Questions? Comments?


Mak Case Overview

Annette Louviere - Georgia

Cases/Abstracts - Winner

As a third year veterinary student, my best study aid has always been my own cat, not that this is something to brag about.  Since a young age Mak has never had a “simple problem” and his latest riddle is no exception.  For the purpose of preserving length in this case overview, I will leave out specifics of medication dosages he is not currently receiving; however, every medication administered to Mak fell within Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook dosage recommendation for felines.

 Mak is a 6-year-old male neutered Siberian cat.  From a young age he gradually progressed to daily vomiting episodes; however, prior to vet school my main concern was to contain the catastrophe that was his left eye.  From his first introduction as a tiny kitten, Mak has battled ophthalmologic conditions ranging from deep corneal ulcerations to eosinophilic keratitis.  It wasn’t until I was a veterinary student that the CVM Ophthalmology Department diagnosed Mak with herpetic stromal keratitis OS.  While his left eye is a chronic condition, it is currently contained and doing well enough to not need treatment; this has allowed me to focus on to his other issue – chronic/progressive vomiting. 

Using food trials and laboratory workups performed during this past year, Mak was diagnosed through exclusion with inflammatory bowel disease and/or gastritis.  Treatment started with a new round of hypoallergenic food trials, each lasting several months, combined with metronidazole and, eventually, Cerenia as needed to control vomiting episodes.  When his vomiting returned after discontinuing Cerenia, B12 shots were implemented as an additional trial.  Again, no change in the frequency of vomiting episodes.  At this point he began showing signs of food aversion as well as significant weight loss and his diet was changed to another hypoallergenic food brand.  Metoclopramide was added as an anti-emetic as well as a gut motility enhancer.  This seemed to work for 2 weeks; however, on the third week he began vomiting again.  During the same week, dark stools were also noted and the possibility of gastric ulcer(s) forming was discussed with his general DVM.  His treatment protocol was adjusted as well as his diet (again, due to food aversion).  He was placed on Iams Intestinal Plus diet and his medication protocol changed to: metronidazole, Cerenia, Pepcid, and amoxicillin.  The antibiotic was started as an empirical treatment for Helicobacter felis infection.  After 10 days on this treatment plan, Mak became anorexic.  Lab work was performed and radiographs were taken.  The abnormalities shown on his full chemistry, CBC, T4, and UA were as follows: 

Click to read more ...


"Head Trainer" & "Tuckered Out"

Stacy 'Hondo' Caffey - Texas A&M

Creative Corner - Winner


"Head Trainer"


"Tuckered Out"


"Floatin' With Mom"


The Veterinarian's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

From the editor: Keep in mind, this poem was submitted a couple months before Christmas (so it's our fault that it wasn't posted at the appropriate time), and before it gets too far away from the holiday, we thought we better post it now. Marc is no longer a student, but he just recently graduated from University of Edinburgh and thought we'd appreciate this. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Marc Silpa - Edinburgh
Creative Corner - Winner


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ward

Not a creature was stirring, not even the mouse that roared;

The Hartmann’s were hung by the kennels with care,

With hopes that the infusion pumps would not cry air;

The residents were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of spring exams tore through their heads;

And the intern in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When from our black beepers there arose such a clatter,

We sprang from our beds to see what was the matter.

From the ICU the call came: “Crash, Crash”

Click to read more ...


My Favorite Tuesday Afternoon

Anika Farina - Tufts

Experiences - Winner

I would like to share an experience of mine that has left me so passionate to become a vet. This is a story I wrote during my Junior year at my undergraduate institution (The University of Colorado at Boulder).


         Growing up I had that ‘childhood DREAM’ of becoming Mia Hamm. I was going to be the next famous goal scorer on the USA Women’s Soccer Olympic Gold Medal Team. But even if that did not work out, I knew I would work with athletes as a coach or physical therapist, or through a prestigious organization like the Olympics. However, as college academia began to take priority, I decided to stop playing competitive soccer and focus on my academic courses of study. 

         This semester I enrolled myself in a course entitled “Disabilities in Contemporary American Society.” I chose this course because it is worthwhile to me to understand the true issues people with disabilities face in society today. Throughout the semester I have realized this course has taught me so much more than I could have imagined. Most importantly, it encouraged me to reflect on my career choice of becoming a veterinarian.

         On a Tuesday evening, during the first guest lecture in the course, there was a moment where I realized I was so proud of myself for choosing the path of becoming a veterinarian. During this guest lecture, five members of the EXPAND program (for people with disabilities), came to speak to the class about the struggles they, as paraplegics and quadriplegics, face in abled-body society.

Click to read more ...


Casper the Christmas Squirrel

Ava Kilburn - Ross

Life as a Vet Student - Winner


Casper was a very unexpected addition to the fur family.  When having lunch one day on an outdoor patio of a local Mexican restaurant I watched a tiny ball of fur approach my table.  There were crumbles from a tortilla chip on the ground that I watched her approach and thought “please eat it, I can’t take you home.”  She didn’t.  I then watched her approach a balled up napkin and as she began to nuzzle it I knew the inevitable - the squirrel was going home with me.  The restaurant was right off of a busy road and I could only imagine what would happen if I didn’t pick her up.

 So Casper went back to work with me in a take out drink cup and I presented her to our veterinarian with a “Guess what I found!” Luckily he was fond of her, told me to keep her, and we ravaged the cabinets for some puppy milk to feed her.  I spent the next week or two bringing her to and from the clinic with me and waking in the middle of the night so she could have a syringe feeding every 5 hours. 

Casper spent all of her time on my shoulder, or watching me from atop the doors.  She also enjoyed running up and down the banister of the stairs.  If new people came around she would always give them a good scare by jumping onto their shoulder from mine or climbing up their pant legs.  The cats learned early on she was part of the family - and that she wasn’t afraid to nip their tails…  Her favorite treats were pecans, chocolate chips, Dr. Pepper and sharing PB&J sandwiches - in moderation! 

Click to read more ...