Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ah-choo!

At my first vet job, I had to take emergency call, wearing that annoying little pager all weekend long. We could get called in any hour of the day or night, if the owner was willing to pay the emergency fee.

One Sunday afternoon my pager went off. The people on the other end had a dog that was violently sneezing. They were extremely worried. It came on their little dog suddenly and harshly. I had only been out of school one year, and really had no idea what I would do for the dog. They insisted she needed relief, so I agreed to see her.

I was greeted by a little Maltese who truly was sneezing a lot. I did my full exam, but didn't find anything. I decided to look up her nose as much as I could with the otoscope. I looked up the left nostril and saw nothing before she jerked away. Then I looked up the right nostril, and got a got a glimpse of a green blade of grass before she pulled back.

"I know why she's sneezing!" I told the owners. But I knew I couldn't get it out with her awake, and general anesthesia would take a long time. I decided to try to give her a sedative for which I had a reversal, a technique I had not tried before.

It worked like a charm. Once the pup was limp, I extracted the long blade of grass with some hemostats. It had gone up over her soft palate - no wonder she was so irritated! I gave the reversal, and moments later she was walking out the door with her owners.

I felt such relief that I'd found the problem and come up with a good solution. So many times the first year I was a veterinarian I felt like every patient was as bad as a stressful final exam, but this was one day when I started to feel competent and confident.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Nice one!

A.Norma said...

Good for you and well done!!! a bout of sneezing is bad enough for us Humans!!

Lisa said...

Well done, indeed!

Hey, my friend told me that her chickens aren't laying because they have pox. Something that they caught from mosquitos. I wondered if your chickens have had it, and I thought maybe you'd like to do a post on it.
You know, since you were looking for ideas.

ColeBugsmommy said...

Look how far you've come! Now you can handle several emergencies while extracting teeth and doing a root canal, as well as, answering a million questions from employees because you are ALWAYS respectful and approachable. Just how do you do it all??

Jennifer said...

Pshaw, Kareen, you make me blush!

Leah said...

I look up to you more than anyone else. You have the love for the animals and truly LOVE your job. I know that you are respected by everyone you work with because of this. Like Kareen said...you are ALWAYS approachable and thank you for that.

Jennifer said...

Gulp, thanks, Leah. I do really love my job. It is so great to use science to help relieve animals' suffering. I really love doing surgery and dentistry! And it is great to work at such a good hospital.

I am such a vet geek!

peter said...

This was a great story, and yours is a great blog! I look forward to reading more of you as NaBloPoMo continues.

cat said...

i'm in my 3rd year of vet school, and i love reading your blog. i read this post, and that's how i feel so much already! i'm terrified that when i get out, i'm going to be totally incompetent!! please tell me that feeling goes away eventually...