Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Friday, August 19, 2011

If I Don't Get A Lunch Break... least I get to do surgery!!

Today I was seeing appointments all day, alone in the office. Sometimes you end up seeing a case that needs immediate surgical intervention. If it's critical, well, I just have to cancel and rearrange appointments. If it's not, then I try to fit it in (depending on what "it" is) between appointments or at lunch and least preferably at the END of the day.  We want as much time post-op/post-anesthesia to monitor the patient.

An owner lost her cat for 2 months! She assumed - as I'm sure many of us would - that she was dead and likely never to be seen again. Well, kitty showed up only with a few changes, including weight loss and this:

 This is actually a pretty deep wound over the right side of the cat's belly (over a mammary gland which is actually missing). What you can't appreciate from these photos is how deep this goes down toward the inguinal (groin) area. Amazingly, this did not communicate into the abdomen. AND even more amazing, it was pretty clean and there were no maggots. That might be a testament to a cat's propensity for cleanliness and grooming!

She was an unspayed female that had kittens several months ago, so the owner wanted to get her spayed. We figured she since was going to have to have anesthesia to have this dealt with, we might as well do it then. Given my schedule today, the only reasonable time to do this was over lunch. That's all part and parcel of medicine - you may or may not get a break - at all! We learn to eat in between appointments, blood draws, procedures, etc. 

Her spay was interesting,too, in that her uterus was the most friable uterus I have ever encountered in all my years doing this. This means that it broke down and tore apart very easily -with normal manipulation. I had to be very careful when I got to the body of the uterus that I didn't have it tear apart because finding the vessels could've been very challenging that far back into the pelvis. 

In any case, after the spay, we addressed this large wound which was trying to close on it's own. There was so much dead - or open/gaping - space that we placed a drain to help fluid and contamination come out for a few days. We don't know what caused it to begin with. Many times if we have a small contaminated wound we will NOT close it but this was far too large and basically exposed her abdominal wall, that we could NOT let it stay open. Of course, she's on antibiotics and pain meds.

Hopefully I'll have some great follow up pics to show you again what amazing healers cat truly are! 

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