A student in Sha Tin

Author and Victoria McIver both fifth-year students.

Author and Victoria McIver both fifth-year students.

As a University student, a good deal of my holiday time is spent doing prac work at various clinics around New South Wales. Last summer however I was lucky enough to go somewhere wildly different. Along with one of my uni friends I was able to spend two weeks at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It would prove to be an experience radically different from other prac work I’ve done, both in the setting and the way in which veterinary medicine was practised.

On our first day at the Hong Kong Jockey club we were given a taste of what daily life is like for the vets working there. Located at Sha Tin in the north of Hong Kong’s mainland, the complex consists of a clinic and then twenty four stables each allocated to a different trainer. Like the rest of Hong Kong, space here is at a premium. Each stable complex holds approximately sixty horses and is three storeys high. Such a massive area can be a little disorienting for new students but after two weeks we began to pick up the lay of the land. Every morning we would be allocated a vet and led around the club to see their morning activities. Each vet has around five or six trainers who they see regularly throughout the week and handle their caseload as well as performing routine duties. We moved through the stables observing endoscopies, injections and dental treatments.

Each stable has a large number of stable hands (‘mafoo’ for the locals) who have each horse caught and ready for the vet upon their arrival, making a task like giving thirty injections take no time at all. We also saw a variety of supplementary treatments that would vary from trainer to trainer. Some used dufalyte infusion; others would infuse their own formulations of dextrose, potassium and other electrolytes. Other trainers would take regular blood samples of in work horses, using a number of analytes as performance indicators. We would also regularly see horses trotted up for both routine and diagnostic lameness exams. Treatment costs in Hong Kong were not a concern for many of the trainers and so in most instances vets were given free reign to follow up and treat cases in any manner they wished. This in conjunction with an excellent records network, which could be accessed by the vets from any computer within the complex, meant that almost all the horses at the club had detailed histories available. Continue reading A student in Sha Tin

Vet attends ultrasound course in China

Picture: ESAVS.A chance find on the internet led an Australian veterinarian to attend a continuing veterinary education course in China. Perth veterinarian Chad Marriott recently travelled to Shenzhen in China to attend an Ultrasound course run by the European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies.

Having found it difficult to find ultrasound courses available in Australia due to their popularity, Marriott initially investigated continuing education courses available in Singapore and Hong Kong. It was through searching online that he then found out about the course being run in China and was attracted to it by the large practical component involved in the course.

The lead lecturer was Hock Gan Heng from Purdue University in Indiana, USA. Continue reading Vet attends ultrasound course in China