Thursday, February 28, 2008

“The Youth in Asia? What About the Youth Here?”

A sad start to the day. Got in at 12:00, and the first patient was already being X-rayed—a sweet little dachshund with a long list of problems. At first no one could put a definitive answer on what was wrong with her. She had given birth to only one puppy last night (her owner is a breeder) and had been straining and lethargic since then. She didn’t have another puppy inside her, but she was seven years old and this was her sixth litter. Sometimes I really hate breeders. In human years, this dog was 49—too old to be having babies. Anyway, her blood work came back with extremely high glucose levels, indicating that she had either gestational diabetes or regular diabetes. It is treatable, but she was going to need 24-hour care over the next three days for a grand total of $3,000, so the owner decided to put her down. While everyone had been running around doing things, I had been holding her and watching her, so of course I had grown somewhat attached to her. I realized she would probably be put down, and she kept looking at me with these big sad eyes that just broke my heart. When Sandy got the needle out, I said, “I think I need to be elsewhere for this.” She understood, and Josh held her while they euthenized her. I cried a bit, but I kept it in pretty well and distracted myself by talking to all the other animals and checking their charts.

            I couldn’t mourn for long—up first was a cat named Tiggs that had jumped off a counter and got its tail stuck in a drawer so it was hanging by it…ouch. Christie told the owners that it didn’t really need to be amputated and that the stub on the end would come off soon and it would heal itself, but they wanted it off anyway. So we cut it off and sewed it back up. Tiggs looked really funny when he came out of anesthesia—he went all stiff and rigid and stuck his tongue out and held his tail out like a pole. Unfortunately for Tiggs, since his owners insisted the tail be amputated, he now has to wear an E-Collar for two weeks.

            There was a lot of commotion today with people coming in and animals with mysterious diseases like Lucy, the sweet little Beagle that passed a whole sock through her digestive system but was still throwing up every other day. Then Jake, a big Shar-pei with a big amount of ‘tude came in with a wound from a dogfight (he had never had any vaccinations, and his owners took him to a park to go sledding and play with other dogs…good plan!). And before that we got a call from Carolyn saying she needed to bring in Lito! D.R and I had noticed he was acting a little funny yesterday, but we figured it was just because he hates snow. Turns out he had a huge abscessed bite on his shoulder—probably from one of the dogs judging by the size. I didn’t see most of the procedure because I was holding open the mouth of a very unfortunate kitty named Caramel. Poor Caramel had to have all but one of his teeth pulled out. It was a long procedure, and just a little boring after a while. I could hear Lito screaming at Josh and Sandy as they cleaned his abscesses. I looked in on him when we were finally finished with the dental extractions, and Josh told me that Lito was completely sedated when he had screamed—his abscesses hurt so badly. So much was happening today I ended up staying till 6:45…and I hadn’t eaten since 11:30. Carolyn picked up both Lito and me and brought us home to a great meal of make-your-own-tacos. Well, Lito ate cat food. He’s living in the greenhouse until he’s all healed, and we have to give him oral liquid medication and flush out and medicate his puncture wounds twice a day. That’ll be fun for us all…

Yawn. Time for bed. Early start tomorrow!