What I learned this week

Chinchilla

Photo Credit: Pachyblur

For me, doing is learning. Here’s a run-down of what I did this week that seemed noteworthy enough to list:

  • My first ferret fracture repair–a 10-month old ferret broke his R femur via unknown trauma. Placed an IM pin and two cross pins. Caused some splintering of the bone in the process but I was mostly satisfied with the result. Really, really hoping for the best for this little guy.
  • Gastrotomy/foreign body removal on a young Golden Retriever
  • Epidural on the same dog
  • Dealt with the worst chinchilla paraphimosis I’ve ever seen. After removing a fur ring constriction around the base of his penis (under sedation), I just kept him on metacam (and used lots of lubrication), and over the course of about 6 days, it has gone from possibly needing amputation (good thing we didn’t go that route) to returning almost completely back to normal.
  • Performed a molar grind on another chinchilla who has the worst teeth I have ever, ever, ever seen. I’ve been working with him for quite awhile, actually–this was one of our “routine” check-ups. He is also the only chinchilla I have extracted molars on before. I didn’t think he was going to survive this long, but he is such a trooper and his family is so committed to him!
  • Tried (and failed) to troubleshoot technical difficulties at a local CE presentation (as president of the local VMA, I feel a responsibility for making sure everything goes smoothly–this was painfully disappointing). The speaker did a phenomenal job of presenting off-the-cuff and I still learned a ton, including:
    • If a young, healthy dog has elevated liver enzymes but no clinical signs, the first step she recommends is trying a limited ingredient diet.
    • If performing an ultrasound-guided aspirate of the liver, use a 25-gauge needle. She’s never known a case to bleed excessively from that small of a needle, and sedation is not (usually) needed. The FNA can help indicate things like histoplasmosis or other potentially infectious causes.
    • If performing an ultrasound-guided biopsy (under sedation of course) of the liver, ALWAYS do a coagulation profile first. She said everyone at their specialty practice has been burned at one time or another by having a patient bleed excessively after a liver biopsy.
    • Her preferred antibiotics for liver infections are ampicillin or amoxicillin. But she said make sure these are given IV. The bioavailability of ampicillin when given orally is zilch.

I’ve also learned more about college basketball (maybe I’ll post how I did with my bracket when all is said and done), I’ve learned that I’ve got a LOT of work to do on our upcoming open house, and since we set a date for our annual staff retreat (and it’s less than a month away), I need to do some serious brainstorming for that.

What is one thing you learned this week?

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