Joanna in Massachusetts

Joanna, a sophomore and an aspiring veterinarian from McKinney, hopes to gain as much veterinary clinical experience as possible within the fields of small, large and exotic animals.

Inside a cow’s stomach

Hey, everyone! I know it’s been a REALLY long time since I wrote, but gotta love summer school and fall semester starting. I guess I’ll pick up where I left off!

Day1-059-sm.jpg The first day we got a lecture from one of the professors about different veterinary careers. When I came to Tufts, I thought, “I know exactly what type of vet I’m going to be.” Well, after hearing about all the different choices, I want to do it all! My present dream plan has me getting no sleep; I want to own a mixed animal practice and work at a zoo on weekends. That way I get to take care of all different types of animals! At this lecture, we also heard about different paths to take while getting your education. Just like becoming a human doctor, there are options for internships and residency in order to continue your education after graduating.

Day1-005-sm.jpg A really cool thing I got to see on the first day was a bovine rumen transfusion. A bovine rumen transfusion involves a cow who basically has a hole cut through her skin and into the rumen part of the stomach. When a cow eats, the food travels through a four-part stomach. In the rumen, the food is soft and full of minerals. What happens is a technician can open the porthole and reach their hand inside the cow to grab some of the rumen. Then, this can be strained and the minerals and liquids collected to be used with other animals. Finally, we all got to put on really long gloves and stick our hand inside. It was awesome! Don’t worry, though, the cow doesn’t feel a thing!

Day2-024-sm.jpgThe second day I got to participate in a hemotology lab. I got to look at samples of dog blood and count the different types of white blood cells. The different types we looked for were neutrophils, lymphnocytes, basophils, eosinophils, and monocytes. We did this with a partner, and my partner and I got the closest numbers to the real answer! Go us!

Those were the highlights of day one and two!

I’m really interested in becoming a wildlife vet, so this summer I called the Dallas Zoo and began to keep in contact with one of the vets there about shadowing them for a day. They were ready to work with me, and in October I get to go!! This should be a great opportunity for me, and it can’t get here fast enough. That should make for some interesting stories!!

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Hey, everyone!

While volunteering with the small-animal vet, I get to assist with basic appointments, radiographs, vaccines, dentals, bloodwork, and observe surgeries. It’s pretty awesome, and a wonderful learning experience! The vet also works with exotics, and we have a nature center that allows owners and their children to look at snakes, amphibians, reptiles and a chinchilla. I feel really fortunate to work with this vet because of the vast amount of species that come in and out of our clinic.

Besides volunteering, I also had another wonderful opportunity at the beginning of June. Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine hosts high school, college, and adult students to come and spend a week or two exploring the different careers in vet medicine. This was my grand adventure! For one week I got to stay in Westborough, Massachusetts (a small town 45 minutes outside of Boston) and listen to a variety of professors give short lectures, follow fourth-year vet students on their rotations, and talk with other current vet students about Tufts and applying for vet school. It was an AMAZING experience and I would recommend applying to the program to anyone thinking about becoming a veterinarian. I cannot wait to tell you everything about it!

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