Monday, August 10, 2015

Stuff I did when you weren't looking part 1: Work in progress

Hey! I've been very busy and important, so I have not been updating the blog, even though I had weekly journal uploads for school. Honestly, they wouldn't have been interesting to anyone other than my professor and not as humorous as the previous semester. My work practicum 2 prof did not appreciate my sense of humor as much as my work practicum 1 prof. Lame.

Needless to say, the summer semester was crazy busy and I learned and practiced many skills. I have another week before fall semester starts, so I just want to share a few updates. This week is all about work. It's been busy! We are the busiest we've ever been in the history of Bayshore. One day we saw 68 patients. This means we all have to be on our A-game to ensure the best quality care for each patient that walks, crawls, or skitters in the door. It can be overwhelming and stressful, but at the end of the day, I still cannot imagine doing anything else. I've officially been a Bayshore employee for a little over a year and have received my first raise!

I went through my weekly journals to find some highlights of the semester to share with you, and I found one story in particular that warms the heart with feels. So here it is!

Our clinic works with the local shelter to treat and care for impounded and surrendered animals in order to prepare them for adoption. A few days ago, I cat came in that was possibly pregnant. The doctor confirmed, and a spay was scheduled for Monday. It sounds grim to think of performing an abortion, but unfortunately the number of unwanted pets is so high that population control is often necessary. It also prevents overcrowding at the shelter. On Saturday, the cat was extremely vocal and destroying her cage. At the end of the day, the technician feeding her noticed a discharge coming from her vulva. We suspected that labor was imminent, so I volunteered to take her home to monitor her. Before I left for the evening, we took an x­ray to determine approximately how many kittens she had. 

We counted skulls and spines and guessed there were five at the most. I took her home and set up a quiet place with a blanket and box plus food, water, and litter. Then I left her alone and periodically checked on her throughout the night. At 10pm, I noticed she was restless, licking her vulva, and possibly having contractions. Thankfully, the queen was comfortable enough to allow me to be present in case she needed assistance. The first kitten was born at 10:12pm and did not appear to be moving. I took the kitten and wiped its face, carefully tore the umbilical cord and ensured the whole placenta was present, and commenced resuscitation. I rubbed the kitten gently yet vigorously, blew gently in its face, and turned it upside down in an arc to try and clear the fluid from its mouth and lungs. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain. At 10:50 the second kitten was born alive and so I did not interfere. The third kitten was also healthy, but the 4th and 5th were stillborn. Interestingly, they did not appear to be fully developed, possibly due to the malnutrition of the mother? After the 5th kitten was born, mom relaxed and was nursing the healthy two. Suddenly, she cried out and appeared to be birthing another. Simultaneously, her kittens cried out. She appeared quite stressed by the time the 6th kitten was born, but she cleaned it and it moved and cried out. I thought all was well until I looked closer a few minutes later and noticed something off. I picked up the last kitten and saw that it was eviscerated either due to the mother or a hernia. I contacted our on­-call doctor and brought the little family in on emergency. The 6th kitten was humanely euthanized and a radiograph was taken of the mother to make sure she was finished giving birth. She was thankfully, and I took her home to relax. It was an exhausting experience, but one I will learn from the next time I bring a whelping animal home! Mom is doing great and is attentive to her kittens, who are nursing well and seem to be stable.

Two healthy kittens!

Happy family. I called mom, "Tess," while she was with me. She was very sweet and I was sad to see her go back to the shelter to be placed in a foster home. 

Update: We recently saw both mom and the orange kitten at the shelter to be spayed in preparation for their adoptive home! It was wonderful to see them and to know they were being placed together. I hope to see the other kitten going to a new home soon!