Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Its not just a job, its an adventure.

My first vet boss was not a very good one, and he had an even worse office manager. They taught me a lot by example, as in how not to motivate your employees, how to make them resent work, how to demonstrate how very little you think of them.

He did say one thing positive that I remember, about how great it is to be a vet: the kind of doctor who can do all procedures. His own father was a physician, and my boss noticed how specialized human medicine had become. Physicians can't do surgical procedures without special certification, but we vets can do a myriad of procedures, even on different species. Certainly, veterinary medicine is becoming more specialized - there are more and more board certified surgeons, dentists, dermatologists, internists, etc - but most vets are G.P.s that do it all. My old boss really relished that.

Wednesday, I caught myself feeling the same thing. First, I was scheduled to do a thyroidectomy on a dog. I had detected a high thyroid hormone level on routine bloodwork on an old plump Golden Retriever. This was very unusual, and repeat bloodwork confirmed it. On recheck exam, I found deep in his fat, furry neck he did have an enlarged, tumorous right thyroid gland. I never would have found it if the bloodwork hadn't directed me to it. The surgery went great, and it was very satisfying to remove the cancer before it got any bigger. Hopefully we got it before it spread.

My next procedure was a dental, and I found a lower canine tooth that had been fractured, with the pulp (nerve) exposed. I called the owner and told her the bad news; a tooth open like this eventually will abcess so either needs extraction or root canal therapy. "Oh, just pull it!" she said, but I hedged. I hate pulling this tooth; it makes but the bulk of the strength of the mandible. The way it was fractured would make a root canal relatively easy. Since I am still learning this procedure, I offered to do it for the same price as an extraction. She agreed.

The root canal went extremely well, and I was very pleased with the results. Hopefully the Xray will still look good in 6 months. Its not everyday you get to do things as diverse as a thyroidectomy and a root canal! Can your dentist or surgeon do that?

7 comments:

Leigh-Ann said...

Wow, if only you'd had to deal with some impacted anal glands too, your day would have been just about perfect ;-)

A.Norma said...

yuck! anal glands...Jenn. I have heard before about Vets being able to do 'stuff' (better than Docs sometimes) I envy you because I always wanted to be a Doctor...REALLY I did..xx

COUSIN BEVIE said...

So, that's why it takes FOREVER to graduate vet school...

Go, Jenn, GO! You are a wonderful vet!!!!!
XOXOXOX

Emily said...

And you gave me allergy shots in college and I made you cut off a skin tag of mine, too. I wish you were MY doctor! :-)

Joey said...

Awesome find on the thyroid! So all this happened on a Wednesday, huh? That used to be MY surgery day....:) Yes, I'm jealous.

paula said...

You sound much better than any of the Doctors in our local practice and far better than my dentist (please see my UPDATED blog). XXXXX

paula said...

Just noticed you changed your photo, it's very lovely Jenn you sexy lady!!!