Sunday, July 4, 2010

All around sad

This weekend was too, too sad for me.

On Saturday, a very nice mid-40s woman brought me her purring, fluffy, EIGHT YEAR OLD white cat. With a giant abdominal mass. That wasn't eating. Hadn't been for 2 days. That equals NOT GOOD.

She apologized in advance if she seemed "over-emotional" - her 20 year old son had been killed in a car crash a mere 3 weeks before.

You can see where this is going. Her cat had a GIGANTIC kidney...and was in renal failure. After much discussion, she and her husband elected euthanasia. They were kind people and so sad. As I was injecting the euthanasia, the cat's owner kissed his (still purring) head and said, "give eric a big kiss when you get to heaven." Eric was their deceased son. I almost lost it at that point. Then the lady - totally out of nowhere - reached out, clasped my cheek with one hand, and said, "you are so sweet." I had to go out behind the building and cry for a few minutes.

Then back into the fray I went.

Today, I euthanized my technician's dog. I diagnosed her with sudden onset of megaesophagus (12 year old dog) and severe aspiration pneumonia three weeks ago. Since then, she's been to an internal medicine specialist for scoping, biopsies, the whole work-up. To no avail. Her condition continued to deteriorate, and she had lost 15 pounds. She regurgitated constantly, no matter what medications we gave, no matter how we thickened her water. She probably hadn't eaten in well over 2.5 weeks. It was time.

My technician only has the one dog. Her fiancee works in the Middle East as a private contractor 10 months out of the year, so she is alone the majority of the time. Her dog was her best friend.

We took her out into the grass behind the clinic and made her a bed in the shade. About an hour later, we said goodbye. My technician lost it - as we all expected.

So I had another good cry behind work today.

I'm glad the weekend is over. Hopefully, tomorrow night won't be so sad.


dinah said...

i'm so sorry you had a weekend like this, but it makes me feel a little better that i'm not the only one :( i'm a fourth year vet student and i lost one of my horse patients to botulism, which is usually fatal, but she looked like she was going to pull through. unfortunately, she crashed within a couple hours. it was sooooo hard b/c i had gotten my hopes up AND the owner was the nicest, sweetest lady ever. i feel your pain and i hope your next shift is better.

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The Homeless Parrot said...

Dinah: I'm sorry to hear about your patient, but as my clients tell me - feeling bad means we're human and we really care about what we do.