J&J – “The cutting edge of quality”

My last exam for the semester is for the first part of our surgery course. Now, part of this part’s topic is surgical instruments.
Well, during my quest for pictures (and some information) on these instruments I came across J&J Instruments!

(This is probably in no way amusing to those who don’t know that Juulia and I have become known as J&J by many of our course mates. The story behind this has slipped my memory, but it makes things a lot easier not having to say “Jenny and Juulia” and just saying J&J instead ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Anyway, what made this more amusing in my mind was that J&J also make instruments forย veterinarians! What a coincidence!!

Enough with the random information, I’ll get back to my instruments ๐Ÿ˜‰



Link to the J&J Instruments website (here)


The one about sunshine and diseases of poultry…

Today was spent desperately trying to absorb all the knowledge needed to pass tomorrow’s (absolutely terrible) exam on diseases of poultry. Needless to say, these are not the things I’m very excited to learn about, so finding the motivation to study when it’s full-on summer outside has been even more challenging than usual.

Well, today Juulia and I went out on the nearby dock to study… without sunblock! BIG mistake. We emerged from our study bubble (6 hours later) looking like freshly boiled lobsters! I’ve since spent nearly an hour and a half soaking in a cool-ish bath (spiced up with coconut oil and epsom salts), slabbed some hydrocortisone all over myself (the benefits of living with a person suffering from atopic dermatitis ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) knowing fully well it’s not the best thing to do (#pharmacology), and forced a good litre and a half of water into my system… I really hope I’ll emerge from my bed looking less like a lobster and more like a healthy human being tomorrow morning…

Let this be a warning to my course mates who have to lay eyes on me tomorrow – please don’t comment on my appearance, and to everyone else – please use sunblock, especially if you’re a pale Nordic person like myself.

On a much more positive note (pun intended)ย Finland is through to the ESC finals!!!ย (as is Estonia ๐Ÿ™‚ )


The one about mental health…

I’d like to thank Dr. Carrie Jurney and Dr. Melanie Goble from Not One More Vet (NOMV) for the lecture they gave at our university today. Mental health is a difficult topic to talk about, especially when you know there are people suffering on some level in the group you’re talking to, but their lecture and workshop gave us a lot of tools and ideas to work with and use in the future, soย thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

To sum everything up in a few points:g

  1. Mental health issues are real
  2. Everyone can (and most probably will) suffer from mental health issues at some point
  3. Your mental health is just as important (if not more important) as your physical/social well-being, so make it a habit to take care of yourself
  4. Don’t be afraid to reach out – we can all help one another


The rate of suicide in the veterinary profession has been pegged as close to twice that of the dental profession, more than twice that of the medical profession, and 4 times the rate in the general population. (source)

Why? There are so many factors I can’t possibly cover everything in a quick little blog post, but I’ll list a few down below

  • the work is stressful and things can pile up (overworked, exhausted people on the brink of burnout…)
  • perfectionism that turns into a fear of failure + fighting death every day (with a few inevitable losses) – not the best combination
  • taking on the emotions of every single family that loses a member (empathy beyond safe limits)
  • and so much more… Basically, it’s a tough life.

As a future veterinarian knowing all of the statistics is both scary and comforting at the same time; you know what to expect, but you also knowย you’re not alone.

In my mind I envisioned this being a very thorough post, but I think I will leave it at this, perhaps I’ll elaborate things later. For now I really must be getting back to studying (check the “What I really do when I say I’m studying”-page at the top of the page to find out what I actually end up doing ๐Ÿ˜‰


P.S. This is just to write down some things to remember. I’m okay, really, don’t worry ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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

The title pretty much sums up yesterday.

Marika from Hirnuva Hammasย came to lecture at our university yesterday (school on Saturdays, welcome to vet school ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). 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 hereย (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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 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 wasย so nervousย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
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!!ย Welcome to vet school everybody ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜› )

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
(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 ๐Ÿ˜› )

There were a lot of them, I’ll write the subject and withing brackets I’ll put my final grade ๐Ÿ™‚
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 histologyย (Pass)
Introduction to Chemistry (Pass)

All in all I’m quite pleased with how I did ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚