Life

An Hour of My Day

It’s at Saturday and a mere hour until we close our doors and officially switch over to out of hours. Saturdays are always a nightmare so I’m virtually counting the minutes until the building will be mine alone. My nurse is monitoring a patient as they recover from anaesthetic while I stare at X-rays trying desperately to work out why the cat on the table is so painful it wouldn’t let me examine it conscious. X-rays are one of these things that you can stare at blindly until the pieces miraculously fall into place and everything suddenly becomes clear. Like one of those magic eye puzzles, sometimes you just have to look at them just the right way. Working through them systematically is always the way to go. Hmm, that doesn’t quite look right…..yes, that fits! Ok, ring the owner, explain the findings, sort out medication and organise a discharge. Quick check of the hospital patients. Onto the next. You’ve got to love an aggressive cat. All claws, teeth and anger. He’s scared. I know he’s scared. Unfortunately that doesn’t help me place a cannula in his leg and if we’re going to make any steps forward with his treatment I’m going to need to get him on fluids so giving him a wisp of gas should be enough to placate him for a moment. Everything goes to plan and the cannulas in in no time and the cat back in it’s kennel just as a receptionist runs around the corner with a cat box and a call of ‘fitting cat’. I’ll be honest, this is when the team around you really comes into its own. Before I can blink the lid is off that box, the reception has gone to get more information off the owner, a nurse has got everything necessary to get access to a vein and we’re ready to go. It’s always hard when someone just walks through the door with a case like this! With no history or prior warning it can be difficult to get on top of the situation but I’m lucky – I have a great team around me. Another vet talks to the owner while I focus on him. First medical attempt to stop this cat fitting is unsuccessful so it’s onto plan B, plan C, plan D…! We’ll simply keep going until we hit what works. Trying to place a cannula in a fitting animal is not easy! On one hand you’re trying not to stimulate the animal with sound, light, touch, but on the other you have to get access to a vein. Steady hands are a must. With access we gain a world of options. Less than a minute later and our little cat isn’t seizing. With one eye on him I’m forced to turn my attention to my next emergency. It’s weird how quickly you can realise a case isn’t going to end well. One look at the rabbit that has just been brought straight round to me tell me that this is one of those cases. I can see the maggots. Fly strike – a hideous condition caused by maggots tunnelling into the flesh of a rabbit. Fur is coming away from the back of the rabbit right the way down to the thighs. The maggots run deep and I can feel where they enter the abdomen. This rabbit is suffering and there is little I can do to help. A quick check on the now stable seizing cat. A nurse is on constant monitoring and all appears quiet. Quick check on the hospital patients. Field a question from reception. Back to the rabbit. After a quick talk with the owners a decision is made and we are talking about cremation options. You can’t rush tis process so I have to appear calm on the surface, walking out of the consult room gently then back to rushing around. Just like the famous swan metaphor, on the surface I must appear calm while underneath I juggle everything. Back to the seizing cat and all is still looking good so it’s time to move to a kennel. Easier said than done when you’re trying not to be stimulating but before long he’s all settled in a dark, quiet kennel, his bloods are being run and his drip is running perfectly. A final quick look at the hospital patients and a nosy at some bloods. Slight change of plan so I change the hospital sheets accordingly. The owners of the x-ray cat are here so we have a chat about the findings and plan going forward. Having checked they understand and agreed with this they’re ready to head home and get him settled. They’re the last people in the building that don’t work here so I lock the door behind them, turn off the lights and head back into the hospital. My watch is over and it’s time to hand the hospital over to another vet. 1 hour of my life on a Saturday afternoon. This Saturday in fact. A busy one by all means but not uncommon in this. I’m hungry, tired and emotionally drained but I wouldn’t have it any other way! If you need to do a moving, you may need the help from a reliable apartment movers in Dallas

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