Friday, January 30, 2009

Deep breath

Warning, the following post contains opinions that will probably get people mad at me. I don't care.

I have discovered one over-riding theme about people during the last 10 years. During the last 10 years I have started working at a vet clinic as an assistant, gotten into vet school, graduated vet school and have been practicing for almost two years now. And this keeps coming up over and over and over again.

People, as a general rule/category, are stupid. S-T-U-P-I-D stupid. Dumb as a box of rocks, nutty, three bricks short of a load, and otherwise crazy stupid.

Case in point.

I saw a little puppy about a month ago. This puppy, through the neglect/carelessness of the owner's children, had a fracture of the lateral condyle of the humerus. This is NOT something that can be splinted and heal well. This requires surgical fixation to have ANY chance of being a functional joint for the life of the dog. So I strongly stress this point to the owners. They (reluctantly) took the dog to have the surgery done. This is NOT a cheap surgery. I saw the dog yesterday for staple removal.

My technician and myself cut off a bandage that was obviously applied by the owners (real vets do not use Popsicle sticks as a splint) and discovered that they had applied it way too tight. There was a LACERATION to the inside of the humerus where the bandage was too tight. It was infected and draining. AND the surgical site was draining and open. With a pin sticking out. Come to find out the owners had NOT given the post op pain medications and antibiotics as instructed (you should NOT have antibiotics "left over" three weeks after surgery). Also, since there was drainage from the surgery site with a pin visible I'm pretty sure the repair was infected and possibly failed. And he couldn't bend the elbow since they had bandaged him in the improper position.

I sent them back to the specialty clinic for a recheck. I'm pretty sure these people flushed thousands of dollars down the toilet because they were too cheap to come to us for bandage changes and checks as instructed by the specialty clinic.

Surgery to fix a fractured lateral condyle? $2000+

Cost they saved by changing the bandage themselves for three weeks? $20-80

Expression on their faces when I told them they'd have to go back to the specialty clinic and get radiographs and possibly another surgery? Priceless


Monday, January 26, 2009

When spit is a weapon

It appears that I have a new calling in life: I am an alpaca vet. There are several people in my county that have started alpaca breeding programs. However, when they started calling around about a vet, they kept meeting a NO. Except when they called me.

Due to a misspent youth where I wasn't allowed to have real farm animals, I spend part of my time showing llamas for a local person who raised them but didn't want to show themselves. So I'm pretty comfortable around llamas and alpacas in general. Also, in school we were about 45 min from a rather large alpaca farm and did all of their work, including a lot of crias (alpaca babies).

So, I am now the only person in a 50 mile radius that will touch an alpaca.

One of my alpaca people called me the other day: they had a female with eye problems. I should pause to explain here that alpaca people tend to be somewhere between small animal people and horse people regarding when they will call their vet (more on this phenomenon later). So I said I'd be out to look at her eye.

I get out there and walk up to the fence where the affected female is, a dark brown specimen with a dark brown cria at her heels. As I walk towards her the ears go back and the mouth starts working. I duck just in time- she hurls a spitwad at my face. This is what alpacas and llamas do to defend themselves. The hurl stinky ruman contents with deadly accuracy. I have to duck twice more before the owner corrals her and I can get close enough to examine her eye. The owner holds her face away from me as I stain her eye- sure enough, a corneal ulcer is present, a rather large one. As I continue working on the eye I dodge a continuing stream of backwash as she spits ahead of her in fury. "How dare you," she screams in a spitting frothy rage. "You TOUCHED ME." Or that's what she would be saying if alpacas could talk English. As I finished and explained to the owner that she would be treating this eye 3-4 times a day for the foreseeable future and I'd be back next week to re-stain the eye, we start walking to the car. As I drive away, I hear a giant SPLAT as she hits my side window dead on. She runs along side my car as I drive up the driveway, and I can hear her raucous taunt as I drive off, "Wait for round two, Doc!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sorry, Oh adoring fans

Ha Ha. Anyway, apologies for not posting for the last two weeks. Last week I was too bored to post, this week too busy. When it rains it pours. I haven't had any hospitalized patients for about two or three months. This week I had three. I'll post a few amusing stories when I get time today. I hope.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Very true

This is an interesting link. This blog is dedicated to ending the reign of misinformation sponsored by HSUS and PeTA. These organizations claim to be working for animals and animal rights when all they really want to do is reshape the world how they want it: where nobody owns pets, uses animals for meat, or even thinks of "exploiting" an animal. How is exploitation when I take care of my dog and he takes care of me? He is a companion, a confidant, and friend. If HSUS and PeTA had anything to say about it he'd be dead and me prohibited from having a new friend. These people are WRONG, they are domestic terrorists, and can only be stopped by educating people about their true agenda. The Endangered Owner's blog is dedicated to educating people about AR's true agenda. Go give 'em a read.


I have invited a friend of mine, Dr. May B. Insane, to become an author on my blog. She is currently doing an internship (her latest crazy act) in a large referral specialty hospital and is trying to get a surgery residency. She's got some good stories and can knowledgeably comment on several of my stories, since she want to school with me and was there for a lot of the vet school stories. She's made some comments to my stories from time to time as well. If she decides to embrace my offer, make her welcome and make sure to let her know how crazy she is!!! She'll prove it to you......

Monday, January 5, 2009

And the winner is...

The chart read "urinating in house." It said the dog was a neutered male that was 10 years old. A smaller breed who weighed around 15 pounds. Hmmm... I try not to make too many snap judgments, but I usually have two or three guesses as to a diagnosis before I even go into the room. I may discard those upon a physical exam, but they are there nonetheless. So I start thinking, UTI, stones, prostate neoplaisa, etc. before I even walk in.

The owner greets me with a "Hello" and a handshake, somewhat of a rarity here. Usually I get the blank smile with a thought of "This is the doctor?!?" behind it due to my youth and youthful face. Geez, I still get carded to see R rated moves, let alone practice medicine.

I look at poochie on the table. He is very friendly and polite and I examine him as I take a history. No history of illness, not drinking more water than usual, no vomiting or diarrhea, still eating, drinking, and pooping normally. However, for the last week or so he's been leaving a large puddle of urine on the kitchen floor. They don't ever catch him doing it, but due to the volume left they assume it's him instead of one of their two cats. "Hmmmmm..." is my response to this pearl of information.

Physical exam is unremarkable except for a mild Grade 2/6 heart mummer on the left side of the chest. No abdominal pain, could use a dental, but what 10 yr old dog can't? I recommend blood work to the owner looking for diabetes, kidney disease, or other metabolic abnormalities, and recommend a urine analysis.

Blood work is perfectly normal, including the renal values. The urine is not very enlightening either, no blood, no protein, adequately concentrated, and otherwise blah. I report these reassuring but puzzling results to the owner and get consent to do an abdominal radiograph looking for urinary bladder stones or renal stones. These, too are negative. We adjourn for the day with the plan to bring him back the next day so I can get a fasting urine sample to check concentration ability overnight and possibly a urine protein:urine creatinie ratio sent out and possibly do a traumatic urinary catheritization looking for prostate cells. Meanwhile I get on trusty VIN researching urinary incontinence in male dogs (definitely not as common as in females).

The next morning they never show up... I wait and wait and wait. Then about 9:30 I get a phone call all apologetic. Apparently they had had a flat tire. "But, I don't think I need to bring him in," the owner said. "We locked him in our bedroom all night and still found urine on the kitchen floor this morning." We did over $300 of diagnostics on his perfectly healthy dog to find out it was one of the cats.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stricking post name

Hi all. I was reading my Google Analytics page this morning, and noticed that I have nearly 100 visitors to this blog every day. Thank you readers! However, when reading the sources of traffic, it appears that a former post has gotten me linked from a site with, let's say, less than ideal under 18 viewing allowance. So, I have changed the name of that post and struck that work, that is spelled e*n*e*m*a from my archives. So, from now on in my blog land, that word shall forever be known as MP, or "Making Poop". So it is written, let it be so, read the proclamation, blah blah blah. Hope I get off the p*rn site links soon. The things you learn when you start to blog.....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year's and some gross incidentals

Happy New Year my two faithful readers! Just kidding, I know there are more than two of you, there's at least three. Hope everybody had a good New Year's and here's to hoping 2009 is a good year for us all!

I spend most of Christmas sick as a, well, dog. That sure put a whole new spin in Merry Christmas. Also, we had a lot of ice here and travel was perilous at best. I didn't see many patients during this time since my boss was nice and gave me some time off to spend with relatives.

Today and Monday were my only days at work this week. Monday was a great day, lot of patients and some really cool cases. I found a female puppy that has testicles in her inguinal area- yep, a hermaphrodite. It remains to be seen if she's a true hermaphrodite or "only" a pseudo-hermaphrodite. I also saw a rabbit, which I don't see too often. Today I got to rip, er, surgically remove 3 pairs of testicles. They are better off in my trash can than in the animal anyway. Lots of food allergy coming in right now- too many people let their pets snack during the holiday as well as people.

Dr. May B. Insane had a few interesting emergencies over the holiday. Sadly, most interesting emergencies don't live too long.

I'll post more when I have a few good stories to tell. Gotta do some more horses this weekend, so maybe a few good stories will come out of that.