Fifth year veterinary student, Nyssa Ross, was inside the operating theatre as Paris Hilton was recently saved from a life-threatening situation.
This “Paris Hilton” happened to be an oblong turtle that was bought to Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital (MUVH) after Perth Zoo veterinarians were unable to remove a fish hook embedded in the lining of her stomach.
Nyssa was lucky to join experienced veterinary doctors from MUVH, and counterparts from the Perth Zoo, as they worked for over an hour to save Paris. Following the successful procedure, socialite Paris Hilton retweeted an online video of the delicate operation to her 13.5 million twitter followers.
“It was a great experience to see how the Vets here apply the equipment and knowledge we use on dogs and cats, to a species that maybe unfamiliar to them or that we see less often,” said Nyssa.
Once the hook was safely removed by Dr Amanda Paul, Nyssa was called upon to assist with measuring the vital signs of the sedated reptile.
“I am interested in reptile medicine but have never used a Doppler to measure the heart rate of a turtle before, so that was quite a cool experience,” continued Nyssa.
“I feel pretty confident in getting a heart rate of a turtle now.”
Murdoch’s onsite Vet Hospital and on campus Farm enables students like Nyssa to gain valuable hands-on practical experience throughout their studies. The Vet Hospital also runs a small mammal and unusual pet clinic, so students can get first-hand experience of treating anything from rabbits to bearded dragons.
Under the supervision of Vets, students like Nyssa are regularly involved with unique operations as part of their studies at the University.
“The degree of practical experience you get at Murdoch is really quite impressive,” Nyssa added.
“The theory is important but the clinical aspect of our veterinary studies is invaluable.”
You can view the final stages of the hook extraction on Murdoch’s Facebook page.