Sunday, September 16, 2007

welcome back to alice's adventures in wonderland

and by that i mean welcome back to my 2 weeks in hell traipsing through the corpses of the dead and sometimes rotting.

i must hate necropsy more than even i realize. i've been uncharacteristically depressed all day, weeping for reasons that are a little obscure, even to me. i have been reading 'the memory keeper's daughter' - which, while beautifully written and amazingly vivid, is almost stunningly depressing. i also have been so busy with this rotation that i've seen very little of my close vet school buddy - who generally helps to keep me somewhat centered in all the madness. on top of that, my other closest friend in the world is in a deep state of depression and has pretty much isolated herself. so i'm feeling melancholy and lonely. couple that with dreams of losing my intestines through my body wall, and well...i'm not quite sane these days.

anyway, it probably doesn't help that tomorrow, i plunge back into (pun totally intended) necropsy for week 2. despite the fact that parasit rounds for tomorrow were cancelled, and i don't have to be at school until the late hour of 1pm, i am still dreading it. but it IS getting better, just so ya'll know. there's a certain rhythm one develops when dealing with something as dreadful as necropsy every day. and while i by no means like it, i can face the thought of next week without nearly the trepidation that last week brought upon me.

friday wasn't as bad as i thought. we were busy - we had an elk that was hit by a semi. why, you might ask, do we need to determine cause of death in an elk that was smeared by an 18 wheeler? shouldn't cause of death be fairly easy to identify? actually, we're looking for chronic wasting disease - which is found in elk and deer. it's caused by a prion, the same type of agent that causes mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). we're also looking for meningeal worms...
besides the splattered elk (who actually looked pretty good for having come out on the losing end of the elk vs. semi encounter), we had a 10 week old female boxer puppy that was found inexplicably dead when the owners came home, and an 8 year old golden retriever with hypothyroidism that mysteriously died. we were actually all finished up at 3:59pm. 4pm is the cut-off for bringing new necropsies to us. guess what showed up at 3:59?? yeah, a recently deceased llama. so, we had to do it, too. but since we were all finished, it only took about 30 mins for all 6 of us to collect samples. i still got home by around 5:45.

now, i'm sitting here faced with the difficulty of writing a necropsy report on the previously mentioned boxer puppy. we opened her up with the expectation of finding a huge, obvious cause of death - ruptured stomach, electrocution, choking to death, something - anything - but it would be obvious. yeah, right. not happening. the pup was the picture of health. beautiful to cut up (although sad). so now, i'm sitting here trying to come up with differentials for an acutely dead but previously active, healthy appearing boxer puppy that doesn't involve the 10 roundworms i found in her small intestine. any ideas???

by the way, if you're ever overwhelmingly annoyed by your parrots you can give them gobstoppers. parrots produce very little saliva, so they don't really get up enough spit to get the sugar off - and none of mine are big enough to break them open and eat them. but man are they quiet for like 30 min spans! course, i wouldn't recommend this for you people with cockatoos and macaws -but for something timneh african grey or smaller, knock yourselves out!

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