The weather this week has been very “Island Weather” also sometimes called “schizophrenic” when its particularly bad. The mornings start off cold (about 3-5 degrees Celsius), rainy and windy and gross, then the sun comes out for a bit in the afternoon to give you hope and possibly trick you into putting your washing out to dry, as soon as you start thinking the day might be alright after all its gusting winds and raining just enough to be annoying. Ah spring, such a lovely season. We were blessed with a very mild winter so it would seem that we are cursed with a very spastic spring. Only 45 days until I fly home though, I can deal with 45 days of any kind of weather if it means flying home to Southern California’s beautifully consistent warmth.
Lectures today were good. First lecture was Animal Handling on pig welfare and handling. Not much on handling so much as “this is how they are farmed commercially”, but still interesting. Reinforces that I never want to own pigs, unless of course there are bodies that need to be disposed of (more omnivorous than say cows, oh man that article is priceless, I’m seriously laughing so hard it hurts). The one thing I remember most from the lecture is that lots of straw is best for pigs because it keeps them busy and keeps piglets from getting crushed if the sow accidentally rolls on them.
Second lecture was Biochemistry. I don’t really want to talk about it. Mostly we talked about different anaemia’s caused by vitamin deficiencies. B12 and Folate deficiencies can cause similar symptoms initially, but B12 deficiency can cause irreversible nerve damage so it is important to test for it if Megaloblastic Anaemia is seen in the blood work. All of this, of curse, is related to protein and fat metabolism Thankfully this was the last lecture on protein and fat metabolism, next week we start the section on “integrated metabolism” and then we are done. Hopefully forever, this class has been the worst taught biochemistry class in existence. I know that I can do biochem, I got an A in the other biochem paper taught at Massey. That paper had the exact same material that was covered in the semester test that I only just barely passed. Everyone else in the class is equally frustrated with the class.
After lecture’s I waited in the vet tower for my future flatmates to show up so we could check out a potential house to rent. We got there, stepped inside, and realised that the house was Cold and quite damp. We didn’t even bother looking through all of the rooms. There is another flat that we are going to look at on Sunday, hopefully not as old and damp.
Flat hunting meant that I missed Grand Rounds this week, but next week I should be able to go to both Grand Rounds and Post Mortem rounds. Not sure why going to see dead things is so exciting, but I’m looking forward to being able to stay for the full time in PM rounds.
I made up my last Animal Handling practical today. Cattle Handling 101 was both better and worse than I expected. It was not nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be, and I was able to do it with some of my new friends in the class which was nice. However, we managed to pick the three worst cows for doing things to. Our first cow was a little headshy and while we were able to put the rope halter on her and get her into the headbale, we had trouble holding on to her. The second cow we chose for the next set of tasks was even worse about having her head held, we didn’t end up doing anything with her. The third and final cow is apparently the worst one they have about that sort of thing. We still managed (with help) to get a gag into her mouth (it is a metal wedge that holds the teeth apart so that we can check the mouth for lesions and cancers and stuck stuff. We also got a handle bar type thing into her mouth so that we could slip a rubber pusher down her throat (it is used to push large chunks of food down when they get a little over excited about eating and forget to chew). I’m reasonably sure at this point that I am not destined to be a cow vet. These were cows from the “tame” herd and so were used to getting messed with. This meant they knew the tricks for getting away with things, but also that they are going to be easier than most of the potential patients in the future of cow vetting. I’m not giving up on cows just yet, just not entirely sure its my calling. I do so love sheep still.