Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I was torn between a post on my internship as a whole and a post on pediatric medicine and the unique challenge it represents to us vets.

Instead of either, I'll just give ya'll a brief update on the house-buying/moving/new job situation.

We backed out of the first contract due to the seller acting very shady and outright dishonest about the house. So, we spent Saturday night and Sunday in North Carolina AGAIN (trip 4 in 4 weeks), looking at houses. In the end, we offered on the house that was probably our second choice all along. We're in the process of negotiating, and hopefully, all will end well this time. It's getting old, I'm not gonna lie.

Tonight is the last night I will ever work as an employee at my internship. It's my last night of relief work before I say adios forever. I wish I could feel nostalgia...or something, but all I feel like is not working tonight.

My 3 days on in a row were very busy. I got to do a foreign body removal on my birthday. A young pitbull had a ... something? ... lodged in his mid-duodenum (upper small intestine). I really have no idea what it was. Some people thought brillo pad, others just called it a fecolith. At any rate, he recovered excellently and went home after 4 days in the hospital before the surgery. Long story short, he was originally treated as a renal failure until it became apparent that his azotemia (elevated kidney values) were as a direct result of his incredibly massive dehydration...as a result of the foreign body in his intestines. Ah...all is well that ends well. It was a GI surgery, and I'm happy to say that he has recovered well and went home a much happier dog. It helped restore some of the confidence I lost as a result of my last foreign body surgery.

More to come later, I'm sure.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Please read the bag...

Enter the young doctor: "Sir, Fluffy is hemorrhaging from his gums. Anywhere he could have picked up some rat poison?"

Mr Green, a mid-50s gentleman farmer, "No."

Continuing, "I'm very concerned that rat poison may be the cause of Fluffy's difficulty breathing, as well as the blood you noticed in his mouth. Are we absolutely sure Fluffy wouldn't have eaten any?"

I wait.

He clears his throat quietly and then says: "Well, I do put rat poison in his food. The damned rats kept eating his dog food! But that's for the rats. He wouldn't eat that." LONG pause. "Would he?"


Friday, June 26, 2009

For giggles

It's 5am, I'm really tired, and there are 2 emergencies on their way in...so for laughs, information I gleaned from patient charts:

Reason for visit: "kidneys locking up" (Locking up for what - the night? Doors close at 5pm?)

Breed of dog: cheewawa (Hukd on fonix werks for me!)

Reason for visit to ER clinic: "emergency" (Really? I thought you came in for a pedicure!)

Name of owner: Doctor Charles X. Actual job: english professor.

Breed of dog: Daniff. This is a great dane crossed with a mastiff. We call it a mutt. Also might be known as the following: dog with 100% chance of gastric-dilatation and volvulus, dog sure to be unruly and untrained and to develop epilepsy and require frequent hospitalization for seizure monitoring...

Reason for visit: "sick" (Gee, I thought your cat just wanted to visit the vet)

And that's only a brief sample of 3 days worth of work!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No way she coulda done that...

Me: "Mrs Hillperson, your puppy seems to be bleeding internally - into both the chest cavity and the abdomen. Her clotting times are off the chart high. Could she have gotten into rat poison?"

Mrs Hillperson: "No, absolutely not."

Me: "We're sure?"

Mrs Hillperson: "Nope, no rat poison. Now, we caught her brother with a mouthful of it about a week ago, but not her - she wouldn't do that!"

Me: "You might want to bring in your other dog while we start treating the first one..."

I think I have parvo now.

Me: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but Mr Giggles has parvovirus. Are you familiar with this disease?"

Mr X: "Oh yeah, my last pit bull died of that."

Me: "Ummm...are you familiar with the parvo vaccine?"

Mr X: "Yeah, but that's too much money to spend. I could just buy another one for the cost of that shot. You can go ahead and put Mr Giggles down."

Mr X to son: "We'll just buy another puppy, son."

Me: Swallowing vomit.

On an empty stomach.

Mrs Green: "Jimmy has been vomiting for 2 days, and he hasn't touched any food for over 72 hours. He eats things all the time that he shouldn't. His belly really hurts him, and he cries when you touch it." (All this said of a Labrador that looks bouncy and vibrant).

My colleague: "You're sure he's eaten nothing at all? He's vomited copiously for 2 days?"

Mrs Green: "Oh yes, I just know he has something stuck."

Xrays: soft tissue density in what should be a very empty stomach

Exploratory surgery: stomach full of chicken.

Mrs Green at 3am post-operatively: "Oh well, yes, he did eat all the chicken we fed him today, but absolutely NOTHING ELSE."

My colleague: Speechless.

The Big K

Me: "Mr Brown, I'm very sorry to have to give you this news, but I suspect that your dog has a type of cancer called hemangiosarcoma. I would suggest chest xrays to check for metastatic cancer to the lungs and extensive bloodwork to evaluate the function of the kidneys, liver, bone marrow, and blood elements. Surgery would be the next step, but we need to stage Fluffy carefully before we make that decision."

Mr Brown: "Can't we just do the cancer test and skip all the other stuff?"

Me: Speechless.

Monday, June 22, 2009


sorry that i haven't had much to say as of late. i know that most of you read this blog to hear about my veterinary exploits. alas, i have not worked since june 9th. my next stint of relief work dates is june 23, june 24th (my 30th birthday), and june 25th. i'm sure i'll have enough wild tales of those 3 days to fill a short novel...so hang in there.

in the meantime, i've been packing, cleaning, sorting out mortgage stuff, talking to the realtor daily, going to north carolina with the husband, spending time in ktown with the bff and her husband, attending concerts, buying tickets to new concerts (avett brothers in charlotte aug 8, neko case in nashville july 25), and generally being a sloth.

i promise veterinary posts will arrive in due time. probably after june 25th!

Monday, June 15, 2009

wow. just....wow.

so the last few days have been an emotional roller coaster. first, it's that time o'the month soon. that alone makes me a walking emotional time bomb. secondly, our offer was accepted on the dream house - only to have the mortgage people come back and say "whoops, sorry that no one mentioned this before...but since you haven't passed the NC state board yet, your job contract is revocable, and therefore - doesn't count!"

no worries. that was (in all likelihood) straightened out. it has taught me a valuable lesson though. i'm not getting excited about the dream house. i'm just going to pack and plan and not think too much about it in the concrete fashion. oh, and do the oodles of stupid paperwork required.

the husband is teaching a summer course. we needed the money to help with the moving expenses/down payment, so he took it. of course, it requires that he be in ktown 5 days a week (mon-friday). so, i'm alone during the week.

further, i'm packing like mad. i hate delaying and i hate the cleaning and sorting and throwing away stuff that comes with moving. so i get a good long head start on the actual move (our closing date is july 15. supposedly). i have one whole room completely cleaned out.

add on top of that the fact that jim and i have blazed through the final season of battlestar galactica in the last 24 hours, and i'm a crying, incoherent mess.

just in case you feel like mocking me for watching BSG (which people have) - i dare you to sit down and watch the miniseries that started it all and NOT get hooked. if you can do that, then hats off! in all likelihood, you'll find yourself devouring whole seasons in a week until you get to the final, devastatingly emotional, gut-wrenchingly sad, and yet hopeful finale.

it's good, people. but it tears your guts out first. i've never felt like characters were so real. it's the only show that's made me cry as much as band of brothers - and that WAS real.

i'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


my first night as an ER doctor was..........................

wait. there are no words. ok. there are some.

in 25 minutes, the following patients presented as "tech to the front" (meaning get yer ass up here stat and get this animal!!): a hit by car dog with pelvic fractures, a dog fight with puncture wounds all over his face, chest, and rear limbs, another hit by car with horrendous pelvic fractures and pulmonary contusions, an eclampsia dog, a cat that drank antifreeze, a gunshot wound through the chest, a dog with a possible torsed spleen (turned out to be splenic lymphoma), a cat with a waxing/waning fever, another dog attack that had been maced...and finally - the piece de resistance: the mother of all emergencies - yes, folks - on my FIRST night as the SOLE ER doctor - i had a GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus). of course the owners were all "here's $3000, now go fix our dog immediately!

it is noon. my shift "ended" at 8am. i am just now getting home, and i feel like i've been repeatedly beaten with a cotton sledgehammer.

but i rocked it, folks. i really really did.

this morning, i was treated horrendously by a lunatic owner - my voice actually rose to a non-inside voice level...i'll be honest...

more details to come later. i must sleep.

Monday, June 8, 2009


i'm tired. we spent the weekend looking for a house to buy, found one successfully that i absolutely adore (especially the gourmet's kitchen with granite countertops, tons of counterspace, and uber-new stainless steel appliances, including this), and made an offer. now, i'm home after being away for a week. i'm having a yard sale friday through sunday, so i really need to get motivated and start packing and cleaning and organizing so as to be ready.

all i want to do is sit here. i'm working relief tomorrow night, which will throw off my preparation, as well. it will be my first night as the ONLY doctor in the hospital. i will be IN CHARGE. i will also have an intern working under me. HAHAHHAHAHA. i think it's obvious why i find that so amusing.

i'm sure i'll post something interesting soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

the homeless parrot no more

so this blog has been the homeless parrot for going on 5 years now. it's time for a change. it's not because i'm dissatisfied with my nomer. it's just that i want more people to find this blog, and thus, i think i need to change the title to something that at least SOUNDS like a veterinarian writes it. something snazzy like Vet ER Doc...but less trite. i'm working on it. i'm not moving addresses or anything...but it's time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

how did i let this day slide?

i can't believe i haven't been building up to this on the blog...but here it is folks (or rather was)!


i am now a real doctor (i was before...but anyway). i worked the last 5 days on overnights, was busy as hell, did a c-section this morning at 5:30am...and here i am.

DONE with my internship. finit.

of course, i'm working at my former internship as a relief doctor 4 times this month, as well as a few times in july...but i'm not an intern, and i'm now the doctor in charge. how refreshing (and terrifying).

wow. i made it.