The one about stones, scrubs… and nuts ;)

Last Thursday Mysse went into surgery to remove two urinary stones and two not-so-small nuts (yes, he has lost his balls for good). The people at the clinic were so lovely they allowed me into the OR to follow the surgery.
I was really worried about how the surgery would go, since Mysse isn’t exactly a young chap anymore, but to my relief everything went well and he’s now crashing into everything with his cone of shame.


I don’t know why putting on scrubs was such a big deal for me… I guess it somehow makes me feel like at the end of all this studying is a real world where I’ll get to make a difference? I don’t know, but it felt great πŸ™‚ (Also, they’re really comfy!! How to tell you’ve chosen a great career; you get to wear comfy clothes all day, every day! πŸ˜€ )



(the belated) Clinic week!

For the past few days Facebook has been telling me “you haven’t posted anything in 25 days”, “… 26 days”, “…27 days”, “…28 days”, and today “you haven’t posted anything in 29 days” (oops, sorry, been busy, blahblah and so on)

As I promised in my last(?) post, I will tell you about my clinic (poop-shoveling) week from a few weeks back πŸ˜›

The week itself was full of early mornings (waking up at 6 to be at the clinic by 7), shoveling poop (both horse and cow) for about an hour and a half, and trying to look somewhat decent in the first lectures (8:15 lectures never seemed so daunting*), constantly watching the time to make sure you don’t miss the afternoon poop, and (finally) getting home too exhausted to function.
Despite the exhaustion I managed to study surprisingly well; no failed tests, no late assignments…

I even attended a party!

Which resulted in a sleepless night before the morning-poop-shoveling – not the best idea I’ve had in life, but I survived! (although I must admit I felt *slightly* light-headed at times – pushing a wheelbarrow full of poop up a hill of poop is no easy task!)

Something I found funny was that I learned how to put on the mouth-opening-device on a horse before learning how to put on a headcollar/halters on a horse! Oh well, doesn’t matter in which order things are learned as long av everything is learnt πŸ™‚

It was also nice to notice how well me and the horses (3 school horses, one patient horse (treated for colic, and she was pregnant.. luckily she seemed to pull through)) got along!
I also got along great with the cow, Augustiina. At first I was a bit scared of cleaning around her (because I have absolutely *zero* experience of dealing with cows), but as I learned to read her behaviour things got way easier; I ended up loving her! A small, cute, cuddly cow πŸ™‚ I also spent a lot of time petting and brushing her (come on! Even cows love some affection ^^)

I will try my best to write about the happenings of this past weekend, but be prepared to deal with some delayed posting πŸ˜‰ Now, I’m off to bed!


*daunting as in “very difficult to do or deal with”

… and just like that I stuffed my hand in a horse’s mouth.

The title pretty much sums up yesterday.

Marika from Hirnuva HammasΒ came to lecture at our university yesterday (school on Saturdays, welcome to vet school πŸ˜‰ ). She’s the first trained equine dental technician in Finland, and her presentation was filled with personal experiences and the notion “So many people get things wrong”.

Enamel points, hooks, ramps, wolf teeth (both erupted and non-erupted), ETR (Excessive Transverse Ridges/Ridging), wave mouth, shear mouth, diastemas, curvatures in the incisors, as well as over- and underbites are now a part of my horse-knowledge. You can read more about these hereΒ (there are also illustrations and photos showing what these look like in real life).

We also made a new friend – the triadan system, which is used to number the teeth. Previously the “letter-abbreviation-system” was used (I=incisor, PM=premolar, M=molar and so on).


The triadan system in a nice drawing; this is how the teeth are numbered. Lovely, isn’t it πŸ˜‰Β Image source

After the nearly three-hour long lecture it was time for some hands on action – quite literally! We drove out to a stable in the evening to get a feel at a horses mouth (find the wolf teeth and any abnormalities) and some of the equipment used for treating the problems mentioned earlier.

We each got to feel around the mouth without a gag (canines, incisors and wolf teeth as well as evaluating the palatine arch) and with the gag in place (premolars, molars, enamel points etc.)
We each got to put the gag on. I wasΒ so nervousΒ because practically everyone else in my group had loads of experience with horses compared to little me… but I did great!! So proud of myself πŸ™‚
And just like that I stuffed my hand inside a horses mouth! Me! The girl who doesn’t even know how to ride a horse! Stuffing her hand in this giant creature’s mouth!
Yesterday was another day of “firsts” for me!

Marika also told us what she usually does during a routine check-up, how often she lets the horse rest, with or without sedation etc.

Of course anatomy and its friends are running along. Right now we’re working on the digestive system in anatomy; dog, cat, rabbit, goat, horse, cow, everybody. Med students, please stop whining about how you have to learn so much!

So much information, so little time!!Β Welcome to vet school everybody πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow (Monday) my large animal care “course” will start. Basically, each of us has to complete a 7-day and 3-day session of working at the clinic’s stables. We have to clean and feed the animals, take the horses outside, clean the cow again (I hear she’s a poop machine) in the morning. In the afternoon we clean some more, take the horses back inside, and feed them again (I think). I’ll write a post dedicated entirely to my week when it’s over πŸ™‚

Now I’ll get back to my microbiology homework and genetics studies (test on Tuesday). Isn’t it great having so much to do and so little time to do it?


Spring term at the vet school

Hello again!

I know it’s been half an eternity since my last post (I blame it on a hectic schedule and general tiredness (read: exhaustion)), but now I’m back!
So much has happened (I feel like I say this in every single post, simply because they’re so far apart πŸ˜› )

  • moved out of the dormitory
  • exams
  • some more exams

and spring term just started!

Let’s start with moving out of the dormitory:
There was nothing wrong with the dormitory, I had a lovely roommate and a bearable flatmate. The room was tiny, the kitchen was always a mess, the sink was always clogged, the bed was squeaky… all bearable, but slightly annoying things.

I was randomly browsing a website with rental apartments and TADAA there it was – the apartment where an older student had stayed (I his I know because I was dog-sitting one Friday evening). I immediately messaged one of my classmates (who I knew also liked the apartment) and we made arrangements to go see it and sign the contract.
We moved in on November 15th πŸ™‚
(I’ll try to get around to taking some pictures and maybe posting them eventually… don’t get your hopes up, this could be a few months from now πŸ˜› )

There were a lot of them, I’ll write the subject and withing brackets I’ll put my final grade πŸ™‚
Cell and Molecular Biology (C)
Animal Biology (A)
Biochemistry (B)
Anatomy of domestic animals (A)
(it’s almost as if my grade is directly related to the first letter of the name of the subject….)
Informatics and Biometry (A)

Then the Pass/Fail-subjects

Estonian for foreigners (Pass)
Latin for specific purposes (Pass)
Cytology, embryology and histologyΒ (Pass)
Introduction to Chemistry (Pass)

All in all I’m quite pleased with how I did πŸ™‚

Spring terms brings with it a bunch of new subjects, but a few old friends remain (anatomy, chemistry and histology):

Ethology – really looking forward to this
Veterinary genetics and animal breeding – also excited
Microbiology – worried how “micro” it will be….
Physiology – “let’s combine anatomy and chemistry to give them a real brain breaker!”… I’m worried!
Fundamentals of scientific research – not sure what to think of this…

Long days and long weekends (Fridays = no school!), that’s what spring term will be all about. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact I’m actually here… One thing I have come to realize is that Tartu has become my second home, whenever I return I feel safe and secure, knowing that we’re ready to kick ass again! Hardcore studying is real, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else πŸ™‚


Apple tasting and the strawberry town!

On 31.8 our orientation week program was a trip to the Polli Horticultural Research Centre of EMÜ and a guided tour in the city of Viljandi. In Polli we got to taste all kinds of different apple varieties (including a couple of Finnish ones) and learn about the research they do in the apple gardens, berry collections and “helping entrepreneurs with research and product development” (don’t know how many times those very words were uttered during the few hours we spent there…)



After the apples were all gone we left for Viljandi. It was such a cute town with quite a rich history. Some of the green areas looked like they were part of a museum; flowers at every corner, old trees, small fountains, old buildings with newly painted walls… it was beautiful.


The city symbol – strawberries! There was an artist who made a painting with people eating strawberries and the strawberry ended up being the symbol of Viljandi πŸ™‚


The bridge leading to the old castle ruins. It was restored in 1995 and is now, according to our guide, “quite safe” πŸ˜‰


One of my classmates posing with Mr(s). Frog We saw this beauty at the ruins and, being vetmed students we had to give it some love πŸ˜›


Another shot of Mr(s). Frog – so cute!


The view… stunning! The lake is 4,7km long, and there’s a song about the Viljandi boatman πŸ™‚


The castle ruins… more like a tenth of them to be honest! The castle was built on three “hills” and this was on the top one


Sorry for the bad quality of the two last pictures…. Facebook downloads… don’t know what happened there…

School starts tomorrow – I can’t wait!!