Where There’s A Willy, There’s a Way

14th – 24th February

It’s me, finally climbing out of the revision cave and into the light! There’s a lot to catch up on, and it’s truly exciting stuff – so let me start where I last left off, Valentine’s Day…

We’ve all got romantic ideas about where we’d like to be on Valentine’s Day. Considering I don’t have any kind of romantic partner, my expectations weren’t that high to begin with, but as I stood in the dissection room surrounded by penises, this was not it.

Reproduction lectures were in full swing and I couldn’t keep up with it. Reproduction is the bane of every vet student’s life, but those bits and pieces make up the majority of a vet’s workload. Courtship, love-making, and fluffy baby animals, what’s not to love? Well, apart from the fact that sex in the animal kingdom is for the most part violent, messy, dangerous, and complex, every single species has their own way to tango. Don’t feel sorry for your gynaecologist, at least their patients only have one vagina. Continue reading!


Nose To Tail

Patient cooperation? That’d be the bloody day.

Rewind to the 1st of February, and you’ll find me hanging off the head of a cow, trying to pry her eyelids apart as she throws herself back and forth.

“Will you stand still!? I’m not going to hurt you!” Okay, this probably will hurt a bit, but it’s going to hurt more if you fight with me.

There was a brief respite from the thrashing as she stopped to catch her breath. I took my opportunity to separate the eyelids and push her eyeball backwards a fraction into the socket, so that the nictitating membrane jumped out across the surface. I had less than a second to make my assessment of her eye before she began throwing her head again. I let go and stepped away, “This girl needs a break.” Continue reading!

Down the Rabbit Hole

I think it’s fair to say that by the end of term, we were all more than a little frayed around the edges…

Looking back on my timetable for that last week, the lectures don’t sound all that familiar. It says we covered things like chronic inflammation, hypersensitivity, healing and haemostasis, but I don’t really recall much about any of that – what attention span!?

What I do recall is Thursday’s suspense in anticipation of our AB1 exam results. As per usual, our year coordinator waited until the very last minute to update our online profiles, and when I did look, I didn’t fully understand it. Continue reading!

Chlamydia, Bitches & Rectal Gloves

So it’s been two weeks since I last posted – and the reason is sort of ironic. On the one hand, there’s not been enough in a week to tell you about, and yet I’ve been so ridiculously busy that there’s not been a spare minute to write in.

How does that happen?

Well, unfortunately, bacteriology and immunology remain the full-time focus of my degree. This means that there’s an extraordinary amount of work to be done and things to be learnt, but there’s so little of it that might excite the casual blog-reader. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try anyway!

The last fortnight has explored the cycle of pathogenesis, from infection to resolution, and identified the distinct habits of some fairly famous microbes: Salmonella, Streptococci, Mycobacteria, Staphylococci and Chlamydia to name a few. At first glance, that looks like a pretty scary line-up, but I’ve discovered that a great many species in these genera have preferences for non-human hosts. And, interestingly, different bacterial species often cause different diseases in different host species. Continue Reading!