This week in anesthesia brought some unique opportunities. It finally stopped snowing long enough for us to go to school, so we were able to take advantage of it. My first case happened to be my roommate’s hedgehog Elphaba (10 points if you get the reference). Elphaba was anesthetized a week ago so we could biopsy a mass on her third eyelid. Unfortunately, the mass came back as cancerous, so Elphaba was again anesthetized today to remove the mass and her eyeball. We now have a pirate of a hedgehog in the house, and I can say I’ve put a hedgehog under anesthesia, twice!
I also had two equine patients this week. I put an endotracheal tube the size of my arm into a horse’s throat so it could be hooked up to general anesthesia for a procedure. It is insane to see an animal so giant upside down on an operating table.
I think the biggest thing I took away from this week, is that no matter whether it’s a horse or a hedgehog on the operating table, the anesthetic principles are the same. It’s just either a really tiny anesthetic set-up, or a really big one. It doesn’t matter the species, if you know the basics and how to apply that knowledge to different animals, you can anesthetize anything. As always, there are certain species-specific things that need to be considered, but if you put your mind to it, anything is possible!