Saturday, February 27, 2010

Terminal Surgeries Have Been Terminated

Last year, we received an announcement that got rid of the rumor of no more terminal surgeries. However, we were just told that our class will not be doing terminal surgeries, instead we will learn on cadavers. I don't know where anyone stands on this but here's the facts:

Terminal surgeries are the first surgeries the students get to do. Animals are anesthetized and provided proper analgesia (pain meds) during surgery but never wake up from the surgery. Cruel right? Well, the reason they aren't recovered is to prevent further pain. We are just learning so hopefully we did everything right and then we are not skilled in handling tissues without causing much trauma (read pain after surgery). Basically if the animal woke up, it would probably be in a lot of pain. In Michigan the law requires us to use animals bred for this specific purpose and it is illegal to use animals in pounds that will be euthanized anyways (no idea why).

Reason for this change: school and faculty are under a lot of pressure. Victory for animal activists everywhere!!!! Right? Hold on, last time I checked cadavers and live animals are slightly different. So people that think this is a victory, please bring your animals to me when I start doing real surgeries. Hopefully, your pet won't bleed too much because I'm not used to bleeding - those cadavers didn't bleed. Oh and operating on intestines in an actual animal instead of on a table may throw me off a bit too.

I don't know about you, but I would rather have students learn on animals without owners than those with owners that are attached to their pets.

I think it's ironic that people think this is a victory because they THINK they are relieving pain and suffering in animals when these people are just uninformed and are probably actually causing more pain in animals.

Just some thoughts.


Life in vet school said...

Hey -- I started to comment but it got too long so I wrote my own post instead. Very thought-provoking topic!

Ben S. said...

Hi, I know this is random of me to ask but I don't really know anyone who is working on becoming a vet. Googled and your blog came up.

I've recently decided to be a vet but am daunted by the 8-year plan for a degree (I'll be 28 when I'm done). I also heard that vet school is significantly harder to get into than human med school. If so, do you know any similar careers that would give a similar income?

I'm hoping if I try and can't make it, I can shift careers to another field.


Ratboy said...

Hey Ben,

First, you do have to accept the whole age thing which I don't particularly like either - I'll be 26 when I graduate and 30 after I specialize. This is also a career you need to be passionate about because there are a lot of hard days of studying and stress. So make sure it's what you want to do.

Second, your bachelor's degree can be in anything, but it's usually science related. Similar careers would probably be research, lab technicians, or human med stuff. On average vets don't make that much:
Starting salary: $60-70,000
Average: $90-110,000

Third, vet school is harder to get into because there are a lot less vet schools in the country than med schools. Right now, most of them look at grades so if you can get a good GPA, you shouldn't have much trouble getting in.

Let me know if you have other questions and I'll try to answer them.


Mitch said...


I'm a student at MSU interested in the CVM's decision to end this practice. Is there some place I can go for more information? How were you informed? Can I find something in writing about this?


Ratboy said...

Hey Mitch,

An announcement was made to our class and we are still discussing it even though I'm pretty sure the decision has been made. You probably won't be able to find any official info on it either.

Polka Dotted Pickles said...

Very interesting! I figure if they are going to be euthanized anyway, might as well make good use of them. And enable vet students to be more adept at what they are doing when they get to the real thing!!

Ratboy said...

Here's a link to an announcement: