A Day in the Life of a Veterinarian

Personal Blog

Welcome to the Home Page of my personal blog! 

Please remember that these are my own thoughts and meant to create a window into my mind, showing a Day in the Life of this Veterinarian.

We have every day struggles, just as everyone would, and then we have an immense amount of work related stress, on top of those every day struggles.

We suffer from mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, and we need to find an outlet for those thoughts. This blog is one of my outlets. What do you struggle with that writing your thoughts down could help you with?

How to Navigate my Blog

If you have been following along, you may have noticed that I have a ton of interests! I have broken this blog into categories. I created a new drop down menu to navigate to specific topics - scroll over the menu above.

 

Under Pet Health and Nutrition you are going to find some case information. A lot of it is geared towards veterinary students, as I hope that when they run into some of these cases, it helps them think through the cases. 

The newest feature on the blog is the area of Indi's Reviews - you can find this from Indi's Home Page

I also talk about my struggles with anxiety and depression - the whole reason I started this blog - mostly under Taking Care of You

I started a new category for My Fertility Journey - essentially, this is where I am dumping my brain from all the things I am learning about how to conceive when you are a professional female, who put off having children until her late 30's.

I hope that this blog page will have something for you! Enjoy!

What do you miss?

I have been physically down. My husband injured his knee running, and now we can’t play tennis. Before the COVID-19 shutdown in Toronto, our Jiu Jitsu dojo shut down as a precaution, knowing that rolling around with people in such close proximity was a recipe for everyone to get sick. Especially since we know now that many people can spread the disease when they are asymptomatic. I have also been mentally down. Constantly anxious, and becoming anxious out of no where sometimes. I know a lot of it has to do with the high expectations that I place on myself. No one is perfect, but when I make mistakes, it really bothers me. On this date last year we had a jiu jitsu tournament and a memory popp

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

This post is going to have a bit of human medicine and a bit of veterinary medicine in it. Mainly because my husband was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. What are Eosinophils? Eosinophils are inflammatory cells that are in the family of the white blood cell population. These types of cells are usually elevated in conditions that are allergic or parasitic, and in cats, many inflammatory conditions cause an eosinophilia, such as inflammatory bowel disease or allergic bronchitis. They are called eosinophils because of their eosinophilic granules, that is a pink or reddish colour. Eosin is the part of the most common staining procedure used (H&E). Eosinophils can infiltrate tissues, incl

Indi's Review: Yeowww! Catnip toys

Indi has a few favourite toys that she enjoys playing with. I try to rotate her toys that she doesn't get bored of them. Once they are tossed under the stove, they will stay there for some time, until I clean, then put them away for a bit. Indi is a huge fan of these cat nip toys by Yeowww! I purchased a fish shaped one first, for her birthday one year. Then this little crinkle toy ladybug. She loves them both. I have purchased other catnip toys in the past which she wasn't a huge fan of, so I would highly recommend these toys for your cat. Indi's Review: 5 out of 5 My review: same! I honestly have nothing bad to say about these toys. They are durable. She plays with them often. I will likel

#MedBikini

There is a recent hashtag going through social media these days - #MedBikini. I was curious why there was a sudden influx of swimsuit photos on my Vet Med Instagram account - posts of side-by-side veterinarians in their lab coats and scrubs with a photo of them enjoying the summer heat. This post explains it: @drlibbyrhee We’ve certainly come a long way, but we have a LONG way to go. That much is clear. You may have heard about the “research” article recently published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery in which three men trolled physicians’ Instagram accounts to identify “inapporpriate” and “provocative” content on social media. Of the “unprofessional” behavior, the authors cited female phy

Safe Travel for Pets

A few of years ago, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association put out a position statement on the transport of dogs in vehicles in the back of trucks, opposing the unsecure transport of dogs in open vehicles. This was last revised in 2017. Sometimes legal documents can be difficult to read, but essentially most of Canada made it illegal to travel with an animal in the back of a truck if it was not secured properly. Depending on the province, it may be like the BC Motor Vehicle Act or PEI's Animal Welfare Act. The other thing to note is the safe travel of pets within the vehicle cab. There are many harnesses and seatbelts for dogs. I am currently doing the Fear Free certificate, level 1. Th

TTC: Karyotyping

We had our meeting with our fertility doctor this week. My husband and I had already determined during this past month of waiting for our results that we were going to go straight to IVF, no IUI and that we would be doing genetic testing. Sadly, my doctor had not received this information from the medical secretary, the care team nurse or the woman who handles the finances. Well, I was a little disgruntled after waiting a month for my results only to find out that we still need to do more testing. This time, we have to go for karyotype testing. So, here we go again with the research! First of all, we found out that hubby has sickle cell trait, and I don't, but he may have a type of anemia ca

Salivary Gland Disease

Ah... Hi blog readers! This week was draining, just like last week. I am here to dump my thoughts on salivary gland disease. My patient is an 11-year-old female spayed shepherd mix. Extremely treat motivated and a sweetheart. Last fall, she was in due to a painful jaw. Her history is that she is Addisonian and maintained on Zycortal injections every 25 days, as well as Prednisone, maintenance was every other day. In the fall, when she had unilateral enlargement and pain of one of her masseter muscles, I bumped up her Prednisone and put her on antibiotics, for the just in case it was of infectious origin. Her fever dropped, and she eventually went back to her usual self. This week, she had co

Learning of the Variety in Veterinary Medicine: Semen Sorting

I have worked as a laboratory technician in a few instances prior to going to vet school. Being the type to have attention to details makes the methodical tasks within the lab easy for me. The job I worked right before vet school was at Sexing Technologies. I felt I needed something that would help my knowledge of the production animal side of things. I had already volunteered with a hunter/jumper barn, within small animal clinics, with wildlife, worked at zoos, but I didn’t know much about the dairy industry. Sexing semen means to separate the sperm that produce female offspring from those that produce male offspring. If you think about natural mating, 50% of the time you will get a female

What a racket!

For our anniversary I purchased some inexpensive tennis rackets for my hubby and I. We’d never really played, though hubby said he used to play by himself when he was younger, a product of being a loner kid with minimal friends due to changing schools so many times. So we hit the tennis court yesterday. Our condo building’s gym and pool is still closed due to COVID, but they have allowed us to play singles tennis. My core and shoulders are pretty tight today! We’ve booked for today again, so let’s see how that goes. It’s just nice to do something together. Hubby has been working on three jobs these past few weeks, which makes for connecting as a couple difficult. We try to make small little

Mindfulness and Meditation: Getting Through Burnout

I woke up this morning feeling anxious. It’s Sunday, one of my days off, and I’m anxious. I started scrolling through Instagram looking for a distraction. I have been following @mentalhealthdvm and on her Insta Highlights she had app recommendations. So I downloaded one. As I mentioned previously, our school had a mindful practice class, as well as sessions run by one of our professors. We look up to our gurus of veterinary medicine, how well-spoken and seemingly stoic they are, and sometimes forget about the mental health aspects of our profession. The first week of vet school I was assigned an academic advisor. This academic advisor is with you for your four years of vet school. The progra

Veterinary Innovation Podcast: Dr. Marie, Mental Health Advocate

I started listening to a new podcast "Veterinary Innovation Podcast". What's great about this podcast is it is hosted by Canadians! Yay! Of course, the first episode that I clicked on was an interview with Dr. Marie Holowaychuk, a mental health advocate. I highly recommend to listen to the episode here. I had no idea that Burnout and Compassion Fatigue were different. Compassion Fatigue is repeated episodes of moral stress. As Dr. Marie says, we want to help these patients that come to see us, but we get stuck when clients are unable to pay the costs of medical care, forcing us to perform below standard care. Or we euthanize an animal that had a treatable condition. So when a veterinarian un

COVID-19: Epidemiology in Canada

My mother posted an update on her FaceBook page. My mom is a semi-retired nurse who works in long-term care homes. She posted a chart from B.C. regarding the number of active COVID-19 cases which were predominantly in the Fraser Health region where she works. The BC CDC has a dashboard online for the epidemiology of the disease. What I thought was interesting was the distribution by age. The highest being 50-59, then 30-39. Even children are not immune. You then have to compare this with the distribution of age of the population as a whole. The below is from stats Canada. So then I was curious about Ontario’s COVID epidemiology. Their dashboard is not as nice looking. Here’s Ontario’s age d

Indi's Review: PetSafe Automatic Feeder

Last week we reviewed a product that Indi is already ripping apart, so this week, we're reviewing a product that has lasted over 3 years without breaking and without Indi breaking into it. Whenever a cat owner defends their cat's obesity with, but they are waking me up at night, so I just leave the food out all of the time, I recommend an automatic feeder. Initially, I had purchased a two compartment feeder when I was going away for a weekend and didn't want someone to have to come to feed Indi twice a day. It was a cheap one. Indi is very determined and will break into anything if she can get her little claws into it. It lasted a weekend. I tried to glue the dishes in and try to rig it so s

AI in Water Buffalo

I traveled to India for part of my Master’s research in June and July 2014. My FaceBook is sending me memories of that time. Today’s memory was of me practicing my AI technique in water buffalo. I learnt AI through a company called WestGen. If you're not in the field of veterinary medicine, AI is artificial insemination. I learnt how to AI in multiparous Holstein dairy cattle - cattle that had birthed several calves already. This means that their uterus is larger, sometimes the cervix is like a cauliflower, and you are trying to find the entrance to the cervix, with great difficulty, by having your non-dominant hand rectally trying to hold the cauliflower and trying to manipulate your domina

Dear New Grad

Dear New Grad, I am writing to welcome you to the profession! Being a veterinarian is as amazing as you thought, with all the ups and downs that you were expecting. Don't worry, it's okay to feel nervous on your first day. We were all there. It's okay to feel like you might pass out or puke. It's going to be okay. When you get stuck, whether you are stuck with a difficult case, or stuck with the difficulties of communicating with clients, make sure that you reach out to your friends, those ones that you spent four grueling years with. Make sure you keep in touch with them through the wins and the losses over the next few months. When you feel stuck, reach out. You have those classmates who I

When a Mountain Temple Overwhelms You

Six years ago I was at the foot of the Himalayan mountains in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India. There was something emotionally overwhelming by this place. I don’t think it was the mountains, but it is hard to say. I took one step into the Buddhist temple at the foot of the mountains - the temple where the Dalai Lama was exiled from Tibet - and I was overwhelmed with emotions. It was one of the most bizarre and spiritual moments of my life, and perhaps the only true spiritual moment I have experienced. It is not something a scientist could really explain to me. Why there? Why in that moment? I was reminded of that moment today. I was thinking about my husband and I making the move to my

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