Monday, December 22, 2008

Pretty good day

I've had a pretty good day. Started off the day with a dog castration. As I've said before, these are my favorites to do. Not because I particularly like to rid the world of dog testicles (actually, yes I do) but because of the surgery itself. When the testicles come out of the skin and fascia with a "pop" feel, it's lots of fun. Kinda like squeezing a grape out of its skin. 'Course, I also like to pop zits and pick scabs. To each their own...

Had a lot of variety today. Some mammary tumors in a dog that have thankfully not gotten to the point where they are large and necrotic. Science tidbit- if you spay your dog before her first heat cycle there is a 0% chance (ok, maybe 0.0003456%) of her getting mammary adenocarcinoma, versus no reduction in risk if she's spayed after her second heat cycle. I know people are saying, "But I want to breed her!" That's a whole 'nother different post, but if you know you're not going to breed your dog, just spay her early! You'll save yourself pain, heartbreak, and money later on.

I just saw a little dog who likes to eat squirrels, and she had HAIR caught in her teeth. Along with some of the nastiest tarter and bad breath I've seen in years, and that's saying a LOT. Yuck... don't let your dog eat squirrels or other small mammals.

Puppies are fun, but when it's 24 weeks old and growling at you when you walk in you know there will be trouble later...

Should have a good horse post later this week. Boy, it sure is cold here!!!! Stay warm ya'll!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What you won't see behind the scenes at your vet

"Oh, we'll just take Fluffy to the back to do her- that way you won't have to hold her."

This is what I told Mrs. L as I lead/pull Fluffy to the back. Fluffy and I are old foes, and I prepare myself mentally for the battle to come. Fluffy starts growling as I lead her past the double doors marked, "Employees Only." A lot of times dogs are calmer and less likely to be mean once their owners are out of sight. Many times I've taken a snarling, growling Chihuahua into the back away from it's owner and had a nice, easy physical exam and shots and been done. No so with Fluffy, however. With Fluffy it's all out war.

Fluffy is a cocker spaniel, and she has lots of people fooled. With her cute blond head and soulful brown eyes, she is the epitome of doggie innocence. However, bring her to the vet's office and she turns into a black belt of doggie ninja, the all four feet and teeth menace that is every vet's nightmare.

I take Fluffy into the back room with about three assistants and tell one, "Close the door." The instant it's closed, one drops a towel over her head. This serves many purposes, the main one being so she can't see to aim. Every time somebody touches the towel she tries to turn and bite it. While one assistant distracts her with a touch to the butt, another grabs her around the head and puts her in a cradle hold. The third quickly whips the towel away from the mouth and gets a muzzle around her nose. She snaps the muzzle and half the battle is won: she can no longer bite. She looks at us with brown eyes of ice as horrible sounds of retribution emerge from her closed lips. She keeps up a stream of growls and yips. If she could talk her owner would have washed out her mouth with soap.

I tell the assistant holding her head, "Ok, time to flip her." With most dogs the muzzle controls their main weapon, the mouth. Not so with Fluffy, Fluffy at one time studied doggie ninja with a cat, and her scratches hurt almost as bad as a cat's can. The assistant holding the head gets hold of the front legs and another assistant grabs her back legs and we flip Fluffy onto her side. With her head and all four legs pinned, she starts wiggling and peeing, pooping, and expressing her anal glands in protest. If you've never smelled anal gland, be thankful. This is a hundred times worse than the nearest landfill.

The third assistant holds her middle as Fluffy tries to wiggle and hop off of the table. With her immobilized except for her noises I can proceed to that horror or horrors, that terrible fate awaiting her, that which Fluffy fights to avoid: I trim her nails. Very carefully I trim up to the pink part of her perfectly clear nails. Each click of the trimmers in accompanied by further doggie invective as I, *gasp* actually touch her feet.

"All done," I cry triumphantly, and my faithful minions let up, the last one whipping off the muzzle as she lets go. Fluffy makes a few goes for my hands, than bites at the assistant holding her leash. I gingerly take her leash and lead her back out front. I breeze into the room where Mrs. L is waiting fretfully, wringing her hands in anxiety. "Did she do ok?" she asks me, her cloudy blue eyes searching my person for bite marks. "Don't worry Mrs. L, she did great. No problem."

As Mrs. L goes to pay her bill, Fluffy looks at me over her shoulder. You can almost hear her thoughts. "I'll be back."

*Taking a bow*

Thank you guys for your comments to my last few posts, especially my "world sucks" post. It is very hard to do euthanasia, and I for one always, *always* cry while I'm doing it. I used to not cry, but ever since it is *me* who is actually hitting the vein and depressing the plunger I've become a lot more emotional about the whole thing. I also cry when I see other people cry, so doing euthanasias in front of owners is always a tear jerker. I try to be "professional" but it doesn't cut it for me to see others cry, and think about what a great life the animal has had, or conversely, what a terrible one in some cases. On the other hand, though, sometimes I am glad we as veterinarians can perform euthanasia instead of having to do what our medical degree colleges do, which is watch people die in pain and agony after a lingering illness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sometimes the world sucks

Just some catch up things today. I had to euthanize a horse this week. She had an incurable foot problem that could have been prevented if some idiot had gotten preventative care done on time. I hate euthanizing horses most of all my hatred of euthanasia, since 1) they do not die well, and 2) what other euthanasia do you do where you risk getting fallen on by your dying patient? Which almost happened- the fall on part. Luckily I saw she was going down and got out of the way in the nick of time.

My cat on IV fluids is hydrated and eating some on her own this morning, so progress is being made. We have this weird blend of busy and dead going on this week, after Monday's craziness today has only ONE appointment. Well, I can catch up on my blogging! Hope something not boring happens tomorrow!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wow, what a day!

Well, my day sure was interesting! I walked in this morning and within a half hour saw a Boston terrier female that had had one puppy yesterday morning. She spent the rest of the day trying to get the other puppies out. When she presented to me she was pretty tired. I gave her 2U oxytocin IM and she started to push. when nothing came out I felt and there was a giant puppy head stuck in the canal. So the owners elected to take her to surgery. I did the c-section/spay and got two live puppies out. Even the one that was stuck in the canal lived! I was surprised and happy that he did. Mom got sewed up and was doing well when they left. Yeah!

Then I saw a sick cat and kept her on IV fluids.

A couple more appointments go by, nothing special. Than this dog rushes in about 4:30. His back foot is completely torn to shreds with shattered bone everywhere. It's bleeding everywhere and the foot is literally split in half. We start an IV catheter while the owner is contacted, manage to stabilize the dog and send him off to the emergency clinic 45 min away for overnight care. Tomorrow the owner will bring him to his regular vet for amputation.

Overall a pretty exciting day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What Do I Look Like, an OB/GYN?

This story is courtesy of Dr. May B. Insane, who shared it with me recently via telephone... All the "I" usage is her words.

So I get this call about 10 pm while I was working overnight. It's this lady on the phone. "Oh dear, my dog is 66 days pregnant and acting like she's going to have puppies!" I ask some questions and determine, yes, she was bred on purpose, yes, she is showing nesting behavior, and yes, she does seem to be having contractions. So I ask, "So, sounds like she should be having puppies anytime now."

"Ok," she says, "I'm on my way!" "Wait," I exclaim, "why are you coming here?" She replies, "Well, I'm not going to let her have puppies AT HOME!" With that she hangs up, before my smart mouth can retort, "Well than, why did you breed her?"

She arrives about 20 minutes later with a charmingly under bitten foo-foo breed with long hair who is in active labor. I'm surprised she didn't start popping out puppies in the backseat of this lady's car. Course, that would have been pretty funny. I examine her, and take her in the back to ICU, load her into a cage with lots of comfy blankets, and leave her be. While I proceed to be swamped with other actual emergencies, she sits there, pants and stops contracting. Every five seconds the owners ask the receptionist about progress reports. I keep sending a tech up to answer them, and the tech tries to explain why the doctor is not coming up every time...

Three hours later, not a puppy to be seen. I was walking to her cage to scoop her up and send her home when OOPS! Out pops a puppy. I leave her to do her thing as I go out and tell the owners that she show is on the road.

Two hours later she has four new members of her family all wiggling and crying. I had had to help her break the placenta for the first one, but the others she handled like a pro. I palpated her abdomen gently and felt one other puppy in there. So I left her to do it.

Two hours later, she'd curled up to feed her brood and her Mom was breathing down my back more every second. So I popped her a little oxytocin, and our popped number five.

So off they went with their new little family, so proud and gushing thanks. "Oh, what would I ever do without you. If you hadn't been here, Fluffy would have had to have her puppies AT HOME!!"

I just stared at her as she walked out the door.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still here, I promise

I'm still going, just been too busy/bored to blog :) I have a couple of good stories for you though, just waiting for time to get them typed out.