Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kittens & Cats

My training "in the back" at work has been completed, and as a result the staff now trusts me to work by myself as a Tech, assisting the Doctors with....everything. Oftentimes, animal medicine is complicated (one reason being that they cannot speak) and it often leads to long laborious hours.

Today was my first Saturday rotation meaning: one Doctor, one Tech, and one receptionist. Saturday's are often unpredictable with strange cases coming in frequently, especially during the summer.

Our day went great, without a hitch. All my blood work I ran went without a hitch, vaccinations pulled up were all used, standard examinations went well, and all animals behaved themselves.

My doctor had just commented to me that when I'm up in reception it's pure madness, but now that I'm working as a Tech, things seemed to be relatively calm.

Famous last words.

A cat was brought in, having had three kittens 24 hours ago. However, she had begun contracting again. An x-ray showed that she did indeed have one more kitten inside. An ultrasound revealed that the kitten was not viable (alive) but that it had to be taken out, especially if just in case the kitten actually was alive.

The Doctor had never performed an emergency c-section surgery before as it is very uncommon, and I don't know a thing about monitoring anesthesia, very little about intubation, and even less about sterile requirements for surgery. We tried contacting the other Doctor's from the practice, but none answered. Therefore, we embarked on the surgery--my Doctor having no experience in this surgery and me not knowing much about....well, anything.

The surgery went extremely well. The Doctor removed the kitten from the mother, we peeled back all the surrounding goop it was encased in. I tried to recall everything I had learned from my EMT training about reviving a dead baby, but alas, the kitten was stillborn. I even listened to him with a tiny pediatric stethoscope, but no heartbeat was ausculated :(

We closed her up, and the surgery was over. She recovered rather quickly, and woke up, frantically pawing at us to let her out of her cage so that she could go back attending to her three mewing kittens. (They were very upset to be without their mother)

All ended well. But now I'm on call all weekend. Eek.

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