By Allie Allsup
This morning, the campers got the chance to experience Equine lab. Equine, is all about horses, so the morning was full of learning all about these beautiful creatures. The campers were split into three groups and taken to three different rooms to observe and participate in an eye exam, an ultrasound and the viewing of Nick’s (the ‘painted’ horse) anatomy, both skeleton and internal organs.
In exam room #1 was Dr. Brashier who was giving an eye exam on Tigger. Similar to when a human gets an eye exam, Dr. Brashier dilated the eyes so as to get a better view of all of the ocular structures, more importantly the fundus. Unlike a human though, Tigger had to be lightly sedated in order for a thorough ocular exam to be performed. If you don’t know, a horse’s head weighs around one hundred pounds, so the doctor has to be extra careful when treating the patient. As he got started, Dr. Brashier instructed the kids on basic eye anatomy and the turned off the lights to get a better view of the pupil. He taught the campers a little bit about what happens when light touches the eye and what to expect from it when it did. Before light touches a horses eye it is round, but once light shines on it, the pupil turns horizontal. Next, the campers learned about the tapetum, which is a light reflective tissue in the eye. The tapetum has two basic parts, the upper two-thirds of the eye is a greenish reflective color and the bottom is one-third blue grey. Dr. Brashier instructed the campers on how to hold a light probe in order to see the fundus for themselves. Each camper got to hold the lens up to the horse’s eye, and using a transluminator, they were able to also see the horse’s optic disc.
In exam room #2 was Dr. Crabtree and the mare, Blackfoot. Here, the campers were shown, through ultrasound, Blackfoot’s internal organs. They were able to see the lungs, kidneys and the spleen to start. Each camper got to grab the probe and place it just in front of the last rib in order to see both the spleen and left kidney. Dr. Crabtree says this is what every first year doctor is taught when getting into the program, so getting this hands on experience and knowledge is very beneficial to the teens and gives them each a head start in their future studies. Hopefully if they stay the route, the campers will be ahead of the game and be able to point out exactly where to place the probe to find each of these internal organs.
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