I worked at a place today that generally isn’t very busy. Even when they think they are busy, they aren’t very busy. I worked there Tuesday night and then they were closed for the holiday yesterday and I was back today. When I left Tuesday night they had a lot of appointments scheduled but they were all vaccines. Sounds like a nice easy day. I took a book.
Somewhere between what was written on the schedule and what really happened, all hell broke loose.
Since it was an all appointment day there was no time scheduled for surgeries. By 11:00 AM I had two emergency surgery cases looking at me. (There goes lunch.) The first was a cat with a blocked urethra. He came in to be euthanized but I found the problem and said that we could fix that. I gave my standard speech about anesthetic risk in sick cats and the owner got all worried that he might die. Ok, she brought him planning on him 100% dying at the end of the visit but now that I gave her hope she’s freaked by the slight possibility of death. He’s doing fine.
The second one was the loser of a dog fight. I gave up trying to count her lacerations. This will give you an idea. I used a surgical stapler to close her wounds. I stapled steadily for 45 minutes. Imagine how many times you could staple with a staple gun in 45 minutes. She was a mess. That doesn’t even count the puncture wounds. After it was over I decided to see who was working two weeks from today when the multitude of staples need to come out. I planned to issue a mild apology to that person. I looked at the calendar and said bad words. Guess when the next time I’m scheduled at that clinic is? Yep, 2 weeks from today. I have to take them all out. She’s really mean too so I don’t know that we’ll be able to work with her awake. I tried to amend my recommendation to suture removal in 15 days instead of 14 but the staff was onto me.
Then there was a load of sick dogs in the afternoon followed by a dog that collapsed. He was non-responsive and very dehydrated. He came with two people. One was hysterical. She was hysterical enough that her son kept throwing her out of the room while we were trying to work on the dog. We pulled blood from him and got an IV running. The diagnosis is severe acute kidney failure. Recommendation – referral for 24 hour care to continue fluids because the clinic was already officially closed. The owner freaked. She told me 24 hour hospitals just kill dogs. I countered with an explanation of how sick this dog was and that I wasn’t sure he was going to make it through the night. She told me about every dog she’d ever had where the vet said it was going to die and it miraculously recovered because “the Lord can heal!”
So he went home on an IV with orders to have him back in the morning. By this time he’d had about 400 ml of fluids and started to sit up. She told me that was proof that “the Lord was healing” him. I badly wanted to say that I thought it was more proof that an accurate diagnosis and boluses of IV fluids were healing him but I’m sure I’ve been added to the list of vets who thought that her pets were dying.
I hate the day after a holiday.