We then began surgery. I had the opportunity to perform numerous feline and canine ovariohysterectomies and orchiectomies. It was an invaluable experience that greatly enhanced my confidence. As an added bonus, it was highly rewarding to see many of my surgery patients find loving homes later on in the week.
These patients provided me with an excellent opportunity to practice performing physical examinations, communicating effectively to gather a history, developing a problem list, a differential diagnosis list, and a subsequent treatment plan for many common ailments, such as gastrointestinal or respiratory disease.
During my rotation at the OHS, I not only gained invaluable surgical experience, but also a great deal of insight into shelter medicine. I gained experience working up challenging cases with limited resources—a reality facing many veterinarians on a daily basis. I also had the opportunity to learn how to manage infectious patients properly, as well as how to triage critical patients, which are two imperative clinical skills that I had not previously had the opportunity to develop.
My experience at the OHS was much more than I could have ever anticipated. I gained experience and confidence in several areas of practical veterinary medicine, and most importantly provided many deserving animals with a second chance at life. There is nothing more satisfying than helping a lost, injured or abandoned animal find a loving home.
Ontario Veterinary College