Thursday, October 20, 2011

Exotic Animals {posted on TNTML}

I wanted to share my latest post over at http://talknerdytomelover.com (TNTML) in case you don’t read over there. My series is posted every Saturday after Jen edits it. She’s entitled the series: The secret life of a veterinary technician. It’s just my take on life, heavy in animals since that’s my passion but I will also share just whatever is on my mind. Lately I’ve been talking about animal rescue and shelters but it was getting a little sad so the next few posts will be about past experience with exotic/zoo animals.
This is last saturday’s post :) It’s a bit wordy, sorry.
So most of this takes place at the University of Florida. I worked in their Veterinary Medical Center, Small Animal Hospital ICU/CC (intensive care unit/critical care) for almost 2 years. Although much of the experience I had with their management was abso-fucking-lutely horrible, the medical experience I gained far out weighed the emotional and mental trauma I endured. Now most of my direct patients were only dogs and cats but sometimes Zoological Medicine/Exotics would either have a patient in ICU (for better care then the zoo ward-no overnight care) or I would end up in Zoo med because they didn't have any overnight technicians to help them. 
Some of the most memorable cases were: the kangaroo in ICU, the wild doe in the zoo ward, the white bengal tiger in zoo ward, and the cougar in ICU. 

(that’s me up there!)
The kangaroo was in ICU because he needed to get fluids, plasma, and other medications usually all at the same time. So we had to place a central line which is a special intravenous catheter that is placed in the jugular vein. It has multiple ports that empty into the vein separately so the solutions are not mixed.  
The deer was a wild doe that was hit by a car. A good Samaritan (its what we call them in the vet world, and originally it is a bible reference) saw her get hit and brought her into the hospital on emergency. The driver of the car that hit the doe drove away. The man who brought her in also saw her fawn so he went back to find the baby who was hiding at the time. The veterinarian on call for zoo med came down to ICU to get some help. I volunteered. (I like doing different things) The vet asked the vet student (always a vet student on call during the weekend as well as vet) to put in a jugular catheter but she was unable to do so. He asked me to.
At this time in my career I had never placed a jugular catheter, tons of regular IV catheters in the legs and even ears. Yes, ears. Some dogs like basset hounds have big floppy ears which also have a nice little vein that can be used if needed. Well I figured it would be just like the other catheters only a much larger target. I never told the vet or the vet student that I hadn't done this before, because essentially I have, just not in this vessel. And I was successful! Unfortunately the doe had to be euthanized as she was fatally injured. The nice man who saved her from suffering was able to save her fawn. 
There's always happy and sad times in my job. 
FYI I only have one actual picture from this time to share currently but next week I should have more. My old laptop is not charged and like a very very bad nerd I didn't not back up any of my files so they are currently trapped on a computer that I cannot turn on. Annnnd the charger is MIA. I'm pretty sure someone borrowed it....like a while ago....ALSO I contacted my Senior Vet Tech/good friend (she was the lead tech on our shift until she went on maternity leave and then I became lead tech) and asked her to email me any photos she has from when we worked together. 
Anyway, the big cats will be next time! I MUST have photos of the kitties to show you with the post. Otherwise it wouldn't be fair :)
OMG! And let us never forget how AMAZING social media is because I posted on twitter and facebook that I needed to borrow a charger for an old compaq presario V5000 model--low and behold help has arrived!!! It isn't in the form of a charger but a facebook/IRL friend from high school contacted me and let me know that he has a compTIA A+ certification. So basically he's going to pull all the data off my old laptop for me even if we can't turn it on. Will only take about 30 minutes and he said NO CHARGE!! AMAZING! Do you know how much this usually costs? To copy over a hard drive? Its apparently called data recovery. I did a quick check online and it can cost up to $350. I may have to buy this dude some starbucks!
Yaaay!! Peace. Love. Pawprints.
-Lindsay @thecraftafarian
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