25 November 2007

Attack of the Assticle

Okay, this post contains work-related ick, so if you're one of the weak-stomached types, you may want to stop right here.

So now that they're gone, I'll tell you a little story about last night at work (There's a photo, too, but only an "after" one. I do have some sense of decorum.). One of the uncanny things about emergency work is that cases often tend to come in clusters. Everything can be nice and sedate and then...

...*bam*, six cases walk through the door in as many minutes.

Such was the situation last night, and in the midst of everything came Cassidy, a very obese and very sweet old golden retriever. Cassidy's regular vet had her scheduled on Monday for surgery on what they thought was a hernia protruding out next to her anus. This type of hernia is fairly serious, as it is fairly easy for bowel that slips into the hernia ring to get pinched off and lose blood supply, which can be life-threatening.

Only this turned out not to be a hernia, but a large mass that had ruptured and was bleeding all over the place, very heavily. This is also not a good thing, so we rushed her to the treatment area and hastily fashioned a diaper of sorts to put some pressure on the mass and stop the bleeding. The way forward from there, of course, was obvious. The mass would have to be removed.

So Cassidy was admitted, we ascertained that all her important parts were functioning properly and that we didn't have a scary amount of blood loss and proceeded (once the rest of the evening's onslaught had been dealt with) to anesthetize her and prep her for surgery. As we were prepping, we noted that the largely hairless mass resembled nothing so much as a large, ugly scrotum holding a single testicle.

So I started calling it The Assticle.

Removing The Assticle was a little bit of a challenge, as all it wanted to do was break apart and bleed. Profusely. All over my scrubs*. But I quickly hacked and slashed and packed and got the bleeding stopped and the wound closed. I think I did a rather good job, under the circumstances.


Cassidy's rather happy to be rid of it, too. Of course, there's still the matter of the football-sized fatty tumor inside her left hind leg, but that one's not bleeding and is not going to be my problem.

* I keep extra scrubs on hand for just such an occasion, so I did not have to walk around covered in Assticle blood all night. Just in case you were wondering.

A Little Rant

The other day I got two sizeable packages in the mail. One from the Humane Society of the United States and one from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. These were in very similar large white plastic "envelopes", and within these envelopes were clear plastic bags that were vacuum-sealed and contained thin polyester fleece blankets made in China with cutesy designs that are supposed to make me want to contribute to these organizations "to help the animals".

Two plastic bags each to go to the landfill and petrochemical blankets mass-produced by factories in China, where their commitment to eco-friendliness, human rights, and animal welfare is so well known around the world.

To help the animals.

Guess who won't be getting any money from me. I did, however, add the blankets to our clinic collection of cage bedding. To help the animals.


Sheepish Annie said...

You are like a superhero!!! Vanquishing the evil Assticle like that...amazing! I imagine that the poor pup was much relieved.

I love getting freebies in the mail...but all that packaging and whatnot is a bit much. And I also prefer it if they ask me if I can use said "freebie" first. If it's not something I would use or approve of, what is the point?

knitnzu said...

But it wasn't a testicle now was it? Cassidy isn't a hermaphrodite or gynandromorph or anything?? My friend's boy Sid is doing just fine. Worst outcome will be a mechanical (painless) limp. I think you should send these organizations a letter, perhaps with photos, showing how their blankets are helping animals, showing human rights abuses in China, showing how plastic products 'help' animals, especially in landfills. You are a master at this sort of thing, I'm sure you could come up with something (if you had time, but that's another matter!).

Anonymous said...

When humans are needing blood, there are transfusions available. What happens with animals? I mean, if you're in surgery and there's a significant loss of blood volume...

Anonymous said...

Did you submit the assticle for histopath? Do you think it was malignant? Nice closure on the tail - especially considering the use of Fluorofil, my nemesis.

I think it's great that you get to do so many different things. My emergencies consist of broken teeth and broken faces - no assticles for me.

Those huge lipomas - I tell people that they are like cellulite. They only hurt our eyes.

Those HSUS solicitations annoy the heck out of me, too. Fortunately, I've moved around so much lately that they've totally lost track of me!

WonderMike said...

OMG, I almost fainted when I read this post. You have nerves of steel, my friend. I could not have handled that. Eeeeeeek.

teejtc said...

aw poor thing. Thank goodness she has such loving "neighbors!"

Grace and Peace,