Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Me, the Making Cats Poop Queen

I have a nickname at work: Making Cats Poop Queen.

Some cats, be it because they are old, or obese, or old and obese, can't get the 'ole pluming movin'. When that happens, they quit eating and some, being cats, develop hepatic lipidosis when their body tries to metabolize fat for energy and konks out. So, we as professionals who have survived four years of rigorous schooling and learnin' have to do what anybody would do.

We have to give cats enemas.

Now, I have only been at my current job about six months. In that time, I have probably had 4-6 cats present with this problem, and at 1-5 enemas per cat, have given way too many cat enemas in six months.

Cats aren't too appreciative when you shove a long red rubber catheter up their rectum and pump 60-120 mLs of liquid up there. Some react in an adverse fashion to this torment. Visions of buzz saws with legs come forcefully to mind.

My current candidate weighs 26 pounds. He has probably 5 pounds of poo sitting in his colon. That's a lot of poo. And I gotta get it all out. If enemas don't work, we go to sedation and manually de-impaction. Yummy!

No matter how many pairs of gloves you are wearing, cat poo can penetrate and make your hands smell soooooo good for several days!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I should've known better

Yeah, I know better to complain about being bored. It's like that ancient Chinese proverb, "May your life be interesting." Something crazy is bound to happen. Yesterday was like that.

I'd been gone for two days doing various things, and came back yesterday. First thing in the morning my receptionist hands me a chart and says, "The lady on the phone's dog has been having seizures all morning." There's nothing like the mention of seizures, either cluster or status, that is guaranteed to send me shuddering. Then, right as the seizing dog comes in, another weak dog comes in with what tunes out to be an abdominal tumor. A huge abdominal tumor. A huge, bleeding abdominal tumor. Also, I have a cat in the hospital with a protein loosing enteropathy who was chewing his IV catheter out. And all the other routine vaccines, ears, and other things I saw. And that was just before 11 am!

So, we got the seizing dog stopped. Luckily he'd only been having cluster seizures for about two hours and hadn't yet gotten an elevated temperature or lactic acidosis. He got diazapam, we loaded him on IV phenobarb and he went home ok. Stoned, but ok.

Same could not be said of my tumor dog. Sadly, he had myriad of other metabolic disorders along with his bleeding abdominal tumor and his owner elected to euthanize him. Frankly, I think that was a good choice since he was a poor anesthetic risk and those spleen tumors have a very high rate of metastasis and a low survival rate after removal.

My cat loosing protein looked really good after he chewed his catheter out, and I started him on some new meds. We'll see how he looks tomorrow.

Tomorrow should be pretty ok- I get to spay an alien! A dog named Alien, that is!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I usually love this time of year. The weather turns cooler, there is a crispness in the air. The sky is even a bluer blue. I love it. Harvest time.

However, this time of year is when business really slows down for vets. The farmers go into the field and don't have time to bring the dog in for shots. People want to spend time outdoors and don't take the dog in for shots.

I don't like spending hours doing sudoku at work.

Also, we had the remnants of Hurricane Ike go thru and dump 6 inches of rain in one day. All the rivers are flooded. Yuck.

I hospitalized a cat today. IV fluids are going, medicine has been administered. I don't really know what is wrong with the cat. He's been lethargic and not eating or drinking for a couple of days. He is dehydrated. Blood work showed a white count of 31,000 (very high) but all segs, no bands. Is this cat just stressed out with a stress leukogram? Or does he have an infection? His glucose on original blood work was 334, but this is stress range for a cat and a repeat was only 160. We'll see if he improves in the next few days on fluids and antibiotics (just in case). I know, we're not supposed to use antibiotics without a clear cut infection, but I can't not use them with a white count that high. Screaming can commence. We'll see in a few days!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You know you're a veterinarian if...

There are a lot of things about my life that is, let's say, less than clean. I live in a dirty world. I live in a world of hair flying everywhere, feces, urine and anal glands squirting everywhere, saliva, and other bodily fluids all around me. You kinda get used to it. But, you know you're a veterinarian if...

... you can talk about blood and pus while eating a sandwich or bowl of soup.
... you really don't notice or small that odd smell inside your work truck (that one's for you Techgirl! :)
... pus is cool.
... you read magazines with pictures that would curl a layperson's toes.
... you're excited to go to CE and learn about the latest advances in feline lower urinary tract disorder.

I could go for a while more but I have to leave now and see more allergies. See previous post.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Where has all the cool stuff gone?

Medico types are all the same- we want "cool" cases. Sometimes cool means an interesting workup, or a neat looking wound. For everybody, "cool" is slightly different.

Lately, my day has gone something like this:

Vaccinations AND Allergies

And on and on and on and... you get the picture.

Vaccinations are an important part of a well pet program. Allergies occur on a large basis.

But that's been ALL I've seen lately. I may as well record my allergy talk and play it when the clients walk into the door. It would do about as much good.

I'll be back when something cool, funny, obnoxious, or gross happens.