Updates on a Slow Day

Oh, I just jinxed myself.  In a vet clinic (and probably any other medical facility) one should never make the comment that it’s slow because, invariably, it will cause a horrible emergency to come in, usually right before closing.  Hopefully that won’t happen. 

The dog from the last two posts had to be put to sleep, she continued to get worse and the neurologist diagnosed a likely multifocal brain stem lesion, maybe meningitis or encephalitis and the prognosis was poor.  Can you believe that only 3 days after going off food and having a sore jaw!  Things like that aren’t very common, but sad and frustrating when they occur.

I went to my vet school class reunion at Texas A&M College of Vet Med last weekend.  It was pretty fun,  catching up with people and seeing what’s happened over the last 10 years.  The following will mean nothing to anyone who didn’t goto A&M: I haven’t been back to College Station since I graduated, so my hubby and I had some drinks at the Dixie Chicken and the Dry Bean (got carded at the Dry Bean…woo hoo!), had coffee at Sweet Eugenes (this place is what a coffee shop SHOULD be, cozy and artsy, not slick and corporate like other coffee shops we know..) Ate at Cafe Eccel (that’s where you eat when your parents are in town and will pay the bill bc it’s expensive by college standards), walked all over campus, visited my hubby’s old dorm room at Fowler Hall (now a study hall!), checked out our old study haunts at the Evans Library (they added a whole new building!!!), walked around the MSC (bought some Aggie-wear at the book store), visited our old apartments and houses, it was a fun trip down memory lane (Kyle Field looks way bigger, and the non-air dorms seem to have air now).  Oh and we saw some folks getting engaged under the Century Tree.  I thought I saw Reveille, but it was just somebody’s sheltie.  Only one person said “howdy” though, which was kind of a bummer, that was kind of a cool tradition.  Next time I’m taking my kids and I will eat Tijuana fries at the Chicken!

Back to work stuff.  Cool case yesterday, a cat came in with a chief complaint of “breathing fast”.  Looked at the cat, and yup, breathing fast.  Usually this is either due to asthma or fluid in the lungs (pleural effusion).  When cats get to the point that they’re obviously having trouble breathing, they are REALLY sick and fragile.  They’re very adept at hiding the fact that they’re having breathing problems because they’re not super active like dogs.  Generally, a lethargic dog is much more noticable than a lethargic cat.  Anyhow, we have to warn the clients that the pet could die during regular diagnostics (like XRays).  So, we gave the cat some Albuterol (ventolin) by inhaler in case it’s asthma, and got out our oxygen equipment (just in case) and proceeded to carefully take a quick X-Ray.  The first picture comes out and the heart is obscured (usually that means there’s fluid), but this time upon closer examination, there were gas-filled tubular structures in there.  There shouldn’t be anything of that nature in the chest…the cat’s intestines and colon and stomach were in its chest!  She had a tear in her diaphgram that she’s been walking around with for God knows how long (she was originally feral), and her guts decided that now was a good time to slip over on into her chest (animals can be born with these hernias, or they usually occur secondary to trauma, hit by car, etc).  We quickly referred her to the Dallas Veterinary Surgery Center (sometimes these chronic hernias don’t give you much tissue to sew together to fix them, so Dr. Sharp felt that referral was best), and they moved her guts back into her abdomen where they belong and put in a chest tube, reinflated her lungs, and barring any complications, she should live happily ever after. 

We also saw a baby bulldog that fell in the pool and almost drowned.  Bulldogs are all the rage right now.  If you’re considering getting one, research their health problems: breathing problems, and skin problems are really common in these guys. They’re sweet, but most of them end up on some pretty serious allergy treatments.  Anyhow, this bulldog looked pretty awful when she came in, but after a day on oxygen and some diuretic to get the fluid out, she did pretty well and she’s totally fine now.  Watch your dog around the pool, they will fall in and they will drown.  That’s the first dog I can think of in a really long time that fell in the pool and lived. 

OK, Gotta get to work, there’s a 5 pound dog on the way in that’s passing out after eating a couple of chocolate chip cookies.  Careful with the chocolate especially at Halloween and Christmas!!! Dogs look really sad when we have to make them barf it up and then give them activated charcoal to bind up the poisons, and they could die… (and what did I tell you about jinxing the place! ) At least we don’t close for an hour….


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