adventures of beck

Monday, June 05, 2006

"We don't put that in the job description."

Today was very out of the ordinary. Both vets were working and many many patients came in. We were booked solid when the day started, and many more people showed up with everything from emergencies to accidental appointments to the wrong vet office. A surprisingly large number of big dogs were getting their anal glands expressed (one of which was a lovable "Newfie" or Newfoundland Dog- read the breed profile here if you like: In between all this expressing of anal glands came a Wheaton Terrier who needed chest xrays. We fired up the xray processor for him and took a couple graphs of his chest. We were comparing them to old xrays to look for signs of pneumonia. I don't think that Doc found anything significant. Wheaton terriers look like they are fat, but it's actually just a lot of fur. Very poofy. Speaking of poofy, I had a chance to check on the older Golden Retriever, Puffy. He had recovered from his castration just fine, and barked his fool head off to prove it when I went back to say hi. Coda was already gone when I went to look for him. I hope he finds a good home.

We had several dogs today that were just an absolute pain in the butt for nail clippings. The first was a Rhodesion Ridgeback cross who was quite obese. Dogs are very strong when they are afraid, and I was glad to have a muzzle on her. Her and quite a few after her required 4-5 people to restrain the animal in order to clip nails. When several people are holding an animal, we are in very close quarters to eachother (the techs, I mean) and so people end up leaning into eachother, an elbow on a back, a head under an arm, and it's a big people pile. I imagine if techs really didn't want to touch eachother, it would be hard to hold an animal, but luckily, we pretty much cuddle right into eachother, and the person in back, holding the dog's butt sometimes rests their head right on the dog's back. I think it kind of all locks together to make a stronger hold than a bunch of techs who don't want to run into eachother.

It was while we were in the middle of trying to squeeze in two quick exams on a Jack Russel Terrier and a Shepherd Mix that our biggest emergency yet (that I've seen) came flying through the door on Doc's heels. A man was carrying a Miniature Pinscher, and had blood all over his hands and down the front of his jeans. See a "MinPin" here:

The MinPin had been doing his job, being the family watchdog, challenging a couple stray dogs in the yard. The only problem was, the dogs weren't being threatening, they had actually been invited into the yard by the MinPin's owners. The people were attempting to help the strays find their way back home, and had put them in their fenced yard in order to keep them around so they could find their owners. So, the MinPin escaped into a yard containing two stray labradors, and one of them grabbed her and shook her. He shook her hard enough that on the xray, even I could tell that one of her vertebrae wasn't where it was supposed to be. The blood on the man's pants turned out to be part his, and part the MinPin's. The MinPin's blood of course, came from her bite wounds from the lab, and the man's blood came from the bites he received from the injured MinPin when he attempted to move her. Both the husband and wife owners of the MinPin were of course, very very concerned and upset. They talked to the dog, trying to comfort it as we tried to take as hasty xrays as we could manage. Doc ended up referring them to a surgical clinic, which he called ahead to in order to get them in right away. I heard him say that it would be a very close call, or hopeless. I very much hope that those two good samaritans get good news from the surgeon at the center. I have read that small dogs can only stand to lose a few tablespoons of blood before they are in danger, while a large dog can lose up to a pint. I imagine blood loss will be a big concern for this doggie.

Next up to bat was a BIG eared shep/mix who was pretty scared. Dr. R. took blood from her front leg instead of her neck because he said that she was a nervous dog who wanted to be able to see what was going on, and that tipping her head back might freak her out more than getting her blood from her leg. He was totally right, she didn't even notice the needle in her leg, but she sure noticed every noise and movement in the room! An interesting thing about frightful dogs is that when I am holding them for a procedure, and then I relax my grip some when the doctor is done with the procedure, the dog begins to struggle a lot- like as if my relaxing of my grip must mean that it is all over, and now they can escape. It is interesting because they don't struggle at the height of the procedure, when 4 people are holding them, tightly, but they struggle when everyone backs off.

Of course, some dogs DO struggle when 5 people are holding them. And some dogs require the tight grip of 5 people, even though they weigh only 40 lbs. And one dog particular, when she is scared, and laying on her side, and 5 people are holding her, and one is clipping her nails, and I am holding her back legs, standing behind her, well this dog decides it might be a good time to empty her anal glands. All by her self. All over me. On my neck, on my scrubs, on my t-shirt, on both my arms, and all over my watch. And just in case you haven't had the pleasure of smelling anal gland juice, let me describe it for you: the worst poop you've ever smelled, magnified by 10. On me. But to thanks my lucky stars, and to look on the bright side, I'd like to point out that it didn't get in my mouth...though it got very close. I smiled and said "well, it's all in the job description." But Doc shook his head and said, "no, we don't put THAT in the job description."


Blogger Dooley said...

that's hilarious, ridiculously hilarious!

2:42 PM CDT


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