Thursday, April 30, 2009

There's only one of me!

So today, I felt that I needed to be cut into a minimum of 25 pieces. The two internists were fighting over my help (I'm on internal medicine rotation right now) and the oncologist was calling me a traitor for no longer being on his service. I was told to "spread the love." I'm spreading as thin as I can, folks, but am only one person. Believe me, if I could be everywhere at once I'd be at home right now in addition to doing my internship and working at multiple places; might actually be able to afford something that way - like the new car I really need;)

That could be entertaining, though. Imagine, multiple me's...I'm positive that those readers who know me personally and well are thinking how frightening that image is to them. Even one of my intern-mates turned a little pale when the idea was propositioned today - he doesn't even know me very well either. It's kinda fun to know that I inspire fear in so many while doing so little - just by being me. It would be even better than having that third or fourth hand I'm always joking about.

One of our cases today was a young Pit bull who got into his owners' bottle of Midol. Midol contains tylenol and caffeine as well as a diuretic. Both tylenol and caffeine are toxic to pets. Tylenol, unlike most of the other pain medications, primarily affects the liver rather than the gastrointestinal system and kidneys. We use N-acetylcysteine as a glutathione donor to help protect the liver and prevent oxidative damage to red blood cells. We also give cimetidine which inhibits cytochrome p450, an enzyme in the liver, thus inhibiting the toxic effects of tylenol to the liver. Caffeine causes heart arrhythmias, fast and slow heart rate, coma, seizures, restlessness, anxiety, and even death at certain levels. Fortunately, this dog did not ingest a high enough dose of caffeine to cause severe signs. We're treating him to safeguard his liver. In contrast, we had a dog a few months ago that ingested an unknown amount of a diet shake mix that contained high amounts of caffeine and subsequently died in the face of aggressive treatment. It's amazing how many things are laying around the house that could potentially kill our best friends. Remember, they don't know better and you must "pet proof" your home just as you would take precautions for children. The Pit bull will most likely be fine but he's lucky.

Before I leave this area, I must make time to see some of the sights since who knows when or if I may ever return. One of the good techs at work has offered to show me around, which is great since I want to go to the museum in the city but am reluctant to go alone. She and I are able to coordinate a couple of days off in the coming weeks and I look forward to the adventure. I love museums and would hate to miss the opportunity. Will keep you posted...

1 comment:

Jo said...

Oh, Lord. Even things that aren't toxic to pets can cause problems.

Back in the day, my rescued Greyhound ate a pound of prunes and a half a bar of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. That was the same night that the shepherd/Husky mix ate an entire bag of vanilla protein powder. How they got to all that stuff, I'll never be sure, but I think the shepherd mix told the Ghound to take things down off of the high shelf.

Anyway, when the vet finished laughing, she told me to feed the shepherd Metamucil and mineral oil, leave the Greyhound alone, and put 'em both outside for a few days.

A few years later, the Ghound got into the trash and cut his tongue on a can of refried beans. That was more dramatic (sprays of blood everywhere! Flipping-out six-foot-tall dog!) but less amusing.

Some animals seem determined, if not to kill themselves, to at least provide good blog fodder.