My favorite weekends as a veterinary student are wetlab weekends. There is a club in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to fit nearly every student’s interest and many of these organizations take the time to seek out resources and clinicians willing to teach us different veterinary procedures we will be performing on our patients one day. This past Saturday was the Food Animal Wetlab, hosted by the Bovine Practitioners, Small Ruminant Practitioners, and Swine Vets organizations. As a club member of all three, I was excited to get the opportunity to improve my skills and gain some new knowledge about food animal medical procedures.
The first lab I participated in involved simulating an enucleation, which is often performed on cattle that develop squamous cell carcinoma of the eye. This condition is especially common in the Hereford breed, due to their white face and light pigmentation making them particularly susceptible to cell damage during sun exposure. I probably enjoyed this lab the most, as it incorporated some of the new pharmacology knowledge that I have learned this semester and gave me a taste of what’s to come in my upcoming surgery class. I also was able to refresh my suturing skills, which have gotten a little rusty. My next lab was small ruminant dehorning. The procedure for small ruminants is very different than that in cattle, so it was interesting to be able to learn about and compare the two. Afterwards I was able to learn how a claw amputation is performed in the field and how to properly bandage the area. This procedure is used to prolong and improve the quality of life of cattle with injuries to one side of their hoof.
I’m so grateful for the opportunities available to me, such as this wetlab, through the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Whether it’s learning a new procedure in a wetlab, or listening to a speaker about new medical advances or learning from a clinician who is willing to take the time to explain one of the many things I still don’t yet understand, I’m extremely fortunate for the people who sacrifice their time to make myself and my classmates the best veterinarians we can be. I’m looking forward to all the opportunities ahead and expanding my knowledge.