Becky Zaremba, Ross University
During my undergraduate time at Purdue University I took a summer volunteer position at the large animal teaching hospital which allowed me to shadow clinicians as well as become familiar with basic veterinary skills. Since I was interested in pursuing a career in equine practice this is what was referred to as “a good life choice”! The poor life choice that followed was that I hadn’t invested in a Dorland’s Medical Dictionary sooner and, like most vet students, I had a hyperactive baby animal gene.
During one of my rotations, a four day old American Mini filly presented with a fist sized mass on the dorsal aspect of her skull. After further evaluation the mass was identified as a meningocele. A neurologic exam indicated that she had ataxia of all four limbs and that her vision was incomplete. Otherwise, she acted as if she was a normal healthy foal, but was not sufficiently nursing from a bottle as she was donated to the university as an orphan. A nasogastric tube was placed and a CT scan was scheduled in order to more closely examine the meningocele. The CT scan is when I truly became involved in the case as it was, hands down, the most interesting thing I had yet to encounter in veterinary medicine.
The CT scan had revealed that the meningocele contained brain tissue and fluid. The clinicians on the case had started discussing options for the filly and at that point they were unsure if there was anything that they would be able to do.