Almost done

Gasp! Shock Horror! I’m almost finished with my final year of vet school and this blog is not much to show for it…sorry

In other exciting news, my Fiancee Visa application for my darling partner in crime, Ducky,  has been accepted! so we will be moving forward with that and I will be bringing my darling bride home with me!

On the vet side of things, I have completed all of my core rosters and now just get to finish up my externships, special topics, and track rosters.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in all parts of the vet hospital and if it weren’t for my health concerns, I would most definitely consider pursuing a large animal or mixed practice career.  Gosh I just love cows and sheep…maybe I’ll look for work in Norco where they have all sorts of cool large animals ^_~.

My schedule for the rest of the year isn’t too bad.  The one week of vacation I have scheduled is right in the butter zone for when the US consulate will be looking to have my darling Kiwi and I come in for an interview *sigh* such is life.  We will move things around in a heartbeat for that though, it is way more important than taking pictures in Queenstown.  Plus that will give us an excuse to go travelling after the wedding (December 17!) .

I should probably stop procrastinating and actually get some work done today…its almost lunch time and I’ve spent entirely too much time just dancing with joy after finding out about the visa application stuff.

 

Toodaloo my little possums! Have fun in Internet land!

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Final Year, Finally

Well it has been a while hasn’t it.  I’m quite sure that many things happened and that some of them at least were interesting.  Unfortunately I can’t remember any of it in any detail worth writing down, so suffice to say that I survived all the way to my fifth and final year with only a few needle stick injuries.

One thing that has definitely made the journey infinitely harder is that my Psoriatic Arthritis (diagnosed in pre-vet) has progressed thanks to the ridiculous amounts of stress that vet school presents.  Fortunately I have a fantastic rheumatologist and my medications are working most of the time.  Sometimes the stress overwhelms the meds and I need stronger stuff, but for the most part I’m adequately medicated.  This has added a sticky layer of difficulty to the cake that is vet school.  Most of my classmates have been very understanding and help me out when I need it, they don’t really know what I’m going through but they can tell it is no fun.

One thing that has made life infinitely better is my wonderful girlfriend.  She takes care of me and makes sure that I take care of myself.  Without her, my life would be so much harder.  I am a very lucky person to have her in my life.

So far in 5th year I have survived 2 weeks of equine hospital (one of the hardest rosters), 2 weeks of mandatory lecture (second to last lecture block of my vet school career), and half a week of OWNS at a clinic near my mum here in California.  I will finish out this week, then have a week with my horse’s vet also here in So Cal, and then I will be off back to New Zealand to do my rosters out there.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Years and that the last couple years since I last posted haven been good ones.  Hopefully I will post more this year between assignments and rosters.

 

Cheers!

First day back

Well, as you may have noticed I did not end up posting about my equine practical work over the break.  I ended up being far too exhausted at the end of the day and spent my weekends recovering.  Good news for you though, I have to write up a report and so I will likely post that here when it is finished.

In other news, today was my first day of semester two for BVSC2.  They didn’t waste any time getting started with lectures.  Integrative Physiology had a full on lecture followed by an intro to Mechanisms of Disease.  Then there was a break where the Nutrition lecture will normally be (because they have random no lecture days) where my flatmates and I went to get our lab manuals for Comparative Anatomy.  That took the full hour, after which we went to the introductory lecture for Comparative Anatomy.  It was a combined introduction and first actual lecture on the equine limb.  I am very excited to be learning about horses (finally), but that was pretty intense.  We didn’t actually get through the whole lecture so she is bringing us in on Wednesday afternoon for half an hour to finish it (much to our displeasure because it cuts our lunch hour in half).  

After lectures we had our lunch break to quickly eat and then headed to the farmlets to see our sheep.  I don’t know if I mentioned the farmlets before, so here is a quick rundown: there are 3 mini farms that each have 16 sheep for a stocking rate of 20 sheep per hectare; they have different rotation lengths to simulate best practice, and two mistakes; lambs will be born in the next few weeks.  Our farmlets started with 500 kilograms more grass than last year, even with the drought over the summer.  Even with that, the two intentional mistake flocks have visibly lost weight while the best practice flock is doing okay.  We will actually have to rescue the short rotation length sheep so that no welfare issues happen with them (either send them to a different set of paddocks or reduce the stocking rate on that block).  I absolutely loathe the lecturer who is doing this assignment with us.  He is taking something that should be fun and interesting and turning it into the assignment from hell.  He doesn’t answer our questions (he answers whatever he wants to whether it is relevant or not), he is condescending and rude, and he waffles on about irrelevant things in every lecture.  He is quite literally the worst lecturer.  Many complaints have been filed against him, hopefully next year or maybe the year after them will get a different person teaching them.

In brighter news, one of my friends from pre-vet finally got in!  I am so very happy for her, her life will be miserable and exhausting just like mine!  Ain’t vet school grand?  It’s only the first day and I already have more work than time!  But I did pass all of my exams last semester so I don’t have to sit any supplementary exams so far.

End of Semester 2

Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

 

There were weeks of lecture, lab, and tests.  Then study week where we had a whole week to start studying.  Then exams started.  Well I survived.  It was a close call though.  The last three weeks have been full on study with a terrible diet and sleep deprivation.  I started drinking coffee again, which I haven’t done in years.  But I have survived, and hopefully I won’t have to sit a supplementary exam in January.

My first exam was in Anatomy.  I studied pretty hard out with my flatmates and managed to scrape together enough understanding to be confident of a passing grade.  That was on the first Wednesday of exams, the following Friday was Animal Nutrition.  That exam went pretty well all things considered, again I think I secured a pass.  Then there was the weekend and that Monday was Animal Industries.  I am not going to lie, I put off studying for this one quite a lot and only really looked into it the morning of the exam (which was in the afternoon).  I do think that I passed, but some of the questions definitely caught me off guard.  The lecturers are known for being pretty lenient with point allocation, so I should be okay on that.  Tuesday of this week (yes, the very next day) was a morning Genetics exam.  Which meant that I spent all of Monday night cramming information into my brain.  I had spent the weekend studying, but Monday night was a last ditch effort to do equations.  It didn’t really pay off because I still screwed up the equations on the exam, but hopefully I will get partial credit and still pull off a pass.  I know that I did well on the non-math related questions, so a pass is not out of the question.  Hopefully they are generous with the points.  Finally, today (Thursday) was the Physiology exam.  I studied Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and this morning.  I went in feeling like I was going to fail.  Thankfully I got lucky and was able to at least answer each of the questions.  Hopefully it is enough to pass.  That is the one that I am most likely going to have to sit a sup for, but hopefully not.

 

Tonight is one of my classmate’s 21st birthday.  There is a party at her house.  I am going to sober drive so my flatmates can drink.  I don’t drink because my arthritis medication is already damaging my liver, and I’m not a fan of the lag that alcohol creates in my brain.  Usually I’m not a fan of drunk people either, but it should at least be entertaining to watch my classmates act ridiculous.

 

Next week I start working at a race horse training stable for the three week break.  It should be quite fun.  Hopefully I remember to post here more often.

 

Tata for now!

Wow this semester has flown past

I apologize profusely for the lack of posts this semester, and blame it entirely on my inability to balance life and school.  It will only get worse from here however so please bear with me.

 

Since my last post, I have had an anatomy multiple choice test (which I passed and did better on than the last one), and an anatomy topography test (which I am reasonably sure that I passed but won’t know until grades are posted hopefully sometime soon).  I have also had several labs, lectures, and assignments.  I finished my Agronomy Assignment which was torturous, so I made sure my assignment was torturous to read (citing every sentence, short choppy sentences, and intentional alliteration) out of spite.

 

In awesome future things news: I am on the Equine Rotation at the hospital!  Which, excitingly, means that I will be sacrificing two nights of sleep next week in order to get my horse fix! I will be paired with a different 5th year each night and either be on call, or have a set time to come in and stay for based on the cases that come in.  Since I want to work with horses when I grow up, this is the most exciting thing ever in the whole wide world.  Slightly LESS exciting than that (but not by terribly much) is the fact that I will be working for a Thoroughbred racing stable (training) over the 3 week break.  This means I will be with horses from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for 3 whole weeks.  I am beyond excited about this prospect.  It also means that I don’t actually have a vacation between semesters.  But in better news, it also also means that I don’t have to do equine practical work over the summer break so I will get to be home for longer! Always an exciting prospect for me.

 

That is all that I have for you today.  I am exhausted from studying all week and my brain is pretty mushy.  I haven’t had time to do any weaving this semester, but I have cooked some of my favourite dishes including Mac N Cheese which was to die for, and a lamb rib roast (the leftovers of which I am consuming tonight).

 

Hopefully it won’t be quite so long between the next post, but no promises.  Thanks for reading anyway!

End of Break and First Week Back

The second week of dairy practical work went much more smoothly than the first.  Owner was away on his pre-vacation vacation and didn’t return until Friday, so we didn’t have to deal with any of his “projects”.  Instead we worked on more lame cows and dried off about 10 cows that Farmer had saved for us to work on.

Dry Cow Therapy involves squirting (that is the technical term I assure you) an antibiotic paste directly into the udder so that any bacteria that are hiding out there are killed off before the next season.  We followed this video pretty closely, except that we milked the cows out first and did the therapy in the milking parlour.  Also, instead of a teat dip we used a teat spray which accomplishes the same thing with a different method.

We also met a relief milker (M) who has been milking on that farm since he was 14 years old (he just turned 17 last weekend).  The previous owner hired him at that age and had him milking by himself.  He also charged him to sleep in a Winnebago type deal behind the house.  Utterly ridiculous if you ask me.  M was a good kid though, hard working and knowledgeable and really good with the cows.  I would probably let him date my niece, maybe.  He was fun to tease and banter with when he finally came out of his shell.  Farmer gave him no end of ribbing (builds character), but he took it well and even gave back as good as he got every so often.

We started tagging cows (spray paint on the legs) to indicate which ones had long feet and needed to be drafted off to be worked on.  A few were so bad that they were actually unbalanced.  A few were also lame.  One, number 75, had foot rot.  I have pictures for you at the end of this because I’m too tired and/or lazy to bother putting them in with the words.  We trimmed their feet as best we could and made sure that they had nice looking feet before we sent them back to the herd.  One cow had a horn that was growing toward her skull, so we trimmed that off to keep it from damaging her.  Most of the cows were very nice, but some were pretty “stroppy” as Farmer liked to say.  They didn’t like being near people and didn’t like being in the crush.  Number 75 (and a few others) actually came up for head scratches.  This can be dangerous because the “nice” ones don’t fear humans and so have the potential to run a human over if they are afraid of something else or get angry for any reason.  It is still nice to be able to scratch them and feel a bit of connection.

With the help of M, we finished the fence in the paddock across the road and so the cows got to enjoy a very nice paddock full of lush grass.  I have now seen an entire herd of Happy Cows.  They actually trotted around with food in their mouths looking very pleased with themselves.  It is a sight to behold.  Unfortunately they were only that excited because it had been so long since they had had a nice lush paddock.  The drought has been awful for them.

On Friday, Farmer took M, my classmate, and me out for lunch as a thank you for giving him the week to sleep in and not milk.  The food was pretty good and it was nice to get away from the farm for a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed working on the farm.  Even with the shortcomings that are perpetuated by the stubborn Owner it was a great deal of fun and I am definitely suited to farm life.  I am looking forward to two more weeks next semester when we get to feed calves as well as milk.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

 

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Cows being milked

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Cows waiting to be milked

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The After pic seems to be ahead of the before pic…not sure how that happened

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before having her horn trimmed (she did NOT like being there)

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It was very dark in the mornings

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Leg tagged because those are some LONG feet

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What the cows look like in the crush on the farm that I worked at

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Foot with some minor trimming off of the toe

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After a good cleanup

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Standing better

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Number 75 was a doll

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The view was pretty nice…I will definitely miss the view