Monday, January 10, 2011

Work attachment for JC 2 students at Toa Payoh Vets


Nowadays, I don't accept Junior College students who have NOT been accepted by Vet colleges for internship as a lot of time and resources are spent on students coming for work attachments.

However, JC2 students with initiatives can still e-mail to me. Good work attitude, excellent testimonials from teachers and chances of getting into Vet colleges in Australia (must have at least 3 As in JC2 preliminary exam) may be accepted as is the author of the case study report below.

Last month, I rejected a student who had top grades. She did not have time to come for an interview as she had to study for her A levels. I was OK with that. After her exams, she did not bring in copies of her testimonials during the interview. She promised to do so personally but a few days later, text me to ask if she "could fax them." I told her not to come for the work attachment.

If you are NOT meticulous by forgetting to comply with requirements and is accepted, you will need to know that you have been given a 2nd chance. If you expect an organisation to suit your time management (by faxing and saving your precious time), you may not realise that you have a poor work attitude. Excellent academic results definitely opens doors to what you want to do, but the commercial world does not owe you a living. Therefore, be realistic and humble. It is not what the organisation can do for you as a Junior College student or undergraduate vet. It is your work attitude and what you can contribute to the organisation.

For this first day, the report of this Junior College 2 student who has not taken Biology during her A levels is good. The info is as follows:

Case studies with Dr Sing

1) 1-year-old female hamster with right breast tumour


Lump under the armpit was ~0.8 - 1.0 cm in size. It weighed about 38g. It could either have an abscess or tumour. Without an operation, the skin would eventually tear, revealing a large open wound.


Surgery was performed to remove the tumour. It was required to stay in the clinic for 7 days.

Infection and death follows when the tumour enlarges and gets ulcerated due to friction and self-induced trauma.

NOT REQUIRED TO STAY. HOWEVER THE OWNER WOULD BE GOING TO JAPAN FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS AND THERE WAS NOBODY TO NURSE AND GIVE MEDICATION POST-OP. SURGERY - Zoletil 100 given in 3 drops + SALINE. Effective. Excise at base of tumour. Continuous 5/0 absorbable stitches.

2) 1-year-old male guinea pig with paralysed hind legs


Guinea pig’s hind legs were immobile and it was described to be lethargic. It registered a low temperature of about 37°C. It weighed about 777g and was eating and drinking normally. However, there was pain between the shoulders, indicating possible nerve damage.


An injection was administered to relieve the pain.
Traumatic injury most likely due to a fall inside the crate. Sudden onset.

I asked: "Any sudden loud noise?". The young lady said: "Yes, at 2 pm. I was sleeping. I saw my guinea pig running fast (pacing) and hoping energetically."

She had consulted Vet 1 earlier. The vet clipped the front teeth and probably could not find out what was wrong.

Sometimes, the 2nd vet gets the diagnosis due to the GP not getting so excited and the medication of the first vet.

I suspected sudden onset traumatic injury. Palpation of the spinal area is important in this case. The GP shivered when C3-C5 was pressed and squealed when the area between the shoulders was palpated. Paraparesis. No placing reflexes. GP hops instead of walks.
Besides anti-inflammatory injection SC to relieve the pain, the guinea pig was given electrolytes. Vet 1 had prescribed Fibreplex and the GP was able to move the bowels. Was eating and drinking normally but getting weaker.

3) 12-year-old crossbred male dog


It weighed about 17.4kg. It was described to have been scratching its face and legs, as well as shaking and having difficulty in walking properly for the past few months. It also had skin and ear infections and dental problems, thus experiencing toothache and earache. It had a painful anal sac.

Ear injection had to be administered for ear mites. A blood test was to be taken to check for kidney and liver problems. Complete shaving was needed before treating the skin infections.

A 12-YEAR-OLD CROSS-BRED WITH PAINFUL MOUTH. Not groomed for several months. Ears full of black wax, inguinal area black. Mouth painful when touched (quite dramatic as the dog bites). This was due to dental decay esp. the upper PM4 teeth. A risky thing to do to open the mouth but this needs to be done as part of diagnosis. Quite smelly. The Junior College student has to be hands-on. But this dog is a gentle one and so I know he would not bite when I lifted his side muzzle to show the grey receding gum upper PM4 to the owners (father and young adult daughter).
The main point was missed by the Junior College girl. Dental treatment needs to be done after 2 days of IV drips with antibiotics and painkiller first.

4) Sterilisation of male stray cat


Ear mites and a 0.5 cm wound were observed.


It had just eaten; hence it was unable to be sterilized on the same day. It had to stay for at least 1 night and an injection was administered.
Stray cats. Infected bite wounds, ear mites and skin infections need to be treated first before neuter. Economics is the big problem in cat activists. Toa Payoh Vets do give discounted rates.

5) Vaccination lump in puppy


Small abscess observed in the vaccination area.


It was massaged to reduce the size of the lump and antibiotics were administered.
It would be some bleeding as the puppy moved a lot during vaccination. So the pet shop owner had to bring it in for free treatment. Antibiotics must be given.

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