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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday question post

Check out Many Muddy Paws blog and join me in a Thursday Question post. 

A benefit of being a vet student is that I can pull the “but I was really busy and stressed and that’s why...” card and everyone seems to nod in understanding. might notice that not only is it NOT Thursday, but it’s been a while Many Muddy Paws even published the post.  Ummm...yeah....Totally pulling the “vet student” card....

This week in questions:

1. What is the biggest thing that grossed you out over the past week?
Pus really disgusts me.  In pathology I had to stare at a picture of a cow liver with an abscess that was leaking runny yellow pus all over the liver.  Gross.  Didn’t make me feel any better knowing that pus is “liquafactive necrosis” and that’s it’s liquified tissue.  Ew.  However, pus is definitely preferable to the biosecurity presentation that we had to watch in the class a few weeks ago.  It was based in human medicine and had all sorts of pictures of human wounds and nastiness.  We all agreed that animals are much perferrable to human patients and that humans smell funny. 

2. What do you feed your dogs? (And horses)

Tess gets the fish formula of Taste of the Wild.  She does really well on it.   Her diet is supplemented with the occasional dog appropriate human food - egg, vegetables, whole chicken cut up left overs and giblets, etc.

Farley is getting orchard grass.  It has a wee bit of Alfalfa in it - which is fine with me.  She’s no longer free feeding since she’s decided to take on a blimp shape.  Still supplementing with vitamin E and selenium (from Platinum Performance) in a WEE bit of Elk Groves Stable Mix Senior (less than 1/2 pound - ~1 cup).  She looks great and I’m comfortable with the amount of sugar in her diet. 

3. If you could move anywhere where would you live?
It’s hard to beat California weather.  And living in the heart of endurance country doesn’t hurt either.  If I could live there in the summer only, I like Wyoming.  If I could be guaranteed year ‘round riding and an indoor arena, Colorado would be incredible.  It’s hard to beat Nevada for wide open spaces to ride right out your back door.  At this point it would be nice to live closer to school (1 hour 10 minute commute currently), but not at the sacrifice of having to put Farley in a paddock or being further away than I am now (20 minutes from Farley).

4. What is the funniest thought that occurred to you (or thing that happened to you) this week?
Joy?  Happiness? Laughter?  Those things don’t happen to vet students who are over worked, over stressed and generally miserable.  :)  What?  you don’t believe me?  I wouldn’t either.  It wasn’t FUNNY, but one of the things that put a smile on my face was watching Tess swim in a ditch at the bluegrass festival I attended this weekend.  It was over her head and she was chasing butterflies through weeds 3x her height, taking flying leaps across the ditch, and paddling her way through the water.  What could be more enjoyable to watch, as I contemplate how her PNS and CNS are working together to make sure that cellular signaling occurs using a variety of pathways utilizing GABAergic and cholinergic receptors among others make her function and if she ever gets seizures I would have to put her on phenobarbital and how scary would THAT be considering the liver disease, and when she did that belly flop was that ventrally or dorsally? 

5. If you couldn't have your breed of choice what would be next on your list?
I definitely see another Standardbred on my list.  I’m not sure if Arab is my breed of choice, and if they aren’t than what is on the top of my list.  The different breeds all have their strengths and weaknesses and it totally depends on what I’m using the horse for.  I think that both arabs and standardbreds are good “all ‘round” horses.  My childhood dream horse is a chestnut fox trottin’ mare with a flaxen mane and tail.  I’m not sure if that will ever be a reality, but it’s always in the back of my mind. 

Life update (things that you may be interested in, but that are too "life journal-like" to be a real post) -

Checked the Farrier's work last night.  He doesn't take off as much hoof as my other farrier, but I'd rather him be conservative than too go crazy.  He left a lot of sole - which I like - and took down the heels to the seat of the corn.  My only complaint about my previous farrier was that he tended to take a wee bit more sole and frog than I would have ideally wanted, and sometimes on the hinds didn't take the heels as far down as they needed.  I did see some issues with this trim.  The new farrier doesn't do ANY roll, and I felt like he left the toe on the RF WAY too long - it really needs to be backed up.  In summary, it looks more like a foot that has been prepped for a shoe than a barefoot trim.  However - Since he's leaving sole, balancing the foot well, and leaving me enough hoof to work with, I'll just do the rolling and the backing up that RF after his trims.  At some point (probably when I start serious conditioning again) I will probably have to find a different farrier who's trimming style compliments a barefoot performance better, but for now I think I'll be fine.

Almost passed out during my sheep handling lab yesterday.  It was really hot - which I'm usually fine with.  I made sure I ate (something that's been a problem lately), but for some reason, sometimes when I have to stand in one place without moving I get very dizzy.  It's happened in cold and hot environments.  I have low blood pressure, so thinking that is was because I wasn't moving around I started fidgeting and moving around (while trying not to be rude).  I drank some water, took off the undershirt I was wearing underneath my scrub top to try and cool down.  I was fine once they stopped lecturing and I was able to move around and handling my sheep.  I've never been able to conclusively link this to anything specific.  Probably happens every 2 years or so?  Never the same situation twice, but always involving me standing in one place for a while.  This was the first food animal handling lab (which is what I want to do) and my first time meeting some of the professors I hoped to work with in the future, so I was desperately trying not to do anything silly like pass out or flash anyone (remember having to remove my undershirt??????....).   I got through it OK, but it was a close thing.  I'm learning some REALLY interesting things in Pharmacology that have a direct impact on endurance - as soon as I get my head wrapped around it I'll put down some of my thoughts here regarding bioavailability, generics, loading doses, and species differences. 


  1. Hey Melinda: we have a dog with seizures on PB (and KBr as well). We were at Davis last week for a neurology consult. So far, 2 years and doing OK with some seizures, good liver values. Still fooling around with medication levels to try to mitigate the sleepies. Luckily we haven't had to visit the large animal clinic for 2 years. Hoping our luck continues.

  2. Some of my classmates that worked in small animal clinics told me that it was like pulling teeth to get owners to check liver values when their dogs were on PB. After seeing the photos and understanding the mechanism of the drug, I sure wouldn't take that risk as an owner! Obviously education and visuals make a difference.... :). I tend to be a "less is more" person, but if by spending a little money to check levels and potentially disconitinue a drug before my dog went into liver failure.....I'd do it now in a heart beat.

    Hope your luck continues! I'm lucky to not have any ongoing chronic issues with my pets, although I'm told that as a vet student that is guaranteed to change....

  3. Hey Mel, just wondering why you don't trim Farley's hooves yourself (apart from being mega-busy!)? Sorry if you've already answered that elsewhere...
    Also, do you have advice about changing to Renegades from Easyboot Gloves? thinking about it...

  4. Melinda - signing in anonymously!

    Stupid Blogger ate my comments. And it was long a detailed. :(

    Several of you have emailed me to tell me that the passing out thing may be due to me locking my knees when I stand and I think you may be right - I was told that before and had forgotten it. :)

    Regarding the farrier thing - I do my own trimming about every 2 weeks. I have a farrier come out every 4-6 months to check the balance of the hoof. If I get behind on my trimming, I don't like taking off a lot of wall at once, so the farrier also helps me "catch up" on my trimming if I've been too busy to keep up on it. I'm not a hoof care professional or farrier and I always learn a lot by watching and talking with them. I consider my farrier visits "continuing education". I've been lucky so far to have access to really good farriers.


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