Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Discecting a Snake

If you had a hard time with the picture on my previous post, then you may not want to read this one. The first picture(s) are ok. But I wouldn't recommend any more than that if you have a hard time with blood or innards of any sort. Just a heads up.
So in class yesterday, these policemen brought in a dog that they had recently adopted and were going to train for duty. It was a freaking huge German Shepherd mix. And I got to bathe it. That was quite messy. It wouldn't fit in the bathing bin, so another student and I had to do it in the horse cleaning area, which is basically one big empty room with hose. Oh, and a drain in the middle. Woot. Anyway, after that exciting ordeal, I was pretty much soaked from the knees down. And I have provided a picture of my wetness. I didn't get one of the dog though, darn.
After that I decided that little dogs are fan-freaking-tastic! This one girl that comes to class has a teeny little puppy. It has been dehydrated for a while and it gets hydrating shots every time it comes, poor thing. It's about as big as my foot, which is a size 5 and a half. Here is a picture of me and that little puppy. It is super cute. If I'm remembering correctly it is a Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix.
So as with dogs, snakes come in all sorts of sizes. Another girl in my class, who is very pregnant and her belly button is poking out a ton, caught a little snake in St. George this past weekend. It is kind of like a worm in size, but it isn't slimy like a worm. I haven't held it, but I kind of want to. It is weird, and definitely not an anaconda.
Today in class we had a snake that was about a bazillion times bigger than the little snake. It was a 25 year old Boa. Yikes. The poor girl was in the process of dying and was pregnant. The owner breeds snakes. He wasn't sure how far developed the babies were, so he brought in the snake so we could kill it and see if it was possible to save the baby snakes. ya, that was a gruesome ordeal. I asked my teacher if it would hurt the snake when we killed it, her reply was, "It will hurt a little, but she's already dying and death would be a relief to her." So ya, Susan, my teacher, took a tool and stabbed right into the back of the snakes skull and into the bran. And that is how it died. Poor thing.
So after that we had to cut it open. I would advise never cutting open a snake because it is completely disgustingly stinky inside. Bleck. I was breathing through my mouth a lot. This picture is of another student cutting open the snake.
This is the snake's awesome vein that went all the way down it's body. That was pretty cool to see.
When we got to the place the baby snakes would be, we found them to be hardly developed at all. There were tons of eggs though. Boas give live births to their babies, but they develop inside of these little gooey egg things. In the picture you can tell which eggs are fertilized and which aren't. The white ones are the ones that are fertilized, the yellow ones are not. We even cut one open and found the little fetus, it would probably fit on half of my pinky fingernail. It was really small.
In this picture you can see the trachea of the snake. That's the part that the food goes down. It was really cool, it went all the way down until you got to all the other crazy insides. It was awesome!
We then proceeded to take apart the snake. The owner wanted us to skin it so that he could hang the skin on his wall. Gross. I did quite a bit of skinning, it was nasty. I did think it was cool to see the ribs though, and that's what's shown in this picture. And most of the innards are taken out here. Gross.
This picture is of all the insides of a snake in one big pile. Gross.
I am really enjoying my class. Although we don't have exciting things come in every day, it is nice that there's randomness to it. I like that you never know what's going to happen in a day. It's great!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have now successfully completed two weeks of school at the Bridgerland Applied Technology College. Woot! On my second day of school, I was able to observe the dissection of a cat's uterus, which had two dead fetuses inside. It was really cool. There was a lot of blood and gross amniotic fluid there, but it didn't bother me, which is good. I took a picture on my phone and there it is. Sorry if you have a weak stomach. You'll get over it. :)
On this past Monday, the class was going up to my teacher's home to help prepare her pregnant goats to give birth. I was so pumped to go, but then my car broke down. I could shift into first, third, and fifth gear; reverse, second, and fourth were not working at all. Lame. So I ended up not going to class because I missed the carpool up and I was afraid to drive my car all the way to Preston, Idaho. I picked up my car all fixed this morning, but that's another story that I will get to later.
So on Thursday I had a little bit of a predicament in class. We were going to be drawing blood from dogs and cats. It is always important to have practice, right? Well, I have always kind of had a thing with needles. It's not like I pass out when I get a shot, but I can't watch the needle go in. And when I'm donating blood, I can't look at it when I have this needle inside of my arm. So anyway, we students are watching a veterinarian who came in to instruct us, and I pretty much almost passed out. I got super light headed and had to sit down. Ya, it never really got better. I would come close to watch drawing blood from a different area, but as soon as that needle went in and filled with blood, I had to sit down. ya, this could be a bad sign for my veterinary career.