anonymous asked:

I'm a bit of an introvert but I'd like to be a veterinarian. I'm worried about properly handling client communication. How did you learn to handle it?

Hello Nonny,

A lot of veterinary schools actually have courses & lessons on proper communication with clients. I know at Ross, as we got into our later semesters right before clinics we actually had people come in & “act like clients.” We didn’t have a script, but they were told what to say & how to try to drive the conversation. It was our job to use what we’d learn to properly communicate with them & get our point across or achieve some goal.

We’re basically trained. As awkward as that may sound…

We are taught to be conscious of our tone, our word choice, our body posture, our facial expressions, how to approach subjects, & how to handle various emotions thrown our way. Address the pet by name. Don’t get the sex wrong. Firm hand shake. State your name clearly. Eye contact. Smile. Keep your body turned toward them. Open body posture. Explain what you’re doing. It was all drilled into us to the point that even now, I find myself using what they taught us without giving it a second thought.

Aside from taking what my school taught me, the best way to handle client communication is practice. Practice, practice, & practice some more. Use your friends/family if you have to. It’ll become more comfortable for you as you go along. It’ll become second nature.

It’s a bit daunting & overwhelming at first, but you can do it! 

Single most important thing for a veterinarian to remember about the species they are treating

As vets we have to retain an awful lot of knowledge about a bunch of different species in our brain, but I could only impart one factoid onto a new vet for each species, these would be it.

Dog: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong, in a German Shepherd

Cat: Species most likely to send you to the hospital.

Horse: Species most likely to send you to the morgue.

Cattle:  Hygiene and lube.

Sheep: Not little cows!

Goats: Not funny sheep!

Deer: Don’t. Just shoot them.

Birds: No diaphragm, if you squeeze them they will die.

Raptors(eg eagles) : Much easier to handle with a sock over their head.

Chickens: If it’s egg bound there is no such thing as too much lube.

Water birds: Projectile feces. Aim with care.

Rabbits:  Drug sensitivities

Guinea Pigs: Lethal penicillin

Rats & Mice: It’s going to be a tumor.

Snakes: Don’t leave them in a cage. They get out.

Lizards: 90% of the time it’s a husbandry problem

Aussie mammals: Don’t wrestle wombats, you can’t win.

Fish: You can MacGuyver an anesthetic rig from two buckets, some tubing, a straw, a clean cat litter tray and some alfaxan. Do not use electro-cautery on a wet fish.

Ferrets: Most of their problems are from the same area; the kidneys, adrenals and ovaries seem to be part of a club to cause havoc for this species.

Pigs: Wear ear muffs, because they scream like you wouldn’t believe, and remember that they’re bred for meat, which is muscle and they know how to use it.

This is not an attempt to condense veterinary medicine into a few dozen sentences. But if you can only remember one thing, make it a useful one.

Study Motivation for VET and MD Students


  1. You’ll be using a stethoscope everyday
  2. You’ll be wearing a white coat with your name on it
  3. You’ll be called “Doctor”
  4. You’ll be wearing pajamas for work
  5. You’ll be standing in a beautiful OR
  6. You’ll be able to use amazing instruments and machines
  7. You’ll be the bridge between life and death
  8. You’ll be solving puzzles for a living
  9. You’ll be saving lives
  10. You’ll make someone happy
  11. You’ll see lots of puppies and kittens and all sorts of animals
  12. You’ll be happy
  13. You’ll be conquering your dream
  14. You’ll be even more amazing
  15. For all you know you could be the future of medicine

Originally posted by gajanoncensure

Cranial Nerves

Nerves supplying the body can be divided in to cranial and spinal. Cranial nerves emerge from the brain or brain stem and spinal from the spinal chord. There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. They are components of the peripheral nervous system, with the exception of the optic nerve, as their axons extend beyond the brain to supply other parts of the body. They are named numerically from region of the nose (rostral) to back of the head (caudal). Here’s a brief overview of all twelve nerves and their basic functions.

I – The Olfactory Nerve. The cells of this nerve arise from the olfactory membrane of the nasal mucosa. The dendrites of the nerve cells project in to the olfactory mucosa. The axons of these cells combine to form the olfactory nerve. They join the brain at the olfactory bulb, located at the end nearest the nose. The fibres are short and lie deep and protected from casual injury. It is often found that loss or interference of sense of smell is due to blockage of the air passage leading to the olfactory mucosa, not due to nerve damage.

II – The Optic Nerve. This nerve connects the retina to the diencephalon of the brain. It is the only cranial nerve considered to be part of the central nervous system. This means the fibres are incapable of regeneration, hence why damage to the optic nerve produces irreversible blindness. Interestingly the eye's blind spot is a result of the absence of photoreceptor cells in the area of the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye. I find the optic nerves easy to spot when looking at the brain from below as they form the optic chiasm. This is the point at which they cross and forms a clear ‘x’.

III- The Oculomotor Nerve. This nerve controls most of the eye’s movements including the constriction of the pupil and levitation of the eyelid. Damage to the nerve can cause double vision and inability to open the eye. A symptom of damage to this nerve is tilting of the head.

IV – The Trochlear Nerve. This nerve is a small somatic motor nerve and innervates the dorsal oblique muscle of the eye, responsible for allowing the eye to look down and up as well as internal rotations. Damage to the nerve can cause one eye to drift upwards in relation to the undamaged eye, meaning patients tilt their heads down to compensate.

V – The Trigeminal Nerve. This is the largest cranial nerve and is so called as it has three major divisions. It is sensory to the skin and deeper tissue of the face and motor to certain facial muscles, playing a large role in mastication.

VI – The Abducent Nerve. This nerve controls the movement of the lateral rectus muscle of the eye. It also plays a role in eye retraction for protection. Injury produces the inability to deviate the eyeball away from the midline of the body.

VII – The Facial Nerve. This nerve innervates the muscles of facial expression. It also functions in the conveyance of taste sensations from the front two thirds of the tongue. As well as this it can increase saliva flow through certain salivary glands.

VIII – The Vestibulocochlear Nerve. This nerve is named after the vestibular and cochlear components of the inner ear. It transmits information on sound and balance. Damage can lead to deafness, impaired balance and dizziness.

IX – The Glossopharyngeal Nerve. This nerve has any roles including the innervation of certain muscles of the palate of the mouth, certain salivary glands and the sensory mucosa of the root of the tongue, palate and pharynx. Damage can lead to difficulty swallowing as well as the loss of ability to taste bitter and sour things in humans.

X – The Vagus Nerve. This is a very important nerve and one frequently discussed when considering many important systems within the body. It is the longest of all cranial nerves and extends to supply the pancreas, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, and intestine. It has parasympathetic control of the heart and digestive tract as well as certain glands and involuntary muscles.

XI – The Accessory Nerve. This plays a role in neck turning and elevation of the scapula (shoulder). Muscle atrophy of the shoulder region indicates damage to this nerve.

XII – The Hypoglossal Nerve. This nerve’s name relates to the fact that is runs under the tongue, innervating the tongue’s internal and external musculature. It has important roles in speech, food manipulation and swallowing.


Like they do just about every year, the news recently showed cookies successfully baking in a hot car. I bet they would be super yummy regardless of cooking apparatus too. 

Originally posted by ijoosong

However, If it is hot enough to cook cookies, It is TOO HOT TO LEAVE YOUR DOG IN YOUR CAR. Please think about your fluffy friends this summer and do not leave them in a vehicle, regardless of how long you are gone or even if the windows are cracked. Regardless of panting, dogs can NOT regulate their temperature like we can, and can succumb to heat stress in a stuffy car even if the outside temperature is 70 degrees. I’ve seen just how quickly heatstroke can lead to death, and that’s something I would never like to see a dog to go through. 

So please stick to cooking cookies in your car this summer, and not your furry best-friend.

Horses have thinner skin and may feel pain more than humans.

For those who think horses don’t feel pain as we do - you could be right. They may feel far more. Australian TV programme ‘Catalyst’ asked vet pathologist Dr. Lydia Tong to look at the differences between horse and human skin, something that has surprisingly never been studied before. She found the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is thinner in horses and they have a higher density of 'pain sensing’ nerve endings than we do. So what happens to the great whip debate now I wonder?

This information was revealed as part of an interesting film looking at the use of the whip in racing and is well worth a watch. Professor Paul McGreevy is also interviewed here, one of the authors of the article I shared a couple of days ago analysing whip use in UK racing. The information about the horse’s skin starts around 12.30.

The image below is of horse skin on the left with the thinner epidermis. On the right, human skin.

You can watch the programme here:

Further information here:

via facebook:

Online Vet Student Resources

Here are some great resources I have used throughout vet school: 


Clinical Pathology:

  • eClinPath: by Cornell, wonderful site that has explanations for findings on ClinPath results, lists differentials, as well as describes that pathophysiology basis of some processes. 
  • Serum Chemistry: You will need VIN access to open this, but another great Clin Path resource to refresh your memory on what each profile tests for and various differentials for the fluxes. 


  • CAPC Vet: Great site that list parasites, life cycles, prevalence, emerging patterns, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and public health concerns. 


  • AMRLS: A wonderful website that provides information on antimicrobial pharmacology and provides information on resistance patterns.


  • VetBact: provides basic information on veterinary important bacteria. List current bacteria name changes, microbial tests, hosts, and a basic description of the clinical disease. 

Veterinary Search Engine: 

  • VETNEXT: Essentially a search engine like that on VIN. You can search by species or clinical sign. Provides decent information about diseases. 
  • WikiVet: Another decent search engine, I believe you will need to be a student to use this site (like VIN), I don’t use it often because it is extremely slow, but there is a lot of information on there. 
Things that sound cooler than 'veterinarian'

Let’s be honest, getting to say “I’m a veterinarian,” is pretty cool as is, but there are a couple of phrases that we could use to make our profession sound even cooler. Here are a handful.

“I remove testicles from unwilling carnivores for a living.”

“I’m perpetually in training for a zombie apocalypse survival scenario. My bite percentage this week is 0%.”

“I uninstall kitten factories.”

“I’m supposed to make sure your meat wont infect you. It’s a tough job.”

“My job is to not kill people, with the challenges gradually increasing through the week.”

“I treat patients who aren’t ashamed of their body hair.”

“I do everything except human. Unless it’s an emergency.”

“I save lives… And then clip their toenails.”

And my personal favourite…

“I’m a physician for non-human lifeforms. No, the company I work for is not nearly as well known as NASA or the FBI.”