Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oral Papillomas

Recently I have been seeing more of these sea anemone looking things. Go ahead and google that sea creature. It is kind of creepy how alike they look.

These virally induced warts are usually seen in young dogs with immature immune systems. They are found around the mouth and sometimes the eyes. The infection does require direct contact with either an infected dog or infected environment. The incubation period can last anywhere between one to two months. Do not worry, it is not contagious to humans.

These warts are not dangerous. They usually go away on their own in one to five months as the dog’s immune system matures. It is not very often they stick around permanently.

As they will go away on their own, we really don’t need to do anything; however, they can be bothersome when the dog is eating and are bloody ugly. One of the simplest things to do is to crush the warts with a hemostat. This seems to stimulate the dog’s immune system to fend them off. Other options are available should this not be sufficient.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Be careful what you ask for : )

I was informed by one of my volunteers this week that I needed to be doing more blogging. Well, for such a hard working young lady who has her first paper route (starting in this weather!), I will do my best.

When people come to volunteer at our hospital, we have a list of tasks for them to do. The usual stuff includes cleaning kennels, cleaning exam rooms between appointments, cleaning the floors (there is always so much cleaning to do). There may also be envelopes to stamp, travel sheets to organize. There is always so much to do and it never seems to end!

If possible, we do try to include them in cases and/or appointments. If they have earned their way into observing appointments, they can join me for this. It is good for them to be able to see what happens in case they are interested in becoming an assistant, AHT or veterinarian in the future.

Shaelyn, who encouraged me to blog more, is in the picture making mouth gags for our dentals. These are placed at the back of the mouths to catch the excess water from our procedures. By having yarn attached, it makes it easy to remove when wet and reminds us it needs to be removed at the end of the dental work.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their hard work. You make ours much easier!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You ate what???

When I went to work this morning, I only had one surgery scheduled. That meant I would have time to do all the paperwork I’ve been putting off. I almost got myself two coffees at Tim’s to make sure I could stay awake. Turns out I wouldn’t need the one I had!

While PJ and Kelly (my AHTs) were prepping my neuter for surgery, I had a walk-in appointment. Juno had not been feeling well for a few days and was progressively getting worse. She might have eaten a hockey sock or two as she had vomited one up earlier. Entering the room showed a very different dog than I was used to handling. My happy monkey was now very depressed with a painful abdomen.

We did radiographs and in addition to the odd intestinal pattern there was also loss of detail in the cranial abdomen. The decision was to immediately go to surgery. I was so proud of my staff getting me in so quickly and efficiently. Kelly was monitoring and PJ scrubbed in to help.

The foreign body extended from the pylorus (stomach) through to the jejunum. As you can see from the picture, the intestines I’m holding are abnormal. They should look like the ones on the left of the picture. The problem area has the intestines plicated (squished together tightly). This caused a 12 inch section to die from lack of blood supply.

The foreign body was about 24 inches long. I had to wait until the surgery was done and Juno recovered before I could rinse the “thing”. It turned out to be a part of a dishcloth.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting old sucks!

A few weeks ago, I had a 7 year old female cat come in for a physical exam. She just wasn’t acting like herself. At that time there was a mild fever. We did bloodwork and the results just about floored me. Her neutrophils (white blood cells actively fighting an infection) were six times normal. When I called the owners with the results they told me that she was now licking herself more often. I was a bit confused until the owners reminded me that she was intact. That is when all the puzzle pieces came together.

Cats are induced ovulators. This means that once they go into heat at about 6 months of age, they stay in heat until they mate. If they don’t meet a male for a year, they will literally stay in heat the entire time. Ditto for 7 years. Unfortunately, as they age, the risk of neoplasia (cancer), pyometra (infection of the uterus) and endometritis (inflammation/infection of the uterine wall) goes up.

We scheduled surgery for the next day. As you can see from the picture, it was much larger than it should be. When I opened it up (you’ll have to come in to see that neat picture) I found that she had both endometritis and pyometra. Certainly one of those surgeries where “to cut is to cure”.