Today marks the start of a new block and once again I am on call the first night. I have heard horror stories about small animal surgery block and I’m glad to be getting it over with in the beginning. The worst possible scenario on this block is the back dog, a dog with some disease process where they can’t use their back legs and can’t urinate on their own. But after a long first day, I got my first taste of what everyone was saying about this block. A back dog was coming in for an examination and it if it went to surgery it would be my responsibility to take care of it.
Unfortunately for the owner, she had just come home from a family member’s funeral to find the dog down and not able to use its rear limbs. After consultation and a CT scan, the dog was diagnosed with intervertebral disk disease and the owner decided to have us do surgery. Having never seen a hemilaminectomy before, it was quite a cool procedure to watch, although not so much at 9 pm at night. While I didn’t get to do much, I retracted some skin and retracted suture, flushed out the incision, and learned a lot along the way.
Now that the surgery is over, this dog is in for a long recovery period. Her bladder will have to be expressed manually until she can do it on her own and she will have to be walked via a sling. Now it’s almost 2 am and I’m finally heading home. But I’ve got to be back at 6 am. Based on how the first day went, this block is going to be a long three weeks.