This past week, I had my first solo surgery for our small animal operative practice class. My dog, named Marshall, was a very handsome dog from a local shelter. He had thankfully already been adopted, so I didn’t have an excuse to adopt yet another animal. Now before this, I had performed plenty of spays and neuters with other veterinarians in private practice as well as a few on my own, but the pressure was on now that I was doing it for a grade and would have several classmates as well as professors looking on as I worked.
I studied a lot the night before trying to prepare myself for any complications that may happen, any anatomy questions that the professors may have that they could ask me, and making sure I remembered what type of suture I needed to use for each part of the surgery. I made sure to get plenty of sleep, and then I went in confidently the next afternoon ready to go.
I’m thrilled to say it went absolutely perfectly! There were no complications, and the procedure went exactly as I had planned it would. My anesthetist, who was also a student, did a great job of keeping the dog under anesthesia, and I was thrilled that Marshall had a fast and very smooth recovery once he woke up. I was even more thrilled when I checked on him that evening as well as early the next morning and saw that he had not ripped out his stitches or even bothered them and his e-collar was still on. Being a large playful puppy, I was concerned he might get a little too enthusiastic, but thankfully he didn’t.
The day after surgery, he returned to the shelter where he met his adoptive family, and I smiled knowing the procedure had gone well and he was on his way to a new life.