Vet Internship: Day #1

Hello everybody!

This Monday I started a ten week internship for my college course at my local vet. I will be there once a week until April, but I will be asking them if I can fill in my college break and do a whole week during February. We’ll see.

On the first day I already felt like a fish in the water even if it was a very quiet day.

I do have to say though, I will never forget my first vet case ever. I came in and in one of the kennels was a young Jack Russell. She looked awfully upset and uncomfortable, and kept her front paw slightly raised. When I asked the vet what happened to her, she said it was a road traffic accident over the weekend. We took her out of the kennel to examine her movement since the nurse said that she couldn’t stand up. Thankfully, she walked around, although she did drag her back legs sideways a lot. It’s most likely neurological trauma after being hit by the car and two of the other interns were thinking she may have to be put to sleep. I honestly felt so bad for her that for the entire morning, I just stood there petting her and telling her how my own dog had an RTA and came out of it very well and that she can do it too. The good news, though, is that her owner came to pick her up shortly after, so hopefully no euthanasia was needed!

Two Labradors came in – one for neutering, and another one came in with some mystery issues and needed to stay for tests. His owners said he has been vomiting and lost a lot of weight quite rapidly. He had lots of extra skin just dangling off his neck which showed that he must have been ridiculously overweight before losing all this weight. The vet suspected hyperthyroidism, but it turned out not to be so. He had a blood test, urine test and an x-ray done, all of which showed nothing, so we also did an ultrasound on him… and again, nothing. No idea what’s up with him.

A cat came in for a spay in the evening, and there were three consultations: a dog with possible pyometra, a dog that (most likely) ate something in a field and had an upset stomach, and a cat named Hungry Horace – a fine name, ha.

In general, my first day was lovely and the atmosphere of the practice is very easy going. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, and I’ll document them here as I go along. No pictures today, but maybe next week, if I can!

~ Deborah


Just a Few Animal Orders

Exam season is (mostly) over for now, and I can get back to typing! I did surprisingly well on my exams – there was one where I was certain I would get a grade of only about 60-70%. Today, I found out I actually got 90%… I guess living on coffee and staying up until 4:30 AM for a week paid off in the end!

I have a post coming up about one particular day pre-exams, where I had to bring my dog into college. I still have to finish writing that one, so for now, here are some – not all, naturally – animal orders with examples.

(Note: all of these pictures have been taken from Pixabay or were found under the “labelled for reuse” option on Google.)


These animals are what is called even-toed ungulates and include camels, deer, antelope, llamas, sheep, giraffes, and a very long list of other similar looking animals. The hippopotamus also belongs to this group. Most of the animals in this group are ruminants. Many animals of the order artiodactyla have cloven hooves which look like they are standing on only two of their digits, and some have four digits.



This is probably one of the most widely known animal orders. It includes the families of canidae, felidae, ursidae and mustelidae among others. They are meat eaters, although not every creature in this group is an obligate carnivore. Some examples are wolves, cats, lions, ferrets, foxes, bears, raccoons and raccoon dogs.



The cetaceans are aquatic mammals and consist of whales, dolphins and porpoises. They include orcas, narwhals, humpback whales, bowhead whales, and many, many more. (Fun fact: Orcas, also called “killer whales”, are not actually whales. They are dolphins.)



Next up are the chiroptera – bats. The only thing you will ever need to know about them is that they are absolutely adorable animals and I want one. They also have the funniest looking skeleton.



More fun facts: Rabbits aren’t rodents. Pikas, those tiny hamster-things are not actually hamster-things and are closer to being rabbit-things despite their appearance being as the one below. Both rabbits and pikas are lagomorphs. They may share a common ancestor with rodents, but they are not rodents.



I spoke of Artiodactyla as even toed ungulates, now it’s time for Perissodactyla, the odd-toed ungulates. I bet you can’t tell the difference. It’s totally not in the toes. Noooo. Why would it be?
These guys walk on one or three digits. Some examples are the rhinoceros, zebra and tapirs.



Pholidota is the group of pangolins. They are the anteaters that look like they have a scaled armor on their backs, limbs, tail and head. Those scales are actually hairs that have been so stuck together that they form these strong, individual shapes.



I don’t understand why people call other people “animals” as a term of attack. That’s literally what we are. We are in the animal kingdom and can be found under this order of primates, alongside apes and monkeys. The three of us are called anthropoids. We also have prosimians, which include lemurs.



The order proboscidea consists of mammals with trunks. You guessed it – those would be elephants!



I said earlier that rabbits and pikas aren’t rodents. Well, some examples of actual rodents are squirrels, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, capybaras, gerbils, and nutrias(pictured below). The main characteristic of these animals are four incisors – one on the top of the jaw, and one on the left. Both pairs of teeth grow constantly.



Have you ever heard of underwater cows? Well, the order Sirenia consists of animals that are also called sea cows. They are mammals and include manatees and dugongs. They look like they are always smiling and I love them.



Also called Orycteropodidae, the order Tubulidentata are simply aardvarks. If you think about it, the name seems to reflect them a bit. “Tubuli” sounds like tube, and “dentata” refers to dentition. And aardvarks do have cute little tube faces.



If it looks like a rat but isn’t a rodent or a lagomorph, it’s likely the hyrax, a member of the hyracoidea order. Honestly, these are everything mentioned above blended in a mixer. They are also very angry. Tell me I’m wrong.



Monotremes are egg-laying mammals. They include the echidna and the ever so popular duck-billed platypus.



The order pinnipeda, similarily to sirenia, consists of marine mammals. However, this order doesn’t accommodate sea cows, but it does consist of seals.


And that’s it! Which is your favorite?

Zoo Trip: Thoughtful Primates

A little over a week ago I went to Dublin Zoo as part of my college project on animal behavior. I had to watch any animal and observe its behaviors. The idea was to compare how they act in the wild and how they act in captivity… and being so crazy about various species, just choosing an animal was a hard task. If I could, I would have studied them all. It took a lot of contemplation, just as this Orangutan seems to be contemplating the meaning of life:

Some deep thinking going on there.

The Orangutan pictures I took look very philosophical for some odd reason. I could probably stick a motivational quote here somewhere…

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” – Confucius.


I went up the day before and stayed in a hotel with a classmate. The next morning we set off for the zoo. I now knew I wanted to study lemurs – they’re one of my favorite animals. The zoo gave a choice of the ring-tailed or the red ruffed lemurs. I found the ring-tailed exhibit first so I settled on studying them. (Silly me should have figured that the reds were in the next exhibit just beside them…) Thankfully, they cooperated, and were quite active throughout my time of observing them.

Lemurs are one of my favorite animals because they are actually very strange creatures. They look like monkeys mixed with cats and have a very cute overbite. Plus, ring-tailed lemurs are husky colored, making them basically monkeys mixed with cats and dogs at the same time. How cool is that?

Another thing I’ve always found particularly cool about lemurs is the fact that their body is a grooming parlor all on its own. They have a dental comb, which is a set of teeth that acts as, well, a comb. Under their tongue they have a second tongue-like muscle (the sublingua) that helps remove all that brushed fur and dirt from the comb. As well as that, on their feet, they have nails on all toes except for the second toe which has a sharper, longer claw – called the toilet claw – also used for grooming. Imagine if your body had a salon of its own.

A group of lemurs is called a conspiracy, and their name means “ghost”. Wide-eyed, often nocturnal and with eerie shrieks, they were believed to be actual spirits by the Malagasy. Creepy and folkloric, that’s my type of creature for sure.

And yet, they are simple, adorable balls of fluff.

Please excuse the white border on some pictures. I wanted to experiment a bit and see what suits the blog more – border or no border…

Behavior-wise, the lemurs at Dublin Zoo stayed in their inside enclosure rather than going outside into the open area. I assume it’s mostly because it was so cold that morning, but the fact that they are nocturnal probably also played a role here.

Seriously, I just want to hug them forever. It’s incredibly upsetting that these guys are endangered. Someday soon, I will make another post that talks about lemurs in more detail. They are so fascinating.

I managed to photograph some of the other animals in the zoo. I am no professional photographer and my photos are not of the best quality, partly because my Canon has been long broken and I have had to use my lower quality old compact Nikon. I hope you are still able to enjoy them!

Snow Leopard
The “penguin” exhibit. (That is a heron.)
A lioness. This one was feisty; she kept attacking the male lion.

Unfortunately in the zoo there was a class of kids who kept yelling and annoying the animals. I had wanted to take a nice picture of the gorilla, but the poor thing ran away because those same kids were banging on his glass trying to frustrate him. At least he has a very big exhibit and was able to go into his enclosure at the back to hide from them. It was clear they had no interest in being there for the animals, being on their phones constantly and being so loud and annoying towards the animals. Even their teacher wasn’t able to control them. I think something should be implemented here – on the school side – to keep zoos more peaceful…

The giraffes were very interested in the few calm people.
Likewise with this ostrich.

I love the idea of zoos and national parks, and while not all are good, some really do try to help animals. Many have succeeded in the conservation of not only animals but also nature. Dublin Zoo tries to reintroduce and breed their endangered species and works with various organisations worldwide. A couple of years ago they sent one of their red ruffed lemurs to Madagascar to begin a breeding programme. If you can help support your local conservation park or a zoo that cares, please do. You are helping animals.

To finish, here is one last photo. Toodles!


~ Deborah ♡

Goodbye, my girl

We met, it seems, such a short time ago
You looked at me – needing me so
Yet from your sadness
Our happiness grew
And I found out I needed you too

I remember how we used to play
I recall those rainy days
The fire’s glow
That kept us warm
And now I find – we’re both alone

Goodbye may seem forever
Farewell is like the end
But in my heart’s a memory
And there you’ll always be

Goodbye may seem forever
Farewell is like the end
But in my heart’s a memory
And there you’ll always be

17.03.2001 – 23.11.2018

♡ Loved and missed forever ♡


First Post


Welcome to my blog. You can call me Deborah. I’m a student, aspiring to eventually be a vet. I love animals – and I really love rats – and have two of the adorable little critters and two dogs. I also live with an indoor cat.


My two girls, Ann and Nancy.

You will see here posts about animals, animal health, animal training, my pets, and my college courses. You will also see my two rats a lot – consider them the mascots of this blog. As of right now, I am on the train, going to the zoo to write a project about captivity. I will post pictures about the trip later!

So, simple post for now, but I hope you all look forward to new posts.


~ Deborah ♡