Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day-Job Magic

I love my job. Legitimately.

I've not always been able to say that, and yes getting up and going to work in the morning isn't nearly as enjoyable or fulfilling as writing. I mean, let's be real.
I work at a Veterinary Clinic, and each and every day is truly amazing. I've never had any other job where I could sit back and say "I could do this for the rest of my life" until now.

The main reasons why my job is so wonderful are the Doctors I work for. There are seven doctors at our clinic and each is a special brand of excellent

I'm told Dr. B actually continued operating on a dog as her own appendix ruptured. She came back to work in the following days carrying her IV pole around with her. True story.

Just last night, Dr. M missed the main event of her son's 16th birthday party because she was draining fluid out of the abdomen of a dog with cancer.

But this post is about Dr. H.

I love her. She's Dodger and Tesla's (my dogs) doctor. She neutered and spayed them both, and when Tesla had horrible gastro-intestinal issues after we adopted her Dr. H did everything to help her.

Okay so...THE STORY....

Texas Panhandle Pet Savers (TPPS) is one of several No-Kill animal shelters in Amarillo. For those of you who might think "No-KIll" has an ambiguous meaning let me clarify - No-Kill shelters do not euthanize the animals they receive.

By contrast, our local Human Society gives animals 3 days to be adopted. If an animal is not adopted in 3 days it is euthanized. If the animal is not healthy when it is brought into the Humane Society it is euthanized.

No-Kill shelters feed, walk, bathe, and even give medical attention to all dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that they take in until they are adopted - even if the pets are never adopted they are still cared for.

15 days ago an approximately one year old little boxer girl was brought to our clinic by a representative of TPPS.

"You know," TPPS-lady sighed, "We don't really know her name. She was an owner surrender [her owners no longer wanted/could care for her], and when we asked him her name you know what he said? He said 'It doesn't matter, y'all are gonna put her down anyway'. So we've just been calling her Mia."

My face: ----->

Mia was sick. Real sick. Vomiting, gastro-intestinal issues, she wasn't able to gain weight because there would be days when she wouldn't eat; the whole nine yards. Given the symptoms we could observe at first glance, everyone in the clinic assumed Parvo, and so we tested her.

No Parvo...well not absolutely Parvo. The details are a little hairy, but suffice it to say given her symptoms, and the absence of any other disease that could be confirmed by blood/fecal tests we could only treat Mia for Parvo.

Mia did good some days, some days not so good, but then this last Sunday Mia took a terrible turn.

She'd been in our hospital's isolation room for almost 2 weeks by this time. Four of our seven doctors had examined her, ran tests, and monitored her treatment/progress.

Then Dr. H came back from vacation.

After observing Mia and reviewing her chart Dr. H thought she may have an idea of what could be wrong with Mia.

The answer couldn't be found (conclusively) by any ultrasounds, or x-rays. It would require exploratory surgery.

Now since Mia had no official owner that means TPPS would be footing the bill. Exploratory surgery is not cheap, and animal rescue organizations run soley on donations and the kindness of strangers. That's money spent that will never be recovered. The adoption fee for our local rescues ranges from $70 to $100.

BEFORE Mia's surgery her bill was thousands of dollars. If all went well she would recover with us and go back to Texas Panhandle Pet Savers with a foster family, and eventually be adopted for around $100.

Understand that when organizations spend money saving sick or injured animals that prevents them from rescuing/taking in other animals that are in just as dire need. They can only afford to take care of so many, and there are ALWAYS more animals in need than can be immediately helped.

Heaven forbid Mia didn't survive the surgery - that doesn't nullify all the care given to her, or all the time and skill of the doctors - they would still have a very large bill.

Thankfully, the woman who helps run TPPS is a longtime client of our clinic. She knows all of our doctors are some of the best in the state. She trusted Dr. H to perform the surgery knowing the risk and the cost.

I got to sneak glances in the operating room yesterday while performing my own duties at work as Dr. H found exactly what she thought/hoped she would find....

Your word for the day is "Intussusception".

Part of Mia's intestine had slid INSIDE another part of her intestine creating a blockage. This explained her small appetite, vomiting, gastro-intestinal distress, lethargy, and rapid weight loss.

Dr. H started surgery around 4:15 yesterday (we recheduled her late afternoon appointments with other doctors so she could operate). I got to watch as she removed a damaged part of the bowel and sew it back together. I left at just after 6pm as Dr. H finished the last stitch sewing Mia's abdomen closed.

Today when I walked into work for our monthly clinic meeting Mia was up and around in our treatment area eating a bowl of food. She is doing just fine, and in true boxer fashion is loathe to take orders.

Best part - Mia has a home.

Dr. H decided that if she could save Mia then she wanted to keep her, and help pay the medical bills for her.

Mia might not be her name forever - she doesn't really know it, or respond to it. She's only about a year old and thanks to Dr. H she'll have many more years to get acquainted with whatever name she's eventually given.

This is only Dr. H's most recent accomplishment. I've seen her extend and improve the quality of life for a terminally ill dog for over a year. She's quick and efficient, and always has an answer for the millions of questions that I ask her on a regular basis.

Working even tangentially alongside Dr. H, Dr. B, Dr. R, Dr. C, Dr. S, Dr. M, and Dr. N is humbling; I'm proud to be in the same building with them on a daily basis. They are why I love my job.

I hope that if you have a veterinarian that they are as fantastic as the doctors I work with every day. I hope you tell them how much you appreciate everything they do. Mostly, I want you to be as much in awe of them as I am.

So do something with yourself today. Recognize the love in the world around you. Know that there are people out there who are doing good things because they just can't help it...and share their story.

Until we meet again...

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