Monday, 29 October 2012

The unexpected

Today was full of the unexpected. To be honest most of them bad ones. Days in practice can vary so greatly, as of 8:30am this morning we had two operations booked in. I was on kennels again today so started sorting out my inpatients, oh hang on a minute there isn't any! So instead I cleaned up the mess left from what looked like a weekend of chaos. Whilst cleaning I overheard the first admit of the day and it sounded to me like the bitch was in possibly no bitch spay today then.

  • For those that don't know the ideal point to spay a bitch is 2-3 months after their last season, however this becomes difficult to judge if they haven't had one yet.
This is what happened today. From an owners point of view this is mostly inconvenient some are annoyed as they've had it planned but most are happy to not risk their pet under the GA. From a nurses point of view, well to be completely honest we normally smile behind the scenes as it frees our day up a lot and means we can enjoy a cuppa without it 'going cold'.
So one down, next admit was for what sounded like an aggressive German pointer. The dog needed her nail removing as she'd caught it a few days ago and now it was infected. So through she comes to kennels, and we double lead her so that we can safely get her from the kennels with fingers at a distance.

Meanwhile another vet had admitted another dog with the same problem as above, so today shall be called the 'Nail day'. You find this happens a lot it's like the weeks where three caesarians come in or three gastric torsions! All animals want pre-anaesthetic bloods so I now become lab nurse and pretty much blood collection nurse (as the vet seems to be having a bad vein day today). I really love the variation veterinary nrsing can bring, there's not many jobs where you can handle an animal, take some blood, do a bit of lab work and then oh perhaps an anaethetic!

So the Pointer is knocked out first (sorry knocked out is not a very technical way of saying anaethatised) I walk down to prep to assist and basically end up removing the nail as the vet is a bit squeemish when it comes to nails. I bandage the foot and all is well until..........

As a nurse when your doing a GA its the whole dog you look at not just the heart, or the pulse, or the breathing but everything....which is perhaps why we're good at spotting other things. However this wasn't the best find and changed this dogs life completely. Whilst the anaesthic nurse was feeling the dogs abdoman she was able to palpate a mass and after further investigation and ultrasound unfortunately we discovered it was a splenic tumour. The outcome for these masses are to put it bluntly terrible and the dog was also geriatric and possibly had seocndary masses. After much deliberation and keeping the dog comfortable and stable under the GA it was decided by the owners to euthanase the dog on the table. This kind of case I can honestly say affects the whole team, we all think 'but this dog only came in for a minor op and is now not with us!' Its very sad and depresses us all, part of us wishes we hadn't noticed but in all honesty its really not a nice way to go and is very painful so its probably a blessing but we still all need convincing of that!

Later in the day a very cute dachshund is admitted with pancreatitis and so the day continues. Its hard to pick yourselves up from the above cases, members of the public think were all used to it and although this is true to a certain extent we are all still human and some cases really do hit home.

I've written a few probably depressing posts lately, so to end on a lighter and much cuter note, this cute kitten came in later today and although ill was so full of life I just had to take a picture and show you. Days can be emotionally draining in practice its not easy telling someone over the phone we need to put their animal to sleep but every day is evened up with a happier tale to tell.

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