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

The title pretty much sums up yesterday.

Marika from Hirnuva Hammas came to lecture at our university yesterday (school on Saturdays, welcome to vet school 😉 ). 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 here (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).

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The triadan system in a nice drawing; this is how the teeth are numbered. Lovely, isn’t it 😉 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 was so nervous 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 🙂
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!! Welcome to vet school everybody 😉

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 🙂

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?

//jz

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Signs I’m doing the right thing

I still can’t believe I’m actually studying to become a veterinarian.. Just because I always dreamed of it doesn’t mean I expected my dreams to actually come true (or at least begin to unfold)!
There’s been so many times when I’ve thought “Am I doing the right thing?”, “What if I realize this isn’t what I’m meant to do?”, what if, what if, what if…

Well, last night I had a dream that I think is a direct sign I’m on the right path;

I dreamed that one of the older students posted the following (in Finnish) in one of our Facebook groups: “Hello, just wanted to inform you that next Wednesday there will be an info session in class A-201 about Canada. Working permits, immigration info, etc. Hope to see you there!”

Now, anyone who’s spent some time with me knows that I’m in love with Canada. I’ve only been there once (that too 6 years ago…?), for a week or two, in the winter, in Quebec, but I fell in love. The people, the atmosphere, the snow (or rather, the amount of snow)… it was perfect! And ever since that trip I’ve wanted more! Moremoremore..!

Back to the dream..
It felt so unbelievably real… When I woke up I remember frantically looking through all the groups trying to find this post so I could double check the date/time or something – I was that convinced it was real!
If this is not a sign for me, then I don’t know what could be…

I feel confident saying I’m going to make my dreams come true. No matter what it takes, no matter how many times I question myself I won’t fail, because someone somewhere is definitely guiding me, and that makes me feel safe.

//jz

Picture taken from http://tonyortega.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/canada.jpeg

Tere tulemast Tartusse!

Or simply “welcome to Tartu!” 🙂

I arrived here on the 15th (this past Saturday). The night between Friday and Saturday I got roughly 5 hours of sleep (and I spent at least one hour crying my eyes out because I was so sad to leave the dogs, cats, frogs and snails (maybe my family too) behind. 😥

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We came to Estonia by ferry (2½ hours from Helsinki to Tallinn), and from there to Tartu by car (186 km, about 2 hours). I absolutely fell in love with the Estonian countryside! The fields that go on for as far as the eye can see, the old trees growing right next to the road, the cute little houses along the way… everything was so beautiful!

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20150815_155437I can’t wait for my blister (got it yesterday…) to heal up so I can get back to exploring the city full time. I’ve ventured into the nearby park, the grocery stores and the city centre (once, with a classmate).

Tomorrow we’re going to sort out some residence permits, and I will try to get my hands on a map of the city (can’t believe I haven’t done that yet… oh well! I haven’t ventured far enough to get lost yet! 🙂 )

I was in complete denial of this whole moving-living-studying abroad thing until now. I knew it was going to happen, but I chose not to accept the fact it was happening this soon. However, I’ve settled in quite nicely… but I’m scared of the language! Ma ei räägi Eesti keelt veel (I was trying to say “I don’t speak Estonian yet”..) I walk around with my “Smooth travelling in Estonian”-book (Sujuvaa matkaa Virkosi), I read every single sign at least twice, I try my best to pick up anything someone says… We’ll see how it goes! On 25th of August a course called Estonian for foreigners will start, so I’m hoping to learn something before that, and a lot during that course… I don’t like not being able to communicate properly…

Luckily I have 6 years to learn!!

//jz

The chemistry of exams…

Haha this describes exactly how I feel about tomorrow’s chemistry exam 😛 I’ve studied, I’ve tried to understand… It goes beyond my understanding 😛

Fair enough I think my maths exam went better than anticipated – I didn’t cry or break down 😀 Although I think (know) I did something strange 😛

//jz