Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fun and easy

I worked relief again tonight. I'm filling in for my friend who is a full time ER veterinarian at this local emergency/referral center. He has pneumonia, so I've been picking up his shifts. The money is good, it's a nice break from my job, and it's not as stressful for me.

Tonight, I ran like a maniac the whole time I was there. It was fun, I'm not going to lie. One of the cases was quite enjoyable.

It was a 2 year old, Pit bull that ate his owner's fishing bait, complete with hook and fishing line. The hook was about 1 inch long, 1 barb. Xrays confirmed that it was in the stomach.

I was torn. Hooks are made to catch. That's the whole point of that extra little barb. The options were as follows from cheapest to most expensive: 1) feed him bread for the next few days to bulk up his fecal matter, hope he passes it 2) feed him bread, cotton, and w/d dog food, induce vomiting, and hope that the hook doesn't get hung 3) call in the internist to scope the dog and remove the hook, or 4) exploratory surgery and gastrotomy to remove the hook.

I gave the owner the options. He asked my opinion, and I told him truthfully that inducing vomiting would *probably* be safe. Obviously, I couldn't guarantee anything however.

He took my recommendation, so we fed his dog a delightful mix of cotton, bulky w/d, tuna juice, and bread. Two shots of apomorphine, a brisk jog around the parking lot, and 2 piles of vomit later, and we had our fish hook!

The owner was thrilled. SO WAS I! I was so worried about step 2 if the vomiting didn't work. Seeing that fish hook on the floor was a great, great relief.

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