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24 Hours as a Small Animal Vet (part two) After doing the morning surgery, its normally time to start operating. Our nurses will have admitted the animals into the hospital in the morning and prepared them for their operation. If it is an animal that one of our vets has never seen before or has not been seen for a while, they will be checked over thoroughly by the operating vet. Routine operations (ones we do on a daily basis) include, neutering operations (spays and castrates), dental extractions and scale/polish procedures, wound stitch ups, lump removals etc. Non-routine procedures may include foreign body removal surgery or exploratory surgery where the animal’s abdomen is opened up, x-raying broken or sore legs, removing eyes that have not responded well to medical treatment, amputation of legs or tails, cruciate repair surgery etc. These procedures are carried out with the animal under general anaesthetic. Our inpatients are checked over in the morning by the case vet and a new treatment plan is devised. If they are well enough to go home, this will be arranged for a time that the owner can have a consultation with the case vet. Poorly animals may be hospitalised for a variety of reasons; seizuring animals need to be monitored and intravenous medication given, dehydrated animals will need to be given intravenous fluids, unstable diabetic animals will need to have their blood glucose closely monitored and the appropriate medication given. All these cases are best dealt with in our veterinary hospital under the watchful eye of a case vet and trained veterinary nurses. A client has emailed me asking for some advice; their Lurcher bitch has eaten a packet of minty chewing gum late last night, they didn’t worry too much as she seemed well in herself. It sounds unlikely that the chewing gum contained xylitol. This is toxic to dogs and if ingested it can cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), which is potentially fatal if not treated as an emergency.


24 hours as a Small Animal Vet part2