Sunday, December 14, 2014

Semester 1 of Vet School

I survived Semester 1 of Vet School!

I've finally passed all my Credit tests meaning I can start Spring Semester, just need to take the Finals but that can be done any time up until August.
I've already done the Slovak Final and got 97%, though it was really easy and she checked our papers before we handed them in, and am planning on taking a few this week; Latin, Anatomy and Milk Hygiene & Technology.

I'm leaving Genetics until after Christmas and really not looking forward to that, he's not a very nice man so people are scared of him and you really have to know your stuff or he'll fail you straight away - sometimes even if you know what you're saying, if its not in his words or if he doesn't understand you because of the language barrier he will fail you. There are 3 people in our class who have had to do 'Compensation tests' to prove they have grasped Genetics before he'll even let them sit the Credit test. I'm planning on coming back a days before my exam in January to revise, sit the exam and then depending on the date I'll go back home for a few weeks or go skiing and visit Budapest or Bratislava.

It was by 23rd Birthday on Thursday but because I had exams on Thursday and Friday I didn't do anything and celebrated on Friday instead.
The 12 of us in our half of the year group went out for food at Burekas an Israeli restaurant then for drinks at Smelly Cat and Piano; we had a good night and was really nice to spend time with the group outside Uni.
People have been stressed for the last few weeks and realised we need to let our hair down and spend time with each other, which hopefully we'll do more now.

We've had 4 exams a week for the last 3 or 4 weeks so all I want to do is sleep and I cannot wait to get home for Christmas and spend time with the family!

Frantiska the Harris Hawk

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Love this photo of Frantiska the Harris Hawk in the snow.
One of the girls took it when it was snowing last week, Frantiska is really cheeky and was free flying around campus when she landed on his head.

She also landed one one of the horses the week before, luckily he didn't seem it mind!

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I am SO ready for Christmas; 13 sleeps until I jump on that plane.

Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of exams we have this week and then it happens all again for Finals before Christmas. Other people seem so organised and on top of the subjects, I've tried revising for the last few hours but just ended up staring at a screen not actually taking any information in so now even more behind.

Genetics seems impossible just from the way it's taught (or not taught) and the fact that the final is an oral exam means your grade can depend on how he's feeling on the day.

There are stories going round that he will fail you before Christmas on the principle that you've not had enough time to revise, that he always fails 1/3 of the class on principle, that he'll grill you for an hour and a half and still fail you by 1%, that he'll fail you if he's had a bad day. 

13 sleeps.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Physiology of Birds

We've just had a class on the Physiology of Birds, starting with a lecture on their anatomy and physiology followed by a practical.

First we took blood, either from the Brachial or Ulnar vein of the wing or the Medial Metatarsal vein which runs on the inner leg just above the hock.

They hold the birds differently over here than we do in the UK, by also restraining wings which I wasn't overly comfortable with but that's how we had to do it - Antonia and I put a tube down her esophagus and syringed a starch solution directly into the chickens crop:

After 20 minutes she was humanely euthanised by the vet technicians and we carried out a full dissection to look at the anatomy and physiology.

Samples were taken from each part of the digestive tract from the esophagus, grop, gizzard all the way through the small intestines to the cloaca; these were put into test tubes and incubated with a solution which changes colour depending on the presence of starch. The same was done with a solution which reacts with glucose so we were able to see exactly where starch is digested and were glucose is present in the digestive system.

I did the dissection and I found it really interesting as I've eviscerated lots of birds before and known what the major organs etc were but I'd not realised where the pancreas was before (in the duodenal loop) or seen the proventriculus just above the gizzard; I also learnt the yellow lining of the gizzard has a name, the koilin.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cytogenetics; Mouse Bone Marrow

We had a Genetics practical today in which we undertook chromosomal analysis, or Cytogenetics.

During Metaphase the chromosomes can be seen under the microscope and the number, shape and size of chromosomes  is different for each species.

The sides we were looking at were those we prepared earlier in the semester, using bone marrow samples we extracted ourselves from the femur of a mouse.

Under the microscope the chromosomes can clearly be seen in metaphase:
Pretty cool...

We counted the number of chromosomes in each set and looked for breakage in the arms. In 'real life' they do it to map genes, look for mutations in genes, inherited diseases and tumours. 

It took us about half an hour to find and count 5 sets but the veterinary genetics technicians said they can get though 500 sets from one animal per day!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Busy couple of weeks

It's been a bit hectic here and was really grumpy and bogged down last week.
We had 3 credit tests last week, 4 this week, 3 or 4 next week and then it's the end of term so have Final Exams to start before Christmas!

Last week was Anatomy, Latin and Histology 2 this week we have Histology 3, Slovak, Anatomy and Physiology - next week is the massive Genetics test, Anatomy and then probably retakes of Histology 3 and Latin.

The weekend before last I didn't leave the house all weekend apart from going to feed Clarence and was bored out of my brains being stuck in dorms so I was grumpy last week but then we had
Matriculation Ball on Friday which was really good; this weekend we just went into town, went to Tesco and hung out with people so felt like we actually did something with the weekend.

The Christmas light switch on is this Friday so I think we're all going to that, followed by a Christmas jumper party which should be good.

One decent thing we had was a Milk Hygiene practical testing loads of different types of cheeses.
Next week is milk powders, condensed milk and ice cream!