Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ER Day 2

Today started out slowly but got busier as the day went on.  During part of the morning we were in the CSLC to learn how to read PCV (packed cell volume, this measures the percentage of red blood cells in the blood), TP (total protein in the blood) and also how to make and read blood smears.  In the afternoon we were back in the CSLC to learn how to fill out ICU flow sheets which has pretty much all the info on a certain animal including what drugs it needs and when, what fluids it needs, how much of them and when, etc.  Throughout the course of the day I also got to see some pretty neat cases.  I saw a rat terrier that got into rat poison.  I was only involved for awhile and eventually it went to ICU so I don't know the final outcome of it.  I also saw a huge dog that was with its owners who were traveling from Georgia and ended up getting sick.  The owners were under the impression that the dog had some kind of infection that could be treated.  Unfortunately, after doing some testing on it, the dog was found to have lymphoma.  This is a cancer in which your lymphocytes (white blood cells that help fight infection) proliferate uncontrolled.  Unfortunately, the dog ended having to be euthanized.  There was also a nice old beagle that came in in the afternoon.  It was not walking on its hind legs.  However, it was noted that the dog did have a mammary tumor between its hind legs.  After taking x-rays, it was noted that there was a problem with one of the vertebrae in its back.  It was thought that it was probably cancer in the spine which probably had come from its mammary tumor.  That dog did go home today but was going to be brought to its regular vet for euthanasia.  Also, at some point in the morning/early afternoon we had a Yorkshire Terrier that came in for a supposed hit by car.  It was not walking on its hind legs.  However, upon examination, it was determined that the dog had not been hit by a car but was actually most likely suffering from IVDD or intervertebral disc disease.  This occurs when one of your vertebral discs that separate the bones of your back from each other actually pops out of place and pushes up on the spinal cord.  This can then lead to severe problems with the parts of the body more towards the butt of that patient from the squished spinal cord.  The owners had not seen the dog get hit by the car and the dog was not badly bruised or scraped up at all leading to the suspicion that there was probably no car involved. Dogs with IVDD can be fine one second and then all the sudden go down and not be able to walk which is what happened to that dog.  That little Yorkie ended up getting back surgery to fix the problem and hopefully, with the help of rehab, will be able to walk again.  Well, thats my day in a nutshell (albeit, a rather large nutshell).  So far I have really loved ER, it's been really interesting!

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