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Life As an Officer... turned Vet Student

 Brandi Miatke, Iowa State 

Life as A Vet Student, Winner


Sitting on the airplane flying back home from Colorado, the city of Boulder to be exact, I was reflecting on the second interview I just had.  As vet school applications (round three) had come and gone without any luck being accepted, I was hopeful to start a new career as an animal control officer for their police department.  During my interview they had informed me I'd be learning how to dart tranquilize cougars and bears and helping with a lot of exotic species of pet snakes and much more!  Although I was scared out of my mind, I was ecstatic!  What a cool job this was going to be! 

Fast forward several months later to me standing on the sidewalk, fully dressed in a police uniform, hands on my hips (well, on my taser holster to be exact), hoping that the  fourteen-year-old kid I was supervising (who had been found with crack cocaine baggies in his tennis shoes) wasn't going to lead me on a foot chase through the city.

Needless to say I did not get the animal control officer job in Colorado, but I DID get a pretty amazing job as a public service officer for the Hopkins Police Department in Minnesota.  I couldn't believe the things I was doing for my job!  Not only was I helping officers with minor drug busts, but I became a first responder for medical emergencies, an animal control officer, and even manager of criminal evidence! 

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An Equine Emergency

Mindy Nelson, UC Davis

Cases/Abstracts, Winner

Das Hit presented at 2237 on 8/12/14 for an emergency visit to the Large Animal Equine Medicine service at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis. She is a 7 year-old Oldenburg mare used for dressage riding (Fig. 1) and is insured for major medical. She presented for a history of fever, neck swelling, and red-brown urine. The history of this mare’s present illness began on August 6, when her owner noted swelling and pain in the left side of the neck and called her veterinarian. Bloodwork on that day showed an elevated WBC count. The owner’s mother reported that no intramuscular injections had been given and that no respiratory, pigeon fever or strangles-like symptoms were present in any of the other horses at the farm. The treatment course from 8/6/14 to 8/12/14 included uniprim (trimethoprim sulfadiazine) reported as 2 scoops PO BID, banamine (flunixin meglumine) 10 ml IV SID, and surpass (1% diclofenac sodium) applied topically to the swelling. A fever developed a few days into the treatment (ranging from 102°-104°F) and hydroxyzine (unknown dose) and baytril (enrofloxacin; reported as 2 scoops PO BID) were added to the regimen. On 8/12/14, the day of presentation, the mare developed a fever of 106°F and her urine was noted to be dark red-brown in color (Fig. 2), so she was referred to the VMTH.

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Taped Shoes and Superpowers

Gabrielle Woo, Cornell University

Experiences, Winner


I landed in Pearson International Airport last night after a week of surgery and wellness clinics in Spirit Lake, North Dakota. The last time I was in Toronto, the temperature outside was well below zero and a good portion of the city’s residential blocks were still reeling from the Christmas ice storm. Now with summer approaching, I am glad to see buds on the trees and smell fresh mud on nearby running trails.

The past week with RAVS is already beginning to blur in my memory. It takes a certain level of exhaustion to enable fifty people to sleep soundly on a hard gymnasium floor through a nightly chorus of yelping dogs and angry meowling cats. It was a tiring, incredible, sometimes stressful but extremely rewarding six days of hard work and learning. As a team of students and veterinary professionals we shared knowledge and expertise as well as bathroom space, cars, meals and various external parasites (that last one occurred unintentionally). By Friday we had examined, vaccinated, medicated and sterilized 340 dogs and cats from the native American reservation.

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My friend "Carmella"

Christina Scudder, University of Missouri

Foot In Mouth Disease, Winner


I have a dear friend--I'll call her Carmella--who is an endless source of amusement. Despite being an intelligent individual and a dedicated student, Carmella has a bit of difficulty with, well, words. Thus, the medical terminology of veterinary school has proven to be problematic for her. 

Once, Carmella announced to us that a friend of hers had scabies and was suffering badly. We questioned her friend's hygiene, whereupon she corrected herself and said that her friend actually had scrapie. This was hardly a relief! Before we could contact the CDC, however, Carmella--seeing the bafflement on our faces--finally admitted that her friend's affliction was actually shingles. 

On another occasion, we were dissecting horses in Large Animal Anatomy, and happened to uncover the superficial thoracic vein, otherwise known as the spur vein (for its propensity towards being damaged when kicked by a rider). Carmella referenced a story told earlier by the professor about how hematomas have been known to form alongside this vein following trauma from vigorous spurring. "Can you believe that?" she asked, sincerely. "Have you ever kicked your horse so hard you gave him hemorrhoids?" 

Perhaps my favorite Carmella story relates to the time a group of us were discussing a case in the hospital: an animal with an extreme inflammatory response that had resulted in massive thrombosis, resulting in the death of extremities from ischemia, subsequently followed by unchecked bleeding. Know what it is yet? Carmella did, too, and pulled out the three-letter acronym for the condition: "COD!" No, we explained--this was DIC, or disseminated intravascular coagulation. This did not satisfy Carmella, who wanted more information. "All over the body?" she asked. Exasperated, another friend clarified: "DISSEMINATED." 

(submitted with permission of the story's real protagonist)


"Creative Corner" - Overall Award Winner for Best Submission

Maxbetter Vizelberg - Tufts

Overall Winner, Creative Corner Winner


"Creative Corner"