Friday, 28 August 2009

Road kill.

After reading a post by Fi including this wonderful clip from the mitchell and webb show I was reminded of my time in mixed practice.

It's true vets really will eat anything.

One of the equine vets used to regularly pick up dead deer from the road, the student was horrified when he brought it back to the practice and proceeded to carve it up rather than cremate it.

Even now I am always slightly suspicious of the large polystyrene troughs of meat the farm vet has delivered to the vets office.....

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Dad has been struggling to understand what my certificate actually means, here is the email I sent him earlier in the week to clarify things:

Dear Dad,

Just to clarify for you the certificate I passed is a further qualification in small animal medicine. 

The subject includes cardiorespiratory medicine (coughing cats and dogs), gastroenterology (vomiting dogs/cats), hepatology (jaundiced cats and dogs), endocrinology ( thirsty cats and dogs),  neurology ( wobbly cats and dogs), oncology (lumpy cats and dogs), immunology (dogs and cats that need a lot of steroids), urogenital medicine (cats and dogs that piss a lot on the carpet), infectious diseases (sneezing cats and dogs that come off the continent with more than a suntan), emergency medicine ( dogs and cats that are in the main completely screwed), pharmacology (dogs on a lot of drugs because there is no diagnosis) and a small amount of opthalmology (blind cats and dogs) and dermatology (crusty cats and dogs).

So I am now more qualified to treat vomiting, crusty, thirsty, wobbly, sneezing cats and dogs that may or may not be completely screwed!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Going against the grain.

When I was seventeen years old I achieved a B grade in my mock A-level Chemistry exam and my science teachers told my parents that I was not a 'natural scientist'.  

The implication being that I was obviously meddling with a subject I should never have attempted.  I was in fact far better at languages and english but you could not achieve entrance to vet school with these and so I studied physics, chemistry and a favourite of mine, biology.

What my chemistry teachers neglected to recognise was my sheer determination to become a vet.  A calling that had started at the age of five and that I could not ignore.  More importantly, they failed to understand that science is not an elitist subject and is certainly not beyond the realms of an un-natural scientist like myself. 

I did of course achieve the grades I needed AAB - not bad for an un-natural scientist and actually better than some of the kids they considered to be natural scientists.

There was a small moment recently during my vivas for my small animal medicine certificate exams when I felt like I was going against the grain yet again and that I didn't deserve to achieve my goal.

When I got my results and saw that I had achieved 70 % of the marks I decided that would be the very last time that I would ever feel like I was not good enough.

At the end of the day when an owner is worried about their pet they don't want to see someone who will give them facts without an ounce of empathy, they want to see someone who cares deeply about what happens to their pet.  They really couldn't give a damn about the science behind it all.

So I say to all you kids out there who are also 'un-natural' scientists, to those who are having to do a degree prior to vet school or have narrowly failed to reach the required A-level results, you simply must find a way in because the profession would be all the poorer without 'un-natural scientists' like you and I.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Where next?

I have been considering which direction to go in next.  

Should I continue my studies and apply for a residency in a University that only sees referrals and try to become a specialist or should I continue to be a 'normal' vet?

I guess the answer came to me about 10 days ago.

Around about the time I was dangling from a branch overhanging the river that runs next to the practice.  The water was well passed the top of my wellies and heading up to my thighs. My nice new smart trousers were soaked and so was my underwear.

I was by this point laughing so hard I kept sliding down the muddy riverbank and could not extricate myself from the rapids.

Meanwhile the semiferal cat I had been heroically trying to grab from the branch, having escaped it's basket in the car park, was long gone.

Could I really give moments like this up?

Not in a million years!

I guess I'll just sit back, relax for a while and just see where the river takes me......