Friday, March 7, 2008

The Last Day!

Today was a great last day! I made a cake last night, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. As I was leaving, I was carrying a large portion of uneaten cake, and Valerie was like, “Wait! The cake is leaving too? I didn’t get a piece!” I left a considerable chunk behind for anyone who hadn’t had any.

            In terms of surgeries, the day was fairly uneventful, but Christy’s adorable grandfather, Russell, brought in his 20-year-old dog, Topsy. Christy calls her Methuselah. Topsy had bad teeth that needed cleaning and a growth on her back right leg, but since she was so old, we did bloodwork before anything else. And the bloodwork produced some sad results—poor old Topsy has kidney failure. Russ got a bit teary and said, “Is that so,” when Christy broke the news. Apparently, this dog is his closest connection to his wife who died two years ago. Russ is the sweetest little old man you’ll ever meet. I wish I had a picture of him. He was Carolyn and D.R’s mailman for like 20 years.

            But we didn’t kill Topsy! I just wanted to put that out there now, in case you were worried this story had a sad ending. I mean, yes, Topsy will die soon, but not today! We gave her a local anesthetic (Lidocain) on her leg to cut off the little mass, and we didn’t do the dental, but instead gave her some special kidney food to prolong her already long life.

            While we were waiting for Topsy’s bloodwork, we did a cat neuter! It was really cool, and Christy told me not to blink because it’s so fast. No kidding—you just cut, pull out the ball, pull off some gubernaculum, snip the two blood vessels and tie them together. You don’t even have to sew up the incision! Then when Topsy left, we neutered a sweet orange dog from the pound. It had big dreadlocks in its tail, so we cut them off and brushed him and made him look pretty. The last one of the day was non-surgical—a beautiful beagle/hound mix that had been in a car accident and ripped out a toenail—just like Bonnie! When she was hit by a car, that was her only wound, too! This dog was not pleased to have Christy looking at it, and Terry was holding him very tight. Christy was clipping all of his nails, since there isn’t really anything we can do about the wounded one, and with each clip, his lips twitched. Valerie and I were talking to him in high-pitched voices, trying to distract him, and I could see the dog thinking, “Please don’t patronize me. I don’t like getting my nails clipped, and you idiots twittering at me is by no means making this experience more pleasant.”

            We said lots of goodbye’s and farewell’s and everyone was really nice and saying that I could come back anytime and hang out, and Christy said that in Ohio it’s legal for 1st year vet students to operate under supervision, and she offered to supervise me and even lend me her spare bedroom! She said she’d be happy to write me a really long recommendation for school, and that she’d send Westtown the review form as soon as possible. She’s so great. Everyone was! I just got a phone call from Dad saying they can’t pick me up until Monday, so maybe I’ll go into work tomorrow and Monday! I feel like I’ve made such a great connection for future reference. This has been good. Very good. Occasionally sad, always cute, and very rewarding.


Yesterday's News

So yesterday was what we would call a very normal, relaxed day. Nothing particularly exciting. In the morning there was a little baby black cocker spaniel with a possible urinary tract infection, so we had to make her pee. Christy says one of the great things about puppies is “you give them liquid—they pee.” It’s very true: we gave the little girl a cocktail of water and a kind of Pediasure for animals, and she whizzed like five minutes later.

            The day was made up of two spays and a dental. Ashley, a friend of Christy’s who is going to pharmacy school, stopped by for a while to see some surgeries. Up first was Star, a humongously fat yellow Labrador. People reading this who know Belle—think her, but bigger, fatter, and eight months old. Star’s owner is widowed, so we think Star is very much a companion dog, and it’s likely that her 70 lbs is due to a constantly filled food bowl and not a whole lot of exercise. A lot of times a dog adjusts to living a life of lethargy, ad instead of being antsy and cooped up, they just sleep all the time and are perfectly content—they just get really fat. So her spay was kind of funny because we had to cut through like an inch and a half of subcutaneous fat to find her uterus. I learned that you can tell if a dog is or ever has been in heat judging by the size and shape of the uterus. Star’s was kind of polyp-y, meaning she was probably just coming out of heat. Her spay went very smoothly in general—she almost woke up a few times, but never fully.

            So then, in a superb contrast, we spayed a quivering five pound Yorkie. Everything was pretty standard with her spay. The last job of the morning was a dental on a 12-year-old smooth fox terrier. Now, I don’t like to judge, and I strongly believe that it’s what is on the inside that counts, but smooth fix terriers may be one of the ugliest breeds I’ve ever heard of. Their heads are really small, they have big bug-eyes, they have scrawny little Chihuahua legs, and they tend to be fat. Not to discriminate or anything…

            Martha told me that a farmer was bringing his calf in for Marge to treat. So when it arrived, I went out to the trailer with Marge to observe a little large-animal treatment. I didn’t really do much more than hold a bag of electrolyte fluid over my head while Marge tried to shove a tube down the calf’s esophagus, but it was still interesting. I think I want to be a small animal vet. I mean, there’s something so much more impersonal about large animal—the little calf with e-coli we saw was just gonna be turned into beef someday, and it’s not like it has a name. To his owner, he’s nothing more than a commodity. Hm.

            So that was the day! Maggie (my 1st cousin once removed?) arrived at 9:30 last night, and we all stayed up chatting till 11:00. Maggie is so cool. I have to live with her in France for a few months—no really, she insisted! If/when I go to England, I’ll have to pay her a visit as well. Mmm, French cuisine! I’m getting ahead of myself again!


P.S The title of this entry is only clever if you know a lot about cat litter.