Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Test of 2nd Semester

I've almost made it through the first 3 weeks of my 2nd semester. This Friday we have our first anatomy exam. It's not supposed to be that difficult, but it's strange feeling prepared a few days before the exam. I don't feel like studying anymore, not because of exhaustion, but because it feels like we already learned this material in the dogs and it's not that different in the cows and horses.

Also, we had a project to make a budget for our first year out of school. It was time-consuming, but it also put things in perspective. If I do an internship, making $28,000/yr., I will be over my budget by $150 each month. I kinda expected it would be tight, but I didn't actually know I would be in the red. Oh well, what's a few more years living poor and a little more debt.

Feeling like a Professional

Something the faculty has always done since the beginning of the year is refer to us students as professionals, veterinarians, and colleagues. These are all terms that I don't feel apply to me yet. I am a veterinary STUDENT still aspiring to be a veterinarian. Last Friday was the Michigan Veterinary Conference in Lansing. All of our classes are canceled and we are expected to attend the conference. I went to it and it was probably the first time I started feeling a little professional. I was surrounded by veterinarians and at a professional statewide conference listening to presentations where I understood every other word if I was lucky. I couldn't help feel a little out of place and at the same time like a professional seeing my future. I am slowly starting to feel a little more professional every day, but I think the feeling of being a veterinarian will take a some more time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm working on my nutrition homework for this semester which is completing "Daily Nutrition Matters" on purinavets.com . It's a very good educational module that anyone interested in nutrition or has questions should check out. Anyways, I was thinking about what one of my friends said to me earlier this week. This person has become very involved in rescuing dogs (a good thing), but they have also become an "expert" in nutrition too (a bad thing). Now I think it's a good thing to be informed, but it's a bad thing when you have been wrongly informed.

Pre-Disclaimer: This is mostly my opinion combined with what I am just starting to learn. In no way am I saying I am an expert in this area. I would talk to your vet or do your own research.

This person was very pro-natural foods. My only problem with natural foods is that they are usually very expensive. I also don't know the exact benefit of these foods - Is my dog going to be healthy because he kinda already is without the "natural" food? OR Is my dog going to live drastically longer? I doubt it. This person did not like Hill's Science Diet, which is what I feed my dog, because it contains by-product. Reading about nutrition, I learned that there's a difference between ingredient (what is put in the food) and nutrient (what is absorbed by the animal). To me, something like chicken by-product that contains bones and organs is a good thing for a dog as it would provide a wider range of nutrients than just the meat. It also seems more natural as a wild dog would probably eat the entire chicken and not just the breast.

Another comment was made about some canned food that was 95% protein. That's nice and all, but a balanced diet for a dog only contains about 22% on a DM basis. Where's the fat and carbs and the vitamins they carry? I don't know, but maybe this person was adding other foods to this and making a complete diet - hopefully. People that cook for their dogs should be careful and know all the needs of their dog and be sure they are providing them - a grilled steak probably won't cut it. To me, it seems like too much work to calculate the proper proportions of human food to cook up for my dog while not destroying the amino acids when someone has already done it for me.

I think we as pet owners need to be careful that we remember that our dog is a dog, not a human, and that it probably doesn't need to be put on the Atkins Diet. Again, my nutrition course hasn't even officially began and I still have a lot to learn - Believe at your own risk.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter Break

We had a whole month for a break between semesters instead of the usual 3 weeks and it was a much needed break. I spent 2 weeks at home working and the other 2 weeks visiting a friend in Oklahoma, which is not as exciting as it sounds. The trip south was nice and relaxing. We did a lot of hiking in the "mountains" down there where we saw armadillos, bison, and longhorn steers. On the plane ride home, I sat next to an older lady that was telling me about how her 2 children are vets. It's really cool to meet people like this and hear about what my future life may be like. From talking to people, I am also realizing that just about everyone either knows a vet as a friend or is related to someone that is a vet. I always pictured this career as a small profession relative to other professions, but it's not seeming like that's true.

But now I'm trying to get back into school mode as classes start on Monday. I can tell that the semester because my school email is starting to get bombarded with emails from classmates and professors. We actually have some homework already to do before the first day of classes.

During break, I tried to read some of my Physiology book and do some of our Nutrition homework. Hopefully, this will lighten my load a little bit during the semester. I was able to somewhat understand Neurology material that we were supposed to learn last semester. I guess that's what these breaks are for - catching up on material that we get behind on.