Friday, June 20, 2008

Adorable Pediatric Patients

We spent a lot of time this morning oohing and aahing over this adorable bundle of wrinkles. He's a bulldog puppy with immune mediated polyarthritis and anemia. Poor guy, all his joints are inflammed and hurt so much he won't even walk. We aren't sure why he's anemic, too, but its probably from parasites. He didn't initially respond to treatment, and his owners lost heart and decided to euthanize him before they got any further attached. But Alissa couldn't do it, and convinced them to sign him over to our clinic. He was marginally better today, so several staff members are jockeying to adopt him. Bulldogs are infamous at vet clinics for having tons of medical problems, but this one is SO CUTE, we can't stop cuddling him and kissing him and wishing he was ours.

A really good client of mine feeds a colony of stray cats by the college, and told me about this little guy who wasn't using one of his front legs. He was completely wild and untouchable. However, feeding and talking to him every night, she eventually tamed him enough to pet him. Finally she scooped him up and brought him in to me.

He was scared but no longer feral. His little left arm was slightly contracted with large abrasions on the top of his paw and the tip of his toes. He had no voluntary muscle control, the muscles were all atrophied, and when I clamped down on his toes with a hemostat he just blinked at me -- no feeling, either. He must have had some severe injury to the brachial plexus - the bundle of nerves that supply his forearm. While a person would keep a "dead" arm for cosmetic reasons, a cat or dog eventually traumatizes it enough that it gets infected, then they start chewing on it... it's gruesome. This guy had been getting along without his arm for weeks, so I knew he wouldn't miss it.

Today I amputated his leg and neutered him (might as well as long as I'm removing superfluous body parts). The picture above is actually him post-op. One of our new receptionists is going to adopt him, so I'll get to see him grow up. SO CUTE!


mainlyclearskies said...

They are both so cute! It breaks my heart to see animals in pain. I'm so proud of you and your staff for fighting for these animals' lives.

Emily said...

LOL at "superfluous body parts"!
The bulldog is very cute. I didn't know they are known to have lots of medical issues. Is that because they are too inbred?

Laura said...

Seeing that bulldog puppy picture reminds me so much of the English Bulldog my dad got as a puppy when I was in high school. Poor guy. He wasn't really cut out for the Texas heat. Lucky for us, most of his medical problems were related to his skin. Even so, we spent a lot of time at the vet with that dog.

And he was such stinker - it's hard for me to imagine a puppy that refuses to walk! That poor guy must feel absolutely rotten, if he's refusing to walk.