Monday, December 31, 2012

My Christmas Gifts

Happy Holidays to All! Love Krista & Joe

I decided a few weeks ago to give the people in my life who I love and treasure a "gift in their honor."

In an effort to not spoil any one's Christmas surprise I waited until after all of the presents had been opened to reveal the friends and family I donated my services in honor of.

To My Sister:
I donated my surgical skills to help save a cat owned by a former employee. The cat was not spayed, was not eating, and had profuse green vaginal discharge. This cat needed emergency ovario-hysterectomy surgery, and had a very grave prognosis if she wasn't spayed immediately. They could not afford to go to the emergency clinic nor could they afford our very reasonable fees. I donated my surgical time and they promised to not wait to spay their cat in the future. She recovered very well and we wish her a long healthy life.

One very swollen, infected, sick uterus.

To My Brother;
My husband and I donated vaccines for my neighbors 13 cats. Thankfully he is a big cat lover, but he cannot afford routine care for them. We go over once a year to vaccinate everyone.

To My Very Good Friend Havah;
I have a great friend who oversees many rental properties. It seems that cats are either left or abandoned on many of the properties she manages. When a litter of kittens was found she rescued them, vaccinated, de-wormed, micro-chipped, and raised them until they were old enough and tame enough to be adopted. I spayed them all, (mom, and aunts and uncles too, in all it was about 10 cats). I fell in love with the little orange one in the front bottom picture. I adopted her about a week after she came to the clinic to try to find a forever home. Her name is now Oriole.

To The Entire Staff at JVC;
Few other pets will touch our hearts like Harley did. She came to us terribly overweight, with a bald infected skin at the base of her tail and underbelly. She was also severely constipated. Her entire colon was backed up to the point that it felt like she had a rock hard 8 inch diameter tubular colon. It almost felt like a concrete sewer pipe. Every staff member could feel it easily, and every staff member was needed to give her the enemas she required every few hours to help soften and move her impenetrable cemented fecal mass. After her enema she then needed to be walked. For days we tried to get her incredible petrified fecal mess to pass. It took three weeks of intense care before she finally was defecating normally. She was also treated for fleas, hypothyroid disease, and put on a diet to not only help the obesity but also the constipation. We all became very attached to her. When she comes back to visit us she is ecstatic to see us. I think she knows that we are her second family. Her family was only able to pay a fraction of her bill, but there was no way we could say "No" to her.

Thankfully Harley is surrounded by people who love her and now understand that she needs her thyroid meds and good stable diet daily. They tell us often how great she looks and how happy she is.

To the Great Groomers at JVC: 
One of the groomers came to me to say that her in-laws black Lab was just seen for very bloody urine and found to have severe urinary stones which would require surgery to have them removed. She said that she wanted to pay for the dogs care because her mother-in-law was in the hospital and having a difficult time both physically and financially. Their dog had one of the worst cases of bladder stones I had ever seen. Her bladder felt like a big sac of sand in her belly. I can't imagine how she could even pee to begin with, and it was obvious that all of those stones were a very big part of the reason why it was always bloody. Whenever I ask the groomers for help with keeping my old fluffy beagly Savannah beautiful and clipped (so I don't have to chase hair balls around the house, or brush her, which she absolutely hates), they clip, clean, fluff, and present her back to me looking as pretty a new shiny penny. Even Savannah smiles and jumps with glee after she is made so beautiful. For all they do for her, and my sometimes stinky pups, I am happy to help their family pets.

That's a lot of stones! Urinary calculi look like snow balls on an x-ray of the bladder, they are the round white balls just to the right of the "L" marker.

A peak inside the angry unhappy bladder reveals a sac full of stones.

A large bowl of her urinary calculi (stones).
To My Dear Friends Laura, Amanda, and Tracy;
These are the faces of the breed that our great state of Maryland has decided to persecute without legitimate cause. These pups were going to be euthanized on the day we saved them. They are all wonderfully sweet gentle souls who only want to love and be loved. I am embarrassed and ashamed of the political prejudice and lack of compassion shown by the governing members of the state in which my practice resides. I will continue to try to educate the public about these wonderful dogs, and hope that like every other mistake made by the damning society who makes laws based on uneducated fears, that we will someday realize our own naive thinking and learn to be kind instead of damn and euthanize.

To My Dear Friend Kelly,
Who picked up the phone and answered a call from an owner who said "I have a kitten with a swollen eye. I can't afford to treat her and I want to surrender her." She went on to explain that she didn't believe the kitten was in pain because "she ran around and would occasionally hit a wall with her blind swollen eye and then it would explode and she would keep running around." When Kelly heard this she got in the car and drove over to get her. Unfortunately, that kitten was being given the wrong kind of eye medicine and not being treated for the terrible infection she had. After a few days of antibiotics the eye is normal size and causing her no pain or problems whatsoever. She may in the future need to have the eye removed, but only if it starts to cause her problems, which I don't think it will.

To My Dear Friend Adam;
I received a call from the clinic early one morning asking for guidance about a client who called to book an appointment to have his six 6-month old puppies euthanized. They were so upset and so distraught that they called me to help them figure out what I wanted to do about it. They explained to me that this client had the parents of the puppies and that they were overdue on their rabies vaccines. It appeared that the mom had been seen fighting with a raccoon who had wandered into the garage where all of the dogs were housed. She had killed the raccoon and the owners had called Animal Control to report the dead raccoon. The raccoon was submitted to the state pathology lab to be checked for rabies. Unfortunately the raccoon tested positive. because the puppies were too young to have been vaccinated and because the parents were overdue on their rabies shots, the state was mandating that all of the pets be put in a required 6 month state overseen quarantine. The owners decided that 6 months was too long to keep them and they were calling us to put them to sleep. I was livid when I got the call. There are times when I think that my job is the worst in the world. I was sitting at home trying to ask myself if I could put down 6 healthy puppies that probably would be fine in 6 months. Then I thought if I don't do it, and at least tell those puppies that they were loved, and that I on behalf of the human race, was soo sorry to be so unfair to them, that they would be sent to the humane society (total oxymoron by the way), to be euthanized by some person who....well, I couldn't even finish the thought. I couldn't do it. I couldn't put them down. I also couldn't keep 6 puppies in quarantine for 6 months. SO...
I called Adam. And I told him the whole story and he said, "this is our greatest challenge.." It was. We are still 2 months away from being able to adopt these pups out, but they are all doing great. we have 4 of them adopted already!

Never give up, and never forget who you are. No matter what challenges life throws at you..

I will be the light. Or I will call Adam and have him remind me to not lose my sense of purpose amid the insanity of the human beings.

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