Monday, May 4, 2009

Exams and a New Small Furry for our Collection!

Hello all!

So exams have begun! Let me tell you how fun they are... NOT!

Actually most of the animal handling exams weren't too bad. I think I may end up having to do the cat and dog one over, mostly because for some reason in all the years I worked at the vet I never once bothered to figure out how to tell a male cat from a female cat (once neutered, of course. If not then it's fairly obvious). But we'll see. Supposedly we get the results tomorrow. The rest of it went fairly well. I identified breeds, put on a tape muzzle, picked a dog and cat up, estimated weights, and so on. I was a little irked because some people didn't even have to touch a cat, and since it was a cat AND dog exam, I feel like that is somewhat unfair, but oh well.

The other exams were alright I think. In the cattle practical I had to put a gag in the cow's mouth (which I got one in, but couldn't get the second one in, but I showed I knew how to at least), condition score, explain the process of stomach tubing, and describe intra-muscular injection sites.

In the sheep handling, I had to age a sheep, tell different breeds, identify feedstuffs, guesstimate weight, and demonstrate safe handling.

In the horse handling, I had to identify the colour of the horse, describe it's bedding, put a halter on and walk and trot it past the examiner, tie it up, pick up a front and back foot, and tell a bit about feedstuffs.

In the exotics, I had to identify species (terrapins, tortoises, chinchilla, guinea pig, cockatiel, hamster) and answer questions about their habitats, diets, how to tell the sexes apart, and so on. This was my last exam, and probably went the best, oddly enough, but that was mostly because I had the benefit of hearing how everone else's went before me, so I made sure to study everything to the most minute detail, since people were being asked to know crazy amounts of detail.

The written exam, on the other hand, was an absolute disaster. I didn't have enough study time over break, and after break I was scrambling to make sure I knew everything for the practicals. The questions were mostly fair, even if some were (in my humble opinion) not entirely relevant to anything anyone would be doing in their career, but who knows. I put something down for everything, at least, but I'm not entirely sure they were the right somethings. Oh well, guess I'll be resitting that one in August, but I'm sure I wont be alone.

Anyway, so now I'm studying for my LASTA (Large Animal Surface and Topographical Anatomy) oral exam on Wednesday. And I am a bit worried. I actually feel like I'm starting to pick up stuff, but still when I get into the stressful exam situation I get flustered and blank out. But it's only worth 2.5% of our grade anyway, so not the biggest deal, but still every point helps!

I'm not sure why, but I've been lacking motivation lately. I feel like this course is near impossible. I know it's not possible to learn every minute detail, but it seems like that's what they're asking us to do. I know we only need to get a 50%, but it's so hard to predict what questions are going to be on the exam, because half the time they don't really seem like they're from the material that is actually clinically relevant. So I find myself getting increasingly frustrated, because I don't like just squeaking by. I like excelling, and doing really well.

The thing is, I KNOW I'm going to make a fantastic vet, because I've worked my whole life for this, and I know beyond a doubt that this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life, but I also know there's no way anyone can remember all of this stuff. Even vets look things up in books during practice, and it irks me to know that because I can't identify every breed of dog or cat or cow or sheep known to man, or that my not knowing all the ligaments of a horse's leg (when I don't want to be a large animal vet) could mean the difference between me getting my degree or going home. I'm not sure if it's because I'm so stressed about other things in my life, but I just sometimes can't take it, and I just want to give up and go home. But on the other hand, I can't do that, and I wouldn't really want to. So I'm trying to keep slogging through it, and I know when I get my degree at the end of this, it's all going to have been worth it, but right now it's just so frustrating!

Blah, anyway, on to cheerier things. As an adventure in procrastination, yesterday Anik and I went to Pets at Home to pick up some more rat supplies for our little boys, and on the way there I spontaneously decided I wanted a hamster. As much as I love the rats, they're still not really my thing. A hamster to me is much cooler. So I got a tiny tiny Chinese Dwarf Hamster, and I named her 'Kiki'!
Anik displays 'Kiki' the newest addition to our growing zoo!

She's so tiny she can fit on our thumbs! She'll probably double in size, but she'll still stay a relatively tiny hamster!
Kiki explores her new home.
We even got her a tiny hamster ball to run around in, and within minutes she was zipping back and forth across the living room floor. She seems to enjoy it, which is good, because unless we're keeping a very close eye on her, she can't run around without it, because she could easily get stuck somewhere or disappear.
Kiki's new home!
We outfitted her with a little cage suitable for dwarf hamsters, and got her some chewies and some food and vitamins for her water. Anik bought her a little hay tunnel, and she alternates hiding in either that or a coconut shell hideout. We have some other toys to switch out every few weeks to prevent her from getting bored, and to make sure she has enough to grind her teeth on. She's a bit timid at first ,and doesn't seem to want to leave her hidey holes in her cage, but once you get her out she's incredibly sweet and friendly. We've only had her a day so far, so I'm hoping that if I handle her a bit every day she'll soon come out on her own!

I know that I'll be gone for some of the summer, but it is very comforting to have a little furry to play with in between studying, and has made me a bit less stressed out about exams, and just happier in general. When I'm feeling panicky about exams I run into the other room and play with her for a bit, and then I get back to studying, because it reminds me how much I love animals, and why I'm here.

We are also adding one last rat to our collection, so we'll have an even four. Right now one always gets left out, and Jen is having another litter (due May 20!). They'll be ready to come home about a month after that I think, so just in time for when we get back from dairy EMS! We're hoping we'll be able to see the birth, but since it's hard to plan these things, we'll have to see. :)

The only thing left is to get a kitty at the end of the summer! Although that requires permission from our landlord, so that's still up in the air.

Anyway, it's late, and I want to get a tad more studying done before heading to bed, so goodnight! :)

1 comment:

Claire said...

only one comment - maybe not smart to have a kitty AND a hamster & rats. You might have to go up against the natural food chain.