Saturday, July 26, 2008

An appeal to break the silence

Hey you! Yeah, you, that person reading this blog. I know you're out there, I see your traces on my Analytics page... At least somebody must be reading my scathingly cranky works. If you are reading this blog, leave me a comment once in a while, if only to tell my how stupid I am! I would love to ignore, er, hear from you!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Swimming in Parvo

I have had five positive parvo dogs in the last three days. Five. I have had two in the last hour. Two. So, let's see...

I've given a total of 2.5L of SQ fluids...
Probably 6 mLs of Cerenia (new anti-nausea drug)...
About 4 mLs of Convenia (new long-acting antibiotic)...
About 3 scripts of ciprofloxacin or enrofloxacin...

And sent 5 virus spewing, contagious, going to infect their whole neighborhood in spite of the long talk I gave them dogs home.

And this is on top of the possible distemper dog! That sorta looks like parvo.

I feel like I'm swimming in diarrhea. The floors of the place have been bleached about three times a day for the last three days.

I go home and dream of the smell of bleach and vomiting dogs...

I need a life! I hate Parvo!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Parvo sucks

But distemper sucks more.

So, I see a puppy earlier. No vaccines (owners were told that they didn't need any- how gullible can you get?), vomiting, diarrhea, anorexic and lethargic. STRONG positive on the parvo test, the positive dot came up before the control dot. And we're surprised....???

Then I see another puppy. Same signalment, no vaccines, but this one also has a nasal discharge and some eye goupies. Temperature. So, I do a CBC on this tone. We have a neutrophillic leukophillia with a severe lymphopenia. Can we say distemper? We hardly ever see distemper nowadays-because-we-have-such-wonderful-vaccines.

The parvo puppy will probably survive. The distemper one probably will not.

Please, whatever you do, VACCINATE YOUR STINKING' DOG!!!!!!!!!!! Then I won't have to see completely preventable viral diseases.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It don't work so well....

If you're hot, your arms are sweaty and it's about 120 degrees outside with 150% humidity trying to stuff your arm into a long plastic sleeve in order to rectal a horse is soooooooo not happening....

I'm sure the horse was appropriately thankful.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Differences in mentality

I read a lot of med blogs. I think they're hilarious, and relish the chance to see a side of a life I almost chose for myself. However, the difference in mentality inherent in a vet and a person in the human medical profession are instantly obvious to anybody "in the know."

However, similar changes in mentality are even more pronounced in some lay people I see. Most people, if their loved one wound up at the doctor's office or emergency room, are only thinking about saving that loved one. No expense is to be spared, no procedure too exotic. But, when their loved pet winds up in the vet's office, a whole new set of rules suddenly apply.

There are several variations on this theme. Some come out in the preventative medicine that they get for their pet. "Just what the county requires" is a common quote we hear when people bring their pet in for vaccines and we offer them the FOUR recommended yearly/tri-yearly vaccines their pet probably really needs. However, only Rabies is a law and is the only the one the county will nail them on if it's found out they don't have one. Other variations are less tangible.

If a 15 year old small breed dog comes in an acute renal failure on top of already being in chronic renal failure and the owners can't afford/don't want to pay for hospitalization and fluid dialysis...

Or a hit-by-car (HBC) dog that has several broken bones and needs an orthopedic surgeon...

Or somebody who drives up in a Hummer with large rocks on their fingers who wants to euthanize their pet because it's urinating on the carpet...

All these pose moral, ethical and legal delimas that are not found in human medicine. Since our clients are required to pay for services themselves without insurance it is hard sometimes. Hard to refuse to treat a sick pet because the owner can't pay and we have to afford eat, ourselves. Hard to see a sick pet get euthanized because the owner "doesn't want to put them through" a treatment that would save their life. Hard to watch a pet that has been sick for a while while their owner tried everything possible to save their life...

So what is the better way? We don't usually have cancer victims that are kept alive only by ventilator, or nursing home patients whose relatives "can't stand to loose" them as they get shipped to the ER over and over and over. Vet med has that which can be the greatest of gifts- a final, dignified and painless end. However, it can also be an "out" that, instead of a last kind resort is the way of the lazy or careless. So what is right? Is any of it? Or perhaps, all?

Maybe like many things, there is "no one, true way" but many ways, all equally valid or invalid?

Maybe I need to quit posting after a bad morning.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When you're bored at work.

This was amazingly accurate, though I think I have more of the South than they think since I lived there for 9 years.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Very cool.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flies are annoying...

Flies. Flies are annoying, right? After all, they are those despoilers-of-picnics, get in your soft drink can when you're not looking, wave your arms around your head like you're conducting a symphony orchestra annoying insects we all hate. There is no outside time that is immune from their depredations and buzzing fly-bys. But, they're just annoying, right?

Horses are fly magnets. Flys like to land on a horse's legs and body, causing the horse to, understandably, try to get rid of them. They will flick their skin, stamp their legs, try to rub their legs, flick their tail and generally try all options to get rid of the flies that have landed on them. However, when trying to suture a baseball sized wound on the shoulder of a horse while it's sedated VERY heavily to try to keep him from stomping, flicking his skin, and otherwise trying to shake off the annoying "fly" that is me and my suture needle they can be annoying. Especially when said horse that is HEAVILY sedated to keep him from doing this decides to walk foreword and FALL on said vet trying valiantly to suture his shoulder wound. Lucky he only weighted 800 pounds (he was a weanling). Lucky he only caught the edge of me. I wish I had been lucky enough that the owners would have had fly spray.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sometimes it dosen't pay to get up in the morning.

Vet med is full of things that make you go, "ewwwww"

So, I'm oiling a horse. Oiling a horse, often done during colic, involves passing a NG tube (often while the horse is sedated or twitched) and pumping a gallon of mineral oil down into his stomach, being VERY careful to NOT pass the tube into the lungs. You'd be surprised at the particularly nasty aspiration pneumonia mineral oil can create. Anyway, I had just finished this operation, it was late at night, and I had just unhooked the NG tube from the pump I had used to pump the mineral oil. I was holding it up getting ready to kink it off to pull it when the horse sneezed. This put pressure on his esophagus and propelled mineral oil mixed with water (that was in the tube) into the air and down on my unsuspecting head. Needless to say, a shower was taken upon arrival home.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Things I love about vet med

I like variety and spice of life in my work. That's why I think I have the perfect job. After all, how many other physicians get to be...

... a pediatrician
... a family practitioner
... an emergency room doctor
... a social worker
... an end of life specialist
... a hospitilist
... a dermatologist
... an internist
... an anesthesiologist
... a surgeon
... a pharmacist
... an immunologist
... a lab technician
... a contagious disease specialist
... and a phlebotomist

ALL IN ONE DAY and in some cases all at once!

And that was just this morning....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Things you may not know about the 4th of July

The Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday. During this time we celebrate not only our Independence and our Rights, but remember all those who fought for us. Thank you everybody who has ever worn a uniform for this country.

There are some aspects to July 4th that "ordinary" people do not think about, however.

Tangent: I go on lots of tangents, or Rabbit Trails (RTs), a legacy of vet school and procrastinating while studying. I submit that veterinarians are not "ordinary" by any sense of the word. I will present more evidence towards this later, but here is the first piece. 1) Crazy people go to vet school. The truly insane stay all 4 years.

Anyway, things ordinary people don't think about the Fourth. 1) Fluffy/Fido probably would love to smell that burning thingie on the ground. Please keep them from doing this as it is a detriment to a long and happy life. 2) Dogs can get so worked up they send themselves into heat stroke from anxiety. I'm not kidding. 3) Sparklers are NOT good to eat. 4) Bottle rockets are even less good to eat. 5) Activated charcoal does not like to come out of scrub tops and pants. 6) A dog who doesn't feel bad and doesn't know better likes to chew out his IV catheter.

Cats and fireworks are kinda iffy as well. Some cats use their God-granted right to complete indifference to nobly ignore the noise as usual. Others get so stressed out they go into respiratory distress. Have you ever tried to give oxygen to something trying to claw your eyes out?

So that's my primer on the Fourth of July, veterinary style. Good day.