Thursday, December 10, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

First snow of the year

Not quite enough to get the skis out but it's been snowing this weekend and sticking... It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

First Rat Castration Surgery

Yesterday I successfully completed my first surgery, a rat castration!
Granted it isn't a surgery done every day in clinics but it's great practice for rabbits and cats with similar principles being applied.
We learnt how to administer and monitor anaesthetics, about the procedure and then suturing afterwards.
We did seven rats between us which all went well and the rats have all been adopted by vet students.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sečovce Falconry Meet 2015

Had a great weekend at the Sečovce Falconry Meet near Dargov in East Slovakia. We got a bus from Kosice to the hotel the falconers all stay at, met everyone for breakfast and then hopped in their cars to spend the day hunting.
I spent both days with the Eagles but there was also another group of Hawks and a group of Falcons.
We had 12 Golden Eagles with us (compared to 9 last year) with falconers from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria and Germany; some of the eagles came from China, Turkey and Kazakhstan. 

We walk along the field in a line with two people between each eagle, then whenever a hare or deer runs the closest eagle is flown from the fist after it.
On the lookout for hare with Kiani and Lubo.
Lubomir Engler, the organiser of the meet, with his Golden Eagle.
Josef Hiebeler from Hiebeler's Birds Of Prey Breeding Center in Austria. 
Max, an apprentice falconer, from Germany caught his first fox on Sunday afternoon with a great flight from his eagle. He was delighted with the quarry and the fellow falconers all congratulated him with a little ceremony and lots of photos at the end of the day.
Igor, Max and Anton with their catches from Sunday.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Building Falconry Mews

The Falconry & Raptor Rehabilitation Club was given a bit of money from the University and we've added to it to build new mews for our rehab Little Owls and Barn Owls.
The plan is to have three 3x2 metre mews along the right hand side of the weathering area, so 9 metres in total. We collected the wood a couple of weekends ago, ordered netting online and started building with a budget of €300...

We had to move and extend the fence on the right hand side to make room for it - you can see our current mews at the back of the weathering area.
First panel built and netting added!

Foundations in ready to start building...
The birds perched out from left to right are Mrs Clarence the Kestrel, Frantiska the Harris' Hawk in the back and Duckie the Peregrine Falcon on the right.

Tom and Jerry the Little Owls are sat in their Little Owl Barn which I made from reclaimed materials:

We've ran out of money for a roof so are planning a bake sale to raise some funds and we also need three Bow Perches which I've found a maker in the Czech Republic and will buy when we have more money.

Trichomonas investigation in pigeons

In Parasitology we crop swabbed pigeons for examination of Trichomonas gallinae, also known as canker, which causes yellowish plaque and ulcers of the oral cavity.
Direct transmission can occur due to feeding young, contaminated water/bird baths or raptors feeding on infected birds. 
Interestingly we saw trichomonosis in the juvenile Goshawk necropsy a few weeks ago

Friday, October 30, 2015

Small Mammals Practical - Blood sampling and nasolacrimal duct flush

We had our second Small Mammals practical this afternoon and learnt all about blood sampling in rodents and rabbits.

We were able to take blood from the medial and marginal ear veins and the saphenous vein in the back leg.

I got the ear vein straight away as we've done that quite a few times before but couldn't get the saphenous; the vet tried afterwards and he struggled too so I didn't feel too bad!
The other rabbits saphenous was much more prominent and other people got that one fine.

We also did nasolacrimal duct flushes which is when you place a catheter in the nasolacrimal duct in the bottom eyelid. It is then flushed with saline which comes down the duct and out the nose to remove any blockages or pus.
The flushed material can be collected and sent for microbiological culturing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Anatomy Dissections

We've moved on from Splanchnology to Blood Vessels in Anatomy for the past few weeks which seems more logical but tricky learning where all the blood vessels come from, lead to and the inter species differences.

Group photo around the thoracic limb pre-credit test!
Maxime and I dissecting the hind limb of a goat

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Falconry Club at Exotics Clinic

The university is having their EAEVE accreditation inspection this week so a few of us from the Falconry and Raptor Rehabilitation club were asked to come to the Exotics Clinic to speak to them about our birds.

We took along Mrs Clarence the Kestrl and Duckie the Peregrine Falcon who were both very well behaved and posed for photos!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Diseases of Reptiles practical

We had another Diseases of Reptile practical this afternoon where we learnt all about husbandry with common problems and how to prevent or treat them.
After that we were able to handle a variety of reptiles and then take blood samples from each.
I was able to take blood from the front cervical sinus of a turtle, a large boa and a Savannah Monitor 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Quail Hatching and Rearing

We hatched 30 Japanese and Italian Quail down at Falconry Club a few weeks and they've been thriving.

We're a self sufficient club so have to provide our own equipment and food for the birds.
Usually we feed day old chicks, pigeon and sometimes hare or rabbit.
Quail is a really good source of food for the birds but quite expensive to buy frozen. I've reared quail and poultry for years so thought we'd give it a go.

The plan is to keep back a group of about a dozen which we will breed from to rear the offspring as a food source.

Here they are at a few days old and later on at a few weeks old:
Luiz the Italian Quail:
and at a few weeks old...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blood Vessels of the Head

This week we have been looking at the arteries and veins which supply the head.

We were warned that it was one of the hard weeks but I thought it was actually really logical and the names made sense according to the parts of the skull we learnt last year

And a view of the aorta and head

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I've had a really busy weekend but not really got anything done... It's been 4oC and really windy so feels even colder and its only October - can't wait for the snow!

We had a training day for new members of Falconry Club so that took up all of yesterday.
Went out for a classmates birthday but I'm not drinking until Oktoberfest and managed to resist € pizza on the walk home while everyone else got three slices!

Today we were back at Falconry fitting Frantiska's new equipment - I bought a set of anklets, flying and mews jesses and got her a new leash.
She ripped the mews jesses within two minutes of being perched outside and was about to swallow it before I ran into the weathering area and pulled it out of her mouth.
We made some new ones with thicker leather but she was still going at them so we're going to have to keep a close eye on her while she's perched out...

Took Molly and Denny the resident clinic dogs for a walk in the park then came back and watched Supervet - should really get some studying done.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Northern Goshawk necropsy; Aspergillosis and Trichomonas

I saw a necropsy of a juvenile wild Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis gentilis) today, which sadly died after being brought into the clinic last week.

He had anklets put on his legs so that he could be perched and fed on the glove but was found collapsed on Sunday afternoon.

The bird died from chronic Aspergillosis seen as spores and large granulomas in the air sacs.
They think the bird had been ill for several weeks as the granulomas were so big and that would coincide with his capture and being brought into the clinic.

He also had secondary Trichomonas gallinae parasites seen in the mouth which were probably elevated due to immunosuppression.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekend in Ukraine

I have three friends visiting from home and we took a trip to Ukraine for the weekend.
We got a coach from Košice to Uzhhorod/Ужгород just over the border which took about 3 hours and stayed in Mala Praha, a local hotel.
We had a massive suite with a bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom for €5 a person.

I was surprised at just how different it was to Slovakia considering how close it is. It was like stepping back in time 50 years with lots of old cars, buses and a cobble stone road!
They use the Cyrillic alphabet so I struggled to read but luckily Mika is a language god and so translated for us.
We spent the evening at Uzhhorod Castle where we had a three course meal with drinks for €7 a head, the food was surprisingly good and the castle was massive.
 Later we took a wall down to the river and sat in a bar where a beer cost 14 hryvnia, 42p; cans in the shop on the way home were even cheaper at around 20p!

My friends got the train from there to Budapest for a few days and I had to wait a few hours for my coach back to Košice.
On the way back through the border I was pulled off the coach to ask where I was travelling and why I didn't have a visa... I explained I was studying in Slovakia and didn't need a visa; they checked and I didn't need one but it was a sweaty palm 10 minutes.

I'm really glad we went, especially at such an important time in Ukraines history, but won't be rushing back any time soon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Freshers Fundraising - UV Party

A couple months ago we thought it would be a good idea to arrange an event get all the Vet, Medic and Dentist Freshers together and raise some money for charity.
We started with the idea of a UV Party and it all went from there booking the venue, DJs, security and started advertising.
Tickets sold out before the night and Medics were selling glowsticks to raise even more money for charity.
The event was held at Tabačka Kulturfabrik on Wednedsay and was a great night which went down really well with everyone out.

All the proceeds from ticket sales went to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières providing medical aid, food and water to refugees in Greece and the Balkans areas who have been forced out of their homes due to war and human rights violations.

Sarah and Max some of the Medics were the driving force and overall we managed to raise €1,413 which is an amazing achievement!
They donated the money today, the International Day of Peace; here's the guys making the donation: