Horsing Around at Brandon Equine Veterinary Medical Center

Jan 16, 2018

by Hannah Kistler '19
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Edited for content and length

As an aspiring veterinarian, I am always reminded how competitive veterinary school admissions are. That is one of the reasons why I picked Florida Southern College for my undergraduate work in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Last summer, I volunteered at Brandon Equine Veterinary Medical Center. Based on my experience with horses, they soon hired me to help the veterinarians and interns. Although I am currently a junior in pre-veterinary studies at Florida Southern, Brandon Equine has given me the opportunity to work with veterinarians inside and outside of the operating room, and learn about all of the surgical tools and technology involved in major equine surgery.

Hannah and a cat
Hannah's veterinary experience doesn't end on just horses.

Brandon Equine also has an equine veterinary internship program for recent Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) graduates. This has given me the opportunity to work with veterinarians from Cornell, Penn, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, Kansas State, Auburn, and other prestigious institutions. I have learned a tremendous amount about the process of becoming a veterinarian from them.

I often travelled with the ambulatory veterinarians to do vaccinations, checkups, vital signs, colic treatment, dental work, treat lacerations, and other equine injuries. Inside the clinic, I learned many essential tools necessary for operating room preparation, including how to set up surgical trays, X-Ray machines, I.V. s, endoscopes, and ultrasound. Also, I had the opportunity to observe colic surgery, orthopedic joint surgery, tumor removal, dental extractions, an enucleation, and many other operations by respected surgeons. I even had a chance to follow the interns as they do “rounds”, and discuss the prognosis of each patient.

Now that I am back in school, I spend my Saturday nights at the clinic monitoring the hospitalized horses, checking and changing their I.V. fluids, and administering medication. This year I will be applying to veterinary schools and will be studying hard at FSC, while working Saturdays at Brandon Equine.