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Okay, since its getting warm outside we are seeing tons of new emergencies come in and boy for a new person (that being myself :wink: ) it can get very stressfull and mentally draining. Since I love to write I am going to start my little vet-tech diary so vent after bad days at work (or good days :wink: ) You can read it if you want, you can even respond but if you dont thats okay too...I just need a place to dump my emotions into because if I dont I think I will go crazy :shock:
Thanks in advance for letting me pour my heart out here :wink:

May 13th, 2005
Today is Friday the 13th....so we all know today is going to be crazy. I think I would rather had 20 emergencies come in then to deal with so many unexpected deaths. :(
We have a dog come in weekly to get meds...her name is Q.E and she is a little Italian Greyhound. She is allergic to vaccines so we always have to be careful around her. Poor little girl has been struggling for a while, but finally we got her up on her feet and she was finally starting to like us. Everyone knew her and everyone loved her. I remember just sitting in her kennel with her so she wouldnt be so upset. One day she even crawled right up in my lap and fell asleep...quite the commplement seeing she doesnt like strangers.
Well today her parents came in with her. Q.E had lost about 2lbs in 2 days and was a shocking 4lbs. It seemed like her liver problems had won the battle. The parents decided to euthanize her :cry: What really got me was that they didnt want to stay with her while we did it...they just dropped her off and left...left her with strangers....left her to be alone and scared her last moments on earth. Well of couse the techs that knew her and formed a bond with her didnt let that happen. We all sat with her on a very soft blanket and held her so she would calm down. I was amazed how calm she was because when the vet injected her with the drug she didnt even cry. She just quietly drifted away in my arms. Usually I can hold it together but I was having a heck of a time trying not to completely break down. I made her little paw prints for her mom (we have a clay disk we use to do paw-impressions and then we put their name in the wet clay, back it and send it to the parents) and took care of her body. I cried a little in back when I was putting her info in our log book. We all thought she was doing better.
Second shocker of the day....a 6yr old golden had to have her spleen taken out yesterday. She was doing great today but her heartrate was still a little off...normal for when they first get out of surgery but not normal the day after. We all were keeping an eye on her but she seemed to be just fine.
I came back from lunch the same time the kennel girl did. We walked past the goldens run and the kennel girl called her name...she didnt move. We opened her run to check her out and she looked horrible. She was still alive, but totally limp. By the time the vet ran in she was on her way out. We all ran to get the epi, the breathing tubes, everything. I watched as they did CPR on her trying to get her back. I must say doing CPR on a large dog is not fun to watch....its not as gentle as human CPR...everytime they slammed down on her chest I had to look away.
This is when I noticed her belly....she was swollen like a tick....the vet noticed right away and stuck a needle in her to see what it was....it came back as all blood. She had bled out from her sugery. We never got her back. Her parents had just been visiting with her the hour before and the vet did a total check on her not 40 minutes before this. Its scary how quickly something can go wrong...
We had like 4 more euthanasias that day, but those two really got to me. Since those were the first two of the day it made helping with the other 4 much harder...since I was already depressed. It takes my all not to break down in front of a client who is hystarical over their pet who they had since a baby...listening to them try to convince themselves this is the right thing to do and hearing them appologize to their pet. We tell them its the best thing but the owners are grieving and nothing we say will make it any easier....gosh i wish I could do this job without having to assist in euthanasias.
Wow that was a long post. Thankfully I traded shifts with someone and dont work on Saturday....I think I need a break after this week :shock:
 

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please don't hold it against Q.E's parents. some can handle euthanising their beloved pet while being there and others feel really bad, the guilt is too much for them to bear. it would have been nice that they stayed and had a little counceling with the vet or tech, i've had to talk to a few clients and help them understand that they were doing the best thing for their fur baby. one client did what Q.E's parents did, and came back the next day cause she felt guilty for putting her baby to sleep and also felt guilty for not being with him. i always have a hard time with euthanasia. i have a hard time with death period, especially if it's one of the pets i grew fond of. i understand how hard of a day you must have had. i'm glad you have a day off. it is needed in this line of work! i worked 18 days straight once and on the 18th day i lost 4 clients very dear to my heart. i'm glad i had 2 days off after that!

it takes a special person to do what we do :) and i'm glad you are doing this diary. it helps me out in a way too. thanks :wave:
 

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Angel, I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry my way through all your diary entries but that's okay. :)

I know some people can't handle watching their dog get euthanized but I believe you owe it to them to be there. I don't care if you break down or if it will haunt you for the rest of your life... you can't allow your beloved friend to go through it without you. I wouldn't be very forgiving of any excuses so it's a good thing I don't do that for a living.

Angel, as a client I wouldn't mind if you cried right along with me. Maybe your employer would frown upon it but it would be okay with me. It would tell me that you understood how much my pet meant to me.
 

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Speaking from experience I know having your beloved pet euthanized is extremely traumatic. Even though you know what you are doing is for the best, it is still a very difficult decision.

I went through this with my chi, Tia, last year. Even my vet had tears in her eyes, and believe me I appreciated it. I didn't think it was in the least "unprofessional". It shows a love of animals and compassion. I don't think anyone should be in any medical field unless they do have that compassion. I know you have to try to distance yourself somewhat, but I'm sure it is very difficult.
 

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Like I said before when it gets easy thats when you get out..

I dont care how hard it is, I will be there for mine God Forbid they need to go that way and I will be wailing! :cry:

Rachael is right I will be tearing thru these too :(
 

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A very sad and difficult read...but not as sad as having to deal with these situations in the work place....you are a trooper.
 

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Like I said before when it gets easy thats when you get out..
definately thats what i think in my job too :D

jess so sad , I cat wait too read happy pots too, and I will be with mine godforbid when it happens as there going to live forever Ive decided :D I will be a wreck I cant think about it now without crying :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
May 19th

Wow what a day. Today is Kylie's surgery. I am very nervous! Thankfully the tech in charge has decided to put me in charge of all the treatments...meaning I have to be responsible for all the treatments to all the hospitalized and boarding patients in the hospital. This will keep my mind off of Kylie's surgery and allow me to care of her afterwards.
There is this one dog who is only 1yr old...a mix b/w a poodle and a spanial of sorts..very cute. Took care of him yesterday. Found out today he might have Lepto!!!! :shock: :shock: Lepto attacks the kidneys and is highly contagious. This dog did pee on me yesterday. Now I did wash up really good after but it still kindof scary. If it comes back that he is Lepto positive I have to go to the hospital and have blood tests done and be put on meds.
Got to assist on dewclaw and tail docks today. God I hate watching those! All the vet does is snip the dewclaws and the tails off...no pain meds, no numbing...nothing. Poor little puppies. They were fox terrier pups...about 3days old.
A sad note, a 10yr old chihuahua named Toby was put down today. He was struggling for the past 4 months now with liver problems and was loosing a lot of weight. Vet finally told the owner that there was nothing more we could do. I couldnt be in the room...just cannot watch a chi be put down and not think of my three girls. I did make a clay paw for them. Poor Toby looked real bad.
I did get to see a little Boston who came in at 8wks with bad phnemonia. She came in for her spay. She looked so good. It made my day!
Surgen came around 3:30pm. I was suppose to have a 2hr break but I only took a 30min one to help out with Kylie. I sat with her while they gave her the morphine and pre-anestetic. I gave her a little kiss on the noise right before the doc took her. I could not watch them stick the breating tube down her throat...i went back to my treatments.
Overall a very stressfull day that I contribute to not sleeping last night, worrying about Kylie, and being in charge of treatments. Had to deal with attitude from my boss...she was pissed that our lunches werent 'spaced out enough" even though there was no other way to space them...we were short-handed. She guilt-tripped me into ending my lunch way earlier then I was suppose to...god sometimes I wonder why she hates me so much.
Had a hit-by-car come in. Australian Shepherd. Very cute. Was okay when she came in....stable, but her inner thigh was pretty messed up...the skin had peeled away from most of her thigh...looked really bad but I guess all the doc had to do was stitch the skin back together. She is going to go home on Sunday.
Well that was my day in a nutshell. Learned a lot today doing treatments...know how to finally take blood pressures and administer certain IV drugs. I almost felt like I really knew what I was doing. I hope I proved myself and I get to be treatment leader again :D

PS - Kylie did great! She will be ready to go home at 10 tonight :D :D
 

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Wow, I'm tired just reading about your day. :lol: You do such worthwhile work and you're obviously very dedicated and skilled. I hope you never get discouraged enough to quit. It would be a loss to all the animals you treat.

Can I ask why they don't give the dogs anything when they snip the dewclaws and tails??? :shock: Do they dogs yelp and cry or is it not as painful as it sounds?
 

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I think tail docking is just cruel!!!!! As much as I hate dew claws I am having second thoughts on that too, they should give them SOMETHING!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I dont think they can give such a young pup anything...I have talked to other vet techs I know and they all say its done the same way. I think its cruel too which is why i try to not make myself available when they are in.
And yes they do cry, but not very long...a yelp or two and then they are quiet....still dont like it though.

It can be very boring at work or extremely busy! Since we are an emergency hospital we are open 24/7 and we are the largest privately owned vet hospitals in Illinois, which is why I was drawn to it...i like how busy we are and i like seeing the different emergencies come in (even though it can be extremely sad)

May 23rd
Pretty boring day. Nothing much happened. Our lepto dog is still waiting on results but his bloodwork shows he is slowly getting better. Little bugger tired to bite me today when I was flushing his IV...I wasnt mad though..actually happy he had some spunk in him...he is only 1yr

The surgery tech was playing pranks on me today. Put "be careful" stickers all over Kylie's cage so people would ask me if my dog is mean...poor KYlie....there were docs and techs actually scared to go by her because of that. We got him back though...Found some interesting stickers and newspaper clippings to put on his locker...he got a kick out of it...i left paw prints on his locker so it looked like Kylie did it....yes we were that bored.

We have a Good Sam kitty in our ward...he is only 11wks old and is solid black with two white toes in the back. Very cute kitty! He is missing two toes on his right front paw...we are treating him and hopfully finding him a new home.

End of my day was sad. I actually broke down in my car. Lady about 28yr old came in with her 10yr old Dobie to put to sleep. It was her first dog she owned on her own. She was crying but held it together for the most part...then right when the doc was finished giving the dog the sleepaway she broke down in hystarics...no one else was with her but us so we were trying to consoul her. She was telling her dog how sorry she was and how unfair it was that he had to go...I tell you I had to bite my lip (literally) not to start crying right with her. It never fails I ALWAYS put myself in their shoes and think about my dogs...and thats what really gets my crying. I couldnt help but think about the time when I will have to be in that situation and I couldnt help but cry in my car.

Besides that just a lot of vaccines and blood draws for heartworm tests...nothing too fun or too depressing.
 

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aw! when i worked in the animal hospital i couldn't help out in anyway when it came to euthanasia's. and when i found out one of the animals i grew fond of went down forget it! tears flowed freely.

it's funny you mention the stickers. we have:

will bite
may bite
special handling
caution
(plus all the collect fecal, diabetic, seizure watch ect)

poor chiwi's cage would get all of the behavior ones put onto her cage card lol. and there were times were i would wear a will bite sticker on my name tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
) LOL yeah Ginger gets the "be careful" sticker if she stays there...not that she has ever bitten anyone but she sure acts like she will. I dont care beause I dont want anyone being bit and I want people to know they have to be very slow and calm with her...I dont want to put her in the situation where she would feel she had to bite someone.

Tuesday, May 24th

OMG did everyone call eachother and decide to put their animals down together!? From 8am to 12pm all I did was help with euthanasias. When I was done bagging/tagging and entering one animal in the log I would have to go with another doc to help with the next one. One was a cat that was in Monday...found out through blood tests he had bad kidney disease. They came in to put him down but when it came time the lady grabbed the cat, hugged him tight and was crying that she didnt want to. Thankfully the husband was there and calmed her down. We left them alone and came back when they were ready. That one had me tearing up in the room. I made sure to make them a really nice paw.
The other one was a greyhound. I helped the lady carry him in the room because the dog was too weak to get up. There was green stuff dripping out of the dogs nose...the breathing was slow and weak and he was really skinny. This was a dog that I didnt feel bad putting down because it was obvious he was ready, but the mom asked me to stay in the room with her until the doc was ready. :shock: I just got done with the cat and was pretty emotional...I didnt know if I could handle being in a room with her while she was crying. She was telling me how this was her first dog as an adult (almost the same story as the woman yesterday) and how this dog was special and how she would probably never find another one like him. She was telling me stories and man I tell ya I never fought back tears so much in my life (I know I say that everytime :wink: ) She wasnt hystarically crying though....I just knew this woman was at peace with her decision and knew in her heart this was the kindest thing to do for her dog. There was a couple times all I could do to answer her was nodd because if I would had opened my mouth I would had started crying.
The doc came in and went through what she would see happen. I held off the back leg while he injected him. I went to leave, but knew I should stick around until the doc pronounced him. After 30 seconds the dog was still alive :shock: Now usually this stuff works quick and the dog will pass around the time the doc is finishing giving the drug, but because this dogs heartrate was so weak the blood wasnt pumping quick enough to send the drug to the brain...so we had a sleeping dog, but a very much alive dog.
I quickly and quietly grabbed the bottle and another needle and the doc explained what was going on. THANKFULLY she totally understood and was even joking around with us through tears. She assured us that this dog has always had heart problems so it didnt shock her at all that the drug would take longer to work. The doc injected him again and a minute later the dog passed away. It was very peaceful but man did it take long. We left the mom to be with her dog.
The doc was a little flustered. He reassured me that everything was done right and that some animals just dont have the blood preasure to make that drug work fast. The reason they use that drug is because it puts them to sleep first, then stops the organs....so worse-case senario the dog goes to sleep.
The doc went to tell me a story about a dog that he was euthanizing. He gave the shot and a similar thing happened but finally the heart stopped. The owner wanted to take the body home. The owner called up probably an hour after she left and said her dog woke up!! :shock: :shock: By the time she got home and took the dog out she noticed it was breathing again, and by the time she got the dog inside and to the phone he had his head up. The doc is guessing that the heart did not stop, but slowed down so much and was so weak he could not hear or feel a pulse. She had a long drive home and that gave the drug enough time to wear off.
Now, instead of the owner being mad and wanting to sue us she was happy :shock: She said her dog was acting better then it had before she brought it in. She wanted to wait a while before she decided anything.
She called the following day to thank the doc :shock: for whatever he did because he dog was acting totally fine. To this day the dog is still alive and it doing well :shock: :shock:
Now I guess this is like a 1 in a million chance this would happen, but sure enough it happened to this doc...the other docs had chimed in to say how shocked they where that day.

I think we euthanized like 7 animals today, including a 2yr old mix who attacked the kids. That is always heard to do...because the owners never stick around, and you know that this has to be done but almost always the dog comes in wagging the tail and being nice...but you know that the kids had to go to the hospital for bite wounds. The owners knew the dog was agressive and had taken it to a animal behaviorist before this happened...so it wasnt like they didnt try. Poor pup.

At the end of the shift a couple emergencies came in...one was an old golden who went down (couldnt walk) and as we were working on him doc decided to see if there was any fluid in the stomach...what he pulled out was straight blood! I am glad I didnt have to go in with doc to tell the owners they had to put this dog to sleep...cause they thought nothing serious was wrong with their dog.
The other one was a 13wk old Basset Hound puppy. I guess the other Basset in the house (an adult) decided to bite this poor puppies ear off! :shock: He came in with a chunk of ear missing. Poor little guy. It wasnt life threatening though which was good. We played with him for a while before we finally left. I guess all they will do will be to even out the ear so it doesnt look like there is a chunk missing...but he will have one long ear and one short...I joked with the owners saying this will be the new Basset fasion trend...they thought it was funny.
Glad thats how my day ended...for as bad as it started I really needed a cute little puppy to cheer me up...and a cute little puppy who was healthy!!
 

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wow... The work you do is wonderfully thoughtful....

It is people like you that make bringing our pets to the vets office better....

Keep up the wonderful work you do...

God Bless you
 

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OMG Jess, I just could not do it :( all day!

That story about the dog that came back to life (or woke up) is ONE awesome story............ :D
 

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June 1st
Pretty slow day...oh yeah until we had 2 emergencies come in at the same time.
One was a hit-by-car....well I should say a rolled-over-by-car. Seems that the little 10yr old mini schnauser was relaxing in the sun on the drive-way and mom accidently rolled over him. :shock: He has a broken rib and a possilbe broken shoulder. We werent sure if one of his back bones was kinked....still didnt know by the time I left.
The second was a 4yr old Lab who was in a week ago for bloat. Today he decided to jump at the door at home and bust open his stiches in his belly...leaving his intestines to fall out :shock: :shock: :shock:
We got him out of the car and there was pieces of fat and tissue in the car from his belly. WE had to scope him out of the car with a large blanket so his insides wouldnt fall out more then they already were.
I have never heard a dog scream so much in my life. THis poor guy. He was doing soooo well too!
We preped him for surgery and the owners decided at the last minute to put him down :shock: :( Not because they didnt have the money for the surgery...nono...they put him down because "he is just too hyper and we just cant handle it anymore" :shock: You mean to tell me u just spent 1,300 dollars for bloat surgery and now u decide u dont want to deal with him anymore....he is a freakin lab...of course he is going to be hyper! :evil:
Oh man that pissed me off today.
Other then that a normal day...I got promoted from "trainee" to an official Animal Health Technician (AHT) I am not a CVT (certified vet tech) because I have not completed the two years of school...but basically both are the same...just one is certified and one is not. I am happy I can finally get rid of my trainee nametag...no more having to deal with people saying "I dont want u learning on my dog".
 
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