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Veterinary students wrangle slippery but tenacious American eels as part of a week-long fish medicine and surgery course at NC State CMAST

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine students completed an intensive course of clinical work and lectures at the week-long Advanced Fish Medicine Selective (VMC 991-127) at CMAST this month. Twenty-two first – third year veterinary students learned important concepts for maintaining healthy fish populations in private and public aquariums and aquaculture, and applications of veterinary techniques to field work. The course was the first hands-on clinical experience with marine life for the majority of these students. Selectives are courses CVM students take to familiarize themselves with various areas of specialization in veterinary medicine.

An anesthesia and minor surgery lab allowed students to work on a group of American eels (Anguilla rostrata), all of which continue to do well in recovery. This lab was a collaborative effort with CMAST Ph.D student Paul Rudershausen and Dr. Jeff Buckel, Dept. of Applied Ecology. This teaching lab doubled as a lab-based validation for intracoelomic PIT tag implantation in the field.

Students studied gill and skin biopsies of various fish for a diagnostics and parasitology lab, and examined a diverse array of marine life specimens for their comparative anatomy lab. In cooperation with The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, students learned about water quality and life support.

The selective was co-conducted by Drs. Craig Harms and Greg Lewbart, both of CMAST and the CVM. The selective was previously held on NC State’s Raleigh campus, but this session marked the second year the class has been held at CMAST, allowing students a week at the coast in order get right to the source of marine life.

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine's 2015 Advanced Fish Medicine Selective class. CVM students spent an intensive week at CMAST for hands-on clinical work and lectures. Labs included anesthesia and minor surgery, diagnostics, parasitology, comparative anatomy, and water quality and life support.

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2015 Advanced Fish Medicine Selective class. CVM students spent an intensive week at CMAST for hands-on clinical work and lectures. Labs included anesthesia and minor surgery, diagnostics, parasitology, comparative anatomy, and water quality and life support.

Veterinary students collect biopsies from fish on recirculating anesthesia machine, and examine wet mounts microscopically for parasites.

Veterinary students collect biopsies from fish on recirculating anesthesia machine, and examine wet mounts microscopically for parasites.

Veterinary students collect biopsies from fish on recirculating anesthesia machine, and examine wet mounts microscopically for parasites.

Veterinary students collect biopsies from fish on recirculating anesthesia machine, and examine wet mounts microscopically for parasites.