Today I was working in reception and one of the male kennel staff came up and took an animal back. A bit later as I was checking a client in I herd him yell "Aaaargh!" This guy doesn't say a word if he's stabbed by a needle or scratched so I turned. I was trying to continue helping the client because I figured someone else was helping my friend. Then I hear this scurrying up the hallway towards me, I turned and saw something that looked like a squirrel coming toward the waiting room (and me). There were a number of dogs in the waiting room, and I just acted on instinct and bent down and got a hand on the little critter. It was a kitty. The owner had told us that this cat and it's companion were outdoor kitties, but she didn't say they were feral. She scratched my hand and tried to bite my other hand when I brought it near to pick the little one up. I had my hand in just the right place though on her back that she didn't seem to mind, or maybe she just couldn't reach me. Either way I wasn't moving my hand. One of the other kennel staff members approached us to get the cat, and I let him know that he would need the cat gloves. We got her back in a kennel nice and safe, scared... but safe. The other kennel staff member has a pretty decent cut on his hand, but he'll be okay. I can't believe that little bugger got out, nor can I believe I caught her skiddish butt when I can't catch my own cat.


On Disease

Something happened at work just now and rather than waiting, and eventually not even posting I decided that I would go home and post what I was thinking immediately.

I learned to intubate today. Animals, not people of course. Although I am sure that I learned in a very different way than my medical school friend did. I came in and one of the dogs was not doing well, he was having very labored breathing and seemed to be in a lot of pain, he had liquid stool that smelled very distinctly (and horribly.) I called the doctor on call, then left the room to take care of another animal. When I came back one of the other staff mentioned to me that the dog wasn't moving. I ran the dog to surgery to put it on oxygen, and after standing there for a bit I thought it would be a good idea to push on the dog's chest to get air flowing through his lungs. I knew the dog wasn't breathing, and wasn't sure if I felt a heartbeat. When the doctor got there they said it was dead already, and there really wasn't anything we could have done.

I asked for the future what would be the best to do, and in response showed me how to intubate, and told me to give a milliliter of epinephrine if I didn't feel a heartbeat. It's good to know I suppose... I just wish I had asked earlier.

This dog was an adult and most likely died of a disease called Parvovirus. This disease is horrible, disgusting and preventable. It makes me really sad when older puppies contract the disease, but it is even less common in adults because they have many more opportunities to be vaccinated. I can not understand owners not getting these vaccines for their dogs. It puts them in so much danger. Imagine if Gastroenteritis was fairly easily transmitted between people, let's say fluid transfer, and it killed around 10-25% of the people who contracted it. There would be mandatory vaccinations for all school children, just like MMR. Parvo is a disgusting disease that requires intensive treatment when contracted, and it is ludicrous that owners choose not to vaccinate against it and other deathly diseases.

More information on Parvo if you want it.


On Work

I am a bad vet tech. I just ate a burger, and my cat was bugging me so I threw the wrapper. He's what I call an invincible animal though. If you don't know what I mean, or If you just want to hear an interesting story here is one. The Prologue is the story.

Yesterday wasn't bad. Actually lately most days haven't been bad, I suppose I have just been building up my story repitore. I've been reading friends blogs about learning to intubate (people) and other cool things people are doing. I figured I would give everyone a little piece of my life lately.

At the end of the day yesterday we had a lot come in. One case that I helped with was a cat. This poor cat was not doing well, he actually was brought in inside a recycling bin. The cat had a history of being bad, and biting even people he was familiar with, so I put on the cat gloves and took her out of her box. She was so sick even though she meowed she didn't even try to fight. The cat had begun to become ill quite some time ago, and had become worse recently. The owner thought that there was a chance the cat had been in a fight, but was also concerned because there was a neurological component to her illness, some pyralisis and odd behavior and by the end the cat couldn't even walk right. Because there was some concern of rabies the owner made it clear that they wanted the cat to be put down and tested.

The last time I had to deal with potentially rabid animals they were much more active, and I was more concerned about being bit. It turned out the last case was related to the food recall. Yesterday I wasn't about to remove the gloves, but I wasn't terribly worried about the cat biting me. It is fairly unlikely that the cat has the disease considering it was vaccinated in 2005, but I suppose we will find out in a few days.

Link fixed 5/4/07