b l o g


Monday, 17 January 2011

January 2011

The new year is now here and we have just completed our last exam (at least for a while!). I had a great time in practice over the Christmas period, although the weather conditions were very difficult to work in at times, especially going out to farms, and I had to try hard to stay bundled up warm, at least where possible. I saw many interesting and useful cases including cow caesareans and outbreaks of calf pneumonia. I also got to practice some of my practical skills such has hoof trimming and castrations.

We have recently started the Equine course, but it is early days so far. We have some upcoming practicals in equine surgery where we will get to see a lot of the cases down in the hospital.

Thank you again to all those who sent donations before Christmas- they have now been passed on to the university.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

December 2010

I am exhausted, but have just finished my exams which were very challenging to say the least. I am keeping my fingers crossed all the hard work has paid off. It has been a very busy term and I am now preparing to spend the Christmas holidays on placement at my local mixed practice, where I hope to put into practice a lot my new farm animal skills.

Friday, 1 October 2010

October 2010

We have now started the farm animal course, which is going very well. We are studying cattle medicine at the moment, and I am especially enjoying the practical side of things, even though it is starting to get very cold here! I am already busy trying to get on top of the studying for the impending December exams. I would like to say a huge thanks those who have made donations since I last wrote; every bit really is making all the difference!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sorry it's been a while since I have written- I have been busy working in vet practices over the summer and have been occupied with sourcing funding for the course. On that note, I want to say a big thank you to all those who have donated so far.. It has made a big difference and I am closer to reaching my target.
I have now completed and passed 3rd year of vet school and will be moving on into 4th year in September. I have really enjoyed the small animal course and am looking forward to starting the large animal course in September. This summer I have been gaining a lot of veterinary experience in both small and large animal medicine, doing everything from dogs, cats and exotics, to going out on equine and farm visits. My time in practice has been very rewarding, especially in progression of my skills as a future vet.
I have still got a bit of time left in practice and then I will be back in Edinburgh to start year 4. I will update in a few weeks as to how the large animal course is going!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Vet School on STV

Two more episodes of Vet School are available on the Catchup from STV, the show is great and offers an insight into the life of the students and staff at the Dick Vet.

Please watch them and let me know what you think!


The University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies treats thousands of animals a year. SSPCA handler Mairi brings in an injured swan after it was trapped for two days in a fence.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Royal (Dick) School on TV!

A new series starting broadcasting last night on STV (Scottish ITV) and shows a typical day at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, you can watch episodes on the Catchup section. Meet the animals and people I interact with on a daily basis whilst training!

Main STV Webpage for 'Vet School'

'Catchup' Page to see previous episodes

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

January 2010

We have just celebrated our halfway dinner; the achievement of making it halfway through vet school. I started my clinical EMS at Christmas, spending time at my local vets where I learnt so much, and was able to practice skills I have learnt this year. We are doing dog and cat medicine this term up until the summer and I am really enjoying it so far, especially as we have started having hands-on practicals with real patients and cases.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

November 2009

My presentation at Intervet went very well and I jointly won the overall prize with a student from the Royal Veterinary College. Needless to say I am delighted about this achievement. This will receive publication, and is due to appear in The Veterinary Record in the new year, as well as the University’s “Dick Vet News” next May. I also received a personal congratulations from Professor Elaine Watson, the Dean.
The rest of the course is going well so far. It is very tough as we are doing so many courses and everything is so new. We are studying pharmacology, anaesthesia, imaging, surgery, oncology and pathology. There have also been a lot of practical classes this term which I have enjoyed a lot. I am busy studying for the exams which we have before Christmas this year for the first time, and there is so much to study!

Read one of the first articles released about my award from Intervet

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

September 2009

I have returned to England and ready to start a new term. I miss Colorado a lot, especially the people.. I had a fantastic experience. The North Carolina symposium was great and allowed me the chance to exhibit my work, discuss it with vets and professors, and meet students from all over the USA. I was delighted to find out I have been awarded a bursary from the medical research company Intervet / Shlering-plough for my project and have been invited to attend a presentation day in November where I will present my work with other students who also received the bursary and on the day will present awards for the best overall project.
I very excited about starting back for the new term of vet school as I am now moving into clinical studies.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

July 2009

I have just had my exam results and I passed everything, so that is fantastic news. The project is going really well so far- I am based at the equine reproduction lab, which has outstanding facilities and is highly regarded internationally. The staff are very friendly and I am working hard on the project, doing everything from handling the horses to lab work. Colorado is great and I am really enjoying my time here. The town is fantastic and I have met a lot of new people. I have been to the Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, trying water sports, western riding and also helping out at the veterinary hospital, all in my spare time. I really have settled in well and it will be sad to leave! I am currently writing up the project report and preparing for a presentation day in North Carolina at a veterinary scholars symposium sponsored my Merck-Merial, which will be a fantastic opportunity.

Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Symposium

Thursday, 4 June 2009

June 2009

This term really did fly by and I have now finished my exams. I have organised my summer research project, which is going to be on equine reproduction; focussing on the preservation of stallion semen. I fly out to Colorado in just a few short days for 8 weeks so I am busy preparing for the trip.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

March 2009

Great news- I have got a research project! Unexpectedly (but excitingly), the project will be in the USA at the veterinary school at Colorado State University (Edinburgh University’s sister vet school) and I will soon be meeting with the Professors from CSU to discuss the project areas. I have been awarded a full scholarship for this; all costs are covered by the Univeristy of Edinburgh.
We have recently been coming to the end of the taught part of the course for this year, finishing off with our large animal anatomy. This has been a great integrated course, taking our knowledge of small animals from last year and building on it in a more clinical way. For example we have learned the principles of nerve blocking for performing caesarian sections on cattle.
We have also begun an introduction to our clinical course which officially starts in September (3rd year!) introducing us to performing basic clinical examinations. There has been a lot of focus this term on our practical skills as we have our animal husbandry practical exams in April.

Colorado State Vet School

Monday, 19 January 2009

January 2009

I am pleased to report that I have successfully passed all my Christmas exams! Over the Christmas holidays I have been working at Broadmarsh kennels and cattery in order to earn some extra money, but it has also been useful for practising my dog and cat handling skills. I have now completed all of my pre-clinical EMS, which has been a great experience and certainly helped my knowledge.
Recently, I have put in an application to spend my summer doing a paid research project. Each year the vet school research track committee chooses some students to be placed on various projects in order to give them research experience, and also awards them a financial scholarship. This sounds like a great opportunity do to something extremely rewarding.. so fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

October 2008

Well, I am happy to be back for 2nd year. The rest of my summer EMS was a fantastic experience, especially the dairy which I did in Cornwall. I learned so much about calving, cattle husbandry and the milk industry, and even got to go out on some farm calls with a local vet.
Now that I am in second year I get two “vet children” (from the new first years) to make sort of vet family, where we help the guide the first years through their first year in vet school. I have been doing my best at giving lots of useful guidance to my two assigned first-years!
This year we are mainly studying “Infection & Immunity” (which encompasses things like parasitology bacteriology, virology and immunity) and also reproduction, digestion, more of the nervous system and metabolism. We also begin to study large animal anatomy after Christmas which is very exciting!

Friday, 4 July 2008

July 2008

I have now completed my kennels and cattery EMS placement and have been given the opportunity to go back and work there to work in the holidays.
I have also completed my small mammals EMS placement, which I did at a local pet store and pet hotel, was a great chance to work with lots of species. This included rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, and even some non-mammals such as tortoises, chameleons and geckos. It was great to learn about the running of the shop and the management of the animals. Attempting to determine the sex all of the animals was particularly useful- some species were more difficult than others!
I recently went to the Royal Show in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire with some friends and family, where there was a great display of livestock and was a great day out in general.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

June 2008

I am happy to report that I have recently had my results and have passed all my first year exams!
I have started the summer holiday now and I have wasted no time before starting EMS, having already completed a week on a pig farm with a fellow vet student, which was great fun as the farmers were lovely and were very keen for us to learn! I was able to learn a whole range of techniques, even assisting with farrowing.
I have also just started my dog and cat placement placement at Broadmarsh Kennels and Cattery, which is going well so far. I am finding it a great opportunity to handle so many different types of dogs and cats although it is very hard work!

Broadmarsh Kennels and Cattery

Sunday, 13 April 2008

April 2008

The spring is here and I have spent 2 weeks lambing as part of my EMS, which was an amazing experience. In the run up to Easter we had a lot of preparation in our animal husbandry classes for lambing including lectures and practicals which really helped but were no substitute for the real thing! I spent my time on a farm in Yorkshire with a lovely farmer Ellie, who breeds pedigree Border Leicester sheep. We worked very hard- the days were very long and demanding- most days we were getting up at 6:30 and working through until the evening, and like with most farming, no days off!
I have just found out that I have passed the exams which I took before Easter (hooray!) and the course now is very much gearing on reviewing the course material for the main May exams so we are having lots of review sessions and tutorials to help us go over the course for revision.

Read about Border Leicester sheep!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

December 2007

It is now the end of the first term and I feel it has gone very fast!
Being on the farm in Edinburgh in the winter gets very cold but I have still been enjoying the outdoor classes. We have learned a lot about the farm management of cattle and sheep and it has been especially interesting learning about the health of cattle and practice in dairy farms. Recently we also went on a visit to the local dogs home to practice handling the dogs and assessing their anatomy. We are now due to start our EMS (extra-mural studies), which is 12 weeks of animal husbandry placements that we have to do during the holidays.

Friday, 5 October 2007

October 2007

I have now completed my first few weeks of vet school and am loving it! Edinburgh is an amazing city and the vet school is every bit a great as I hoped it would be.
We are studying a cell biology course alongside anatomy and we are also having animal husbandry sessions each week at the farm. The farm sessions are great (but challenging!). We have been getting to grips with lots of practical skills from being able to age sheep by their teeth to casting a cow or being able to place a gag for oral examinations. A lot if this is very new to me as I have not had a great deal of farm experience, but I am trying to learn fast. Alongside our other courses we are doing a Veterinary Public Health unit, which includes everything from maths and statistics to learning about epidemiology and the spread of disease.
As well as the studying I am also keeping up a few hobbies and have joined the hockey team and badminton club. As you can imagine the course is keeping me very busy but I’ll update again soon!

Click here for information about veterinary surveillance of disease outbreaks in the UK

Read about current disease topics:
Bovine TB
Avian Influenza