9.5.2016 Emergency, South Bay, CA

Case Count: 12

Starting my fourth shift in a row, I'm already feeling that lighter-than-air exhaustion. I'll get two days off and the start another 4-day stretch. BUT, today being a holiday, we get snacks, and my prayers were answered with a tub of Red Vines. I'm a Red Vines guy. Are you a Twizzler person? No. Nobody's a Twizzler person. Not to my face.

After my shift, finally free, I went to pull out of the parking lot and saw...a dead cat in the middle of the road, a woman on the phone calling Animal Control. I couldn't just leave it, which would have been the appropriate regulatory thing to do, so I timed the traffic and carried the cat back into work. Awkward second goodbye!

This guy was in an oxygen cage, but wanted to rub faces... 

...so I obliged.

6yo male neutered Norwich Terrier
Chocolate ingestion
     Ate most of a chocolate tea bread with chocolate chips. The problematic components of chocolate are called methylxanthines (meth-il-ZAN-theens), which act like caffeine. At increasing doses, we see vomiting/diarrhea, agitation, high heart rate, heart damage, neurologic signs (seizure, other). This dog, especially after puking most of the brownie up, is at the low end. Gave activated charcoal to bind up what's left, fluids under the skin to prevent dehydration and to increase urine production. The methylxanthines reabsorb from the urinary bladder, so it's important to allow urination frequently. The owner gave me the other chocolate tea bread that the dog didn't get. It was delicious. 

14yo male neutered Australian Shepherd mix
Vestibular disease
     This dog suddenly started having trouble walking, with apparent balance difficulty. Falling occasionally to the left, turning to the left, and on presentation I noticed the head tilted to the left. The left ear droop was, apparently, normal for him. He was walking with a wide-set gait and when he shook his head, he'd stumble to the left. Also, his eyes were flicking back and forth. This is classic for "Old Dog Vestibular Disease", also called "Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Vestibular refers to the balance system in the ear and brain. Basically, this pooch has vertigo. Idiopathic means unknown cause. Brain tumor, ear infection, blood clot, burst blood vessel can do it, but most often these dogs just start acting like they got off a spinning chair and improve over days to months. Nausea and injury from falling are the biggest risks. Sent home antibiotics. If it gets worse, tumor or other rises higher on the list. 

2yo female intact Yellow Lab
Acute bloody diarrhea, weakness, dehydration
     Very listless dog that's normally healthy and active. Acute vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain.

7yo male neutered Domestic Long Hair (DJH) cat
Saddle thrombus
     Suddenly started vocalizing and falling over at home. On physical exam, painful rear end, paralyzed back legs, cold rear paws, absent femoral pulses, low rectal body temp, heart murmur, and pale gums. This is classic for a blood clot that develops in the heart, then randomly shoots down the aorta and gets caught where it splits to supply the back legs. Cats go down paralyzed like they got shot with a bullet. Extremely painful. This cat threw another clot to his lungs and/or brain while the owners were coming to terms with the decision to euthanize. Very sad because they thought it would be something treatable. They have had many other cats and the man said, "I hate this place. Every time we come here, something dies."

Baby squirrels (2)
     Apparently squirrels just get separated from mom, like, all the damn time in this town. I hope these two live. 

2yo male neutered DLH
     Extremely fractious cat (swatting, screaming, flailing, attempting to bite) with wounds over the pelvic. We sedated and cleaned up the wounds, gave a long-acting antibiotic and pain medication. Xrays declined, so I can't be sure these wounds aren't associated with a broken pelvis or something. Fingers crossed! Oh, and overdue on rabies vaccine, so there's that personnel risk!

10-month-old Yellow Lab
Allergic conjunctivitis
     Red eyes. No complications on basic eye tests. Started topical meds. 

2-yo male neutered Border Collie
     Owner declined xrays, gave antinausea, antacid, and SQ fluid injections. See how it goes...