Questions? Comments?


Scream. Pause. Jump.

Merry Kroeger, Texas A&M University

Life as a Vet Student, Entry

Over the course of my last 2 years, I have made some fond memories in veterinary school. During my second semester as a first year student, I had to take 6 hours of large animal anatomy. We were put into groups of 6 to 7 per cadaver horse for lab. One of my newest friends, Ashley, was put in my lab group. All semester we had a blast dissecting our horse. On one occasion, I had wandered over to look at some radiographs on the wall of the equine limb, and Ashley came up behind and scared me. It surprised me so much I screamed, and then jumped. I think a majority of the lab heard my racket because when I turned around to see who had scared me, not only was Ashley there laughing, but half the lab was looking my way. They were probably wondering why I had screamed and why Ashley was laughing. I have never be so scared out of my wits like I had that day. And to this day, Ashley still teases me about the pause between when I screamed and when I jumped, because in her head, she cannot understand why a person would jump AFTER they screamed, instead of screaming and jumping at the same time! I guess I am a bit unusual.


A fond memory during first year was Hawaiian Friday. One of our microbiology professors had a routine of dressing every Friday in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. Not kidding. And so, one of my classmates had the clever idea of emailing the entire class and coordinating a Friday in which we would wear Hawaiian shirts in spirit of Dr. Musser's Hawaiian Friday. This resulted in about 20-30 students showing up for Friday classes in Hawaiian shirts and making Dr. Musser gleefully excited. Our class historian recruited some of the students to stay after class and pose for a picture with Dr. Musser as a capturing memory of a fun day.

Click to read more ...


We All Know the Old Adage...

"... Don't be the first one to fall asleep at a party."

Christine Mallo, University of Illinois

Foot in Mouth Disease, Entry


Toshia's Treehouse Kitten

Jeaniene Leis, The Ohio State University

Experiences, Winner

During my trip with HSVMA’s Rural Area Veterinary Services this past summer at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, I encountered a unique situation that has left a lasting impact on my life.

Several days in to our week-long clinic, Toshia, a sweet 10-year-old girl from the community, found a very broken 3-month-old kitten under a tree house near her home. She could tell that the tiny kitten was very badly injured and brought her to the community center where our clinic was set up. We examined the kitten and found she would not bear any weight on her swollen left front leg because it was severely fractured. She also had a large wound on her right hind leg that was horribly infested with maggots. Toshia had definitely saved the kitten’s life by bringing her in to the clinic, but her family did not have the ability or resources to care for a kitten in need of such intensive care, and a decision would need to be made about her future.

RAVS is not a rescue group, but a team of veterinary professionals and students passionate about bringing medical care to animals in communities that have limited or no access to veterinary services for their animal family members. Occasionally, like with this kitten, an extreme health or welfare issue puts an animal’s life at stake, especially if there is no family to provide the ongoing care the animal will need.

Click to read more ...



Lindsey Mathews, Texas A&M University

Creative Corner, entry


My Time in South Africa

Kristen Crouch, Ross University

Life as a Vet Student, Winner


I have always grown up having a passion for the Earth and all of its wild creatures. Having wildlife biologists as parents and growing up just a short bike ride away from to a local wildlife rehabilitation center called Southwest Wildlife fostered my interest in wildlife and conservation medicine. When I was younger, I was able to meet and shadow Dr. Dean Rice, former Phoenix Zoo veterinarian, at the local zoo. This background with both free-ranging and captive wildlife helped prepare me for my visit with a company called Wildlifevets in South Africa. Being able to actively participate and apply what we’ve learned to field conservation medicine was the best experiences I could have hoped for and an experience I will never forget.

While with Wildlifevets, I was able to learn more about and refine my rudimentary wildlife darting techniques, proper drug use and how to calculate appropriate dosages for various species, post-immobilization techniques, and transportation of immobilized wildlife. Reading texts and journal articles and observing captures are nothing compared to the practical experience of working with free-ranging wildlife.

While in South Africa, I had the opportunity to participate in the large-scale capture, immobilization, and translocation of buffalo, immobilization and translocation of individual nyala as they were spotted in the bush, and immobilization and dehorning of rhinoceros to significantly decrease their exposure to being poached. I also attended lectures, practicals, and a post-mortem examination of a buffalo calf to further enhance the learning experience of this opportunity. Lectures included the obvious veterinary topics, but also included information on the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), wildlife management techniques, and the roles of tourism and hunting in managing Africa’s vast wildlife species.

Unlike North America where wildlife belongs to the public and is managed in the public trust, in South Africa, wildlife is owned by the landowners and managed as the landowners see fit. This leads to a much more intensive management as wildlife is generally restricted in movements due to high fences (albeit these are enclosures spanning tens or hundreds of square miles). It also leads to a greater need for application of conservation medicine to ensure health of herds, genetic diversity, treatment of individual animals (injuries, orphans, and illness) and protection of habitat.

While translocating certain species may not seem to have strong ties to conservation medicine, it is actually core to the process. Another experience I was lucky enough to participate in was a mass capture of impala. They are herded using helicopters or other machinery into V-shaped bomas, or enclosures, and when pushed into the final “corral” enclosure, they are stressed, some injured, over-heated, and exhausted, requiring veterinary care. I also got to help translocate buffalo from one farm to another. All must be immobilized, and once immobilized, closely monitored. They are placed on sternal recumbency, have their eyes covered, and have their body temperature and respirations monitored until release. Their blood is drawn for disease testing and general health assessments are conducted. If injured, injuries are assessed and treated if possible, although severely injured individuals may need to be humanely euthanized. Sometimes calves are hopelessly separated from their mothers, or the calves are trampled during darting. These orphan calves are transferred and sometimes raised by people. This was the case for us. Although exhausting, it was also fun to be able to bottle feed these orphans throughout nighttime shifts. We named our buffalo calf “Rossie,” and I’m happy to report that he will be reintroduced into a new herd sometime in the near future.

Click to read more ...

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 119 Next 5 Entries »