adventures of beck

Friday, May 05, 2006

Spay Day 2006

All hands on deck today for about a million surgeries. A whole litter of puppies, like 5 other dogs at least, we were shuttling them in and out like crazy! I got to push anesthetic, check vitals etc, do clean up, put animals in cages post surgery, etc. It rocked.

So, I've always been a little weird about them getting anesthetic, it makes me feel weird. I usually hang back when they're doing that, at a distance. So I'm holding a small, black, fearful dog getting an exam, and shots. The doc gives a rabies shot, the dog jumps a little. I keep holding the dog, everyone else walks around, doing other things. The dog starts to sway it's head, and wants to lay down, it is suddenly very calm. I realize suddenly that she was given ansethetic, and I am OKAY! I let her fall quite asleep in my arms, then carried her into surgery and helped with prepping. Monitored her vitals, and did clean up and put her in her cage! Turns out she jumped because the pre-anesthetic stings going in. It's a muscular shot, but I didn't notice that the doc wasn't giving a sub-q, because I was watching for where he gave the shot, because I know that rabies go on the right rump, lyme goes on the left leg, and distemper goes on the dorsal (between the shoulder blades in the scruff.) They are all sub-q vaccines. That's for dogs. Cats are leukemia-left, rabies-right, and FVP/FVCRP dorsal (I think on the acronym one I might have some letters off.) Pre-anesthetic is given to smooth out the Pentathol that they then push into a vein. After surgery, when you pull out the Pentathol syringe that is taped to their leg, you have to REMEMBER how much is left, because this goes on the chart. The syringes can be different in several ways: the increments could be different- some are called "tuberculin" syringes-which I think means they are really small? And some screw in the needle- "Lure" syringes I think, and some just pop the needle on and off. So, when you are pulling out the catheter, you have to make sure that you grip the the part where the catheter meets the syringe, because otherwise, you'll pull off the syringe and blood will spout.

I also watched how IV and syringe catheters go in as well- the needle is inside a tiny rubber tube, with the pokey tip sticking out. You start catheters after the animal is mostly out of it from the pre-anesthetic, because, animals don't LIKE catheters too much. Then, once you poke it in, you pull the needle out from the inside of the tube, so now the bendy tube is in the vein. Watching it was a big step for me- such things would usually make me woozy, but now I'm getting desensitized and am coming closer to the day when I will attempt a blood draw. Probably I will first get to try on an anesthetized animal, since they aren't as squirmy, and are far more patient with mistakes.

On a puppy (8-12wk) spay later, I got to pull out the e-tube, too. We put the e-tube in so the puppy wouldn't vomit and aspirate it because someone had accidentally fed them that morning. The puppies were very cute, but definitely getting sick- worms, sneezing, coughing, runny nose etc. The sicker ones will have to wait for their surgery until they are better.

The puppy got gas and injectible anesthetic because puppies, with smaller organs, can't handle as much of one type of anesthetic as a bigger dog can. So you give smaller amounts of different types of anesthetic so one organ doesn't get overwhelmed (heart, liver, lungs, kidneys.) Puppies are also more difficult to keep under, because they don't respond very reliably to the anesthetic I think. (I could be wrong, but this puppy was hard to keep under.) We had to keep adjusting the gas.

I monitored vitals (all by myself!) on 3-4 dogs for Dr. R. I updated him on breathing changes, blink reflexes, and pulse rates. I don't know if he needs all this info, but I wanted to practice to make sure I could do the math quickly in my head, and continually monitor the breathing. When breathing speeds up, you know that anesthetic is light, and vice versa. Quick strong pulse also indicates light anesthesia, while slow, regular pulse indicates good anesthetic. Paleness of gums, slow capillary refill time, and slow/fast light pulse are indicators of shock (not good.)

I cleaned out a run for the puppies to go into after they were spayed/castrated. We picked one of the warmer rooms. I cleaned it using roto-kill which is noxious, but kills anything that could hurt puppies. I rinsed with water, and even went a little above and beyond, cleaned extra floor that just seemed dirty to me. I guess I get that from my mom, who is the sterilization queen and gave me an early love for all things that murder germs.

I also cleaned some cages and put down heating pads.

Bradford the cat went back to his shelter, he's looking good, though he's cranky about his leg. He really likes food though. So he can eat easy, you put wet food in his little bowl and snuggle it up under his chin, so he can then wolf it down.

I got to see a dog's uterous. It is shaped different than humans (who are designed to have single and rare twin births.) We humans have a big body in the uterous. Dogs have a very small body and big "horns" off both sides that travel up to the ovaries. The puppies develop in the horns. The ovaries are about the size of a pinto bean, little hard masses in the ends of horns.

To remove the tissue, the doc first separates it from some of the fascia holding it in place, using scissor-like things that he "spreads" open. He then clamps, ties off with surgical gut, and then cuts it out, making sure to not slice big arteries. There's remarkable little blood involved. About as much as you would get on your hands from handling say, filet mignon. That's because only capillaries should bleed if you're doing it right.

Gooood day. I love surgery.



Blogger Dooley said...

Ok all this surgery still makes me sick to my stomach. spew. Glad you're enjoying yourself though.

9:50 PM CDT


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