October 6, 2012

Week 1 (almost) Complete

Things I got to do this week:

  • Blood draws
  • Bloodwork
  • Lots of radiographs
  • IV set up and maintenance
  • Using the computer system
  • Stocking
  • Fecal, Urine and Ear cytology analysis
  • Ultrasound
  • Euthanasia set up
  • Syringe Pumps
  • Doppler (blood pressure)
  • Drug calculation and administrations
  • Maintenance of oxygen chambers
  • Adding medications to a fluid bag
  • Gave medication to a dog to induce vomitting in a doberman that ate some socks
  • Scrub in for surgery

Things I got to witness:

  • An ultrasound specialist draw fluid out and away from the heart of a kitty
  • The euthanasia of three orphaned kittens who were only weeks old and covered in maggots
  • Big worms from a stray Beagle :/
  • The removal of a femoral head and a seroma (puss filled pocket)
  • How quickly vomitting medication can work
  • How quickly sedatives can work
  • Cystocentesis (removal of urine from the bladder using a needle and syringe) using a ultrasound to guide it

And most importantly, I've learned how I finally got it right, I'm in the right field, and I've picked a phenomenal hospital to learn at!!  I'll update later!

October 1, 2012

First Day at the Clinic (Internship)

Wellllllllll!  Today was my first day interning at the clinic.  I was so nervous on the way up I literally thought I was going to puke.  I had dreams last night of missing my alarm, showing up two hours EARLY (weird, right?), a dream i forgot how to get on the interstate.. and a dream my scrubs didn't fit...even though I had tried them on in the store before I bought them.  Nerves can do a lot to a person!

The best part is, I had NOTHING to worry about.  Everyone at the clinic is super helpful, and you can tell they are constantly training (interns and each other).  Everyone is very good about explaining what they're doing, and I got to see a lot of cool stuff.

I got to see a nasogastric tube, helped with digital x-rays, meds, the computer system, "rounding" (which is just meeting with the people from the previous shift to get the low down on each of the animals), TPR's and using a "doppler" (basically a ultrasonic method of monitoring blood pressure), and little things like how to detach an IV so we can take the dog outside.

Everyone works together really well and I can't wait to head back up tomorrow.

Best part is I get to wear my own scrubs!

September 7, 2012

Recap #5725


Let's do some recapping, again ;)

Classes this Quarter

Career Capstone - A class focusing on building resumes, cover letters, and the entire job application process, including a mock interview.

Equine - a class working with horses.  It's not bad, just a whole new topic and something I've never spent much time with.

Production Animals - for this class, we go to a large Dairy Farm every other week.  I've learned so many new things.. and got to try SO many new things including castration, dehorning, DA surgery, IV infusions, rectal and vaginal exams, and much much more.

Application of Clinical Skills ("Dentistry") - For this class we do a big review of many topics including emergency care, wound management, bandaging, and we learn a new topic - Dentistry.  We learn how to clean and polish teeth, chart formally and other things.

Big, BIG News!

In October, I will be beginning an internship!! I have secured my location at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota in Oakdale and St. Paul.  I began the process a couple months ago by talking with one of my instructors who works up there.  I talked with Career Services and put together my resume and cover letter weeks before my classmates even began thinking of an internship.

After a month, and some call backs, I got a call for an interview and drove for the first time in the cities.  I was 30 minutes late because of a construction traffic jam!  Everyone was really understanding, and my interview went swimmingly.  By the end, I was offered the internship!  I took some time going through the clinic and learning where I will be learning!

On Sunday, I will be going up for an Orientation/Shadow.  I get to follow around a tech with "no pressure" to do anything but sit back and watch.  I am thrilled and a little nervous.  I can't wait for the rest of my life to start, and this is just another step!

What's Next

I have three weeks left of this quarter, and then a week off from school, in which I will be starting my internship.  Then, my last quarter (yes, LAST quarter!) will be my internship and a review class for the VTNE.  I will not be working, but we'be been saving up for this.

I really want to blog a few times a week, mostly for my benefit regarding the internship, once it starts.

Cheers to the journey!

June 15, 2012

Heartworm...Gone Country

Hey Yall!

This week, we made a music video about heartworm!  Check it out, I lend the vocals ;)
Tell me whatcha think!

Lyrics are below the video

Cherie’, Amy, Hannah, Liz
(Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Rae Cyrus)

You can tell your owner, you shoulda thought first
And kept those skeeters ‘way from me
Or you can tell your friends just what a fool they’ve been
Missing my Heartguard dose this month

You can tell those skeeters, go back into your pond
We don’t want microfillaria
Don’t need no dyspnea, coughing or ascites
They just don’t help me when I run

Don’t let them in my heart, my healthy healthy heart,
It just won’t do me any good
If you let them in, immiticide will try
But it might clog up and kill this dog
Caaaaage Resssst!

You can tell your vet, I need an Elisa Test
Or order up some chest x-rays
Or you could be surprised, when I just up and die
And it shows up on my necropsy

Thirty worms inside, suffocating me
They’ll hear funny noises on exam
Interceptor prevents, just one time a month
Maybe you should make that a routine

Don’t let them in my heart, my healthy healthy heart,
It just won’t do me any good
If you let them in, immiticide will try
But it might clog up and kill this dog
Caaaaage Resssst!

Don’t let them in my heart, my healthy healthy heart,
It just won’t do me any good
If you let them in, immiticide will try
But it might clog up and kill this dog

Don’t let them in my heart, my healthy, healthy  heart,
It just won’t do me any good

If you let them in, immiticide will try
But It might clog up and kill this dog
Caaaaage Resssst!

June 12, 2012

Final Surgery Lab


Today, we had our last day of Surgery.  This week, I was the scrub nurse for a canine neuter.  My job was to prepare and sterilize all the packs needed for surgery, including gowns, instruments, and draping material.  I also had to scrub in (aka wash thoroughly for about 10 minutes!), gown and glove, and keep sterile while I draped my patient.

I also got to help with the surgery.   After the nerves and getting into the Sterile Zone of "what I can touch," and "what I cannot touch," I started to have a lot of fun.  I got to hand the Doctor instruments and sutures, help blot up blood, and I even got to cut the testicles out under the supervision of the Doctor!!

It was a lot of fun, and I realized that I was even sort of sad that it's over... for now!

Will write more later, a week and a half left until summer break!! WOOP WOOP :)

June 6, 2012


A few weeks ago, I experienced my first euthanasia.  The animal was an 8 year old cat that was sick with kidney failure, diabetes, and was 12% dehydrated.  It could barely move, wasn't eating or drinking, and was a perfect candidate for euthanasia.

The process for a euthanasia is pretty simple.  An IV catheter is placed wherever works best (this can be difficult to do sometimes when the animal is dehydrated), and then a euthanasia solution is given.  In general, a euthanasia solution is a mixture of a sedative, and a high dose of potassium that stops the heart.  It is painless and quick.

(This is not a photo of the cat we euthanized)

Our instructors performed the euthanasia while we watched, allowed any questions, and even opened the door for questions people may want to ask in private.  I could not have asked for a better first experience with a euthanasia.  Though it was difficult, I was thankful my first experience was with an animal that truly needed it, and there were no problems.  It was in an environment where I was surrounded by people who cared, and wouldn't look down on my if I teared up.  (I wasn't the only one).  I was also thankful that there were no owners around that had loved this cat from day one, no owners to cry and no owners to try to console, when there are no words.

Side Note
Although I am obviously in the business to save animals, sometimes euthanizing really is what is best for the animal.  The decision is no easy task, in fact Alex and I had to make the difficult decision with our Baby Lincoln just this weekend.  There isn't much more difficult than making the decision to end the life of a family member and a friend.  Someone who has been there for you during your roughest times.  I can speak from my experience this last weekend, that the most difficult part is forgetting that he is gone.  Feeding only three animals, forgetting that he isn't hiding in the blankets in the bed, heck.. I even miss him whining all the time.  That was our boy.  Our little cross-eyed, extra-toed inbred little boy.  I love you Lincoln.  <3