Lifestyles of the Enriched and Famous

We have several permanent animal ambassadors at the Wildlife Medical Clinic. These individuals provide special opportunities for our volunteers and the community to connect with these animals and spread a message of conservation. Most began their time with us as patients in the Wildlife Medical Clinic, and due to the extent of their injuries they could no longer survive in the wild. We spend time each day monitoring all aspects of their health, building trusting relationships, and enriching their lives.

We have the privilege to work with great faculty veterinarians who mentor our student volunteers. WMC volunteers are trained by veterinarians how to do daily examinations of each Animal Ambassador, keeping their specific needs in mind. The veterinarians themselves also regularly perform thorough examinations of each animal. For example, an important part of bird health is the length of their beak and talons. In the wild, the hard work of catching prey and seeking shelter helps birds wear down their continuously growing beak and talons. When overgrown, the bird can have a difficult time eating and even injure themselves. Our Animal Ambassadors have their beaks and talons trimmed as needed, often every other month.

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Diagnostics in the clinic

When a patient is brought to the Wildlife Medical Clinic, we have a multitude of options for diagnostic testing. Many of our patients undergo blood tests and radiographs (x-rays), but our options don’t stop there! Our Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is equipped to process any number of samples, including swabs, blood, and biopsied tissue. Having the expertise of laboratory technicians and pathologists means we can optimize the value of every sample we collect. Because we are in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, we can also utilize equipment like ultrasound, CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and endoscopy. In addition to these modalities, we have the invaluable expertise of veterinarians trained to utilize them and eager to teach all of us students how to do the same. Here’s a little bit of information that helps us decide when to utilize different diagnostic tools and tests. Continue reading

Veterinary Medicine Down Under: My Study Abroad Experience

Traveling the world has been a dream of mine, just like becoming a veterinarian. What better way to experience the world’s amazing wonders and furthering my education to become a better future veterinarian than having the opportunity to pursue both my passions simultaneously?

This January, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Australia and experience their culture, current political affairs and become more educated on various topics, including conservation efforts and wildlife species healthcare. Created by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine,  this trip allowed six students to visit Australia for two weeks, spending one in Sydney and the other in Currumbin.

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