Passing Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging (Day 595)

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods

So this afternoon I sat my final exam in Radiography and Diagnostic Imaging, this was one of my favourite subjects as to me it was directly related to being a vet. Radiographs (xrays) are probably the most basic diagnostic test that a vet can do!

Going forwards today I had to explain the practical side of dental radiology (taking pictures of a animals mouth), followed by long answer questions on the safety of radiology and the navicular bone in horses.

The navicular bone is also known as the distal sesamoid bone and is located between the last two phalanges (finger bones) which means it has two bones on top of it, and the hoof all around it. This makes it very difficult to get good radiographs of this bone, however it is a common cause of lameness in the horse so is very important. There is a common saying here that the best views of the navicular bone are taken after necropsy (post-mortem).

Happy Birthday to me from Eickemeyer… (Day 581)

Birthday parcel from Eickemeyer

So today is my birthday, the second one I have spent here in Slovakia yet today has been made special with a surprise birthday present from Eickemeyer

Birthday parcel from EickemeyerSo this morning I had an early start so got to university to find the classroom door locked and the lights off… Seems my class was cancelled and somehow this escaped my attention. It wasn’t all bad though as I ended up spending the morning and early afternoon with the plastic surgeon which was pretty cool as I am starting to learn stuff which is way above what vet students normally get taught. After this I then had my general surgery practical which was on suture techniques for hollow organs and tendons which was pretty cool.

Now after all this was over I finally got back to my birthday parcel, opening it up I found I had a box of Eickcoll which is a head collar/cone to stop animals removing sutures along with bandage material, pens and a new t-shirt!

Present from EickemeyerUnderneath this however was a second smaller box, now for some reason I always that the really cool stuff is always in the smaller box…

The small box in the big boxIn this case it really proved true with this being inside this smaller box…

Eickemeyer Surtron electrosurgery unitOk so looks very pretty doesn’t it?!? But what does it do???

This is a electrosurgery machine, if you have ever watched a medical show such as ER, or Grays you will have seen one used as this is nicknamed the “bovie” (as it was invented by physicist William Bovie and neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing). It’s a machine that uses electricity both to coagulate vessels to stop bleeding, and can also be used to cut through tissues as well! Originally they were giant (unreliable) machines, now however its a small computer controlled box that allows an exact charge to be applied making them perfect for delicate work.

Now during BSAVA Congress in the Avian Medicine and Surgery lectures this was listed as an essential piece of equipment for anyone doing avian (bird) surgery because when you deal with a small 50g bird the maximum “safe” blood loss is a total of around 0.35ml. With electrosurgery (or radiotherapy as its properly called) equipment like this you can control and minimize the bleeding during surgery and so improve the outcome for the patient.

Hopefully I will be able to put this to good use over the next few years as I am hoping to do my thesis into minimally invasive surgery in exotic patients!

End of the week, time for sleep (Day 576)

Buffy the Rabbit

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Pet Webinars

I really am exhausted now, today I just have a general surgery lecture and tons of catching up on reading that I missed last week whilst I was away! I also need to go in twice today to do my wound cleaning on my rabbit patient. The wound is looking great and there is loads of eating, drinking and pooping as well so for the moment I am very happy. I think I will be removing the drain on Monday as well!

Buffy the Rabbit

When I am exhausted and get a moment I like to just sit down and relax, and one of my favourite places to do this is with the horses. So I was sitting here when I was asked if I could monitor a short anaesthetic for the removal of a growth from a dogs lip. Now the pulse-ox had flat batteries so I basically became the all in one monitoring machine so the doctor could concentrate on the surgery. This surgery went perfect and the patient was awake and walking out just a short  30 minutes later.

Now I intend to get some sleep!

Going back to rabbit surgery… When it gets bloody (Day 574)

Rescue Kestrel with suspected West Nile Virus

Today’s Diary entry is sponsored by Pet Hooligans

Well today I am exhausted, the travel is catching up with me as I’ve not a chance to sleep properly yet with early classes both days. Today has been a rectors day which is when classes are cancelled because of the student conference where students present their research. Most of this is in Slovak so is simply not accessible to me so I decided to make it a clinic day instead.

My day started with restraining rabbits for blood samples which left me with massive scratches up my arm. After this we had a kestrel brought in by a member of the public that had found it, because it was shown symptoms we decided to do a blood test to look for West Nile Virus which is becoming a growing problem in birds here.

Rescue Kestrel with suspected West Nile Virus

I then did the autopsy of a rat that had died after a femoral artery anastomosis, I was looking at the surgical site and possible signs of thrombus (a clot moving to other parts of the body).

I then went to take the sutures out of the rabbit that became my surgical patient last week, and found that there had been wound breakdown which hadn’t been noted whilst I was away. For some reason here every single electronic device I have got a flat battery however I took the rabbit back into surgery to do a further skin resection.

Now although theoretically a simpler surgery it got a lot more interesting when I cut and the rabbit started to bleed. I know the theory around haemostasis (control of bleeding) yet this was the first time I needed to do so. My mouth went dry, my heart started racing and I was worried for a moment even though I knew there were no major vessels in the area I was cutting. I got the bleeding under control and then continued, another lesson learned and instantly more cautious about what I was cutting.

Finishing the up the resection I removed a lemon shaped section of tissue nearly 3cm wide, so with such a large hole considered my options for closing the skin. In this case I decided to place subcutaneous sutures between the skin and muscle layer to relieve tension before I then closed the incision with simple interrupted sutures. I have to say that my suturing is getting a lot better and faster, the suture line was evenly spaced, skin had good opposition and my tails were short.

I also decided to place a drain fashioned from a latex glove exiting through a opening below my suture line because of the amount of dead space. I’ve now got the next 10 days of post-op care twice daily to ensure that this wound heals correctly…

When cheap travel becomes expensive… (Day 572)

Landing back in Eastern Europe

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Best Pet Hair Remover

Well today I woke up in Birmingham at 2am, left Birmingham to goto Luton Airport at 3am and finally got home to Slovakia at midnight.

When I booked my flights I looked for the cheapest out of the options that were available to me. There are 3 airports in this part of the world: Kosice, Budapest and Debrecen and for some reason Debrecen was the cheapest option for the flights. We were expecting to be able to drive straight to the airport however my friend had problems with the car so instead we were forced onto trains.

Now landing in Debrecen I was happy to be back as I was greeted with 24 degree weather and amazing sun straight off the plane in contrast to the pouring rain I had left behind in Luton.Landing back in Eastern EuropeNow this then turned into a 3 hour train journey to Budapest to be able to get a connection back to Kosice…

So fast forward to a little after 7pm when we are finally on the train back to Kosice, ticket inspector comes around and basically says that there are planned engineering works and the journey will take an hour longer than usual… So instead of arriving back to Kosice at 10pm it will be closer to 11pm.

Next time I think I will pay the extra 50 euros to fly direct to Kosice….

The end of BSAVA Congress 2014 – (Day 571)

Being told I got a birthday present by Eickemeyer UK!

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Spikes World Wildlife Feeds

The end of Congress 2014, congress has completely flown by, my feet ache, I am exhausted and seeing this I felt it was a perfect explanation of how most people here this morning feel…

How you feel the morning after

I do believe however the new student stream today got of to the best start with the offer of free paracetamol and water by the speakers! For me BSAVA Congress is great with the opportunity to meet loads of new people, and keep in touch with people. Today I got told that I was going have a great birthday present heading my way to help me with my thesis and improve the care that I can offer patients here in Slovakia from EickemeyerUK.

Being told I got a birthday present by Eickemeyer UK!

Now today is my last day in the UK for a while so I decided to finish it with the best Sunday roast that I could find…

Last meal in England for a whileIts been a blast, I leave Birmingham at 3am tomorrow morning and will hopefully arrive back to Slovakia sometime tomorrow…

BSAVA Congress 2014 Day 3 – The Wall of DEATH – (Day 570)

The wall of Swallowing Dangers - AKA Wall of Death

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Petfoods

Well today I am grateful that there is free coffee available… Doesn’t taste great but at least it has caffeine as I am starting to get tired. Today I woke up to find that I had been included in the BSAVA Congress Times…

Chris Allen BSAVA Congress Times

On a serious note for a moment I found this which I think really highlights the importance of education (especially as the drug this company was selling costs around £40 a dose!).

The wall of Swallowing Dangers - AKA Wall of Death
The wall of Swallowing Dangers – AKA Wall of Death

Now any of these items can kill a dog, and I was told that even vets and vet nurses struggled to name more than a few when asked. Behind me on the wall are: rat poison, grapes, chocolate, onions, paracetamol, garlic, chewing gum, raisins, and missing from its bowl is a rubber duck! Please do remember that it is harder to pet proof a home than to childproof it!

Today in addition to the lectures I wanted to goto for the Avian Medicine stream which were really great I also had to attend the BSAVA Student Rep meeting. This then turned into a invitation to the Petsavers Charity 40th Birthday party (yes the cakes were good!).

BSAVA President Michael Day at Petsavers 40th Birthday

I was then invited by PLH Medical to judge their twitter selfie competition to win a Diagnostic Ultrasound manual from CRC Press with the winner being selected from the PDSA pet charity!

PLH Medical Twitter Competition Prize Presentation

This evening instead of the BSAVA Part Night I decided to goto the unofficial Folk Night which is held each year next door. Now this was something I found my first BSAVA Congress but couldn’t find the year after even though I tried… In addition to the great live music…BSAVA 2014 Malthouse Folk NightI also found my very old friend Old Rosie which was an added bonus as Slovakia is a cider free country…

Old Rosie Cider

BSAVA Congress 2014 Day 2 – (Day 569)

PLH Medical F1 simulator at BSAVA Congress 2014

Todays Diary Entry is sponsored by Pets Bureau

Well today is day 2 of congress 2014, unlike yesterday there are quite a few lectures that interest me today with a big focus on the Farm Pets and Wildlife lecture streams which were very interesting. I picked up quite a few useful ideas which I can use back here, however also realised how different medications were in the UK.

So in Slovakia when a medication is needed we can simply select a drug with the correct chemical and dose whether it is for human or animal. In the UK this is completely different as there is a “cascade” system where if there is a drug available that is licensed for that animal we are forced to use it regardless of the cost. Anyways onto the rest of my day…

I attended the Supreme Petfoods Rabbit lecture with the Rabbit expert Molly Varga, this was interesting as it appears that urinary disease is becoming a more common problem. This was said to be at similar levels as dental disease which is probably the biggest problem that rabbits kept as pets experience.

I then tried to improve my time in the PLH Medical F1 simulator and managed to knock 20 seconds off.

PLH Medical F1 simulator at BSAVA Congress 2014

At the end of the day when I was just leaving I got invited to attend the BSAVA Congress Banquet by The Webinar Vet. Now I’ve never been to a banquet before so this was really exciting… The only catch was I was walking out of the exhibition and the banquet started in 30 minutes time so I absolutely had to sprint back to the hotel to shower and change! I made it back and it really was an amazing evening…

BSAVA Congress 2014 Banquet

Now the President of the BSAVA is originally an Australian (though has lived in the UK for a long time now) so when it came to food Prof. Michael Day decided to bring some Australian influence to the table with this Vegemite toast….

Prof Michael Day Vegemite Toast

Dinner was followed by an amazing Jazz set by The Hot Jazz Biscuits!

BSAVA Congress 2014 Day 1 (Day 568)

Dr John Lewis - Wildlife Vets International

Today’s Diary entry is sponsored by Vet School Success

Well today was the start of BSAVA Congress! I love the support that BSAVA actually give to students, which is demonstrated by their free student membership and the very low cost (£86!!!) of attending congress! Now congress lasts for 4 days, and in addition to the amazing lectures there is also a great exhibition with all the latest products on display. I was originally planning to blog live as things happened, however the internet access that I was expecting just wasn’t present so kept things simple with just the @vetschooldiary twitter stream – here are my day 1 highlights from BSAVA Congress 2014…

So my day started noticing the new big screen for #bsava2014 tweets, BSAVA is embracing social media which I think is great!

#BSAVA2014 Tweets on the Big Screen

I then bumped into one of my old teachers which was really cool, before heading into the exhibition for the unveiling of the PLH Medical F1 car and to watch the opening lap by Holly!

Holly starting the PLH Medical F1 races!

Heading back I got very lucky and found the Wildlife Vets International stand with Dr John Lewis the Veterinary Director. We had a great conversation as I would love to get the opportunity to work in wildlife and zoological medicine after I graduate!

Dr John Lewis - Wildlife Vets International

Heading back into the exhibition I got scared by this somewhat stressed dog…

Scary Stressed Dog

Before grabbing some new books from Hills Nutrition to go into the university library here!

New books for the UVM Kosice Library from Hills Nutrition

I got my new vetark cd with loads of cool manuals, videos and useful information for working with exotic pets.

Vetark Wildlife Manual

I then met this very disturbing creature that I believe was meant to be a flea… Still not 100% sure I am right here though…

Think this was meant to be a giant flea...

In the evening as I am an international student I got invited to the International Delegates and Speakers reception at Birmingham Sea Life centre which was a great chance to catch up with some friends, and meet some new people. There was a new penguin exhibit opening the week after so we thought it was only rights that we checked it out to ensure animal welfare….

Sneak Peak at the new Sea life Birmingham Penguin Exhibit

To finish the evening in the underwater water tunnel I learnt how to tell male and female sharks apart. And got to see this amazing giant turtle…

Giant Turtle at Sea Life

It was an absolutely amazing start to BSAVA Congress 2014, and I really was excited for Friday!