When you get a Dachshund in your practice with monoparesis of one of his legs, send him to a clinic where they can perform a CT or MRI-scan to look for intervertebral disc herniation! This is a disease that can become a lot worse in a few days. Dogs with a disc herniation that just happened, have a pretty good prognosis when they can still walk a little. When the problem maintains however, it can become very worse in a few days. When the paresis becomes plegia, and the deep pain sensation starts to disappear, the prognosis of the dog becomes very reserved. Therefore, it is very important to intervene surgically as soon as possible!!! You can prevent euthanasia by acting fast, so don’t forget!!!

Other dog breeds to watch out for disc herniation are: 

  • Beagles
  • French Bulldogs
  • Welch Corgis
  • Basset dogs
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Shih tzu’s
  • Lhasa Apso’s

Signs of disc herniation on CT or MRI-scans are:

  • Disc material in the spinal cord, visuable as mineralisation
  • Compression of the spinal cord 
  • Decrease of the intervertebral space

Pictures used here are property of following sites:

I am standing for the Australian Veterinary Association Student President, and I need your vote to help. I am running on the platform of improving communication through the various levels of the AVA to students, improving mental wellness, and fighting against fee deregulation.

If you’re a vet student in Australia you can vote online by following the following link. And if you aren’t an AVA member yet, it’s free to join up as an online member!

I need your help to put me in a position where I can make the biggest impact for vet students and the career which I am so passionate about.


Here are 7 of my favourite veterinarian books. I highly recommend all of them. Reading (and looking at the pictures) is a great way of learning!

  1. Clinical Signs in Small Animal Medicine by Michael Schaer: There are a lot of pictures in this book, it is amazing. It is very interesting to look at the pictures and you learn a lot about how to recognize clinical signs.
  2. Breed predispositions to Disease in dogs and cats by Alex Gough and Alison Thomas: I searched for a book like this a long time. Differential diagnosis are very important in veterinary medicine and this book helps in finding which disease is more important in which animal breed.
  3. Common diseases of Companion Animals by Alleice Summers: This book gives all the most important diseases in the most important animals for a small animal veterinarian. It’s very complete and written in a very easy way, which makes it even more enjoyable to read.
  4. Clinical procedures in Small Animal Veterinary Practice by Victoria and  Richard Aspinall: This book shows everything about the veterinary procedures you have to know. It’s a very handy book and fun to read.
  5. Small Animal Medical Differential Diagnosis by Mark Thompson: This is a very small but unbelievably good book. It has everything you need to build the best differential diagnosis for any animal, based on its symptoms. It is the best!!
  6. Clinical Veterinary Advisor Dogs and Cats by Etienne Côté: This is a very heavyweight book and is enormous. But it caries éverything you have to know. You also get an account for the internet version of it, which is very useful. There are also other types of this book: Exotic Pets, The Horse,… in case you are more interested in these animals. (I also have the exotic pets-book and I adore it!)
  7. Mosby’s Veterinary PDQ by Margi Sirois: Back to a very small book with this one. Together with number 5, this is one of the most useful books to have with you during clinics. 
Veterinary Acronyms

Acronyms are an easy and effective way (most of the time) for doctors to take quick and efficient notes, write prescriptions, and fill in histories. Here is a list of some of the more commonly and frequently used veterinary acronyms:

  • WNL: Within Normal limits
  • NSF: No significant findings
  • ADR: Ain’t doing right
  • NDR: Not doing right
  • SID: Once daily- every 24 hours
  • BID: Twice daily- every 12 hours
  • TID: Three times daily- every 8 hours
  • QID: Four times daily-  every 6 hours
  • PRN: As needed
  • QOD: Every other day
  • D/C: discontinue
  • q: every (q2hrs= every two hours)
  • prn: as needed
  • gt: drop
  • qs: quantity sufficient
  • AD: Right ear
  • AS: Left ear
  • AU: Both ears
  • OD: Right eye
  • OS: Left eye
  • OU: Both eyes
  • IM: Intramuscular
  • SQ: Subcutaneous
  • IV: Intravenous
  • IO: Intraosseous
  • IN: Intranasal
  • IP: Intraperitoneal
  • PO: By mouth
  • NPO: Nothing by mouth
  • PE: Physical exam
  • SOAP: subjective, objective, assessment, plan
  • BAR: Bright, alert and responsive
  • QAR: Quite, alert, and responsive
  • BCS: Body condition score
  • TPR: Temperature, pulse, respiration
  • HR: Heart rate
  • RR: Respiration rate
  • BP: Blood pressure
  • PLR: Pupillary light reflex
  • IOP: Intraocular pressure
  • CRT: Capillary refill time
  • MM: Mucous membranes
  • GS: Gut sounds
  • BM: Bowel movement
  • ICP: Intracranial pressure
  • CPP: Cerebral perfusion pressure
  • F/S: Spayed female
  • M/N: Neutered male
  • Hx: History
  • Tx: Treatment
  • Dx: Diagnosis
  • Rx: Prescription
  • Sx: Surgery
  • CBC: Complete blood count
  • HCT: Hematocrit
  • PCV: Packed cell volume
  • TP/TS: Total protein/ Total solids
  • CRI: Constant rate infusion
  • UA: Urinalysis
  • USG: Urine specific gravity
  • UTI: Urinary tract infection
  • URI: Upper respiratory infection
  • STT: Schirmer tear test
  • DIC: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, aka dead in cage
  • PU/PD: Polyuria/Polydipsia
  • CHF: Congestive heart failure/ Chronic heart failure
  • HBC: Hit by car

Simple Radiographic Measurements

  • Kidney: Length can be 2.5-3.5 times the width of lumbal vertebrae 2 in dogs. In cats their length can be 2-3 times the width of L2.
  • Small intestines: In dogs their height shouldn’t be bigger than 1.6 times the height of L5. In cats they shouldn’t be bigger than 12 millimeter. If they are a little bit wider than this, there’s paralytic ileus. If they are a lot wider than this, there’s mechanic ileus.
  • Big intestines: They shouldn’t be bigger than 3 times the size of the small intestines. 
  • Mediastinum: Cranially it is measured in comparison with the vertebral column. In normal dogs, it should be around 2 times the vertebral column. In brachycephalic dogs 3 times and in cats 1 time.
  • Trachea: This can be looked at in different ways, but one of them is that the trachea should be around 20% of the chest entrance in normal dogs. Brachycephalic dogs need a 16% and Bulldogs only 12% to be considered ‘normal’.
  • Heart: There are a lot of important measurements possible for the heart. Vertebral heart size goes from 8.7 to 10.7 in dogs. Laterally the heart should be 2-3 intercostal spaces and vertically it can be uptill 75% of the thorax height. On the ventrodorsal view it has to be about 65% of the thorax width. 

There are two main branches of vessels below the carpus in the equine lower limb. Between the metacarpal and the interoseus (suspensory ligament) is the lateral/medial metacarpal vessels (2). Between the suspensory ligament and the deep digital flexor tendon is the lateral/medial palmar vessels (this is the main artery to the digit and hoof)(1).

The medial/lateral palmar vessels continue axially where they split into the medial/lateral digital arteries just above the fetlock.  The digital arties travel over the abaxial surface of the seasmoids (where they are palpable and where digital pules are frequently taken) and continue into the hoof as they travel with each side of the suspensory ligament.  The lateral digital artery is joined by the metacarpal arteries above the seasmoid bones.

Image source: one,two

Content source: Dyce 4th ed.

Gave the wonderful Meg Turney some advice on helping here deal with Smee after he got stung.

Good information for all pet owners: if your pet is stung and there is swelling, you should monitor them. If the swelling does not go down, take them to a vet as soon as you can. If reaching a vet must be prolonged, you can give your pet Benadryl to help counteract the sting. .5 mg of Benadryl per pound of animal.

Make sure you let the vet know that you gave them benadryl, how much, and when so they can properly treat your pet.


1. Psychological part. It is very very very important to make the owners of the dog understand that obesity is a very serious problem. It can cause cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems, diabetes mellitus, locomotoric problems, … It is very important that the obesity is stopped as soon as possible! Owners have to understand that treating the obesity is important to save the dog’s life! Dogs can lose up to 2% of their body weight per week, so it will take time to achieve the ideal weight. It is important that the owners stick with the diet, although it will take a lot of time!

2. Diet part.

  • The most important aspect of the diet to treat obesity is a low energy density. You can calculate how much energy the dog needs with this formula: ‘290kJ/day * MetabolicWeight’. The metabolic weight is calculated by ‘(ideal body weight)^(0.75). To be able to calculate the ideal weight of your animal, you need his Body Condition Score (see above) and Muscle Condition Score. Ideally your pet has a 4 or a 5 out of 9. For each number that is more or less than 4 or 5, you need to add or reduce 10% of his ideal weight. When you have the body weight of your animal, you can then calculate his ideal weight. 
  • The energy given to the dog should be given in high concentrations of proteins. This is very important!! It should be higher than 25-30% of the dry matter.
  • Fibres should also be very high. These make sure that the dog has a satisfied feeling and won’t be very hungry. Fibres should be more than 20% of the dry matter.
  • Fat should be reduced to 7-8% of the dry matter. 
  • Because the diet will be given for a long time, it is important that it is balanced correctly! Otherwise deficiencies will develop and this will only give extra problems you don’t need. L-carnitin, omega-3-fatty acids and omega-6-acids are always very important to check, especially because you’re reducing your fat concentrations.

3. Activity part. It is very important that dogs with obesity are stimulated to move as much as possible! Play with it, walk with it, it can save your dog’s life!! 

Uptill 40% of the dogs and cats have obesity! Don’t let it come this far with your pet, because this could cause fatal problems! Fat tissue is an endocrine organ and brings the body in a constant state of inflammation. Don’t kill your animal by overfeeding it, save him now!  

Fluorescein dye is applied to an eye whenever suspicion of a corneal ulcer or scratch is present. On normal corneal tissue the green dye is washed off, on ulcerated tissue the color remains. The first photo shows a cat’s ulcer on day 1, with all of that green being the ulcerated region. On day 3 significant improvement had occurred (the cornea regenerates quickly if there is no infection or further trauma) and by day 8 it was improved further. Treatment for simple ulcers is usually antibiotic ointment to avoid secondary infection and an e-collar to prevent the pet scratching or rubbing at the eye. Ulcers can be caused commonly by trauma and lack of tear production.

Dermatology Terms:

Primary Lesions:

  • Macule: well defined, flat spot characterized by a change in skin color
  • Patch:  a macule that is larger than 1-2cm
  • Papule: Small solid elevation of skin
  • Plaque: a papule with a flattened top that is larger than 1 cm
  • Nodule: a circumscribed solid elevation that usually extends into the deeper layers of the skin
  • Tumor: Soft to firm, movable or fixed mass of various sizes
  • Pustule: Small circumscribed elevation containing pus.
  • Wheal: A sharply circumscribed raised lesion consisting of edema
  • Vesicle (bulla): A sharply circumscribed raised lesion containing serum or blood 

Secondary Skin Lesions:

  • Abscess: accumulation of inflammatory cells and necrotic debris 
  • Comedones: dilated hair follicles filled with keratin and sebaceous debris
  • Crust: dried exudate on the surface of a lesion
  • Epidermal Collarette: peeling edge of epithelium surround an erosion or ulcer
  • Excoriation: superfical abrasion caused by self-trauma
  • Fissure: linear cleavage into or through the epidermis 
  • Furunculosis: draining tract communicating from an area of suppuration to a body surface, usually indicative of ruptured hair follicles and secondary bacterial infection. 
  • Hyperkeratosis: increase thickness of the horny layer of the skin
  • Hyperpigmentation: increase in skin pigment
  • Lichenification: thickening or hardening of the skin with exaggeration of skin markings
  • Necrosis: area of dead cells
  • Scale: accumulation of loose fragments of the horny layer of the skin
  • Scar: area of fibrous tissue that has replaced damaged dermis or subcutaneous tissue

Nail Terms:

  • Anoychia: claws are absent
  • Bracyonychia: claws are short
  • Leukonychia: claws are white
  • Macronychia: claws are large
  • Micronychia: claws are small
  • Onychagia: claw pain present
  • Oncychitis: claws are inflamed
  • Onychocryptosis: claws are ingrown
  • Onycholysis: separation of claw
  • Onychomalacia: claws are softened
  • Onychorrhexis: Fragmentation and horizontal separation of claw lamella
  • Paroncychia: inflamed clawfold
  • Onychodystrophy: abnormal claw growth
  • Onychomadesis: claws are sloughing 

source: class notes

Vet School: An Acrostic Poem

V- Very prone to episodes of extreme procrastination.

E- “Excuse me, will this be in the exam?”

T- Textbooks. Lots of textbooks.

S- Social life? What is this you speak of?

C- Clinic coats and stethoscopes.

H- Hellllooooooo caffeine addiction!!!!

O- Oodles and oodles of study and you still only manage a 50%.


L- Long days. Long nights. Long degree. Long time paying of your student loan. But here we are!

Why I am a Vet Student