Posted by: yogavet | May 30, 2007


They say bad luck comes in threes, right?  I hope that’s true, because it should mean everything will stop dying…  

So I haven’t had a case of my own since Friday.  So the weekend was great, because I had the whole weekend off, and that was fabulous.  I was on call Monday, and we got the day off in general (Memorial day! I almost forgot about you!)  so I just went in at 7am or so to check on what was going on, and then stayed home all day cleaning.  Monday night at about 9pm I was called in for an emergency:  a foal that reportedly had septic shock, which is a pretty bad deal.  So I figured there was a decent chance it wouldn’t survive.  Sure enough, it was dead on arrival (DOA – yes, even vets use the fancy hospital abbreviations).  So it went to pathology… and I went home and to bed.

Tuesday, things were slow – I didn’t have a case of my own, so I just puttered around helping everyone else with their cases.  We went to the necropsy on Monday night’s DOA (and didn’t really find anything impressive), and we had rounds for 2 and a half hours… at about 5:30 we heard that a cria (baby alpaca) was coming in that had been having trouble breathing.  I begged the girl who was on call for the case, she said I could have it, since there were some goats coming in as well, and she was interested in them.  So, we’re getting everything ready for this cria, I’m in the nursing station filling out bloodwork forms so that we can get everything submitted ASAP… and everyone starts yelling for me to stop, the cria is already dead.  Meh.  So we took that one to pathology as well.  Now people were starting to call me 007 (license to kill…) and saying that as soon as anything became my case, it dropped dead (which, to be fair, doesn’t actually make me 007, unless by some voodoo magic… anyway…).  

So, today, things were again, slow.  I did have a case for a short while, but it was an outpatient, so it really doesn’t count – it was, however, a really cool case of an intersex cria (it had testicles and an enlarged clitoris that it was urinating out of… very bizarre but unfortunately not unheard of in crias, and not the first one the NICU has dealt with).  Then we heard that another case was coming in.  The girl on call took pity on me (perhaps because I had been wandering around the NICU looking a bit lost) and told me I could have it, which of course was met with protest from all the other students and cries of “Don’t give it to Ashley, it’ll just die!”  :-p  Very funny, girls… So we discovered that while it was a 6 day old foal, it was supposed to have a relatively straightforward case of septic arthritis, so was going to be admitted to surgery, and we were only going to be referring on it.  So it wasn’t going to be my case.  But as it turned out, when it was admitted, surgery thought it was too sick to not be in the NICU, so it became my case after all.  We took radiographs of its joints, and then brought it up to the NICU.  The nurses were getting everything set up to place an IV catheter, and I was thinking about doing a brief physical exam when a couple of my rotation-mates came bursting in, going, “stop, stop – they’re euthanizing it.”  I thought this was some cruel joke at first, but alas.  The surgeons took a look at the radiographs and told the owners that the foal had a 1% chance of racing with that kind of damage to the joint.  These owners are in the business of selling race horses, so they (very understandably) couldn’t afford to dump money into a foal who had essentially no chance at racing.   So we euthanized.  And pathology got baby #3 from me in 2 days.  😦

So, that’s been my week.  Not very uplifting.  I’m hoping it improves from here on out.  I think I’m gonna have a beer and snuggle with my cat for the night.   It’s gotta get better, right?  Right. 


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