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  • Katie Smith

A Week In the Life of An Aspiring Vet Student!

Last week was a particularly busy one, with horses needing to be wormed, goat hooves needing to be trimmed and an open evening at my sixth form I had plenty to be getting on with.

On Sunday, we were up at the yard ready for the jobs to commence. I had ordered the wormers for the horses a couple of weeks back, when we knew it was getting close to their worming date, from Vet UK. Anyone who is not aware of Vet UK, and is a pet owner, needs to go and check it out asap. They are a licensed supplier of pet medications that operate online (hurrah for anyone who can never find time to pop out to Countrywide – other retailers are available! – to collect their feed and so get it delivered straight to the yard like us!) and will deliver to your home. It is a godsend when you’ve got cats, dogs and horses to worm and flea on a regular basis as they will even send you a reminder to reorder when you get low. Also, they stock the Wrapz funny farm bandages which I absolutely love the designs of – they had them at my last work experience and the tractor bandages made a regular appearance while I was around! I am in no way sponsored by Vet UK (in fact they probably will never even see this post) but I just wanted to share my fabulous find with you all in case you wanted to try out their website. But back to the matter at hand, we managed to get both horses wormed, which isn’t always an easy task with ponies let alone a 16.1hh Gelderlander and a 17.2hh TB that aren’t massive fans of being wormed.

The goats were feeling good after their hoof trim, Beattie is getting much better about having her feet done since coming to us in January and the boys were as good as ever. I don’t think she regularly, if ever, had her hooves trimmed at her old home so they’re slowly getting into a decent condition. We’re working on it!

Monday to Wednesday was spent at sixth form, plodding along getting through the week until Wednesday evening which was my YFC club’s New Members Night. We decided to host a pumpkin carving night this year which went down well with everyone. Me and my friend Emily carved a tractor pumpkin (which we were very proud of!) and came 3rd overall. We had a few new members around so hopefully, they will join up this year and have lots of fun at YFC!

On Thursday, it was year 7 open evening at my school and as a Biology Subject Champion, one of my roles is to help out the department at open evenings so I was on duty on Thursday night. My Biology teacher got in a sheep’s head last year for us to dissect in a demonstration style for the prospective students and their parents to watch and ask questions. I was on dissection duty last year as I was familiar with the sheep’s teeth and the ageing process etc. so I was more than happy (much to teachers visiting from other department’s disgust!) to do it again this year. At the start of the open evening, I diligently went and fetched half a head from the Bio Prep Room and brought it to the lab to do the ‘pre open evening prep’ with one of the other subject champions. We decided after last year that it was best to remove the brain, eyeball and then dissect the eyeball to remove the lens before the 10-year-old girls turned up! The lens can be placed over some text to show the magnification power it has which is always a crowd pleaser. We explained about the structure of the mouth, the brain and the parts of the eye to the prospective students which they usually find interesting.

Halfway through the open evening, I returned to the prep room to fetch the other side of the head to swap over, and I hit the jackpot when I found a bag of eyeballs and half a dozen kidneys that had been ordered for us to dissect too. It was funny to hear the biology teacher explaining to the parents that “Katie is applying to do Vet Med this year so we have got her this dissection to do as a treat!” much to their horror – it is true! I butterflied a kidney to put on display and left some eyeballs out for the new year 7s to poke with a glove if they were feeling brave… Overall the open evening was successful and the dissection went quite well. (Apologies for the photos if you are squeamish!)

I had Friday off of sixth form, so I was at my sister’s for dinner and SingStar with my niece. I also worked on our new YFC club programme/calendar as I am the programme secretary for this year, but the design is top secret for now!

Saturday was my last day of placement at the small animal vets I have been working at. I have really enjoyed my time there. This weekend was a particularly enjoyable one as there was a rabbit in that needed syringe feeding, it was really sweet but didn’t much like the syringe so that was a challenge! There was a cat in this week that was also in last weekend and he’s a real cheeky one, he meows all day and really isn’t a fan of taking his tablets. We also had a Rottweiler in but he was a gentle giant. I have seen so much at my work experience placement, from bone marrow sampling on a Bulldog to a rabbit with mites. It has really widened my experience and I’m so grateful to have gotten the placement.

Sunday was my sister’s Halloween party, I spent the morning making chocolate brownies and white chocolate spider webs. I think they looked quite cute if a bit messy, and they tasted great! It was good fun to wind down to half term and nice to see all of the family.

So there you have it, a week in the life of an aspiring vet. I hope you enjoyed a bit of a longer post from me!

P.S. If you’re a beef or dairy farmer, I would really appreciate if you could fill out my Bovine TB Survey for my EPQ which you can find here –

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