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!

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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!

Feline Allergic Bronchitis

Today is the Physiology test, and one of the questions is going to be about Feline Allergic Bronchitis (the professor said so and if he lied there will be killing).  Because of this, I have decided to write my model answer here, for all of you to read.  That’s right, all three of you get to read the answer that I am going to be writing again in a few short hours, that is how much I love you.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as my darling cat back home in the states has this condition.  My sweet Littl’un has been suffering from it for years, and is the main reason that I am so very good at administering pills to reluctant cats.  Littl’un was diagnosed using a history and chest x-ray, I don’t remember if blood work was done but it is highly likely.  She gets long acting shots once or twice a year when she gets really bad, and is managed with a steroid inhaler and steroid pills throughout the rest of the year.  The poor thing blew up like a balloon thanks to the side effects, but can breathe and we like her breathing.

Feline Allergic Bronchitis is a narrowing of the small passageways of the lungs due to increased sensitivity to an allergen.  The starting process for hypersensitivity begins with a particle encountered in the lungs.  This stimulates a normal immune response, eliminating the threat and setting up specific memory cells to guard against future attacks by that type of particle.  When that same particle is encountered again, the immune response is rapid and decisive.  In affected cats, it is also overblown.  The release of histamine leads to bronchoconstriction, an increase in mucus secretion, and an increase in capillary permeability (allowing more fluid to cross if not limited).  The immune response also increases the amount of prostaglandins, which leads to inflammation.  Esinophils (a type of white blood cell) act to prolong the airway injury by slowing recovery, they are jerks, and affected cats tend to have higher numbers of them hanging around.  The increased mucus secretion (accompanied by decreased cilia movement) causes mucus plugs to form, increasing resistance along the airways.

This immune response also contributes to an imbalance of sympathetic and parasympathetic signalling.  In a healthy animal, the two (which are in direct opposition) are in balance and the airway is open.  When the sympathetic side is stronger than the parasympathetic, the airways are even more open – this is the fight or flight response system.  When the parasympathetic side is stronger, the airways become constricted.  Parasympathetic stimulation causes smooth muscle in the small airways to contract which narrows the radius of the tubes.  Flow is inversely proportional to the radius to the fourth power, so even a very slight change in radius has drastic effects on flow rate.  This decreased radius also increases the velocity of the air passing through, which causes turbulence.  Turbulent air is less efficiently removed and causes problems with ventilation.

Overall, each of these things causes an increase in resistance across the airways which decreases flow of air.  In normal breathing, the diaphragm contracts to increase thoracic (chest) volume, and then relaxes to decrease thoracic volume.  When the chest volume increases it decreases the pressure surrounding the lungs, which causes air to rush in from outside (where the pressure is now higher).  When the chest volume decreases, the pressure inside the lungs increases (until it is higher than outside) and pushes the air back out.  When resistance is too high in the small airways, the passive action of the diaphragm moving is not enough to increase the pressure in the alveoli to overcome the pressure difference.  This triggers the cough reflex and air is forcibly removed by contraction of abdominal and thoracic muscles.

Treatment of this condition is based around opening airways.  Inhalers with steroids and bronchodilators are used for acute attacks, and maintenance steroid pills for longer term.  Steroids work by decreasing inflammation caused by prostaglandins during the immune response.  These are not the anabolic steroids used by athletes and body builders, they are corticosteroids that bind to receptors in cells to reduce inflammation.

Anatomy 1 Final Exam

Well, I survived it.  I will be scraping by with the 1/2 points given here and there, but I should pass.  With the impaired performance I should be ok and not need to sit the supplemental exam.  According to the scuttlebutt there has only ever been one supplemental exam for this class since this professor started teaching it, so that is in my favour.  I took the rest of the afternoon off, got coffee with a friend from my first year pre-vet, and played Skyrim on the Xbox that I got with my bestie last year.  Playing the game is mildly depressing, but I’m working through it.

Tonight was Halloween according to the calendar, so there were a handful of children coming to the door.  The first one I had to send away because I wasn’t expecting any and so didn’t have any candy.  The second set got my Haribo bears because I delved into my own private stash.  The third set didn’t get anything because I didn’t get up from my computer fast enough and they walked away.  All of them were pretty young children, no teenagers and no adults without kids.  It is definitely a different holiday out here.  Of course its also SPRING and so not really the Halloween spirit.  Ah well, no use winging about it.

Tomorrow is the hardcore Physiology study and possibly going to see my friend and his band (he’s a music student at UCOL) play a ‘Country’ gig.  At least they are covering Lady Antebellum for one of their songs which is more country than some of the other songs that I heard suggested for the set.  I won’t go if it is too late because I need my sleep, but the exam isn’t until the afternoon so I have some leeway.