“Major” update

January 13, 2012

Eye Cases

What a day it has been. I walked into the clinic and there was this 3 weeks premature born cria (baby alpaca) that required urgent attention. It was so weak and struggling to breathe. We started with offering her aggressive supportive therapy-warming her up, passing a gastric tube to feed her and then even maintained her on some oxygen. She was still deteriorating so I put in an intravenous catheter and started her on IV fluids. She perked up and her temperature finally started to go up.

Unfortunately after a few hours, we lost the battle.

This cria’s organs were just too immature and she simply couldn’t survive but she sure as hell tried…

Meanwhile in the background, I was also examining and medicating my surgical patients and getting them ready for their scheduled surgeries.

I then received a big blow and was told Sarah, my patient from the other day, had just passed away at home. I was shocked because I really did not expect to lose her. I had worked her up to the nine to determine the cause of her acute abdominal swelling. It is not an exaggeration when I say she looked like she was ready to pop. She only weighed 3.6 kg and we drained 1 L of free abdominal fluid from her.

My heart reaches out to her owners who were by no means prepared to bid her farewell.

May you rest in peace my beautiful little ‘Sarah’


Then I saw Tiny in her owners arms and she didn’t look well. I knew her owner had decided it was time to let her go and I simply could not watch. I had only performed a general anaesthetic and dental on her a couple of months ago and she had recovered so well.

It is really frustrating and sad how quickly geriatric patients can go downhill.

One moment they are spritely and running around very slowly on their aged feet, the next they are collapsed and ready to go up to doggie or kittie heaven!

 I will miss you my precious little feisty ‘Tiny’.

Just as I finished up my last surgery, a lady walked in with her cat as she was seriously concerned about him and she had every right to be.

I immediately attended to ‘Smitty’, 2-year-old handsome ginger boy, and found his history (loves to play with snakes and was only allowed outside today) + and clinical signs (sudden weakness & hypersalivation, inappropriate defecation) indicating he has been bitten by a snake.

I admitted him and did a blood test which showed he had a prolonged clotting time which further confirmed my diagnosis. He was started on iv fluids and given antivenom.

This photo shows ‘Smitty’ at the begining of treatment; he was not too pleased with all the poking around done at that stage!

Smitty post snake bite

He responded to treatment and got back to his mellow old ways. Here I was interrupting his rather intense grooming session.


I am crossing my fingers for ‘Smitty’. He is still not out of the woods just yet. My gut feeling says he is going to be just fine but we have to wait and see. I will update you about his progress next week.

Now it is time for the major ‘Major’ update :-).

He was not only the highlight of my day but of my week too. He bolted into the clinic happy as ever. We were all fussing over him and he was enjoying the glory. It was actually much harder to get him to sit still for the photos this time around.

This is him just before we removed his stitches today.

Major one week post surgery

Then the moment of truth finally arrived, I took out the sutures (reversed the 3rd eyelid flap). We all held our breaths as I waved my hand in front of his eye and tested his menace response. He blinked and his eye appeared normal. I then tested  his pupillary light reflex and it was normal.

I smiled and gave his owner the thumbs up and said:’ He can see!’.

His mom suddenly burst into tears of joy and kept saying: ‘oh my god, he can see, he can see’. I felt her every tear and was secretly crying tears of joy on the inside. Ofcourse I then harassed my poor Major with so many pictures. I simply couldn’t get enough of him.

You can still see his 3rd eyelid poking out in this picture. It will go back down into its normal hidden position in no time.

I can see you

At this stage, ‘Major’ was quite over the photo shoot and exhausted from all the attention.

sick of the photo shoot

Major’s mom knows she must regularly bring him in to us for frequent visits in the future.

Well I better run and get some sleep. I have a big weekend ahead of me…

Keep your furry friends safe and sound and my vet wisdom tip for this week is:

‘If your pet isn’t feeling well, don’t sleep on it, act fast or else you may trully regret it.’

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About Rayya

Hi I am Dr. Rayya. I created this site to take you on a journey of my life as a vet! I hope to inspire you, teach you, learn from you. Most importantly help pet owners and animals around the world by sharing pictures, videos and posts from my everyday experiences.

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31 Comments on ““Major” update”

  1. magsx2 Says:

    You certainly have had an emotional week. So terrible sorry to hear about the pets that were lost, I really feel for the owners.

    It was nice to get the update on Major, what a great outcome for everyone, especially for Major himself, he looks very happy and content.

    Thank You very much for the mention of my post in your blog, it was a nice surprise.


    • Dr. Rayya Says:

      You are most welcome for the warmth mention…thought I should get the word out for others to check out your cool blog…major’s news sure was amazing….;-)


  2. Tricia Booker Photography Says:

    I am so glad that you liked one of my blog posts so that I could discover yours. It’s so sad to read of the precious animals who lose their fights but also so rewarding to see there are others who overcome such huge obstacles.

    I look forward to following your blog and to getting to know you and your patients. I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian, but it didn’t work out for me. I now work with veterinarians in a different capacity—as an educated client and also as a magazine editor—and I will always be grateful for those who commit their lives to improve the lives of the animals who bring us so much joy.


  3. barb19 Says:

    So glad to hear that Major can see, his owner must be so relieved. He is such a handsome boy. No more throwing sticks for him!
    I was really upset to hear about little Sarah and Tiny. It’s so sad to hear when you lose a patient, I honestly don’t know how you cope with it; you must get so attached to them.


    • Dr. Rayya Says:

      Hey Barb. Major is a very handsome boy…I sometimes really don’t know how I cope with all the losses…I think the winners balance it out for me. 🙂


  4. Cowboy Says:

    Howdy Doc –

    Good heavens – that was quite a day. I’m sure it’s difficult to lose your clients after you’ve formed a type of bond with them. I have no doubt that it’s a fine line between attached and detached, yet you have to remain calm and professional in all circumstances.

    While your day didn’t start out well, I think the positive case at the end of the day most likely reminded you of why you became a veterinarian.

    Major’s eye looks great and I can tell in the photo that it/s nice and bright and clear. Good job to all ! Thanks for the update !


    • Dr. Rayya Says:

      Hey cowboy…I have been very fortunate in maintaining contact with my clients as they either own other pets or adopt new ones after a couple of months…the hardest part of losing a patient is doing my best to save him or her and failing to do so…and what makes it worse is when I don’t have the answers to give the owners closure….I can only keep striving to do what us best for each individual patient….Major is one lucky pooch….:-D


  5. Jo Woolf Says:

    Glad that Major is doing well, you have had an intense week. Hope you get to unwind sometime this weekend!


  6. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    Snakebite??!!! I can’t imagine what it must be like to live in a country with snakes. I know my little Sparta would be out there snake-wrestling if we had them. So glad Smitty’s on the mend. Thanks so much for your blog – I love reading it.


    • Dr. Rayya Says:

      Hey Rosie…Australia is full of venomous creatures from snakes to paralysis ticks to spiders…it us best nor to dwell in that as we would be opting to put our pets in protective bubbles :-)…at least you have one less thing to worry about with your little critter…


  7. becomingcliche Says:

    Such fantastic news on his eye! Way to go!


  8. poemsandponderings Says:

    Sad beginning, happy ending.. Thank you.


  9. amyshojai Says:

    I’ve been holding my breath–YAY! Happy wags for Major. And sad comforting purrs for the losses.


  10. Animalcouriers Says:

    Super news for Major at least.


  11. sonia Says:

    Hi Dr. Rayya,

    For every story that ends badly there is one that ends well and Major is one of your triumphs. All the best!


  12. 2browndawgs Says:

    Good news for Major!


  13. IsobelandCat Says:

    Wonderful post, Rayya. As the anniversary of Cat’s death approaches, Imy heart goes out to these newly bereaved owners. Having you as vet for their pets must help.


  14. char Says:

    Yea! So glad Major is doing good. He is such a beautiful dog. What a day for you.


  15. mareymercy Says:

    Wow – you really are a miracle worker! I don’t know how you do it, my heart was breaking just reading the summaries on the front page – but I’ve had a many a pet’s life saved by people like you and I will be forever in debt to all of them.



  1. Fetching a stick turns ugly… | Dr Rayya's Online Veterinary Journal - March 16, 2013

    […] “Major” update (rayyathevet.com) […]

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