Last night, I got to work at 7pm and hit the ground running. Within 30 minutes, I had a bloat patient, a dog in fulminant heart failure, a limping dog, a cat with a fever of unknown origin, and a dog that was down in the rear. I ran for the next 8 hours, stopping for some dinner around midnight.
My bloat patient was a surprise. It was a rickety-looking, old dog (11 years old). She didn't look particularly well cared for, and I expected to euthanize her when I gave the owners the $2000 surgery estimate. Imagine my surprise to find that she was up-to-date on her vaccines and heartworm preventative, spayed, and much loved. The owners did not balk at the financial expenditure in the least - telling us to do whatever was necessary.
Bloats can be incredibly rewarding surgeries. If the stomach hasn't started to die from twisting on itself, and the patient is otherwise fairly stable - they can do really, really well. This dog came in laterally recumbent, her sides so tight she was about to pop, breathing heavily. I stabbed 3 giant catheters into her side to relieve the gas distention, and within minutes, she was deflated and breathing easier.
Her stomach looked great in surgery, and afterwards, she was up and wagging her tail! The owners were thrilled and so thankful.
I saw 2 heat strokes this weekend as well - one came in non-responsive and blind. The owners committed to the financial expenditure, and after 2 days of intensive care, she was up, wagging her tail, eating, and could see just fine. She went home on Sunday night.
When ER work is rewarding, it is intensely rewarding. I felt like I had at least 3 solid wins this weekend, and that makes all the difference in my mental health!
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