A huge day at work today. We had in a total of 5 desexes plus in grooming; three dogs, a cat and a rabbit. Although we were completely rushed, it all went smoothly until about 4pm when we started the final desex on a female chihuahua called Fanta, and then it all went to hell. I noticed as I was preparing Fanta for surgery that she was producing milk. I alerted the vet (Catriona) and was told that although it was an indication that she was pregnant, it gave us no idea of how far along she was, she could be weeks away from giving birth or only a couple of days. So, we started the surgery not really knowing what we were going to find.
After making the incision, Catriona let out a triumph “I have a puppy” and pulled out…..the bladder. Hmm, maybe not a puppy after all. Poor Fanta in addition to being pregnant, had a kidney stone in her bladder. Catriona put the bladder back in electing to fix the problem after we dealt with the puppies. This time, she managed to pull out the uterus containing the two puppies. You get a kinda sinking feeling when the vet says, “oh shit, I think we are going to be doing a cesarean not a desex”, especially when you are me and have never actually witnessed a cesarean birth and are the only vet nurse on shift. I was only given two minutes to have a minor panic, when we discovered that the puppies were actually dead and had started to decompose. There are no words to describe the smell of decomposing puppy fetuses so I am not even going to try. It was at this lovely moment, that the owners of a cat who was dying of kidney disease, decide to show up unannounced to say their final tearful farewells. So I have surgery going on in one room and crying owners in the next door room, and the place smells like, well, decomposing flesh.
Twenty minutes later, Catriona has finished the desex and moves on to the bladder, and the owners are still saying their goodbyes. Catriona’s mental stability seems to break down at this point, as when she cuts into the bladder she bursts into hysterical laughter on seeing the enormity of the stone. This surgery has officially entered the realm of the really fricken weird. We extract a kidney stone measuring a huge 4cm in diameter. Bear in mind, this is from a chihuahua! We actually stopped the surgery to sit and look at the stone, and burst out laughing. The crying owners are still next-door…. oh shit. Thankfully, they don’t seem to mind, but they do leave soon afterwards. The entire surgery took about 2 hours, which is about 1 hour and 40 minutes more than we were expecting.
After the mammoth surgery, I still have a completely trashed treatment room to clean, surgery kits to sterlise and an OR to disinfect – and about 40 minutes to do it all. So, of course, we have an insane woman and her dog walk in demanding to see a vet. This woman believes that her desexed dog has grown back his balls. That’s right, this dog’s testicles, which have been surgically removed, have gained the power to regenerate. I let Catriona deal with it. I didn’t have time for spontaneous testicle regrowth.
Needless to say, I got out of work late and didn’t get half of want I wanted to get done accomplished, but, then again, I was attempting the impossible.