Thursday, September 22, 2011


Memories are funny. Sometimes we bury the bad ones so deeply that we effectively block them out while other bad parts seem to be etched forever in place. Good memories often only require the whiff of a scent or a color to come rushing back and leave you feeling as if you were there again.

We had a last minute C-section the other day. My boss performed the surgery and I directed the puppy revival (sounds funny doesn't it? I never can resist a goofy pun...) The kids don't have much experience in that area yet and when the Yorki wound up having 8 pups they were really freaking out. I had 4 while they had 2 each then I swapped them out to finish with theirs. They are scared of rubbing too hard. I gave them a hard time about it.

Brought to mind one of my fond memories from my first job. It was my first Thanksgiving after graduation and I had been invited to go to the boss's house for prime rib. I was, however, on call and, wouldn't you know it, got a frantic call from one of our clients who had a pregnant English mastiff that had produced one pup and nothing else with continued strong pushing and about an hour and a half since the pup arrived. I've never been much of one to piddle around and wait on things so I had her come in and pretty much immediately decided on a section because the mother was clearly exhausted.

I was only able to raise 2 of my staff to come help so I reluctantly agreed to allow the owner and her teenaged son and daughter to help. It was far from my first C-section, I seem to attract them like bees to honey, but it was my first owner observed surgery. Mom had a total of 15 pups with one non-survivor because it was a "water baby" that didn't respond to any attempt at treatment. While we were in surgery, one of the techs showed up unexpectedly and helped but that then made the rest of my plans for Thanksgiving since her dog urgently needed a blood transfusion. All in all a memorable holiday and, oddly enough, I don't think I would've changed it at all except that I would probably have enjoyed a piece of prime rib before the excitement began. Too bad the dog didn't have better timing, right?

On the puppy note, she is doing great. Had a minor, scary moment this week because she had 2 small seizure episodes and, of course, my pessimistic self was thinking all the worst things. I'm pretty sure that it has a very simple explanation. She has just gone through a period of starvation and cannot have any glucose stores (even normal puppies and kittens don't have much available). Starting about 24 hours before the first episode, her appetite had decreased probably because I added fish oil to her food for the anti-inflammatory properties; apparently she doesn't like it or maybe it upset her stomach a little. In any case, I couldn't check her glucose during the first and managed to check it shortly after the second (not immediate as in she wanted back down, ran around and defecated before we got back to the house) at which time the level was about 70. A CBC and chemistry were within normal reference ranges for a pup of her age although her calcium level was a little lower than I would like to see in a pup. I had considered running bile acids to help rule out a shunt and a distemper PCR on urine but in view of the normal bloodwork and lack of continued episodes now that she is eating again I doubt that I will do so. She has gained weight and is playing like a little heathen. And apparently she has a flower fetish having started to pull the blooms from my mother's monkey face plant and attacking my whimsical houseshoes that have flowers on them. I'm glad she has a home lined up already or I would really have a hard time letting go by the time she is completely well.

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