Monday, May 29, 2017

Surprise Chocolate

We have a breeding group of Chocolate Frizzle Pekins in an Eglu and the two hens went broody a few weeks ago.

I'm at uni so my parents just left them to it "as they weren't laying" and now we have... 
Surprise chocolates! They hatched a week ago and the two males are still in with them (which I would never normally do), they've been getting on fine so we're leaving them be...
"Son that'd adult food, yours is in the shallow dish"

Friday, May 19, 2017

Waking up to a text...

"Do you want to come and spay a quail and amputate a Harris' Hawks wing?"
...and of course, I did!

One of the vets in the Exotics clinic and a friend were doing a salpingectomy or hysterectomy on a quail; something they'd not done before so I just went down to help out monitoring anaesthesia and flicking through the surgery textbook.
Initially we started with a left ventral incision but found it hard to identify the ovaries so then we went midline, which gave much better visualisation and the procedure went smoothly. Ideally the textbook says it would be done endoscopically using surgical clips but I think it's better to walk before you can run!

The great thing about the Exotics clinic is that you don't know what's going to come in next so while we were there a Rosella (small parrot) came in with a leg ring which was far too tight and needed removing as it had caused the foot below the ring to swell up. He was more difficult to anaesthatise than the quail as they can bite so we caught him in a towel and gave Isoflo with a mask. The ring came off with a dremel and needed bandaging to reduce the haematoma and stop him biting at the wound. As he was under we also coped (filed down) his beak and nails.

Finally we amputated the Harris' Hawks wing. He was bred by a friend of ours and sold to a falconer for hunting but had an accident whilst out in the field and was electrocuted. The whole of the carpometacarpus and second digit were necrotic and had to be removed back to the bone and sutured up. He recovered quickly so will be fed up in the clinic and eventually come to us in Falconry Club as he can no longer be flown to hunt.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rabies Vaccinations

I'm going to India for a month this summer and will be volunteering in a neuter clinic performing surgery and going out vaccinating street dogs with Mission Rabies. One of the requirements is that we are vaccinated against rabies ourselves.

While I was at home for Easter I looked at prices and was quoted £55 per vaccine and we need a course of three. In Slovakia I got three vaccines for €46 from the pharmacy, supplied with a needle ready to go! I know some people have vaccinated themselves but we need a certificate so had to get that from the hospital.
I've not had an injection for about 8 years so just before I went in I was kinda nervous and was planning on not looking but it was fine and I watched her do it. Quite odd to have a vet scared of needles, something we use all day every day!

The worst part of the whole thing is that she said we have to avoid hard work, alcohol and sunbathing for 4 days; I live for two of those things!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Exotics and Wildlife Weekend

Another UVM Kosice conference weekend, this time the topic was Exotics and Wildlife with BSAVA President John Chitty and wildlife vet from the Netherlands, Sophie Bosch.
We covered all sorts of topics from initial consultation, stabilising, husbandry, surgery and how to get into wildlife vet work. John also did a session on PDP which is the Professional Development Phase new grad vets must complete and usually takes around 18 months after graduating.
The weekend finished with the Avian afternoon (save the best til last) which was really interesting. I learnt lots at BSAVA Congress and even more this weekend, particularly about parrots which I don't have much experience with.
Listening to John it became clear that the best way into exotics is to get into birds first, reptiles later as birds tend to be emergency cases which really prepares you, then these skills can be transferred to reptiles which you can generally take more time working with.
A true bird emergency is critical to be dealt with in 20 minutes whereas something like a tortoise can be stabilised and operated after a few days or even weeks. That's great for me as I already have a keen interest in birds and could possibly transfer these skills into reptiles.

He also taught us to question 'standard protocols' such as triple anaesthesia being used in every rabbit surgery; we don't treat all cats the same so why exotics? I'll definitely be paying more attention to the drugs used in practice this summer as previously I've just accepted the standard 'rabbit anaesthesia' protocol stated on the wall and not given it too much thought.

John and the BSAVA very kindly donated two BSAVA Manuals which he is Editor of to our Falconry and Raptor Rehabilitation Club; the Manual of Raptors, Pigeons and Passerine Bird and the Manual of Psittacine Birds.
Thanks again to Laura and Chris for organising the weekend and to Sophie and John for coming to speak to us.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Final Day with the 5th Years

I've spent three years with this class and loved (nearly) every minute of it.
Today was the last day we are all together as next year they split into four State groups for final year and I finish off 5th year with my second State exam and a couple other subjects I wasn't able to take this year.