Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adrenaline rush

There are a number of emergencies that can cause an adrenaline rush in a veterinarian. A hit by car, cat straining to urinate, seizures and a GDV (gastric dilation and volvulus) aka bloat.

A young Golden Retriever, named Harry, wasn't acting like himself. He was fine when he'd been fed around 6am but at 9am he just wasn't himself. He was retching, vomiting and eating grass hastily (98% of dogs eat grass just because they like the taste of it, just ask all four of my dogs).

I was relieved when I felt Harry's abdomen. His stomach was quite large but it wasn't hard like a basketball. His intestines were also pretty gassy feeling. I was also happy the history included vomiting up grass. Classically, GDV dogs try to vomit but nothing can come up. Off we went to take a radiograph.

What I did not want to see was a twisted stomach. If you look closely at this picture you will see the typical look of GDV. It looks like Popeye, the sailor, is flexing his biceps. When this is what you see, you either fly into surgery or perform humane euthanasia. Once the blood supply has been cut off from the twist of the stomach on itself, you have a very limited period of time before the stomach starts to die.

You can imagine how happy I was to see that the stomach was just significantly enlarged. There is another radiograph showing the gas extended right back to the rectum. We put a stomach tube down his throat to remove some of the gas and then admitted him for observation. We needed to make sure that if his stomach started to torse that we deal with it immediately.

He was taken on regular walks (helped to air out the treatment room as his gas was a nasty smell of success)! His folks also came to walk him a few times as well. By the end of the day, he was starting to act like his goofy normal self! The radiograph taken prior to him going home made us all so happy. The stomach was normal in size and only the large colon was gas filled. Yay Harry!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Belly Ache Time

I had a rather long feeling day today and looking forward to yoga made it a bit easier. Did my first handstand ever and was on a bit of a high as I walked back in the door at home.

The problem was that I was only greeted by three out of four dogs. I followed some interesting sounds into the kitchen to find the fourth. Yes, that is my special needs boy, Kodak, sitting on the counter. What you can't really tell is how large his belly is from all the food he'd eaten.

I rethought my dinner plans (spaghetti) as I tried to figure out how he got up there. It wasn't until I went around to the other side of the counter that I discovered the key. Yes, I have now separated the boxes from the stool so his "steps" are dismantled.

Currently, he is laying around like a beached whale that has a cute little wagging tail.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slab fractures

I was informed by one of my volunteers this morning that I have been rather negligent in my blogging lately. Luckily she told me this as I was about to start my dental surgery so I took pictures as I went along.

Recently, I had a dog come in for its yearly physical exam and vaccinations. I found that it had a slab fracture on its carnaissal tooth (if I'm going to use fancy dental charting - the 108 was fractured). It had occured long enough ago that the pulp was black. The thought of walking around with a tooth like this makes me want to cringe but our animals don't often tell us when they are having tooth problems.

Today was the day to take it out. I am holding the "slab" part of the tooth up. One thing you should never see is tissue between pieces of the same tooth. Yup, there is the infected tissue. Would you like to know what it smelled like? Nasty! There is a positive about a fracture like this, it exposes so much that it makes it incredibly easy to figure out where to do the drilling to isolate each of the three roots.

This is one of the three roots and all of them had granulomas on the root tip. Basically there were small abcesses on the tips. If you are having a hard time orienting yourself, the nasty tip is pointing to the left. The other thing that is missing from this root is length. The infection has eaten away at the tooth so it is now shorter. I won't bore you with how long I cleaned each of the sockets so I could feel comfortable about closing it properly. At least I know she will enjoy the pork liver flavored antibiotics!!!