What a week! We’ve examined many turtle friends, and the summer is really taking off. This past week Marg and I were back together on my favorite field site. It was such a delight seeing the various ponds and all the prairie plants blooming and growing. Outside of turtles, I also loved stumbling upon frogs, toads, tadpoles, garter snakes, deer, ladybugs, dragonflies, and crayfish friends. I mean, look how cute this White river crayfish is!

As part of the health assessments we conduct on turtles, we collect blood samples for hematology analysis. Up until this week, the skill of drawing blood was a breeze for me, but only if it was from the subcarapacial sinus. I could never get a good tail vein blood draw regardless of how many times I tried.  

BUT I had a breakthrough! On Wednesday, I performed a perfectly smooth blood draw from the tail vein of a Snapper turtle on my first attempt. It was glorious! I felt very accomplished. 

This reminded me that practice makes permanence. While I may be good at some things, some of my other veterinary clinical and lab skills need work. At first, I did not think that I would improve much, but Marg always reminded me that I would get better throughout the summer. And look at me now! It’s amazing how much you can learn in just 1 month. 

On a side note, I’m also slowly losing my fear of snapper turtles. They’re quite intimidating if you ask me. Here’s a tiny guy we caught swimming in the pond. He wasn’t too excited about getting his free health exam!

Catch us next week! 


By: Javelis Marín Castro (she/ella)