Junior Surgery

Heather and MaggieMy favorite class last semester was junior surgery. We were split into groups of three, and each of us were able to perform a spay or neuter on local shelter dogs or cats. The surgeon had to take care of their patient for a week, which made it very hard not to get attached to your patient. My patient was a sweet little chiweenie named, Barda. I got to perform a spay on her with the help of my awesome surgery group members, Blair McCurdy and Betsy Helbing.

Once the surgery was over, I immediately called the animal shelter to see if she was available to adopt. Unfortunately, there was a family ahead of me to adopt her. I was happy that Barda was going to be adopted, but I was also devastated that I could not keep her. The last day of taking care of her was so sad because I didn’t think I would ever see her again (picture on left). However, the animal shelter called me a few days later saying the people who were going to adopt Barda fell through. I was up next to adopt this sweet girl, and I did so instantly (picture on right)! I decided to change her name from Barda to Maggie.

Maggie loves her new life at my house, being able to run around and play with my other dog, Dixie. I am so grateful I was able to bring Maggie home with me because she brings so much joy to my life.

Junior surgery is definitely the best class I have ever taken because it is preparing me for common surgeries I will get to perform everyday in practice after I graduate. It also provided me the opportunity to adopt my best friend, Maggie!

Third Year of Vet School

Heather holding a snakeIt has only been a month and a half into my third year of veterinary school, and I am still so excited about it. I felt like after about a week into my first and second years of vet school, I was feeling more overwhelmed than excited. My first two years of vet school were mostly bookwork and not much hands-on experience.

Third year is finally the year I get to have tons of hands-on experience. I also get to choose which electives I want to take based on what I am tracking, which is small animal medicine. I am taking electives like cardiology, nutrition, oncology, dentistry, and behavior. Also, in third year we participate in junior surgery, which is my favorite class. We get to perform surgeries on different animals to practice our surgical skills. This gets us more comfortable with the procedures that we will be performing a lot in everyday practice. Next week, I get to perform my first surgery on a dog, and I am super nervous but extremely excited about it.

Another class we get to take in our third year of vet school is skills lab. We have both small animal skills lab and large animal skills lab, where we get many opportunities for hands-on experience with different species of animals. Last week, we learned how to properly restrain reptiles. We got to hold turtles, lizards, baby alligators, and snakes. At first, I was terrified of the snakes, but with the help of our technician and my classmates, I finally got the courage to hold a snake. I have learned so much these past couple of years in vet school, and I am learning so much already in my third year. Once this year is over, I feel confident I will be prepared for my fourth year of vet school on clinical rotations.