Tag Archives: Surgery

Blast From The Past: I Know What My Job Is

x-ray
Image by [177] via Flickr

Welcome to the first installment of me going through my old blog posts and making fun of them.  When I read this one I knew I had to mock it and then promptly die of embarrassment.  This post was written in August 2004 when I had been working as a vet nurse for almost a year and was still learning the ropes.  The main part of the post was about an emergency surgery we needed to do on a small terrier whose leg was crushed by a falling bed.  How a bed fell on that dog I will never know.  Anyway, obviously I was feeling a little cocky about actually knowing what I was doing, which in those days was a rare thing.  I actually described the event as such, “Fortunately, this was a surgery I knew what the hell I was doing in. Basically keep the dog alive and then before the vets close the wound site up I take x-rays, develop them and let the vets know if they have stuffed up or not.”

That’s right, according to me, my job was to take x-rays and let the vets know if they had screwed up the operation.  Now my description isn’t technically wrong, my job was to keep the dog alive and then at the end of the operation before we closed, I was to take x-rays to make sure the bones and pins were in the right position and everything looked good.   However, I can’t believe I actually described it as “let the vets know if they have stuffed up or not”.  I wish I could explain this away as me just being a kid, but I was 29 at the time.  I have no excuse.  Now I shall promptly go and die of embarrassment of my 29 year old self.  I wonder if in 5 years time, my 39 year old self will be similarly embarrassed at what my 34 year old self has written.  Knowing me, that is almost a certainty.

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Bringing the beagle home

Tonight we were able to bring Rory home from the hospital. She is looking so much better after her surgery and is able to move around relatively pain free.  She seems much brighter and is interested in the world again.

Caleb has missed her so much and was overjoyed to have her back home.  We reintroduced them with Rory in her crate so that they didn’t try to romp and play with each other.  Rory seems a bit nonplussed about seeing Caleb though.  I guess if I had just had spinal surgery a large bounding German Shepherd wouldn’t impress me much either.

Rory will be on strict crate rest for at least two weeks.  We need to go back and see the specialist in two weeks time to get her stitches out and he will make the decision on how much activity she is allowed after that.

She has an impressive surgical wound down her neck and a big shaved patch on her back from where they did the the myelogram.  I will post some photos later of her “war wounds”.  I am just so glad to have my baby girl back home again.

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Weird Slavic Rehab Guy

A very long day today full of surgery, but it was lacking in grooms and stupid clients, so all in all it was a good day.
We had a dog from the pound come in to be desexed before going to rescue. When we palpated her bladder during the routine exam, it felt like there was a rock in there. Sure enough, there was a huge bladder stone – about 4cm in diameter. I got a little bit over-excited when I saw it. I need to get a life outside of work, I think. The dog, which we named Eliza, also has a fractured radius which will need to be repaired. Apparently, she was so matted in the pound, that her front legs were matted to her body – how gross is that?
Weird Slavic rehab guy was also in today. I am not sure why anyone would pick a vet clinic to do rehab work in. It is an extremely physical job and you need to have enough strength to pick up heavy dogs and equip and be on your feet all day. Not sure why this is helpful for someone who has problems even walking. Anyway, rehab guy is even worse than useless and he has this incredible knack of always being in my way, especially in surgery. I lost count of the number of times I had to ask him to move so that I could access the patient in order to give injection or rehydrate body parts. He never asks what needs to be done and he seems to lose interest in a job halfway through and just stops doing it. When you are busy, the last thing you need to do is babysit someone, therefore, Kerri and I just left him in the operating room watching surgery. We have another 3 months of him… *sigh*

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Egyptian Torment

Today was truly a day of Egyptian Torment. I knew that karma would bite me in the ass today. It did and it took a large chunk of flesh.
I have this mole on my wrist that Lela has been harassing me to get looked at by a doctor as it has changed shape and color, but typical me, I haven’t. Well, the mole is no more as one of the kitten accidentally ripped the top of it off. I have a hole in my wrist now – and it’s kinda painful.
The day got progressively worse after this occurred. We had a dog named Cookie dropped off for grooming and this dog must be sedated in order to get anywhere near its legs. I told the lady that dropped it off that it would be ready to go at 4pm and if it was ready sooner I would call. Since we had a monster day of surgery planned, plus two other grooms, I knew I would be pushing it to get it ready by 4pm. Anyway, the daughter of the lady who dropped Cookie off called at 1pm and wants to know when she will be ready to go home. I had done most of the clip, but the dog hadn’t been bathed, plus we had the tumor dog to operate on, so I guessed that maybe it might be done in about 2 hours time, but I would call when it was ready. I reminded her that I told her mum that Cookie would be done by 4pm. The tumor dog surgery was a complete disaster, in that whatever could go wrong did, the dog stopped breathing, we had trouble finding enough skin to close the wounds etc. It was a nightmare and took forever – so I didn’t even a chance to look at Cookie much less finish her. The daughter calls again at 3pm, just as we were about to finish the surgery and screams, yells and abuses me that her dog isn’t ready to go home. I was so proud of myself for not even raising my voice, I just calmly explained that we had a very long and difficult surgery and that her dog would be ready to go home when I originally said at 4pm. She abused me some more and hung up. Lovely. It was hard finding the motivation to make Cookie look nice. I did manage to get it done, plus my other two grooms and get my ass out of the door by 4:15pm.
My whole day was one interruption after another and more stupid clients. I really wish we had a receptionist or even a junior on, who can take care of things like stupid people and let me get on with the work that has to be done. I hate being interrupted and I get really stressed out when I am. It isn’t pleasant.

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A Day of Surgery

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.

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