International Veterinary Seminar in the Czech Republic

I’m sitting here in my PJ’s, sick as a dog, trying to publish this blog post that should have gone up yesterday. If I’m being completely honest, I’m still a bit tired from last weekend. However, the entire journey was well worth it!

After going away for a one-week football trip to Germany with my partner, I was home for two days before leaving for the Czech Republic. Since I’m a Student Veterinary Association board member, the main reason why I went was that we had a board meeting scheduled for Friday. We usually do them via Skype, but meeting in person every once in a while makes us an even greater team. This was also the weekend of the International Veterinary Seminar in Brno. Since I’d never attended one before, I didn’t know what to expect. Furthermore, since I’m just a second-year vet student, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to follow along with all the various internal medicine lectures. However, after receiving the seminar booklet, and seeing all the effort the seminar committee had put into this event, I knew this would be a weekend well spent abroad.

 Here we'd just arrived after travelling since 3 AM.

Here we'd just arrived after travelling since 3 AM.

 The seminar booklet! So much effort had clearly been put into this.

The seminar booklet! So much effort had clearly been put into this.

The first day of the seminar was kicked off with a lecture on Cushing’s, Addison’s and Diabetes Mellitus in dogs and cats. Although the cases presented used a lot of unfamiliar terminology, I felt like I was able to get the gist of the lecture, namely that “normal is not always normal”. What the lecturer Kristin Paaske Anfinsen meant by this was that the patient could present with normal blood test values, but still be unwell. She went on to explain different diagnostic methods, as well as treatment regimens. One thing I noticed was stressed throughout the seminar was considering how sensitive and specific the tests were. Take the ACTH Stim test for instance; while it is sensitive enough to detect animals with Cushing’s disease, it’s not specific enough to properly diagnose the illness. Therefore we can use it to rule out healthy individuals.

 This was taken at the cancer treatment lecture for the higher level students.

This was taken at the cancer treatment lecture for the higher level students.

The day went on with lectures about everything from heart diseases to birth complications in ruminants to pancreatitis in cats. The latter was a real eye-opener for me, because pancreatitis in cats presents itself so differently from the same disease in dogs or humans, and is also treated in a very different manner. Nutrition wise they’re supposed to eat diets high in fats and protein, while dogs require the exact opposite.

Saturday ended with a lovely dinner, where we got to mingle with everyone from the different universities. Among the attendees were Norwegians studying in Wroclaw, Košice, Budapest, Brno and Warsaw. It’s nice to able to be a part of a global community of people wanting to achieve the same things as you, and that have the same interests.

 Getting ready for a night out!

Getting ready for a night out!

 We had such a great time exploring Brno with everyone!

We had such a great time exploring Brno with everyone!

For the second and final day of the International Veterinary Seminar, we were joined by the students from years 4-6. I could definitely notice the lecturers focusing more on treatment methods than the day before, and there were several times I had to ask my senior-year friends what certain terms meant. However, I still felt like I could follow along with the programme just fine, and was able to get a lot out of the day.

The weekend ended with a taxi ride to Vienna, where we took an evening flight back to Oslo. The entire trip was even more educational and social than I’d imagined, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s theme is. Leave a comment down below if you went as well! I’d be interesting to see if there is any overlap between vettobe.com readers and attendees!

Also, I just hit 1000 followers over on the @vettobe Instagram! That’s amazing, especially considering how inactive I’ve been on the site as of late. Now that all the traveling is over and done with, I’ll definitely make blogging more of a priority. I’ve struggled a bit with fitting it into my schedule, because we’ve had a lot of coursework lately, and school has to come first. I may have to alter the posting schedule, but I’m determined to make this work. Blogging about life in vet school gives me so much joy, and is a hobby that I’d like to continue with way beyond graduation.