I just got back from honeymoon in the Maldives which was fab (watch the vlog – here 🙂 for a snippet !!), but being a vet (and going straight back in to work) I want to share some of my thoughts on being in clinic this week.
I stood back and thought about it all last night, having not had a second to think during the first half of the week. I work a lot with ‘Cats Protection’ so we always have a lot of cats hospitalised here either sick or recovering from any surgery or neutering we have done waiting to go for re-homing. It’s a fab charity and I love my cat protection cats. They come and go every week and you get your favourites every week too!
We’ve had an old man for the past’ month, trying to control his hyperthyroid and severe arthritis. He’s all good now which meant he was ready for surgery to remove the thryoid gland so he wont require any more tablets. He is down for me on Wednesday. I feel instant dread at seeing this on my list as this guy is a dude of a geriatric, always giving you the ‘eyes’.
One of my favourite clients has about 6 cats and she will do anything for them. They are all elderly so there is always something occurring these days but she is keen for the best treatment – they are all insured. Clients like these are few and far between and it takes all the emotional weight off you when you can do a work up without worrying about costs. People don’t realise we do this job because we love animals and know what they need/what we need to test for. When cost is a barrier we (well I know I do) take the strain home.
Anyway, favourite client was in as one of her boys had a funny turn, making horrendous yowling noises and wandering. I immediately checked his blood pressure which was high and had unfortunately caused a retinal bleed in one eye too. This must be the reason. He got his treatment and went home. I was sad for her but I had to crack on with old man’s surgery….
In between a full morning consulting, a cat that gave birth three days ago was in for seeming in pain and panting. I quickly realised she had no milk and with 5 kittens to feed, she needed help. A hormone injection and analgesia later she was feeling better but not before the owner was back. She’d been feeding the kittens as we were waiting for the milk let down but one didn’t seem good. I at this point, I am well in to surgery on the cat protection cat of the moment, the old man. The nurse would have to admit the tiny mouse sized kitten for me, as the thyroid on the old man is proving a tricky one. It is very vascular, bleeding a lot and is looking like a possible cancerous one ( I have to wait all weekend to find out the histopatholgy on it). I extract a few of his old teeth whilst he is under the anaesthetic, then he wakes up extremely well and hungry so I move on to the kitten after the nurses had triaged.
The nurses have already checked his temp and it seems he is too hot as its very high. He is also bloating and has respiratory effort. We try toileting him and helping his constipation and temperature, but there is no hope for this poor baby. He passes away.
But, as well as other surgery, emails to send, lab results to look at/inform owners about and in-house cat protection cats to check, it is straight in to evening consults. On my list, is a dog who I think I haven’t seen since he was 8 weeks old. He is now 1 year old, a proper dog. I know him, because he came from Europe with passport but looked no older than 8 weeks old to me and weighed only 2.5kg. A rabies vaccine cannot be given before 12 weeks of age, so I became suspicious. I had to make some phone calls and agreeing with me, this poor little dog (which ended up testing positive for parvovirus and so may not have survived) was confiscated from his devastated, oblivious owners, and placed in quarantine for weeks. I prayed they understood. I had to do it for legal reasons. They understand! They are the kindest people. All they wanted was a puppy from their country to come and live in London with them. They were completely unaware his documents had been illegally forged and he would be forced to spend his early weeks away from them. They tell me they visited him every Saturday. Any way he is now a big healthy dog weighing 14kg and such a character! They show me picture of his birthday party last week, he had cake and balloons. I checked him over for them in between him playing with my hands and kissing my face.
Just as I thought the day was ending, a phone call from a distressed lady occurs. A cat has been hit by a car. People have just been driving past him and she is crying her eyes out. She races him over in a bed sheet drenched in blood but it was too late. What we call a DOA – dead on arrival. Poor man had no microchip so we will have to take care of him although, the nurse remembers a phone call last week from someone that has a cat who has gone missing, he fits that description. We will have to phone her and give devastating news for the second time today. We comfort the lady that kindly brought him to us.
Richard arrives at the clinic to go and get a Christmas tree with me. He sees the body and realises how emotional the job is. We stroke the cat and try not to think about the little creature. That was just Wednesday….
‘You can never tell who your enemies are, or who to trust. Maybe that’s why I like animals so much. You look in their eyes and you know exactly what’s in their hearts. They’re not like people’
The vogue vet