I feel like the walking dead, and I still have 1 more night to go before I am released from my exhaustion.
I walked into an ER of chaos with 2 patients waiting for surgery and a possible 3rd. The first was a cat that had been diagnosed by his vet with a metal "foreign body" and obstruction of his GI tract. Kitty was feverish and extremely painful in his abdomen. When we looked at the xrays, we all agreed that it wasn't a foreign body that the cat had swallowed but a BB. We shaved the cat's side and found an entry hole. On the other side of the body, we could feel the BB moving around under the skin. Under exploratory surgery, it became evident that the BB had poked holes in the colon. The colon is a nasty organ, and when it leaks, sepsis sets in rapidly. I had to debride the necrotic holes and close them up. I am very, very worried about kitty.
Then there was the dog with a 104 fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain. 6 days prior, I removed a foreign body from his intestines. He had recovered well from surgery, but now he was back. My gut feeling was that he was leaking from his surgery site, so back to surgery we went. I could not find any leakage, but the surgery site did not look healthy. I removed the tissue (resected and anastamosed), patched it, and now I am crossing my fingers for the dog. I'm really really worried about him too. His owners are now $5000 into his care and becoming irate.
Follow that with a host of other patients...the big dog little dog attack victim, the coughing dog, the dog with a limp after jumping off the couch, the malnourished, starving dog, and many, many others. Then the piece de resistance. After running like a headless chicken all night, starting to feel the pangs of exhaustion, we got a call from the police department. A drunk driver had wrapped his car around a telephone pole. His dog had become wedged under the dashboard after being thrown into it. It was on the way.
Said dog was exhibiting severe Schiff-Sherrington posture, was mentally dull, and in a great deal of pain. Otherwise, she seemed fairly stable. I was afraid her back was broken, but it was surprisingly not the case. She either suffered severe blunt trauma to her neck and head leading to spinal inflammation or a disc had popped out of place. She will likely be going to the referral hospital tonight for advanced spinal imaging.
One more night! One more night! Then I can catch up on some much, much needed sleep.
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