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!
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.
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.
At this stage, ‘Major’ was quite over the photo shoot and exhausted from all the attention.
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.’
- Fetching a stick turns ugly… (rayyathevet.com)