Sunday, May 9, 2010

I cried for the first time so far in Clinics..........

Of course I didn't allow anyone to see, and thankfully I had on sunglasses so it covered my red face and watery eyes. We responded to a call this afternoon that involved a horse who had been fed too much sweet feed. This horse presented with the stance pictured above, as well as dehydration, bruxism (teeth grinding--symbolizes pain), increased heart rate, in-ability to stand on three legs when asked to raise the front feet and so on.......all of these signs point to


If you knew me about 5 years ago you would know why this is a sad case for me. I was taking riding lessons from "Kinsey Paint & Quarter Horses." After a few months of riding and training, I performed in a "fun day," which was nothing more than all the trainees getting together and having fun racing barrels, running poles, roping, ect. Well, at this show I won Dixie. That's what I named her. She was beautiful!

She was the filly of Mr. Mike's prized horse "Bit O Olympia." I was so happy to have won her. She was my first horse! I had always wanted a horse but my parents wanted me to get riding lessons first to be sure I was interested enough. Well, of course Dixie and I were best friends for a short while. One day, her feet were being trimmed and while this was happening, Dixie freaked out a little and threw herself down. She broke her shoulder. We took her to UGA Vet Hospital, they did radiographs, and gave her a guarded prognosis. We were instructed to keep her in a 12x12 stall, keep her feet wrapped, provide water, and hay, and keep it deeply bedded with shavings. My parents and I cared for her for what seemed like years (really it was only a few months). We scooped her pen, cared for her "bed sores," kept her brushed and as happy as we could.

She was doing great until the day she presented with laminitis. She was acutely "down" and would not get up. We tried what we could, but when we called the Vet out, he said there was nothing he could do. We euthanized her while her head was in my lap. It was, and still is the worst feeling I have ever felt. There was nothing I could do, after I had worked so hard for so many months. It's still very painful to think about. I am thankful that I had such supportive parents who were willing to take her to UGA Vet School, and who were willing to get down in the ammonia smelling shavings to clean my horse and treat her wounds with me, and who were willing to call a friend to bring a front loading bulldozer to dig a hole in the pasture to place her. I couldn't stand the thought of having her dragged away. I still believe this was one of the main reasons I continued to want to be a Veterinarian.

This is an example of a laminitic hoof.

There are two types of laminae in the horse's foot. The sensitive laminae attached to the pedal bone and the insensitive laminae attached to the inner hoof wall. The function of the laminae is to bind to each other and to keep the pedal bone suspended within the hoof capsule and to allow for normal hoof wall growth over the stationary bone. Laminitis is inflammation of the sensitive laminae of the hooves. Basically the suspension of the pedal bone (pictured here between the arrows), gives way and the bone sinks down, eventually poking through the sole of the horse's foot. Once this occurs there, is nothing you can do to save the horse, if you do not euthanize, the horse will not be able to walk and is in immense pain. To reference one of my favorite quotes "With a true appreciation of life, comes the responsibility of ensuring a humane death" -Pam Hullinger, DVM. The failure of the mechanism can be caused by many things. In Dixie's case it was that all her weight was being distributed to her opposite limb, to try and take the pressure off the broken shoulder. The extra weight was too much to bear for one limb and the suspension mechanism failed. In the case of the clinic horse, he had too much grain to eat---the grain killed the normal bacteria in his gut---the bacteria released endotoxin---this all compounded to cause decreased blood supply to the hoof and thus, the mechanism failed. There are many other causes of laminitis and some aren't even fully understood.

So, as we were practically carrying this horse up the hill from the pasture to his stall, I was holding back many tears, as the memories came rushing back; the times we hoisted Dixie up just so she could get out of her own feces, moving her around so the sores wouldn't be so severe in one place, treating and spraying her with fly spray, hand feeding her because she couldn't stand to eat, praying, crying, begging that she be spared....she was my first horse for goodness' sake!! There was a boy involved with the clinic case, who had been coming to feed the horse and the mistake had been made where the boy fed the horse as well as the owner. The horse had also not been fed everyday consistently. It was a sad situation, because I could put myself in his shoes. We treated the horse as best we could, and we are just hoping and praying that the pedal bone has not dropped too far to be saved.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


We've started it! I hope it works. We have the entire package with all 13 videos and the nutrition guide. The food is actually good, its just whether or not one actually has time to cook all that it calls for. We started this thing on Sunday of last week, so far we have been doing good and only two videos have killed us. I'll keep you updated. By the end, we'll either be ripped or proven to be procrastinators. :)

Chef Salad

Salmon, Rice, Asparagus (soooooo good!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cows and Poop

I have started clinics! I am in the Food Animal Rotation now. I have two weeks in Ambulatory, two weeks in Clinics and two weeks as "back-up."

Currently I am three days into my Ambulatory trips. I am LOVING it!!! Ambulatory is when the Veterinarian actually goes out to the farm and does work. So far we have gone to the MSU Dairy to palpate cows. We were checking to see if they were pregnant or not. We also "bleed" cows, which, in this case we drew blood from the tail vein.

We drew blood for Johne's testing. This disease causes watery diarrhea in cows. It does not appear until later in life, even though the cow could have been infected at an early age. One of the reasons its a huge problem is because it decreases milk production over the life span of the cow. We test for Johne's because it adds value to cows sold from a "Johne's" negative herd, as well as insures the buyer he will not have problems with this disease later on in life.

Example of drawing blood:

After we bled the cows we palpated them for pregnancy. Usually with Dairy breeds, cows are artificially inseminated according to a program known as Ovsync. Basically it gets all the cow's cycle's on the "same page" so that they all come into estrus at the same time, all breed at the same time, and all calve at the same time. It was a lot of fun palpating the cows for pregnancy because depending on factors such as....
  • uterine horn size
  • uterine muscle tone
  • placentome size
  • the uterine artery size
  • and "membrane slip"
one can actually tell how far along they are in their pregnancy. Monday, I didn't really feel anything while inside the cow. There was a lot of poop and it was really warm....that was about it. Today while, palpating I actually felt all the structures, and by the end of the day, my professor was allowing me to tell him which horn the cow was pregnant in (which side). Of course, he was checking before me, and doing his exam....he just didn't tell me right or wrong until I had an estimate. I had poop in my boots, hair, on my face, and all over my coveralls but I had a blast!!!

Example of palpating:

In the truck on the way to the Farm and back our professor is quizzing us. He calls it "rounds" time. We get asked questions on what we are doing that day, the physiology behind it, things about dairy production medicine, drugs, injections, "days pregnant," and any other management questions he can think of. He expects us to know it all, but does a great job of walking us through the steps of reasoning it out in our head. I am loving ambulatory so far, and know that when its time to switch I might not want to. I know for SURE I will not be ready to move on to the next rotation. The DVM's here in Food Animal and the staff are so laid back and helpful.

I did not take any of these pictures. We are not allowed to take pictures. I simply found some on the Internet that were similar to what we were doing to give you, and idea about my tasks.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flowers and Veggies

Here are some of my Spring/Summer flowers. They are just so pretty and exciting!



When I first planted my squash plant.

Squash plant now.

Squash blooms


My make-shift garden

Mowgli can't stand it when I go outside without her.

Tyler made me this flower garden, We trimmed the bushes that was already there, planted little Iris and Dahlia bulbs (will come up next year), and he bought me the cutest little Humming Bird feeder! I love it!

Pepper Plant

Cucumber....its much bigger now

UPDATE: Army Veterinary Corps

Here is the skinny on what is going on........

I really don't know to be exact. I got a call from the recruiter last week, and was told that "The Board" had met and made their decision. However, all "yes'" and no's" were being held until the "Security Clearance" came back.

Our applications were turned in two days before the board met, so there was not time to get the background check and security clearance completed. My recruiter's office is in Jackson Mississippi, his office covers TN, AL, and MS. I found out on Facebook that a girl from LSU's Veterinary school has already been accepted. So now we know there are only 4 scholarships left. I am not sure how many were dispersed across the rest of the Country. All we know is there were 6 from the three states my recruiter's office covers, and all those are on "hold" until mid-May, when the background check is complete.

I will keep you updated as soon as I know!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Army Veterinary Corps

Many many of you have asked me, "So whats with all this Army talk?" I didn't really want to tell a lot of people because its a difficult scholarship to actually receive. BUT, since I put it on a Facebook status one day -- I essentially told the world....with no explanation.

The Army is the only branch with a Veterinary Corps. Other branches have animal health professionals, but not in a way that you can get your school paid for, and actually practice as a veterinarian when "active". They are only giving 5 scholarships to the nation of 2nd year veterinary students this year. If I receive this scholarship, the Army will pay for my last two years of vet school, and I will be paid while I am enrolled. In return, I will serve in the Army for three years "active duty." Since the Army is the only branch of Military with the Veterinary Corps program -- their veterinarians get sent to all the military branch bases to care for the working dogs, military personnel's animals, ceremonial horses, as well as do food health inspections, so I could be on Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard bases.

I will get to remain enrolled at MSU-CVM and graduate in 2012. Once I graduate I will be sent to an 18 month "state-side" assignment. This will most likely be a military base somewhere in the USA. There I will run a 8-5 M-F practice, and be paid a normal veterinarian's salary.....but also get full government benefits including a "living expense," "health care" (not sure how the new bill affected this one), discounts on groceries, blah blah etc. I will come in ranked as a "Captain." Along with the day to day practice, I will be trained in food inspections. The last year or so of my service (if I do not decide to continue my career) will be overseas somewhere taking care of working dogs, horses, and food safety for the soldiers. It may be in a "high risk" area and I am aware of that. To address it for those of you who are worried; here is my opinion on the matter ... if it is my time to go, it doesn't matter where I am-- its going to happen anyway. I would much rather go out with a 21 Gun Solute and know that my family will be taken care of; not to mention the valor and respect that comes along with it....than have said about me that some idiot drunk driving moron killed me. Ya got me?? If I choose to stay with the Army, and "re-commission" I can get my PhD-- paid for and be paid while receiving it. The commitment for that would be more years "in-service." I REALLY want to pursue this, but it just depends on where life takes Tyler and I with kids and his continued education as well.

I will have to go through a six week "Basic Training" course. It is not the exact same as those "enlisted" for the Army; we are treated WAY different. I even noticed this difference while we were in Jackson taking the physical. I was there with many 17-18 year olds who were "enlisting." The difference between the way I was treated, and the way they were treated was remarkable. If I receive the scholarship I will be considered "commissioned," and as I said before come in as a Captain. The training will be physical as well as weaponry, but it will also consist of 10 days "in the field" medical training....of which I am most excited about!!

I have spoken with several military personnel about this matter and surrounding issues. One of which is the recruiter (I know I know; you can't trust recruiters), I have also had in depth conversations with two military Veterinarians who have been through the program, as well as a Marine human doctor who went through a similar program, except, with human medicine instead of veterinary medicine. All have said they loved it, and would not have done anything different. Every bit of my knowledge base has come from these folk. Most veterinarians that I have talked with who did not do the program, but had the chance to apply, have said they wished they had done it. I have absolutely no reservations about this, and do pray that it is the Lord's will for me to be in this program.

For those of you wondering here are the reasons why I want to do this ... in no particular order.
  • I can finally stand when the "Armed Forces Salute" is played
  • I get to travel
  • MAJOR experiences involved here that I will not be able to receive anywhere else
  • Normal working hours (while "state-side") and no emergency "here go out and do it on your own" late night calls
  • well-paid (more so than a beginner veterinarian out of vet school)
  • HUGE chunk of debt that would later acquire interest will be paid for up front
  • get money while in school to live, eat, etc
  • I am tremendously patriotic and take "For God and Country" very seriously
  • broad working duties: food animal, small animal, horses, etc
  • my resume will be "kick butt" one day when I return to normal work force life
  • its only for a select few
  • will have a military medical basis and a practical/ functional/ on my feet, way of thinking
and many many more that I do not have time to sit here and write.

Here are a few pictures from my trip to Jackson. In order to apply for the scholarship, among MANY other things, applicants had to participate in an initial physical exam. Parameters tested here include: urinalysis, blood work, eye exam, neuro exam, hearing tests, "female" exam, walk like a duck, weight assessment, tons of questions about previous medical history, and on and on and on. We were there just about all day. I went with my friend Juliana, who is also applying for the scholarship.

We arrived around 8 pm and found out that supper ended at 9 pm so we had to RUN to the lobby to eat. Curfew was at 10 pm.

The hotel they put us up in was so nice!

We each got our own Queen sized bed.


Haha, when we each began to get ready we noticed we had brought the same shirt to wear to the physical. It said, "Real Doctors treat more than one species." We wore them anyway.

View from our hotel.

So, I have thought, and pondered, and prayed about this and really want it. However, if it does not work out...I know God has a plan for my life, and this just wasn't it. Please be praying for His will to be done for the next month or so. I will find out at the end of April...and of course update everyone as soon as possible. I have met many amazing people through this process, and have already had some memorable experiences....if nothing else happens, I will at least be thankful for friendships gained.

If you would like to know more go to:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Run Down

Hello Everyone!
I have been VERY busy since we last spoke. I can't remember everything that has happened because it all feels like a whirl wind. Here is a series of pictures from things I have been involved in.......everyone likes pictures better anyway.

Sunshine's Anesthesia/Radiographs: They think its a metabolic disorder, her Calcium:Phosphorus ratio is off. We are going to change her diet to see if that helps. She had a Lipoma on her abdomen, bone resorption in her long bones, as well as mineralization in her pro-ventriculus (a mass in her stomach).

you can see in the previous two pictures, Sunshine's mass on her abdomen.

here they are giving her Oxygen.....this is before they actually anesthetize her to give her a "back-up" supply of O2 in case things go wrong.

annnnnnnd she's down. Here they tape her to the tray so they can get a good radiograph. Her wings and feet have to be out of the way so we can visualize the mass.

Her little anesthesia cone.

all done, waking her up

My view of the procedure.

The radiograph

Frazzled and woozy but awake and doing well today.

Atlas Neuter: When I was home for Spring Break my Mom had to take Atlas to the Vet because he was attacked by another dog. Well, while we were there my old boss man says "You want to neuter him?" OF COURSE I want to neuter him!! It went well and he is alive today.

intubating for anesthesia

selecting my instruments, I am wearing gloves (they were just "nude" colored)

Dr. Lambert and Dr. Bulloch

Dr. Bulloch didn't even glove up. He trusted me to do it right. AMAZING!! I love this profession of "family"


Goofin off while waiting on Atlas to wake up

Poor baby had an abscess from being bit...we had to get all that junk out. ewww.

I have done many other things since the last post, but these are the two coolest. From here on I have only one test per week until finals. Hopefully I can keep up with the blog. We'll see. Until next time, loves.