Monday, January 12, 2009

it's 7am

and i feel ... oddly enough ... so much better. the last 2 nights have been a vast improvement. i only did 1 euthanasia in 2 nights. it was a toughie, but it was a good decision. overall, i feel light and easy. perhaps because i'm so punch drunk tired from staying up all night (again) that i don't know the difference.

happy case story:

jett was a 2 year old, neutered orange tabby that came in because his owners said he had an oozing hole above his eye. on physical exam, he was dehydrated, depressed, feverish, and had strawberry-colored pus oozing from a hole on his eyelid. touching the area (WITH GLOVES) elicited a massive amount of pus. i explained to the owners that jett had likely been bitten by another cat and that we'd need to sedate him, clip the area, and clean out the abscess. little did i realize what this would really entail.

we sedated jett and shaved the area. to my horror (and a little bit of delight), using the clippers made the strawberry milk pus come cascading out. i was stunned to realize that this little "cat bite abscess" was the size of a half dollar - stretching from just above the eyelid to the base of the ear and down to the jaw. the whole area was black and dead.

i took a scalpel and some scissors and removed that area - leaving a gaping hole in the head. i was quite disconcerted. in the case of necrotic (dead) tissue, suturing the hole shut is not an option. this bad boy had one of 2 ways to heal - delayed primary closure (waiting a few days to allow the skin to form a nice little healing area - called a granulation bed) before attempting to close it or second intention healing (leaving the wound alone to granulate in and close itself). unfortunately, this wound would likely not benefit from the formerdue to the gigantic-ness of the hole and the absolute lack of extra skin on the head. a graft might have done it eventually - but likely it would just have to heal in its own sweet time.

i cleaned it, stared at it, sighed (it looked worse than when i started, obviously), and bandaged it. of course - 5 seconds after recovering from sedation - he had ripped his bandage off. we re-bandaged (hard spot to bandage on a cat!) and placed an e-collar. this time, he made it to the parking lot before pulling the bandage off in the owner's car. the third bandage (sort of) did the trick.

yesterday, i spoke to the referring veterinarian - and jett is doing great. the wound is granulating in on its own and is healing beautifully.

yay! a success story from this CRAPPY week!

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