Posted by: yogavet | March 13, 2010

Sick on a beautiful Saturday

Ugh.  I hate being sick.  I’m not a good rester.  And the nature of my job doesn’t really allow me sick days… sure, I’ve got them in my contract, but when there is work to be done at the clinic, or I’m on call (which is most of the time), it’s me.  Unless I’m on my deathbed, “I’m not feeling well” doesn’t cut it.

This week has been insane at the clinic, which I’m sure is contributing to the current state of my immune system.  I’ve been getting to work at 6:30 or 7:00 every morning, and not leaving until 7, 8, 9, even 10 pm each night.  I took over the hospital duties on Monday after an EPIC weekend for the crew (I was off, but got all the details from my partner in crime).   They had a colic surgery early Saturday morning (colon torsion in a recently foaled mare… pretty common, and nasty to deal with), followed by a colicking mini horse who ended up being one of four from a farm that would come in over the rest of the weekend… they had a herd outbreak of what is most likely Cantharidin toxicosis.  This is the first time I’ve dealt with this toxin; it’s from blister beetles, who can infest alfalfa hay.  It causes GI, kidney and cardiac disease, and these minis have been pretty sick.  So when I took over the barn on Monday, I inherited:

1 mare (post colon torsion surgery) on fluids (+lidocaine and parental nutrition) and her 4 day old filly

4 miniature horses (3 on fluids, 2 refluxing) with likely cantharidin toxicosis

1 mare post dystocia / fetotomy (i.e. her foal was stuck and dead, we had to cut it into pieces inside her to extract it.  Not pretty, not fun, and not good for the mare.  But very necessary).  She required daily uterine flushing and constant ice on her legs to prevent laminitis.

3 normal, healthy pregnant mares waiting to foal out

I think that was all.  It was a little bit of a disaster zone.  We have an extern (a vet student) from Western University currently, her 4 week stint with us is supposed to count as her “Large animal emergency and critical care” rotation.  Um, yeah, I think this’ll do. 

Anyway, Monday night we took in two neglected horses from a farm where the third had died over the weekend.  Thin body conditions, totally overgrown feet; one so badly overgrown that he could barely walk, we eventually euthanized him due to the poor prognosis.  (The other has had a dental, and a trim by the farrier, and is so much happier.  He’s off to a sactuary for neglected older horses, and I’m so thrilled!  That’s a win.) 

Tuesday night we were working from 11pm-2:30am, taking in yet another colic, this one with a small intestinal obstruction that was likely a strangulating lipoma (euthanized, the death toll just keeps rising). 

Wednesday night was quiet, and I tried to sleep all evening, only to be woken up every 45-60 minutes for problems with my patients.  Finally got to sleep at 10:30pm, slept until I got called at 4am for another problem… I don’t even remember what it was, now. 

Thursday was surgery day, had a castration (I love castrations, they’re my favorite surgery.  Fairly straightforward, with the added bonus of removing the cause of so much trouble!  win-win!), and then an arthroscopic fetlock surgery that went pretty much like clockwork.  I do love it when surgery days go smooth. 

Friday morning, another colic – came in at 6:30am, large colon impaction that was not responding to management on the farm.  I love these too, because they are usually simple fixes, it just takes the manpower to get them treated.  Indwelling nasogastric tube, some IV fluids, and flushing water down the tube, she was fixed in 24 hours. 

This morning I spent 5 hours battling a filly who won’t drink from a bucket, a pregnant mare who wants to have her baby out in a muddy field, a miniature horse who can’t breath well, and another who decided to rip out his catheter.   Came home and crashed on the couch, the boy made burgers for lunch and now he’s off doing foal checks and flushing a retained placenta. 

Um, spring has sprung?  Yup.

Planning on spending the rest of the day figuring out this new blog format, drinking green tea and cuddling with a very snuggly cat.  Here’s hoping the mare decides to have her baby at a reasonable hour.



  1. Love that you finally realized it was 2010!!! 😉
    I also love that you are blogging again – maybe you will inspire me to write something, since my last entry was November 6.

    I will call you back tonight, sicko!

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