Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 27: Spays, Abscess Check-up, and Cysts.

                Today, the animals that were staying at the hospital for the day were a Bichon mix named Sophie, a Domestic Short-Haired named Noel, and a Yorkie named Sammy D.  Ellie is still at the hospital, and Norma was here for half of the day and she was then able to go home.  Sophie was getting spayed, and she was very difficult to get ready for the surgery because she was so scared; She was a very sweet dog, but she knew she was at the hospital and when anyone would touch her (in a way that wasn’t petting her) she would shrivel up and start to shriek.  We were able to get her under anesthesia, though, and she was fine and perky after the surgery was over.   Noel was also a spay, and she was a very pretty, unique looking cat.  She, too, was very feisty and difficult to prepare for the surgery, and she was also very feisty and distrusting after she woke up from the anesthesia (after the surgery).  However, she, too, seemed to be healing fine.  Sammy D has pancreatitis, but he was very hyper all day (most of the animals that have been in with Pancreatitis are quite lethargic).  He is receiving the medications of Cerenia (to prevent vomiting), Pepcid (to help prevent vomiting caused by acid reflex), and Buprenorphine (to help ease any pain the Pancreatitis was causing). 

Sophie, the Bichon mix.

Noel, the Domestic Short-Haired.

                The main patients we had today were a recheck for Penelope, and a Cockatiel named Sammi.  Penelope is the cat from day 22, who had the burst abscess on her tail.  Dr. Kris took the bandage off and looked at the wound, and is has been healing quite nicely over the past week!  The wound has become much smaller, though it still isn’t healed; so, Dr. Kris sprayed more Vetericyn VF on the wound, re-bandaged it, and sent Penelope home for another week to give the wound time to heal.  Sammi came in today because she had what are known as feather cysts; feather cysts occur when a new feather (sometimes multiple new feathers in one spot) doesn’t come through the skin, and instead begins to grow and curl under the skin within the follicle, forming the cyst.  Dr. Lou opened the cysts and took out the baby feathers that were causing the cysts.  She then flushed the cysts with saline solution to make sure all the bad feathers were out, and then took a sodium nitrate applicator and applied sodium nitrate to the opened cysts (the sodium nitrate helps the cysts clot/stop bleeding).  Sammi was then good to go.

Penelope getting her bandage off.

Penelope's much-less dramatic wound after being allowed to start healing.

Dr. Lou looking at one of the cysts.  As it can be seen, a bit of the 'bad' new feather is sticking out of the cyst.

Pieces of 'bad' new feathers.

Dr. Lou pulling pieces out of one of the cysts.

The approximate size of a cyst that hasn't been tampered with yet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 26: Splenectomy, Pancriatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Diabetes, and Seizures

                Today, the surgeries we had were a spay, a neuter, and two dental cleanings (dentals are considered surgeries because the animal is put under anesthesia so their teeth can be cleaned).  We also had a few regular appointments (nail trimmings, wellness tests, etc.) today.  Norma is still boarding/being observed at the hospital, and we also had the new patients of Sabrina (a Retriever/Lab mix), Mia (a Siamese cat), and Ellie (a Westie Terrier).  Sabrina had a Splenectomy (her spleen removed) yesterday because masses were growing on her spleen.  She is receiving the antibiotics Simplicef (fights bacterial infections of the skin; she has skin issues), Rimadyl (to help ease any achiness and arthritis symptoms), and Morphine (to ease the pain), and she is also receiving periodic EKG tests to ensure her heart isn’t having any irregularities (the animal is hooked up to an EKG machine, which monitors the heart rate for a desired period of time to check for irregularities in the heartbeat).  She was quite lethargic, and it was very difficult for her to get up and walk; but hopefully she’ll be doing better over the next couple of days.  Mia has pancreatitis and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), and she was receiving Ampicillin (to kill bacteria in the digestive system), Metronidazole (help fight the bacteria and treat the IBD), and Cerenia (to help prevent vomiting).  She was a very happy cat when I came in today; she seemed like she might have been in a little bit of pain because she had a weak meow, but she was walking around and never hesitated to jump up for petting.  She was transferred to another hospital right before I left, and I hope she continues to get better.  Ellie was being observed because she is a diabetic and was having seizures, and she was receiving regular blood glucose tests, insulin, and Prednisone (to help treat the inflammation and stiffness of joints [she was very stiff with every movement she made, so this medication was helping with that]).
Sweet Norma.

Sabrina, the Retreiver/Lab mix.

Sabrina about to be hooked up to the EKG machine (the machine at the top of the picture).

Mia, the Siamese cat.

Day 25: Birthing and Ear Hematoma

                When I first walked in today, a Maltese mix named Molly was in the middle of giving birth.  She had started labor at around 2:00 a.m. (she was pregnant with four puppies), and the first puppy was stuck in the birth canal for about four hours.  Her family brought her into the hospital around six, where Dr. Mark surgically removed the puppy.  It was, of course, dead.  Within the next two hours, she had given birth to two of the puppies, and the third and final one was on its way when I got to the hospital, the second one n=being born about twenty minutes before I arrived.  The last puppy was born about ten minutes after I arrived, and Pat helped the mom finish pushing the puppy out and then took the puppy to clean the puppy off and cut the placenta (the doctors don’t let the moms chew the placenta because most of the animals get nervous when they are in the vet hospital, and sometimes the birthing moms will chew [since they’re nervous] and they can chew through the placenta and actually chew on the baby.  So they don’t let the moms bite the placenta or clean the baby right after being born).  Pat cleaned the sac off of the puppy sac, took a ­­­­­­bulb syringe and sucked any fluid out of the puppy’s nose and mouth, and Dr. Roberta then tied of the placenta and cut it.  Pat then finished cleaning off the puppy, made sure all the fluid was out of the nose and mouth, and then gave the puppy back to its mom so it could be fed and taken care of.  It was an amazing moment of life to see, and an amazing way to start my day.
Pat drying off the puppy right after helping the mom get the puppy out.

Using the bulb syringe to get any fluid out of the nose and mouth.

The amnionic sac and placenta.

The puppy (a girl).

Dr. Roberta tying off and cutting the placenta.

An X-ray of the mom before she gave birth.  As it can be seen, she is carrying three puppies (this was taken after Dr. Mark had surgically removed the one that was stuck in the birth canal; the doctors wanted to see how many puppies she still had left to deliver).

Cleaning her puppies.

Happy mom with her puppies!

                There was also a poodle mix today who had an ear hematoma (hema=blood, oma=swelling); her ear was thick and soft, almost like a pillow.  Ear hematomas are caused by ear infections.  When dogs have ear infections, they shake their head and paw at their ears a lot.  All of the violent shaking can cause capillaries in their ear to burst, and this causes their ear to fill up with blood (hence why their ears become thick and soft like pillows).  Dr. Roberta said that they sometimes put the ear up on the head and then wrap it like that to the head, so that way when the dog shakes its head, the ear won’t shake and therefore the capillaries won’t burst.  In the case of this poodle, if he continues to shake his head, his ear will continue to fill up.  This will be a continuous filling up and draining cycle until the infection is healed.  Dr. Roberta drained the blood and then placed some anti-inflammation medication inside his ear.  She also prescribed him a steroid to help ease the inflammation and help his ear heal.  She said they try to avoid surgery because it’s complicated to do.
The poodle's ear.

Another view of the poodle's ear.  As it can be seen from this angly, the ear is large and spongey, like a pillow.

Drawing the blood out of the ear.

The blood being collected.

Day 24: Blood Draws, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Anemia, Allergies, Wet Tail, and Fecal Samples

                Today, some new patients we were housing in the recovery room were a Husky-Lab mix named Grace, a Charles Cavalier King Spaniel named Biscuit, a Terrier named Norma, and a Domestic Short-Hair named Figaro.  Diego is also still here; however, he was sort of walking/hopping when I came in today (doing his best to try and walk), which was wonderful to see; he has been recovering so quickly and efficiently!  He’s been doing so well, he was actually able to go home today, and his owners are going to continue to keep an eye on him and make sure he’s still doing okay while at home.  Grace ate a huge amount of 500-mg ibuprofen, and she had been given Toxiban (activated charcoal) to treat the toxicity of the ibuprofen by absorbing it.  All day poor Grace was having black vomit and diarrhea, but it was good that at least she was getting the ibuprofen out of her system.  Jen and Lauren also taught me how to correctly draw blood today, and they let me draw blood from Grace.  That is (of course) another first for me, and I was really happy they thought I was ready to learn how to properly draw blood now.  Jen said that I was holding the needle a little awkwardly, but overall I did a fine job for my first time.  I’m going to practice holding and moving a syringe when we don’t have anything going on so drawing blood will start feeling more natural to me.  Biscuit has DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) and is vomiting, so he is receiving Cerenia (to help stop the vomiting), insulin, Metronidazole (to help get his digestive system back on track), and Cefazolin (to help fight off any bacteria in his body).   Norma is boarding at the hospital for medical reasons, and she's being observed because her owner says that she has been having seizures.  Figaro was checked in because he has anemia (deficiency of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin in the blood), hypokalemia (deficiency of potassium in the blood), and lethargy (lack of energy).  He had been in the hospital all night, and was receiving blood transfusions; whatever he had received had helped him a lot, because when I saw him in the morning he was walking, stretching, and moving around a lot in his cage.
Grace, the Husky-Lab mix.

Biscuit, the Charles Cavalier King Spaniel.

Norma, the Terrier.

Figaro, the Domestic Short-Hair.

                We also had a couple of appointments today, most of which were, again, simply nail trims and/or wellness tests.  However, we had a Cocker Spaniel and a hamster come in for appointments today with health problems.  The Cocker Spaniel had some sort of allergy, which caused his ear to get callused and inflamed.  His ear got so callused and inflamed that it became boney, and Dr. Roberta said that the only way to fix this is to surgically remove the ear canal. He will be receiving the surgery in August, and for now he is coming in for routine cleanings, and getting the medication TrizEDTA (antifungal and antibacterial flush) massaged into his ear until his surgery.  The hamster came in basically dead; he had a severe case of wet tail, which is severe diarrhea that causes constant dehydration and wetness of the tail.  It’s a disease of unknown origin, and a disease that can cause death if not treated quickly.  Unfortunately for this hamster, its owners decided to get him help too late.  Dr. Lou talked to his owners, and then gave him some euthanasia solution so he could pass peacefully and painlessly. 
The Cocker Spaniel's callused ear.

The hamster with severe wet tail.

                Dr. Roberta and Pat taught me how to perform/carry out a fecal sample today.  First, you take a bit of fecal matter and mash it up/mix it with a solution of Sheather’s Sugar Flotation Solution in a cup, and then once the fecal material is pretty much completely mashed, it’s drained through a strainer into another cup so any solid pieces left are left out of the fecal/sugar solution.  The solution in the second cup is poured into a test tube, and the gap between the solution and the tube opening is filled with more of the Sugar Flotation Solution, all the way to the top.  A square slide cover is placed on top of the tube (this is why the solution is filled to the top; so the slide cover will stick to it), and it’s then placed into a centrifuge and spun at a high speed for about 6 minutes (the high speed of the centrifge causes the cover slip to stay on the tube).  As it’s spun, dirt and other unwanted material sink to the bottom, while any egg materials (such as the eggs of parasites) float to the top.  Something else that some of the doctors like to do is after they complete this process, they will go back to the bag of fecal material and stain a slide with a sample of the fecal material and saline solution.  This allows the doctors to check and see if the dog has giardia, which is an intestinal parasite.   
Mixing the fecal sample and Sugar Solution.

Draining the mixture.

Pouring the drained mixture into a test tube.

Adding more Sugar Solution so the mixture reaches the top of the tube.

Placing a square cover slip over the tube.

The centrifuge (and speed and time) that the mixture goes into.

Making a dry slide with saline solution to check for giardia.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 23: Babies, Bottle-Feeding, Parvovirus

                Today was, again, a really slow day (As I keep saying, we’ve been having some pretty slow days recently.  Jen says we’re in the slow phase of summer; I really hope it will start picking up soon).  When I first walked into the recovery room, I saw we had a Maltese named Tessa who had a C-section sometime late last night/early morning.  Her puppies (4 of them; three boys and a girl) were staying warm in an incubator on the other side of the room.  Even though I hadn’t been there to witness the C-section, seeing the puppies was still a cool sight to see!  They were only a few hours old, and they were really small, shaky, and are (of course, like all puppies) deaf and blind (unable to open their eyes) for the time being (until they get a few weeks older).  We needed to bottle-feed them with formula, because Tessa wasn’t producing any milk.  She seemed to be recovering fine, and she and the puppies went home around mid-morning with some formula and a bottle (in case the mother still won’t produce any milk).  Next to Tessa was Diego, and he is recovering wonderfully!  Even though he is still unable to walk on his own and his head is still slightly twitching, he is able to slightly control some movements on his own now and the twitching has subsided into more of a slight head bob.  This is amazing, because most of us were surprised that he even survived the attack; yet he’s recovering so quickly! I can only imagine how much better he’ll be tomorrow!
Tessa, the mother Maltese.
Her four puppies snug together in a warm incubator.

A facial view of one of the puppies.
Diego feeling better and recovering nicely, and acting more like himself as each day passes!

                There was a 7-month old Pitbull-mix named Tyson who came in with vomiting and dehydration, and he had a distinct odor coming from him, which led us to believe (and soon after discover for a fact) he had Parvo.  He was placed in the stray cat ward (since Parvo doesn’t spread to cats).   His owners weren’t the brightest pet owners; the brother of one of the owners had a dog which had puppies, and all of the puppies had Parvo.  Tysons owners kept putting him with the puppies, which is how Tyson came down with the virus.  I’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow and if he’s gotten any better.
Tyson, the Pitbull mix with Parvo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 22: Pancreatitis and an Abscess

               Today there weren’t many patients or appointments at all.  We had a Chihuahua named Hugo, a Domestic Short-Haired named Penelope, and Diego is still (of course) receiving medical attention and staying at the hospital.  Hugo has Pancreatitis (explanation of Pancreatitis in Day 20), and he was receiving Cerenia (to help stop the vomiting), Buprenorphine (to help veil the pain), and Flagyl (to help get her digestive system on track).  When it was time to give him his dosage of Cerenia, Nancy allowed me to give it to him while she help him for me.  Cerenia burns when it is injected, so the person giving it has to have someone carefully hold the dog or cat for them as they’re injecting the medication because the animal can try to either bite, claw, or try to get away.  I tried to inject the medicine slowly so the burn would be a less painful burn spread out over a few seconds, rather than injecting it fast and having Hugo feel a major burn at once.  He didn’t do anything besides whimper slightly, so hopefully injecting it slowly worked okay and made it less painful for him.  Penelope had come in a week ago from this past Sunday for getting bitten on her tail.  The owners thought she got bitten around two weeks ago when she was outside roaming around, but they didn’t bring her in.    I don’t understand why they didn’t, because she has a pretty large wound/bite mark on her tail.  She came back today because the wound developed an abscess, which ruptured and hurt her tail even more.  Dr. Lou took a look at it and flushed it with some saline solution before spraying Granulex-V (to help remove dead cells and scabbing) and Vetericyn-VF (to help heal the wound [full explanation in Day 21]) on it.  She then bandaged the area, gave Penelope some sub-q fluids, and sent her home to give the wound some time to heal up before seeing her again.  Diego is doing a lot better today than he was yesterday; he still isn’t really able to move on his own and his head is still twitching a bit, but he’s able to lift his head up on his own now and move his ears, and eating isn't quite as much of a strain as it was for him yesterday.  Such a good sign! I’m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow to see how even better he’s become.
Hugo the Chihuahua.

Penelope, the Domestic Short-Haired.

The wound on Penelope's tail.

Granulex-V working it's magic on the wound.

Vetericyn-VF working it's magic on the wound.

Day 21: Infection, Pancreatitis, Sores and Proper Treatment, Dog Attack

                 The few patients we had today (that weren’t simple appointments like nail trims and/or wellness tests) were a pug named Roxy, a Terrier named Lacey, a Tabby cat named Trixie, a Mastiff that had been in over the weekend, and a Yorkshire Terrier named Diego.  Roxy was staying because she was vomiting, had diarrhea, and was also very stuffy and had a slight fever (sign of a possible upper respiratory infection).  She is receiving the antibiotics Cerenia (to help with the vomiting), Ampicillin (to treat a possible upper respiratory infection), Metronidazole (a.k.a Flagyl; to help regulate his digestive system), and Amoxicillin (to help fight the upper respiratory infection).   Lacey was in the stall next to Roxy, and she had Pancreatitis (as I said on Day 20, pancreatitis is an inflamed pancreas. The pancreas releases digestive enzymes, helps neutralize the acid in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and releases insulin into the bloodstream to help regulate the cells’ intake of glucose. When the pancreas is inflamed, it releases those digestive enzymes prematurely [which can cause all sorts of problems], and it doesn’t neutralize or release insulin the way it should).  She is receiving the antibiotics of Flagyl (to get her digestive system back on track), Ampicillin (to help reduce her resulting fever), Cerenia (to help stop the vomiting), and Buprenorphine (to help ease the pain).  Trixie came in as an appointment today because she was dripping urine, which caused sores to show up around her anal area.  This had been going on for a couple of weeks, but instead of bringing her into the hospital, the owners would hose her bottom off a couple of times a day and then apply Vaseline to the area (not smart at all; their ignorant actions only made the sores worse).  Dr. Lou sprayed some CarraVet on the sores to help remove the dead tissue and debris, and then she applied some Vetericyn VF to the wound to help it heal the wound (the Vetericyn works like white blood cells; Neutrophils [part of white blood cells] release oxychlorine compounds to get rid of bacteria, and the Vetericyn releases these oxychlorine compounds as well, helping the tissues heal and killing nearly 100% of the bacteria within a minute of being applied).  She sent Trixie home with a bottle of each the CarraVet and the Vetericyn VF, both to be applied twice daily for a week.  She’ll then come back in for a check-up.
Roxy the Pug.

Lacey the Terrier.

The sores on Trixie's bottom (the two dark bumps under the anus).

The Mastiff had come in sometime during the weekend, so I wasn’t able to see him.  He had bloat (stomach twisted 180 degrees), so he was rushed in for surgery as soon as his owners discovered he had bloat.  The surgery went over well, but early Monday morning he died.  Dr. Todd performed an autopsy on the Mastiff, he discovered it was because of Necrosis (death of cells) in the stomach; it was compromised for too long, so it weakened and perforated.  Basically, the owners discovered something was wrong with him too late; the stomach’s cells began to die since there wasn’t enough blood getting to them, and a hole began to form where the dead cells were.  When Dr. Todd looked at the stomach, nearly half of it was black (hence, nearly half of it was dead) and there was a small hole in that area.  Unfortunately, bloat is hard to catch if the owner is unaware of the signs, and if it’s not caught quickly Necrosis can start happening and the dog will die.  Diego came in sometime over the weekend as well; he had been attacked by two Pitbulls, and they damaged his neck and neurological system.  He has draining tubes in his neck (to drain fluids like pus), has stitches in various cuts/gashes on his neck, some damage (bruising) to his left eye, is hardly able to move on his own, and his head keeps doing a constant twitch.   He is receiving daily neurological exams, and he is receiving the antibiotics Cefazolin (to kill bacteria/inhibit bacterial growth), Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory medicine to relief joint pain), Genticin Eye Drops (to help fight off any bacteria that may have gotten into the eye), Triple Antibiotic Ointment (to help heal the eye), and Clavamox (as I explained on Day 12, Clavamox is a β-lactam antibiotic and a β-lactamase inhibitor; certain types of bacteria produce the β-lactamase enzyme, which will break the β-lactam ring structure of penicillin-like antibiotics.  This will cause the antibiotics to be ineffective against the infection, so the β-lactamase inhibitor of this antibiotic prevents the bacteria from producing the β-lactamase enzyme so that this doesn’t happen and the antibiotic will work.  Also, this antibiotic contains β-lactam, which interferes with the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall and ends up killing off the bacteria.  So, the point of β-lactamase and β-lactam working together is to use β-lactamase to prevent the bacteria from releasing an enzyme that will prevent the antibiotic from working, while at the same time having the β-lactam kill off the bacterial cells).  Hopefully he’ll begin healing and be able to start controlling his movements again soon!
Dr. Todd cutting through the stitches from the surgery two days ago on Saturday to see the stomach and perform the autopsy.

The stomach (area circled in blue).  I couldn't get a clear picture of the blackened part of the stomach (I was helping hold the dog), but it can be seen that the right side is darker than the left side in the picture.  As he turned the stomach over and around, we could see how the majority of it was nearly completely black.

Diego.  He is unable to move, besides the twitches of his head.

Some of the tubes, cuts, and stitches on Diego's neck.