Veterinary Internship

(Tradução para o Português no fim da página)

Today I met death… Again.

In case you haven’t followed, I started my veterinary medical internship last week (Jan 24). In Brazil you can start your internships as early as from the 3rd semester in college (however, there are many limitations on what you can and cannot do as an intern) and since I’m about to start my fourth semester, here I go.

I'm an intern at an emergency clinic, therefore, me and the other interns must wear those scrubs all the time. I like it though. Faço estágio numa clínica de emergências, então o pijama cirúrgico é obrigatório como "uniforme".

I’m an intern at an emergency clinic, therefore, me and the other interns must wear those scrubs all the time. I like it though. / Faço estágio numa clínica de emergências, então o pijama cirúrgico é obrigatório como “uniforme”.

My first day was crazy, awkward and awesome at the same time! I was feeling veeeeeeeeery insecure at the beginning, but the other interns, doctors and technicians were all so patient and nice to me and I learned a lot from them. And every time I go there I come back home with another huge package of freshly acquired knowledge and experience.

However, sometimes it can get tough and psychologically stressful. And like I said, “today I met death again” and it was much closer than I wished. We’ve putted a puppy to sleep – she was a llittle stray dog brought by a kind gentleman who saw her dying on the streets and tried to help. Unfortunately, she had the Canine Distemper Virus at a very advanced stage and there was nothing left to do… but that. I wasn’t the one to do the procedures, but I held her and patted her until she stopped breathing. It was a very sad moment, for everyone.

Despite these kind of things being routine in veterinary medicine, it’s still definitely difficult to me because, although I don’t want to see any living creature to suffer, I don’t think I have the right to decided when it’s their time “to go”.

I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with it in the future (though I’m pretty sure there will come a day when I’ll have to), I just hope I can find a good way to cope with. As of the moment, I just wish that baby is at the rainbow bridge now, having all the fun and caring that was denied to her in Earth. Rest in peace, little one.

(Portuguese translation below)

Hoje eu me encontrei com a morte… De novo.

Caso vocês não tenham acompanhado, eu comecei meu estágio em clinica médica e cirúrgica de medicina veterinária semana passada (dia 24 de Fevereiro). No Brasil, você pode começar a estagiar desde o terceiro período de faculdade (embora haja muitas limitações quanto ao que você pode ou não fazer) e já que vou iniciar meu quarto período este ano, aqui vou eu!

Meu primeiro dia foi uma loucura – foi estranho e incrível ao mesmo tempo. Eu estava muuuuuito insegura no começo, mas os outros estagiários, bem como os médicos e auxiliares foram todos muito pacientes e gentis comigo e me ensinaram bastante coisa. E todos os dias que volto de lá, venho com uma bagagem enorme de novos conhecimentos e experiências.

Entretanto, às vezes as coisas podem ser difíceis e, como eu disse, “hoje eu me encontrei com a morte de novo”. E foi muito mais próximo do que eu gostaria – nós botamos uma filhotinha para dormir. Era uma cadelinha de rua, trazida por um bondoso senhor que a encontrou nas ruas e tentou ajudar. Infelizmente, ela tinha Cinomose em estagio avançado e não havia mais nada a ser feito. Não fui eu quem realizou o procedimento em si, mas eu a segurei e acariciei até que ela parasse de respirar. Foi um momento muito triste, para todos.

Apesar de coisas assim serem rotineiras na medicina veterinária, é ainda muito difícil para mim lidar com esse tipo de situação porquê, embora eu não queira ver nenhuma criatura sofrer, eu não me vejo no direito de decidir quando é a hora certa de “deixar partir”. Entendem?

Eu ainda não sei bem como vou lidar com isso no futuro (embora eu saiba que eventualmente eu vou precisar dar um jeito), eu só espero que eu consiga encontrar uma boa forma de enfrentamento. Por hora, tudo que desejo é que aquela bebezinha esteja agora na ponte do arco-iris, recebendo todo o cuidado e carinho que lhe foram negados na Terra. Descanse em paz, pequenina.

My boyfriend’s got a cat – Why you should spay/neuter you pets

[UPDATE – December, 9]: Since Sr. Gato and his tabby brother (we are still working on a good name) seem to be really closer to each other, we decided to keep both ♥]

May I introduce you to Felipe‘s cat, “Sr. Gato”:


“Sr. Gato” (on the right), his gray tabby brother and best buddy (temporarily named as  “Guloso”) and other siblings at 4 weeks old

He is a black and white mongrel cat and was adopted from a litter of six. His mother is owned our friend Mariana who’s also keeping one of his siblings (the yellow tabby one, she named him “Tanjal”). Sr. Gato and his litter mates are already going to good and loving homes, but unfortunately not all puppies and kitties are this lucky.

The number of abandoned animals grows everyday around the world – Brazil is no different. There aren’t enough shelters (if any at all) and there are already too many stray dogs and cats on the streets.


Sr. Gato and I (yes, I’ve recently dyed my hair brown)

Lately some activist and kind-hearted people are engaging on projects to raise awareness of how important it is neutering/spaying pets in an attempt to decrease those numbers, but there’s still a very long way to go. Specially because many people in Brazil (mostly men but women too) are still reluctant to spay their pets due to silly human beliefs.

 Spaying and neutering makes a big difference: Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens! – People for the Ethical Treatment  of Animals

Spaying/Neutering not only helps to decrease the number of stray animals but also eliminates the discomfort females endure during heat periods and makes males less likely to roam, fight or get involved into accidents as they scape on the streets. It also reduces the risk of many types of cancer and other diseases.

Therefore, if you’re not a professional breeder, spaying/neutering is surely the best thing you can do not only for your beloved pet’s sake but also for the sake of many others.

Needless to say, Sr. Gato is going to be neutered as soon as he reaches the proper age.


Sr. Gato, his siblings and their mother “Madona”


My Dog Got Sick

I mentioned before that my dog was sick but was recovering. Unfortunately he’s got badly sick a little afterwards – While I was overseas he was infected with a protozoan called Giardia. He was treated and by the time I returned home he was almost 100% healthy again. But then, while still on treatment for giardia, he started to show all the symptoms again so the treatment continued and he’s got even worse.

My dog

My dog “Raik”, while doing fuild therapy – It was horrible to see him like that

My dog has always been a little “annoying”, he’s the yapping kind, full of energy and loves food above almost anything in the world. So when he reached the point where he stopped eating or drinking and would prefer to be laying down somewhere all day I got really desperate and took him to another vet.

First I want to say that I don’t blame the previous vet for anything. I think all the procedures he made were reasonable, but I think sometimes you are so close to the problem that you can’t see straight and maybe that’s what happened.

Anyway, I took him to a new vet and he said that since my dog was being treated for Giardiasis for so long it was really unlikely that he was still infected, it must be something else that was causing those symptoms and he was going to start over from the scratch. He requested many exams like Blood tests, X-Rays and Ultrasound and he found out my dog was suffering from Pancreatitis. He then started a new treatment and slowly my dog is slowly getting healthy again.

(In short: Pancreatitis is a very bad disease where the Pancreas starts to digest itself. The symptoms can be very similar to those of Giardiasis)

At the waiting room of the new vet, he was probably feeling a lot of pain. But fortunately that was the begning of his recovery

At the waiting room of the new vet, he was probably feeling a lot of pain. But fortunately that was the beginning of his recovery

It was horrible to see him the way he was – like an empty shell of himself. I felt a little frustrated because I’m studying to be a vet and it seemed like I couldn’t do anything to save my own dog. Felipe (my boyfriend) said I shouldn’t bother, I just left my freshman year and there’s still a lot for me to learn, but still…

My whole family was seriously worried about him and I must thank my mother greatly for being such a huge help taking care of him.

My dog is now all crazy about food again, he’s yapping and annoying all neighbours again, almost all symptoms are gone and I’d say he’s around 80% of full recovery, thanks goodness!

So here’s my advice: sometimes you really need a second opinion, about all things in life. Because sometimes people are too close to the problem to see streight.

Surviving Disturbing Classes

I’m having a class called Criação e Produção Animal (something like Livestock production and management) at college. It’s basically about how to handle cattle, chickens and pigs for the meat industry and maximize profits. Which means: about all the things that bother me and that I really despise. I guess I don’t need to mention I feel very uncomfortable at this class, right?

And although the teacher does seem like a good person, she is (like many) openly in favor of animal slavery testing and consumption. Since I’m studying to be a veterinary physician, there isn’t much I can do about it but sit in there quietly and try to endure it.

You see, I consider my university a good one. Compared to others in Brazil it is far more concerned about animal welfare. We use anatomic models in classes (check the picture below), the university doesn’t keep caged animals for experimentation, things like that. But this class is (unfortunately) mandatory for the course because many vets work in this area.


My “oh my gosh. I don’t wanna mess this up” face while testing an anatomic model fake “blood” during anatomy class.

I’m also the only vegetarian in my class and I don’t wanna be that annoying veg who’s always complaining about everything and trying to force people into their convictions because I don’t think that’s the right way to do it. So I try not to argue much during those classes, but sometimes it gets really difficult to remain silent. 😦

I’m accepting tips on how to keep a clear state of mind while I listen to my teacher talking about farms, breeding, slaughter, murderer… What I usually do now is just to take a deep breath, stare at a wall and hope for the time to pass quickly. It kinda works. Well, sometimes at least.

Have any of you ever experienced somethig like that? What did you or do you do in this kind of situation?

Off topic: Since it’s getting really hot lately, this week I had my dog’s hair shaved. I did it myself and I think he looks definitely cute!

Raik seemed to like his new haircut as well

This week in my life: Veggie food, Games and Horses

So yay! This is the first post on the “This week in my life” series and I’m gonna start it with food. More specifically, veggie food. Yummy!
Today i found a new place to eat, It’s located at the second floor of the Manauara Shopping in Manaus and it’s called “Mariposa” (The Moth). It provides a huge variety of vegetables and grains apart from its regular (non-veggie sadly) menu in a all-you-can-eat self-service style. 😀

Mariposa’s veggie buffet table, my launch on that day and Mariposa’s entrance

Also, every single thing on their buffet table have small tags on them with their names written in English and Portuguese. So if you don’t speak Portuguese there’s nothing to worry about.

Still talking about food, Dungeons & Burgers staff is going on a two weeks vacation for reformation. They plan to reopen their doors again on July 8th. Since at that time I’ll be in USA and only return in August it`ll take even longer for me to pay them a new visit. So last friday (their last opened day before reformation) I was there eating my beloved Elven veggie burger and playing Mice and Mystics with Felipe and some friends.


My Elven veggie burger (soy meat, tofu, beam sprouts, shiitake and shimeji mushrooms) and our Mice and Mystics match at Dungeons & Burgers last opened day before reformation.

Also on friday my sister and I went to donate blood. Unlike other countries, in Brazil you don’t receive any compensation ($) for that, except feeling good about yourself (which is compensating enough in my opinion). And you do feel good knowing that perhaps you are saving a life with such a small and EASY gesture. My sister however didn’t feel so well, it was her first time after all and her pressure dropped a little. But she still plans to donate again some other time (what a girl!).

As I told you here, I’m a veterinary medicine student at Uninorte – Laureate University and yesterday we had our first practical class with horses.
One of the things I like most about Uninorte is that unlike many other colleges, the animals welfare is of a great concern. Uninorte even have some alternative methods to the use of live animals on regular classes, like the anatomic models (I’ll talk more about them another day). On this practical class we learned the basics of horses behavior, how to handle them properly and how to evaluate their overall health. Although I had to wake up 6 AM on a Saturday (I have a problem waking up early in the morning), it was a good class.


Apache – The Horse and I / My classmates and I having class / My classmates, me and our teacher (the pretty lady on the left corner of the middle picture) / The very friendly pets of the ranch and a beautiful mushroom sprouting i found. PS: I appologize for the crazy outfit I’m wearing. My brain doesn’t work so well early in the morning, specially for clothing 😦

See you later!

Looking for my other posts this week? Here they are:

The Street Store in Manaus

Brazilian Veggie Cheese: Mandiokejo®

Brazilian addictions (I don’t have): “Novelas”

Movie review: Jurassic World

Dungeons & Burgers