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A Rough Night
Night 2 of my internship was a night of death. My first assignment when I arrived was to 'bag' a dog - that is, put a euthanized dog into a garbage bag and then take it out to a freezer until it could be taken for cremation. The dog, Raven, was a 12yo, 90 pound husky whose sobbing owner I had passed in the hallway. Raven had terminal cancer and wasn't responding to treatment. It took two of us to get her body into the bag, and due to her size, we carried her out on a stretcher. Naturally they had me go backwards, and I slammed my bad hand into a doorframe. But we managed to get the bag to the freezer. While there we had to retrieve another bag; an owner had decided they wanted a lock of hair from their pet. So we carried the bag back into the office, opened it, shaved some hair from the dog's head, then closed it back up and took it back to the freezer. Later in the evening an ancient Boston terrier was brought in and the techs were putting a catheter in her leg. Silly me, I asked what was up. Maggie was being euthanized. She seemed really alert and friendly, but apparently besides being 14 she was having seizures several times a day. Fortunately I didn't have to 'bag' Maggie, because a triage had come in.

There were 4 triages during the 3 hours I was there, and I spent a lot of my evening taking car of one of them, Oki, a mutt. Everytime a vet tried to check Oki, an emergency would crop up, so I'd watch Oki again. (He had a severe allergic reaction to something.) Oki wound up as probably the only non-sad story of the evening; besides his problem being simple, I took him back to his owner who was thrilled to see his buddy back and eager to talk about his dog. So that was nice. The other triages also turned out to be not too bad. But when I wasn't watching Oki, I was looking after the animals in the ICU. The ferrets were a hoot, especially Larry, who was finding great amusement in flipping over his food dish. But James the cat popped his stitches and it took forever to get him to stay still long enough to restitch him. Another cat had been abandoned at the hospital by the owners, who decided the cat was just too mean to bother with anymore. (I can attest that the cat is nasty.) A sweet Dachshund, Fritz, hurt his back and was paralyzed. And poor Jetta the Rottweiler. She woke up a couple days ago and couldn't move any of her legs. Her owners brought her to the hospital, said they couldn't afford to treat her and left her. The poor girl still can't get up, and she's very confused and hurt. I spent a lot of time with her.

Throughout the entire evening, a vet was operating on the deformed leg of a 3 month old pup, Simba. Simba was under anesthesia from 3pm on, which is...too long for a puppy. His blood pressure kept crashing. They finally got him stable around 9pm and finished the surgery, but when they started stitching him up he crashed entirely. They worked on him for half an hour with injections, CPR, paddle shocks, etc. but they couldn't save him. I stayed late to see what happened with Simba, but I left right after. Enough death for one night.

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Wow. That sounds really intense. I have a close friend who was a vet tech for 13 years before she was disabled due to multiple chronic illnesses, and she actually knows quite a bit about human medicine too due to her experience with animals. I guess you probably get used to it after awhile, but it sounds very rough going in. :( *hugs*

What an awful evening. I'm sorry. :(

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