Oohs and Aahs

See there, See, See !

Cheers of unison close by

Far away

Eerie Silence

I can see the Titanic

The Climate

Come ever closer

Screams of conflict

Up above

I wonder

Do they know ?

Happenings down below

Art by Pooja Krishnan


Guest post from my daughter Sneha Krishnan. She is a 3rd year DVM student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado

We think of the heart as the most important organ. Responsible for life, for us to stand up, move, walk, run – to keep us alive. It is quite interesting to look at the differences between hearts of the many species that came before us. Looking back at primitive fish with a very simple 2 chambered heart, it is fascinating to think now that humans have a very complex 4-chambered heart with various pressures, velocities and flows at different parts. The alignment of each component of our complex hearts is essential to keep us healthy. This is true for humans and all animal species we deal with.

Veterinarians deal with cardiac disease quite often.

There are many similarities and many differences between the pathologies of human and animal hearts. One thing to note is that there is so much variety within animal species themselves. For example, a toy breed dog’s heart and a Great Dane’s heart look vastly different on an x-ray, and have very different disease types. As veterinary students, we learn extensively about breed-specific disease, as almost 90% of some breeds can have a heart disease by middle to old age.

On our virtual cardiology rotation this week, we learned about the general aspects of cardiology starting with the anatomy, then moving to diagnostic modalities. The typical workup of a patient with suspect cardiac disease often happens when a student or veterinarian is doing a routine exam and hears a murmur with their stethoscope. A murmur is an abnormal heart sound that can be caused by various valvular or structural diseases. When hearing a murmur, an experienced veterinarian usually assigns a grade to the murmur, which then determines the urgency of the case for a full work up. Let’s say your dog was diagnosed with a grad 5/6 murmur on the left side. This would be an indication to dig deeper to find and treat the cause of this murmur.

Other things to consider are the age of the dog and the breed of the dog. A puppy can also present with a murmur, but usually for a totally different reason than a 10 year old dog. Many animals are born with anatomic abnormalities in their heart that happened during development. A common one is a patent ductus arteriosus, which is a failure of a duct to close after birth, causing oxygenated blood to get pushed into the pulmonary arterties, overloading the lungs with blood.

So once you hear the murmur, the next thing to do is an x-ray to evaluate the heart and lungs. If that shows something abnormal, you continue with an echo cardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart that will give you a better idea of what is happening within each chamber, valve, etc. See above echo image

Other cool things we get to look at – exotic species! Ferrets, rabbits, donkeys, moose, bears, you name it! These species all get heart disease and we can diagnose them just like we do in dogs and cats. Here’s a picture of a snake with congestive heart failure. Fun fact, a snake’s heart rate can be as low as 30-40 normally.

Snake Heart

Animal world is definitely exciting due to it’s diversity.

Thanks for reading — Sneha



Looking at Me

Slithering on a bamboo
A sound that I can't hear

A warm body
Frozen cold in it's tracks

Fear looking at me
Can't it see
That I'm smiling 

Entertaintment Gaming

AC GameTime

Guest article for this blog from my daughter Pooja Krishnan, who is sheltering in sofa with her favorite game.

More than a decade ago, my sister and I got two Nintendo 2DS consoles, an upgrade from our old Gameboy. Super Mario and Animal Crossing were our staples – we played for hours on end until my sister’s DS actually split in half. My personal favorite was Animal Crossing: Wild World – I would get absorbed into the world encased in my DS. Animal Crossing: Wild World is a simulation game with no end goal and no set plot – one just lives amongst adorable anthropomorphized animals, catching fish and bugs and digging up fossils. Sure, you’re constantly in debt to a raccoon named Tom Nook, and if you don’t interact with your neighbors often enough, they leave town – but all in all, it’s a wholesome, nostalgic game.

Nostalgia drove me to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released earlier this month. The premise is, Tom Nook bought a deserted private island, where you move to, along with a handful of other animals. He essentially commands you to develop and maintain the island.

My initial impressions are that the graphics are beautiful and that the customization aspects of the game are remarkable. Literally everything in the game is customizable – after you achieve enough tasks and develop the island a bit, you get the ability to completely reshape the island, add cliffs, expand rivers, and more. The quality and ease of movement is far superior to Wild World (this is a given, however, as Wild World was released 15 years ago). Visits to mystery islands provided by “Dodo Airlines” provide an opportunity to go to islands with different fruit, trees, bugs, and fish; DIY crafting abilities allow you to create your own furniture and redecorate in a more personalized manner. 

Shell bed on Beach
Hanging out with friend in museum

To wit, here is some snark from AC

Better April to all of you!

All in all, the game is just as enthralling as Wild World was as I first started playing – stuck in quarantine, I’ve had the option to visit my friends’ islands over online play, develop my island, and explore the vast features that this game offers. –Pooja

Editors Note:

PS: Huge sales for AC:New Horizons. No better way to beat away the pandemic blues, as many people have figured out.



Grateful to be able to do this while many of global citizens are under much stricter lockdown.

Playlist featuring Missy Elliott, ‘n sync, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, Destiny’s Child, Al Green, Backstreet Boys, Young the Giant.

Ready for some carb fueling.