I think it would be appropriate to write my first entry on the very event that prompted me to start this blog, Vetlink at Nottingham University.

What can I say: such a great week! I learnt so much and (as I had expected it would) it really reinforced my determination to become a vet. Always the keen note-taker, I filled up a whole notebook, so at least that way I will remember every last detail!

First was Pathology and Parasitology. I learnt the that the study of disease is not only applicable in the vet surgery during diagnostics, but also in necropsy, research and academia. What was outlined to me particularly was the problem solving aspect of pathology; every case has countless differential diagnoses which, through a process of testing and elimination, lead to eventual treatment. An example that the lecturer presented which particularly interested me was that of a racing greyhound who died on the track. His necropsy found extensive haemorrhage in the abdomen, thighs, brain and neck. This prompted the vets to investigate the lack of blood clotting, through which they discovered traces of bromadiolone in his liver. therefore his death was ultimately through hypovolemic shock. Needless to say, it would have taken me an extensive amount of time to even think of rat poison as a cause of a racedog’s death, as the obvious assumption of a protovet like me would be that the race itself caused his death, perhaps through overexertion.

This rat poisoning case casts my mind back to July 2011, when I spent a week in a rural vet practice in France and saw the short term treatment of a dog who ate rat poison: force feeding oxygenated water to cause vomiting before the poison is absorbed by the body. Only now do I fully understand the reason for this treatment, and the implications if it hadn’t been done! I was also told the following by the vet Sarah at Heron vet in Merton who I work at every friday: when I asked her one of my innumerable questions, “What is your favourite part of the job?” she explained excitedly that she loved solving problems in consult, and preferred it operations. I know appreciate the intrigue and satisfaction a vet can find in unveiling such seemingly far-fetched cause for disease, which I would love to (and am determined to) do myself one day.

I will add to this blog later as there are so many things I’m dying to write on the conference, but for now I have to unpack!

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