Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday morning

Ah, a sleepy Saturday morning in Northfield. Chris and the Pooh Bear are still snoozing, but for some reason my school week schedule sticks with me on weekends and won't let me sleep past 8 or so. It looks beautiful outside, but Weatherbug says that it's only 19 degrees!! Brr. This does not feel like Easter weekend.

After Monday's Pharmacology test and my Wednesday presentation on Przewalski horses, this week loosened up a lot. Here is what stands between me and the end of first year:

-Organology final
-Virology exam
-Physiology exam (GI tract)
-Pharmacology final
-Virology final
-Genetics exam
-20 hour preceptorship at Normandale Vet Clinic
-one more clerk duty shift
-a few more Foal Team shifts
-Holistic Club acupuncture wetlab
-ZEAW club rabbit physical exam wetlab
-Virology presentation on Rabbit Hemmorhagic Disease Virus
-Zoo presentation to 3rd-graders about the rainforest
-Professional Skills presentation to high schoolers about the link between animal abuse and domestic/child abuse
-Clinical Skills presentation about physical examination of the GI tract
-Clinical Skills practical exam of how to do a small animal physical exam
-Behavior Core

All that before June? No problem.

We had a cool case given to us this week in Physiology about why you shouldn't give dogs Ibuprofen:

History: An owner (an M.D.) noticed that his two year old Borzoi was acting a little arthritic, so he decided to give her some Ibuprofen. He extrapolated the dog's dose from the human dose, and gave it to her for three days. One the third day, they came into the hospital, and the dog was flat-out, with blood coming out of her mouth and nose, extremely dehydrated, unresponsive.

What happened: Ibuprofen is what's known as a COX inhibitor. COX is an enzyme that makes prostaglandins, the molecules responsible for causing fever and pain. So, if you inhibit COX, you stop pain and fever. However, there are two kinds of COX (COX-1 and COX-2). COX-2 is the one responsible for pain and fever, while COX-1 makes prostaglandins that keep your body running normally. In particular, they help to protect your stomach lining from the acid that your stomach secretes. Ibuprofin inhibits both of those COX enzymes, so while it releives pain, it also lowers your body's protective stomach lining (which is why long-term, heavy usage of Ibuprofin in humans can lead to stomach ulcers). The MD gave his dog a much higher dose of Ibuprofin than a dog can handle, so within three days, his dog had large, bleeding ulcers in her stomach.

The outcome: After three days of Ibuprofen, the dog spent three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. The options to treat the bleeding ulcers were either to tret them medically and hope they'd heal, or go in and surgically remove them. They decieded to treat medically. She did ultimately make a full recovery. The cost? $117,700. The lesson? Pay attention to species differences in physiology!!! Animal pain relievers (i.e. Metacam) selectively inhibit COX-2, without inhibiting COX-1.

Not much else to share from this week, except that I'm quite giddy that we've been approved for the apartment for real! Time to start browsing garage sales for some of those big things we still need...

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