Alright, I have been meaning to get to this post for the longest time! Its a blog about my job, and I've been told I should write about it more. So here is the first one, Ill try to write about my work more often.
I am going to start with a successful happy ending story :) This little guy needed to have a surgery for a foreign body removal. He ate some carpet. Once we got inside we found that the carpet was strung and coiled from the stomach to the large intestine and was created an accordion appearance to the intestines (not good). A large portion of the intestines were necrotic/dead and had to be removed. That is the dangerous part as recovery can go both ways.
Sadly, this little guys recovery didn't go so well. He was in surgery for about 4 hours which is really long in the animal world, not sure about human standards? There was so much carpet fibres and damaged intestines that it took forever. The longer the pet is under anaesthetic the harder the recovery. After surgery he was extremely painful and the Drs couldn't seem to find a protocol that helped, they believed he was in "wind up" which basically means before pain mediation was started his body reached pain threshold and can't come back down. Its sort of confusing but had to do with synapses firing in the body constantly like a skipping record but thats all confusing physiology. Point behind, he was very painful and it took forever to get him feeling better.
Poor guy was so uncomfortable for his first 2 days out of surgery he couldn't sleep. I gave him this pillow to help get his belly off the cage. You could see him fighting sleep as his head would fall and his eyes would shut but a second later he would jolt awake. After introducing the pillow he actually fell asleep! After he got some sleep, and started producing good amounts of urine (we had to urinary catheterize as he could not get up to use the washroom) we tried to get him to eat to see how his intestines were doing. Of course, he wanted nothing to do with his food. I don't blame him. At this point its been 3 days post op and we need to get some nutrition into his system or he will never heal.
First we placed a large naso-gastric tube into his stomach to decompress all the air he has swallowed from panting so aggressively (in pain) in the past few days. This was very beneficial, as soon as we did that he breathing normalized. Then we placed a more permanent naso tube that we will be using to feed him. Thats the green one coming from his nose. We started giving him some liquid diet but he would just regurg. 30 minutes later. Things did not look so well for him.
Then the miracle happened. RANDOMLY, in the middle of the night, I put down some fresh food in the cage just in case and he gobbled it down! I was so proud of the little guy! Such a giant step in the right direction. I think the best thing a tech can do is get a sick patient to eat. He still regurged a little bit after each meal but the fact that he ate on his own is enough.
Two days later he went home to his family with his tube still in place in case he stopped eating. Everyone was so shocked and pleased to see that he made it through as there was multiple times were things didn't look good for him. Not too long ago, the owners called in to have his stomach staples removed and I couldn't believe how happy and energetic the little guy was! Success stories like this is why I love my job.
Sample of the carpet, we like to keep pieces to show the owner what we find, especially if they are unsure what the dog ate. Thats the fun part!
I feel like I threw a lot of information out there at once, and sort of like my thoughts were all over the place but I didn't want to miss anything. Thanks to the great owners who didn't give up!