Wet Labs

As the school year draws to an end and the impending doom of exams is lingering, I find it awfully difficult to resign myself to the books just yet, and instead look for ways to procrastinate and enjoy the amazing spring weather. Luckily in vet school, there are educational forms of procrastination to pursue!

Over the past week, I’ve had the chance to participate in a few ‘wet labs’, put on by various student run clubs at the OVC. The first was a Joint Injection lab organized by the Equine Club. We were all given a horse leg, some injectable dye and the appropriate needles/syringes, and were taught various nerve blocks and joint injection sites. Having watched hundreds of joint injections while assisting the vets at MPES, I can say it’s very different when you are trying the joint yourself for the first time (especially if your ‘patient’ is just a single leg that won’t stand up on it’s own!). After the various injections, we then dissected out the legs to find the dye and insure we hit the right spots. I’m bang on with my nerve blocks, but need more practice with my fetlock injections! Luckily, I’ve got a few more years to learn.

The second lab was a Humane Euthanasia lab run by the Animal Welfare Club. Not exactly the most cheerful of topics, but it offered invaluable advice for emergency and critical situations. After discussing instances in which euthanasia should be considered, we practiced (on slaughter heads) various methods and landmarks of humane euthanasia given certain circumstances and tools, such as the captive bolt or a gun. Unfortunately, ‘wet lab’ in this circumstance does involve some brain matter on the coveralls, but having the knowledge and the experience of being able to end suffering and perform a humane euthanasia on a large animal in critical circumstances is something I appreciate having (but hope I never have to use).

Finally, on a slightly happier, springtime note, I spent my final afternoon of classes on Ruminant Field Services, in which students can shadow one of the Large Animal clinicians at the OVC while they do ambulatory farm work. We spent the afternoon in the sunshine, doing a herd health check on a sheep farm that had about a hundred, week-old lambs on the ground. It was all I could do to remain professional and ask about ewe vaccinations and nutrition while not squealing with delight everytime the lambs leapt in the air and played. Health check finished, I did manage to fit in a few lamb cuddles, all in the name of veterinary medicine, of course.

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