Saturday, 23 July 2011

My guest starring role on 'Vet E.R.'

I did a night shift working at my local animal emergency centre. In my head, it was going to be emergency surgeries performed in the nick of time with blood spurting everywhere and trolleys bursting through swing doors with unconscious animals on them with vets kneeling on top of the trolleys performing CPR. Therefore I was absolutely terrified. Luckily for me, it was more 'Scrubs' than 'ER'.

It was about an hour and a half before anyone even came in so we spent the time tending to the ICU patients who were all in very stable conditions. All the vets and nurses were really welcoming to me and we chatted away. They were also great at explaining what they were doing to the animals and why. They had so much fancy equipment, it was a real eye opener seeing what other clinics have, compared to my quiet little clinic.

We had a very sad case when someone brought in a five day old puppy to be euthanised. She had really tried to keep this little one alive but it wasn't responding to any treatments and it was decided that it would be kinder to put it to sleep instead of letting it struggle on, possibly in pain. In my eyes, it didn't look too bad, it was very responsive- but then we found out that it was three times smaller than its litter mates and that really put it into perspective how much this little one was struggling.

This is NOT a picture of the puppies or even the right breed, this is just a cute picture so you can get an idea of the size. And to break up this giant block of text!
While the vet spoke to the owner in a consult room, I was given the task of cuddling the puppy to keep it warm and calm. It was honestly one of the saddest things I've ever done. To hold this warm little bundle to my chest and feel it breathing and squirming- very much alive and knowing that there was nothing that could be done to help it and that the right thing to do was to put it to sleep. And then to hold it for the vet in the palm of my hand and feel the life slip out of it. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

But onto happier things! We had a gorgeous girl come in who became 'my' patient. She had unfortunately found a packet of rat bait and had merrily consumed it all. Incredibly, the owners discovered that she had done this almost as soon as it had happened and drove her straight to the hospital. She wasn't suffering any side effects and was given an injection to make her vomit it back up. And vomit it up she did!
And the fun thing about this poison is that it comes back up a bright FLUORESCENT green colour!! It was the nastiest thing I'd ever seen!!! She was a very timid thing and kind of clung to me so I got the job of staying with her and making sure she was ok. She went home soon after so that was a job well done!

Next week I will be working with a vet specialist so I will see lots of weird and wonderful things. At this stage in my 'career', I like working in a small clinic where you know the animals and their owners. I feel like it's a good, safe place to grow as a vet nurse. Maybe later on, I might like to work in an emergency centre and I'm glad I've had a little taste of that life now.


Katie said...

I'm glad to hear it all went well!

Abigail said...

I'm so sorry about the little puppy. We had to put my (old) cat to sleep two summers ago because her kidneys were failing, and I held her as she died and it was very, very hard.

But hooray for saving the dog that ate the rat poison! That sounds like a wonderful moment (well, maybe minus the ugly green poison). :)

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

The puppy story breaks my heart. :*( Poor thing.

But I'm happy that you helped save the poisin-eating dog! AWW! A success story!! :D

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a vet soooo bad. What a wonderful career you have!