I know! It’s been a while since my last decent post… sorry! I do have a pretty good excuse! I’ve been buried under a pile of assignments, 12 hour (minimum) day shifts and then trying to balance surfing, social life and, oh yeah, sleep -_-
Back in January I went to the South Island of NZ to complete 1 month of rural EMS. I asked to go to NZ North Island as I have relatives there, but nope! I swear, the first day I spent in South Island, we got a snow drop on near by mountains! Yeah good one summer! All the locals were complaining about how cold it was! HELLLOOOOOOO aussie girl freezing here!!
Apart from the cold, my placement was great! I was situated at the bottom of South Island (hey Antartica) and was fortunate enough to get to see a lot of cases that we learnt about in lectures back in 4th year. It rained every day I was there, which on the bright side, meant I didn’t have to deal with any drought starved animals. Rural work consisted of sheep, horses, cows, small animals and deer! I had never worked with deer before so that was exciting! It was develveting season, where they remove the antlers off stags. I got to have a go sawing, boy were my arms sore after that!
There was a bit of sheep work, palpating testicles and collecting blood to check for a number of parasites, which can affect fertility of both rams and ewes. Thought the rams would have liked me touching their balls. I was clearly wrong, ending up being kicked and thrown to the muddy ground many times… I sadly wasn’t able to get out of preg testing cows but thankfully my skills from 4th year were still there, better than before actually! I was also dragged along to mastitis test a heard of 2000! For anyone that doesn’t know what mastitis testing involves, you have to squeeze milk from each teat into a 4 dish paddle and then add special solution and swirl it around to see if the milky solution clumps (giving a positive test). So yes, we had to do that for every single cow in the herd. Did I mention how cold it was!?! We couldn’t feel our fingers after the first 100 cows, only 1900 left.
The animal work wasn’t all that bad! I was taught how to ultrasound mares for pregnancies which was a great learning experience. At one of the vets, all the farm calls I went on, the vet put me on the spot and asked me what I thought of the animal, what my diagnostic plan was and my treatment plan. That was pretty cool, some cases I remembered learning about in class, other cases… I found out my bulls#!%ing capabilities still proved excellent 😛
I was very fortunate to be given the ability to travel around South Island whilst on weekends. The lady I was staying with let me borrow her car and I road tripped up to Milford Sound along the southern coastline. Yes it was raining, but it was so beautiful! There were waterfalls in every direction you looked. I went on a boat trip and whilst everyone sat inside staying dry, I was the crazy one frolicking around the deck in the rain. Nature at its finest! I also got to go up to Dunedin and check out the ‘Yellow Eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve’. Whilst in Dunedin I had the bright idea to go surfing. Don’t mind the icebergs floating past!
To finish off a great month of vet work, my parents flew down to visit, bought the warm weather and a decked out camper van! We road tripped around the west coast and saw the beautiful sights the Catlins had to offer. The stand out was by far Nugget Point! The photo doesn’t do it justice, and yep, I took that photo! We also visited Slope Point, the most southern point of NZ, the closest land point to the South Pole!
If you’re interested in rural work especially with cattle and deer, I suggest you head to NZ! I had a great time and was very lucky to see cases that I had learnt about in lectures 🙂