Our final week in Japan began with an animal ethics lecture. It was interesting to hear how the Japanese people ultimately view their animals in order to understand the differences we had observed. There are essentially two extreme models in veterinary medicine. One is the mechanic model and the other is the pediatrician model. The mechanic model treats and fixes what is broken to a certain extent – but if the cost to repair is too great, it is “junked” and the newer model is purchased. The pediatrician model treats and fixes everything no matter the cost, time or energy that is needed. In the United States, most veterinarians fall somewhere in between these two extreme models. However, we noticed that many Japanese vets tend to lean more toward the pediatrician model since Japan’s foremost religions preach reincarnation.
In the afternoon, we attended a … Read More »
I spent a refreshing, fun and educational weekend during a home stay with the Uehara family. Mr. Uehara works at the Rakuno dairy farm and Mrs. Uehara is an alumna of the Dr. Beckett scholarship (she came to Findlay for a whole school year about 10 years ago). They have a 1-year-old daughter, Yuriko, and a 4-year-old son, Kazuyoshi, who is super smart.
For breakfast Saturday morning, my palate was immersed in Japanese cuisine. After our feast, we visited the local farmers’ market and bought fresh vegetables. It was fun to see the similarities to our farmers’ markets in the states.
Next, we visited the Machimura farm. Hokkaido is known in Japan for its dairy cows and Mr. Machimura is considered the grandfather of the Japanese dairy industry – two thirds of all Holstein cows in Japan are descendants of the Machimura lines! When Hokkaido was pioneered in 1873, the … Read More »
Our next two days started bright and early at the dairy cow milking barn at 5 a.m. It was difficult to crawl out of bed that early in the morning, but the milking experience was well worth it! We had to clean the cows’ udders, test for mastitis (infection in the udder), hook the machine onto the udders, remove the machine when finished, and clean the udders again. (Got milk? Not without a little work!) We were also given a tour of the dairy farm facility. There was one pen that had a milking machine which was entirely robotic. When the cows want to eat they enter a stall which scans their collar and determines how much feed needs to be dropped and if that cow has or has not been milked yet. If the cow hasn’t been milked, the … Read More »
Our week began in a classroom with the Epidemiology veterinary students. In a nutshell, Epidemiology is the study of diseases, disease distribution and disease control. Each of the students had researched a disease, and one by one, they shared their findings with us. It was fascinating to hear what they were working on and learn about some of the common diseases in the world. Many of them had even traveled to other countries in order to collect data! I have always been passionate about zoonotic diseases (diseases which are transferrable between animals and people) so some of their topics really spiked my interest!
In the afternoon, Professor Kitazawa, who came to Findlay this past spring, taught us about animal pharmacology. He even showed us how certain drugs can speed up and/or slow down heart rate by using a mouse heart hooked … Read More »
Hello from the other side of the world!
My weekend stay with Marina started off at full speed. Marina is a graduate of the Rakuno Gakuen/Findlay exchange program. Many of you may have met her when she came to Findlay in 2013. On Friday night, we all went out to eat at a Japanese-Korean barbecue. Many Japanese (and Korean) restaurants, such as the one we went to, have a grill or cooker built into the table in front of you. Diners order raw meats and vegetables and then barbecue them at their tables. It was delicious! Some of the interesting “meats” we tried there were pig intestines and cow tongue. The intestines had a good flavor, but they were SO chewy. It was like chewing meat-flavored gum. Surprisingly, cow tongue was delicious! It tasted like a really good steak.
Marina quickly figured out the way … Read More »
Hello from Japan again!
During our first week at Rakuno Gakuen University, we started at the small animal veterinary clinic, where we shadowed veterinarians and vet students during clinical hours and surgeries. I saw ultrasounds, x-rays, MRI’s, and CT’s on Monday as I tracked with the internal medicine students. On Tuesday, I switched to shadowing the surgery students. The first case was a cat that severely broke its leg jumping off a sofa. The surgery was long and complex because the bone broke in September and was cast improperly – the bone was also totally rotated.
Veterinary medicine differs greatly between Japan and the States. This cat was 16 years old, and had numerous other medical issues. The easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to amputate the leg, however, that is not the way of Japanese veterinary medicine. They try to do literally … Read More »
On our first Saturday here, Megan, Maria, Grace and I went to Otaru with our hosts. Otaru is an ocean town known for its glass. We ate sushi (raw fish) and went shopping. The raw fish wasn’t terrible, but I do not foresee myself choosing to eat it again any time soon. Tuna was the best one because you could actually tear off pieces instead of having to shove the whole thing in your mouth! The sushi went around the restaurant on a conveyor belt (see picture above). If you saw something you wanted, you simply had to grab it. The price of the food was indicated by a plate color code system. Each plate contained a microchip. When you finished eating, your stack of plates was scanned to determine your bill. (See picture on left)
Adventurer Grace chose an adorable … Read More »
We survived our 16+ hour flight from the United States to Japan. With only mild turbulence, we overall had an extremely easy and smooth trip. I slept only 30 minutes during our flight, so I had an easier time transitioning to the 13-hour time change. When we arrived at the Sapporo airport at 8:40 p.m., we still had an hour drive to the Rakuno Gakuen campus.
When we crawled out of the van, there was only one thing on all of our minds – a nice shower and sleep. The showers here are sugoi (awesome)! They are very large with a mirror inside them. After our refreshing showers, we headed into our rooms to hit the sack – literally. The beds in the dorm are very different than what we have in the States; but surprisingly, they are fairly comfortable when … Read More »
All six of our team members: Megan, Monica, Maria, Grace, Rob and I are leaving early on Wednesday to fly to Japan. The reality of leaving is finally sinking in – my dog is mopey, my room is a mess with my suitcase open and clothes flung all over the place and apparently my heart is the venue for a butterfly prom. This post is going to be short and sweet because I still have several things to pack and errands to run. I made a farewell video for you all, so take a look by either watching it below or by clicking the link to watch it through YouTube. Thanks for reading and next time I will write to you from Japan!
This past week I wrapped up my sophomore life and finished all of my classes with a bang! My finals week was filled with studying, thinking about packing – but pushing it off until my parents came, meetings, and saying sorrowful farewells. My last final was Thursday at noon — I got out at 2:00 p.m. and headed to our last Japan trip meeting. We discussed the protocol for if someone misses a flight and practiced our bowing and manners. In Japan, bowing is of the upmost importance and is a sign of respect. It is used when saying good morning or hello, when saying goodbye and when meeting someone for the first time (a larger bow). After our bowing practice, we headed to the arch to take pictures with our tutors and say our final goodbyes to them. They are returning to their … Read More »