Friday, September 28, 2012

Tess update

Tess is out of surgery and is in post-anesthesia recovery. 

Everything went well --> I got to be there for the entire thing! 

I technically had class at the same time, but figured this was an important learning opportunity :)

Her anesthesia record looked picture perfect, the nerve block they did before the extraction was really well done, and after promising not to faint I got to watch the actual extraction. 

The nice thing about the dental nerve blocks (which I have practiced on cadavars only at this point) is that pain shouldn't be an issue when she wakes up - that nerve is completely blocked to pain for a while. 

I have copies of the radiographs that were done (the rest of her arcades look fine) which were very extensive, and the pieces of the tooth. 

It's nice to know that I can hop over to the next building and visit her at any point and see how she's doing.  I've been very careful not to interfere or hinder the students/residents and have made sure to let them know how much I appreciate them letting me observe, ask questions etc. 

I think that some people have no business being in the room as their pet undergoing a procedure, however if you can remain clinically detatched than you can learn a lot.  I think my line was, if something had started to go wrong, I would have left the room.  However, as long as everything was progressing normally, than it was fine. 

Being able to see the entire procedure really reassured me.  The anesthesia and the pain management was what caused me the most anxiety, and being able to see how well the nerve block was done, and seeing the anesthesia monitoring chart in person puts my mind completely at ease. 

Procedure summary:
M1 is completely missing with no evidence that there is any pieces of root left, and they confirmed that P3 sustained some root damage so it was extracted.

I will update again soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tess will be OK

That's the mantra that I've been repeating to myself since dropping Tess off at the VMTH at 1pm for her surgery tomorrow morning.

As usual, Tess is doing fine and Melinda is a mess and slightly teary eyed.

I made it all the way until 4pm before going into the VMTH, tracking down what ward she was in, and sitting cross legged in her kennel while allowing her to lick my face (gross). By the way, she was sound asleep when I arrived, curled into a little ball on the quilt they gave her and I had to call her name several times before she looked blurry eyed around. In fact, I thought she was already sedated! But nope, that's my dog --> totally relaxed in a kennel, even if it's in a strange place, absolutely certain that I'll come back at some point. Such is the reward of consistent kennel training combined with making sure she has plenty of opportunity to get all that Brittany energy out during the day.

The anesthesia student came around to do her day-before surgery check while I was there so I got to do a bit more cuddling and coddling while "helping" with the check.

Everything looked good of course, with the Azo and BUN that was a bit high yesterday (at the pre procedure exam) at normal levels today, with a urine specific gravity check just to be on the safe side (that was totally normal).

For those of you who don't know, Tess is in for dental surgery to repair the tooth and/or extract it that was embryologically damaged when Harley (the German Shepherd) initially attacked her at 4 months of age. The molar behind the damaged premolar is also milling - either knocked out from the attack, or missing entirely, or retained because of the damage sustained. We aren't sure. Radiographs will tell us where it is (or isn't), along with the status of the damaged tooth (whether it's roots are still alive or whether it's dead).

Depending on what my schedule looks like tomorrow I may try to go see at least some of the procedure and she'll go home tomorrow afternoon.

This is going to be highly expensive. If an extraction is needed, it has the possibility to be one of the most expensive vet bills I've ever had, and that includes my horse. However, on an 18 month dog expected to live 15 years or so, with a totally fixable issue that will impact quality and length of life if not corrected, who has no other issues physical or behavioral and is a wonderful companion, I feel obligated (in a good way) to at least give her this one shot at keeping her as healthy as possible before compromising on a lower standard of "management" care. In some ways every one of my animals has gotten their one "big shot medical procedure" and thankfully I've never been faced with the decision of whether I will pay for a second one :). Is denial and the ostrich strategy (sticking my head in the sand....) a good one? Not sure. Thank goodness all my animal big ticket procedures have been spaced out enough that my emergency vet fund was able to get replenished AND the cost of the procedures haven't exceeded the cost of the fund (leading credence to the theory that life emergencies tend be equal to your emergency fund......a concept my parents taught me at an early age when I was bemoaning some disaster in my life that was equal to my emergency savings (which seems to stick around just long enough that you start thinking you might be able to use it for something fun......).

Please keep your fingers crossed for Tessie that it will be an uneventful procedure and this will be our one big (and only...) medical adventure!

The tree

The other day Tess and I took a walk through the UCD arboretum.
This place has lots of childhood memories, and when I saw this tree, I had Tess hop up for her picture.

Why? Because when I was a kid, I did the same thing.