Monday, August 25, 2014

School is back in session!

Today was the first day of school for the new 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year vet students.  So, us fourth years now have first years shadowing us in the clinic.  I have just three more days on primary care before my four day weekend this weekend! 

Yesterday was the welcome student picnic.  Here is the annual student photo, my last one I will be in.
Beginning in the back row the students are:
Caleb from Tokyo, Japan; Joel from Champaign IL, Matt from Tremont IL, Caleb from Champaign IL, Ryan from Chicago IL, Thane from Fairbury IL, Seth from Champaign IL, Nelson from Chicago IL, Jack from Elgin, IL
Second from back: Drew from Congerville IL, Eric from Fairbury IL, Trevor from Fairbury IL, Evan from Forrest IL, Reid from Tremont IL, me, Phil from Washington IL and Tim from Fairbury IL
2nd from front row: Michelle from Congerville IL, Cortney from Champaign IL, Mariah from Fairbury IL, Joel from Cissna Park IL, Curt from Champaign IL, and Clayton from Forrest IL
Front row: Alexa from Roanoke IL, Joy from Roanoke IL, Kelsey from Lester IA, Haley from Champaign IL, Candice from Fairbury IL, and Shannon from Forrest IL

We have a good sized group this year so it should be a good year!

Friday, August 22, 2014


This week has been amazing in that it's been way less hours than the past number of weeks.  We have been going in at 845AM and getting out by 4PM every day.  Today we spent the day at the doctor's personal clinic here in town and will be there tomorrow morning as well.  Tomorrow night I hope to be in Cissna Park for a fundraiser for Loving Shepherd Ministries and then Sunday is the Welcome Student Picnic here in Champaign.  One more week of rotations before I'm free for a couple weeks!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Primary Care

This past weekend I got called in Saturday evening for a dog that was having imaging of its spinal cord done.  After I got there it was determined that the dog didn't actually need surgery but I was then responsible for the dog the rest of the weekend.  Sunday morning after working with my dog, I drove to Tremont church and got there at the very end of the morning service.  After church I was able to go to the Beutel reunion. 

This morning I had to work with the dog one more time and then it was time for me to switch from soft tissue surgery to primary care.  Wow, what a difference!  Primary care is so laid back.  Each appointment is only there for about a half hour and then they are out the door.  The schedule and doctor are very laid back which is nice.  We got done at school about 3:30 and then headed to a clinic that the doctor also owns here in town where we helped with and got to see a surgery on a dog's leg.  I was still home by 6pm which is awesome!  Tonight I was invited to a cookout at Wayne and Char's so am looking forward to having something resembling a social life tonight!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Short Day

Today I was only at school for 11 hours! That is the shortest day this week for me, if not the shortest one of the whole rotation.  We had just one surgery on a dog that had a tear in it's bladder.  In the afternoon we got to learn how to do an "intestinal resection and anastamosis."  This is when you cut out a piece of intestine and then sew the two free ends together.  I left school about 530 or so which was super early!  I will head in tomorrow around 730 or so to help my classmates out who still have cases in the hospital as I have no in-house patients right now. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Update 8/13

My adrenal mass dog had to cancel due to a death in the owners family today so I ended up with two recheck appointments: one dog had part of its upper jaw removed and the other had part of its lower jaw removed and both were doing great!  I did get to go with our surgeon down to the large animal ward to look at a cow who happened to run into a water trough head first effectively tearing it's lower lip away from it's mouth.  The large animal vets sewed it up but since the cow has been eating, the stitches came out.  So, tomorrow, I will go down with the surgeon and help the large animal folks get that lip taken care of.  I do not have any in-house patients so don't have any patients of my own going to surgery.  However, tomorrow we will be removing half a pelvis and one back leg from a cat with a large mass in that area as well as taking out two ear canals from a dog and sewing up wounds on another dog, plus the cow so we should probably be fairly busy tomorrow! 

Lighter Schedule

Monday I saw two recheck appointments which both went home so I had no in-house patients Monday night.  That also meant that I had no surgeries yesterday so I was able to help my classmates out when they needed it and didn't have to worry about any paperwork, kind of a nice break!  Today I have two appointments, one is a dog coming in for a consult regarding an adrenal mass that, if things look okay, we will remove tomorrow.  The other is a recheck appointment on a dog who had part of its jaw removed.  So, if all goes as planned I will have one surgery for tomorrow.  Today is our last "receiving" day on soft tissue surgery.  Tomorrow is surgery day and Friday is "catch-up" day where we do any other surgeries that need done and try to wrap things up for the week.  Now that I'm not so overwhelmed with work, I'm enjoying the rotation a little more.  Although I've still put in 27 hours in the last two days! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

82 Hours

Well, since writing yesterday, much fun has transpired in my life!  No, I'm not engaged, no I didn't win the lottery.  Rather I got two hours of sleep last night and spent 2AM-almost 11AM at school!  Last night I had to do 8PM treatments since I was on call for surgery.  I got home around 930PM or so.  However, while there I was informed that there was a dog who was not walking that was coming into the ER.  Anytime we hear that we start thinking about discs in the dogs back that protrude into their spinal cord and sometimes need emergency surgery.  Well, what do you know, about 1:30AM I got the dreaded phone call, "Hi Dave, we got a back dog for you."  So, into school I went arriving around 1:45AM.  We started the surgery around 2:30AM or so and it lasted until 4:30 at which point we transported the dog to ICU.  By the time it was all said and done it was about 5:30.  I ran home real quick to grab church clothes, a couple sodas, and a package of pop tarts before heading back to school to write the surgery report, and start the dog's discharge sheet.  Once I had the paperwork mostly under control it was time for me to do my morning treatments on both the back dog as well as my cocker spaniel that had his ear canals removed.  I got that stuff done and the associated paperwork done and then it was decided that my cocker spaniel was ready to be discharged.  The owner came around 10AM and I sent him home.  By the time this was all said and done it was about 10:45AM or so.  I quick changed into my church clothes, got to church just in time for lunch and afternoon service, then came home and fell asleep.  Fortunately, I'm not on call and don't have to be at school tonight at all.  I will head in around 6AM tomorrow morning to do morning treatments on my back dog who just so happened to try to bite me today, so that should be exciting!  I just keep telling myself, one more week before this rotation is over.  The first seven days of soft tissue surgery have seen me at school for 82 hours!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Update 8/9

School continues to consume almost all my time.  Since starting my soft tissue surgery rotation on Monday I have been at school 72 hours.  I was there all morning this morning and get to go back tonight at 8pm for evening treatments.  I'm also first on call tonight from 8pm to 8am so if there are any surgeries that go tonight I will be there.  Almost all of the hours at school have found me busy.  If I'm not busy with patient care, I am busy with paperwork.  There is a TON of paperwork for this rotation between daily physical exam forms, discharges, and surgery reports.  My patient with the wound from Tuesday went home Wednesday as he was doing well which was nice because he was  a lot of work due to his many medications.  My patient who had her parathyroid gland removed just went home this morning, she was doing well and happy to finally be leaving I believe.  On Wednesday, my appointment was a cocker spaniel who had been fighting ear infections most of his life.  This is a common problem with cocker spaniels.  His ears had gotten so inflamed and thickened that his ear canals were most of the way blocked with scar tissue and inflammation.  He even had pus coming out his ears.  So, yesterday we went in and removed both of his ear canals.  While in there we cut through the bone protecting his middle ear and cleaned them out as there was pus in them as well.  Today he's doing well although he's on some pretty powerful pain medications.  He will hopefully go home tomorrow or Monday.  On Monday I have two appointments to see, both are rechecks so hopefully they won't be too bad.  I could use a little bit of a break after this past week! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Soft Tissue Surgery

Sunday night on ER went well and I was able to leave around 1AM Monday morning I was glad for that.  My new rotation, soft tissue surgery, has proven to be exceptionally busy for me, to the point that it has been almost overwhelming.  I have two patients both of whom had surgery today.  The first one had one of its parathyroid glands taken out as it had gotten bigger than it was supposed to and had to come out.  So today I got to touch a dogs thyroid and parathyroid glands while it was still alive, it was kind of neat.  My second dog had surgery this afternoon to close up a large wound on its right hind leg that it sustained by getting hit by a car on Saturday.  That surgery went real well and I even got to suture in the drain that we put in so that was kind of fun.  Normally the doctors do the surgeries since they can tend to be complicated.  So, both of my patients are in the ICU tonight.  The parathyroid dog will be there for a couple more days most likely while the wound dog will hopefully go home tomorrow or maybe Thursday.  There are a ton of medications that I have to keep straight as each has their own meds that they need and it's a lot of work in general.  Tomorrow we have appointments and my appointment is a dog who may end up having both ear canals totally removed on Thursday, we will have to see what the owner decides at the appointment tomorrow.  Otherwise, I have no life, I got out at 730pm last night and 745pm tonight.  I went in about 545am this morning and will be heading in around 530am tomorrow morning.  If anyone finds my social life running around send it back to me because apparently I lost mine.  ;)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day of Death

One more ER shift and I can complete my 130 hours in 2 weeks of vet med fun!  The last few nights have been crazy, lots of animals with lots of problems.  Last night was also real busy but unfortunately we had to euthanize two young dogs due to parvovirus and then two dogs (one of them my patient from last night) died while in ICU.  So, there were lots of deaths yesterday.  I did get more CPR experience as I helped with chest compressions on one of the ones in the ICU until we were given permission by the owner to stop.  I am really hoping tonight is slower so we can get out in good time as I have orientation for my soft tissue surgery rotation tomorrow morning at 9AM. 

Friday, August 1, 2014


This week has been moving past quite rapidly.  Our nights in the ER have been pretty good.  Last night was really crazy, we saw around 10 cases which is a lot for us.  I had a dog that had had bladder cancer and its bladder ended up rupturing.  We pulled about 650mLs of urine off its abdomen.  He was eventually euthanized once we confirmed that it was cancer that was the problem.  I then had a toy poodle that came in with diabetes, and chronic eye problems.  He wasn't too bad, pretty much put him on fluids overnight and Internal Medicine took him as their case this morning.  But there were lots of other things going on including an ear that had to be sewn up, a dog that was attacked by another dog while out for a walk with its owner, a bird with a prolapsed cloaca (essentially its butt was turned inside out), etc.  It made for quite a night!  We left around 430 this morning.  Only three more nights until I can go back to a normal schedule.  I have loved the ER rotation but I'm ready to be back on days starting Monday!