time off.

4 States done, 2 to go before graduation!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New member of the family, Céline

This little monster came as a foster for ‘a few days’ back in April ...fast forward a few months and I signed her adoption papers this week.




Céline has her passport will be moving to the UK in summer

Monday, November 19, 2018

Starting off the week right, rounding up 400 sheep and goats.

We rounded them all up for a quick health check and worming. It’s been years since I’ve done lambing and I forgot how heavy sheep are, especially after tipping hundreds of them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Residential Ruminants Trip

As part of our Ruminants block we have a three day trip to the uni farm

We stay over in the dorms so we can get up bright and early to do work, then spend the evenings drinking in the local.
We got to do Repro, doing rectal examinations for pregnancy detection or parturition problems like retained placenta, metritis/endometritis

At the end of the day before we headed back we stopped at the calving shed to see if anything was going on, luckily there was...
A heifer was having some problems calving so we had a feel and found her calf had his head back which needed correcting and he was really big. At first we thought we might need to do a c-section but after correcting his position we managed to pull him out.

It’s always been on my bucket list so I’m really glad we got the chance to help.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Home Time

I’m heading home for 12 days tomorrow ...time to pack!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Diseases of Horses State Exam

Today we had our Diseases of Horses State Exam which went really well; we all passed and I got a B!


I’ve never wanted to be an equine vet but I’ve really enjoyed this rotation and learnt loads from it.
The first horses I worked with were the Heavy Horses at Ash End Farm who, looking back, were amazing and really easy to work with.