Day 17: It just gets better and better…

This week is shaping up quite nicely. Followed by yesterday, today was another fantastic day. The day started with another rabbit procedure (the last one for awhile), and I help set up and prep the rabbit for surgery. Then I went with one of the AHTs to help with various tasks. First we went and checked in on the sick chinchilla. We gave more SQ fluids and a pain medication just in case the inappetance and lethargy are due to pain. We tried to give Critical Care, but the chinchilla wasn’t interested and we didn’t want to force it. We also cut up some more fruits and veggies in the hopes of getting an appetite going. After cutting up an orange for the chinchilla, we went into the pig room and gave them orange slices as well. Pigs love all food, and they were very pleased to get oranges! :) After hanging with the pigs and taking care of the chinchilla, we went and met the new research dog. He was very wary of us and the concrete floor at first (we let him out of his run), but warmed up quickly. It didn’t take long before he was climbing in our laps trying to give us kisses! I also ran up and down the long room with him, and he had a lot of fun playing. He is super cute! The dogs there have three times the federally mandated space, and therefore, by law, they don’t have to be exercised outside of their pen. But here, they do it anyway. The dogs get tons of social interaction, toys, treats, and play time. He was scared when we first went into the run, but happy, tail wagging, and jumping on his run because he didn’t want us to go by the time he left. Awww… I already kind of love him. I hope I get the opportunity most days to go hang out and play with him.

After lunch was when the best part happened. There was another rabbit necropsy, and this time I got to perfuse the body (we perfuse with PBS first and then formalin) and then perform the necropsy and collect tissues. Obviously this was under close veterinary instruction and supervision, but I really enjoy necropsy and pathology, so for me it was a great learning experience and exactly what I’m here for – to gain the skills that will allow me to be the best lab animal veterinarian I can be. And I love that the residents are so willing to teach me and let me get hands-on! They’re always asking if I want to do something or try something, and I don’t think that would be the case just anywhere. I think I’m really lucky that my research mentor lined this up for me, and I have a lot to thank him for :)

After the rabbit necropsy it was getting pretty late (since it was my first one I was very tentative and slow, but the resident was very patient) and I went home shortly after that, feeling like I had another fulfilling and valuable day.


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