It's a new year and classes are getting really exciting.
As a third year student, I finally get to choose my elective
courses and spend time in both the small and large animal
hospitals. I recently spent the day in small animal surgery,
where I watched a fourth year student perform a cat spay (under the
watchful eye of one of the small animal surgeons). It feels
both strange and exciting to know that that will be me a year from
now! During the surgery, another third year student and I
were grilled on the pharmacology and surgery prep that was going
on. I had to quickly recall information from last year to
answer questions about opioids, analgesics, induction drugs and
inhalant anesthetics, as well as sterile surgical preparation.
Once the surgery was finished, we grabbed a quick lunch and then
learned how to operate a surgical laser. We practiced holding
and moving the stylet by writing our names on a wet popsicle
stick. Then it was time to perform "hotdog surgery." We
took turns writing our names, drawing pictures, making surgical
cuts, and even amputating the ends off of several thawed
hotdogs! I learned that the laser allows surgeons to quickly
cut through tissue and provide immediate hemostasis (it stops all
the little blood vessels from bleeding), which overall decreases
After "surgery," I helped perform physical exams and bathe the
shelter animals who were having surgery the next day. Texas
A&M partners with the local animal shelters to spay and neuter
animals who will soon be available for adoption. It was
really neat to be able to practice my physical exams and work with
so many animals who were about to get a new lease on life.
Even though I ended the day tired and smelling like wet dog, it was
great to be able to spend the day in the clinic, get new hands-on
experience, and work with amazing people and animals. And I
have a souvenir popsicle stick with my name on it!