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Small Ruminant Wetlab at Texas A&M

Brittany Thompson - Texas A&M



   The Student Chapter of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practioners at Texas A&M University helped co-host the 5th Annual Food Animal Wetlab on February 21st, 2015 with the SCAABP and Swine Veterinarians. Students attending the wetlab were able to pick 4 out of 15 possible stations to rotate through during the morning, and clinical professors volunteered their time to teach everything from claw amputation and ankylosis to bovine field handling. SCAASRP provided three stations: cosmetic dehorning, goat pregnancy ultrasound and goat laparoscopic artificial insemination.

Pictured: Alyzabeth Looney, Third year studentThe laparoscopic AI station was brought back for the first time in a couple of years, and students seemed to have extremely positive responses to it. Our chapter wanted to include this station at the wetlab due to the growing demand for assisted reproductive techniques on small ruminants and deer. This procedure is not included in standard curriculum, and we felt that including this station would provide students with an opportunity to be exposed to a growing niche in veterinary medicine. Both a grant provided by SAVMA and the Educational and Professional Development Committee and a semen donation from Circle Star Boers were essential in making this station happen. As a chapter we are grateful for all the contributions SAVMA makes to veterinary students here at Texas A&M University.


Animal Medical Center

Katheryn Johnson - Ross



Honk…Sirens…Cold dry air. My surroundings over whelm my senses as I find myself in the “Big Apple”, New York City. I walk to the Animal Medical Center (AMC) for my first day of a two week externship…

            What started out as a work horse parade event in 1907, to promote prevention of animal cruelty to animals by the Women’s Auxiliary, has evolved into the Animal Medical Center. They treat more than 30,000 animal cases a year. The hospital is equipped with specialty departments, a full staff of 70 Veterinarians, and treats small animals from dogs and cats to exotics like reptiles. I will share with you what AMC has to offer, what I learned there, and amazing people and opportunities it provides. Let’s first take a look at why the AMC has a diverse and numerous case load.

            The Animal Medical Center has specialty department and services to fit the needs of each patient and client that comes. There are numerous specialties offered, some of which include: avian and exotics, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, oncology, radiology, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, surgery, and rehabilitation and fitness, and more. All of these departments see a vast diversity of animal cases and provide the best treatment possible. AMC has state of the art equipment to provide proper diagnostics and testing. They have two digital radiology suites, ultra sound machines, five operating rooms with several top anesthesia machines, endoscopy suit, and more. The hospital provides emergency and critical care that is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The hospital not only provides amazing veterinary care to its patients, but provides vet students with a great opportunity for learning. Here is what I took away from my time there.

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My Tiny Baby Kitten

Sarah Irving - Texas A&M
Creative Corner


My tiny baby kitten

All three months of her

She bounced around the house

In her snowshoe fur


Her body was a wobbling

She had a little limp

A sciatic nerve was missing

But she was quite the imp


She brought so much joy,

All met her with gladness

Saying goodby when she passed away

Filled my heart with terrible saddness


My wish to my cute kitten

My angel up there

From your new view in heaven

Find joy this new year


My baby walked the rainbow bridge to heaven

To find adventure there

May she look on my new kitten with love and

Know there is love for all kittens here


The First Architect

Gabrielle Woo - Cornell



Embryonic development is by far the greatest feat of bioengineering known to mankind. –Prof. Noden of CUCVM embryology

Now before vet school I would have agreed with my professor on principle, but now that I actually have to remember how the embryo develops, this statement speaks volumes to me. It blows my mind that pretty much all animals, including humans, begin as a mere compilation of cells in the womb.

Take the mammalian heart, for example. It starts out as a hollow cylindrical tube less than 2 mm long (we were given long labeled balloons in class to practice folding) and undergoes a series of impossibly complex, coordinated folds and loops and twisting and compartment separations and cell divisions in the span of a few days to form an almost-mature beating organ – all the while still supplying blood to other body structures in the embryo. These steps are all intricately orchestrated by a host of cell-secreted chemicals and tightly controlled gene expression.

Then upon birth, the heart transitions from an aquatic to terrestrial environment in about 30 seconds. Ever wonder why they thump newborn babies on the back? It opens up the pulmonary artery bed and this abrupt pressure change closes two critical shunts in the heart, redirecting blood flow to the lungs and enabling independent oxygen intake for the first time in the baby’s life. Learning this developmental sequence has taken me several days, a few dozen colour diagrams, 10+ plasticine models, a couple of YouTube videos and a lot of vague gesturing in the air to get my right/left and cranial/caudal bearings straight. And that’s just one organ.



Kids, Don't Try This at Home

Kiara Martin - NC State

Creative Corner


"Kids, Don't Try This at Home"


"A Small Glimpse of Nature's Beauty"