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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vet Student's Bookshelf and Contest Winner!

The scores have been posted.  My final score is…….*drumroll*……..165.5. 

Here are the guesses:
AareneX 170.5
Fantastyk Voyager 168
KSlongrider 162
Endurance granny 160
Cahla 159
Carolyn 158
Funder 143

And the winner is Fantastyk Voyager who came the closest at 2.5 points!!!!!  Please send me your mailing address (

Fantastyk Voyager will be receiving MANGE from me this Xmas.  That’s right - Mange.  Here’s a link

Somehow, the test points don’t quite add up to 180 exactly (it’s a bit over) and the “calculated grade” that showed up on the grading system was a bit higher than the score I was calculating, so there’s a bit a curve I think and some other wrangling…..but I’m on vacation and can’t make myself care.  :)

I’m officially half way through my first year as a vet student and I wanted to share what’s on my book shelf as a first year vet student.  The new learner-centered curriculum requires you to start building a library right away - unless you LIKE doing all your studying in the library during business hours, with copies on reserve - something not possible for me with my commute.  We were advised by our big sibs not to buy most of the text books because we wouldn’t have time to use them - but obviously this advice will be dramatically different when we are advising our little sibs next year. 

I’ve only added 2 physical books to my bookshelf!  The rest are electronic.  I really agonized over my decision to do e-books, but now that I’ve made the switch I wouldn’t go back.  When I finally did need to buy a physical book because it wasn’t available in the ebook format, I found that how I use text books had changed because of using ebooks, and that it is much more efficient to use an ebook.

Physical books

Thrall’s Veterinary Hematology and Clinical Chemistry
Because so much of the hematology (think blood cells) was visual, I did decide to buy the the required text, rather than rely on borrowing from friends.  While it has lots of pictures, I didn’t find it especially engaging to read, and when trying to discern the differences between different inclusion bodies in red blood cells, I had to read the same passages over and over….and over again.  The book’s organization wasn’t intuitive for me.  If it was an ebook, I could have searched it electronically and it wouldn’t have been a big deal - but to try and find specific answers to questions I had about the subject was a pain.  I tended to use the same sections over and over again because they were the sections that dealt with the subject the fullest…..but never ventured beyond the 3 or 4 chapters that were recommended as reading.  One thing I appreciate in the search function of ebooks is the ability to pick up little tidbits (a sentence here and there) about a subject that would never be indexed because it’s one sentence….but that can really round out your knowledge and help your understanding. 

Would I recommend that a non vet student purchase this book?  Probably not.  Not real interesting.  Didn’t have any aha! moments with it, and aside from the copious amounts of pictures (which might make it suitable for a clinic doing blood smears) didn’t add anything to my knowledge base as a horse owner or endurance rider.  I’m considering selling it to a next year’s first year vet student.

Dogs in Motion
I adore this book.  It’s art and science coming together to make something that is visually stimulating and absolutely fascinating.  I didn’t mind getting this book as a physical copy because of the incredible depth and visual impact.  The book is made up of very short (but dense) chapters and sections that describe the domestication of the dog, origination of the breeds, and what goes into how a dog moves.  The information is specific to dogs, but much of the basic biology applies to any quadruped, such as a horse.  The last section of the book has short blurbs on the 30 breeds used in the locomotion comparison studies, along with any details of how they deviate from the other dogs in the study.  I think most of us will recognize the topics of the short articles - there’s one on the fox domestication experiments etc. - however I found new information in all the articles because they go into such depth and specifics, as well as citing the exact studies.  So don’t let the fact that it’s “another article on that fox study”,  keep you from diving in.  You will learn something new.  The book also comes with a DVD that is full of locomotion examples of both real dogs and models.  They do this “in motion X-ray” thingy with real-live dogs that is very cool, as well as models showing the activation of different muscles during movement.  Although it looks like a coffee table book, it’s definitely NOT a “fluff” book - it’s full of accurate, detailed information, presented beautifully. 

Would I recommend that a non vet student purchase this book?  Absolutely.  It’s a brand new book and probably not in your local library, but it is rather expensive ($100), so you can always try.  It’s not the type of book that I sit down and read start to finish - instead I find myself bouncing around sections, depending on what interests me that day.  To my knowledge, there is not an equivalent horse book - which is a shame.  Even though this is specific to dogs, I found that I could apply the information to horse movement as well - which gives me a much better appreciation of Farley walking across the pasture, or trotting on an endurance trail.  There is so much more to locomotion than the foot falls of the gait, and whether your horse is lame or sound through a trot out.

The other 5 books in my collection are in an ebook format.  More details on the program I use for the ebooks, and which ones I recommend in the next post!


  1. "Things That Might Kill You" sounds like a wonderful gift for Carolyn or Nola!


  2. Yay! I'm glad you got a higher score even if it means I didn't win

  3. I love those plushies! My roommate in college had an Ebola one, it was so cute!

  4. Dogs in Motion sounds interesting. I've seen website about Horses in Motion, expressly the legs and feet in motion and I was mesmerized!

    I love that Val won Mange. Too stinkin' funny. Just what she needs this Christmas.

    Congrats Val!!!


    And for you, I just want to say....Merry Christmas from Lisa and the entire herd at the Laughing Orca Ranch!!



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