I made it through the week, in spite of my body just wanting to go back to sleep again this morning. I made it to the last lecture on cat behaviour and through the last lecture on the electron transport chain. Then came the fun things.
After lectures we had a two and a half hour break until Grand Rounds, where fifth years present particularly interesting cases that they have worked on. Apparently it is mandatory, and they get graded on it (I sat next to the person doing the grading). The first case was a yearling Clydesdale cross with a clubbed front foot. He came up lame in the field but the owner sent him to a trainer anyway (which I have a problem with but that problem is irrelevant), and the trainer noticed that his lameness got worse so they had a vet out. The vet couldn’t figure it out so they sent him to Massey to be checked out (several months after the initial lameness was detected in the pasture). When the Massey vets took radiographs they found that he had a bony cist in his clubbed foot. The owner opted out of surgery and went for the least expensive treatment which was corrective trimming of the clubbed foot and steroid injections into the joint to reduce the damaging inflammation. This worked only to a point and the poor baby was put down. Had they called the vet at the onset of the lameness his prognosis would have been worlds better and he would probably be alive today. I hate stupid owners.
The second case was another yearling (babies are incredibly stupid) who smashed his face into something solid and sharp. He was known as “face horse” because the bottom half of his face was an open wound with several broken bones showing through. This yearling stallion was worth $200,000 as a race horse and so the owners opted for surgery. Due to the amount of trauma around his airway, the vets immediately put in a tracheal tube in so that they could bypass his face for breathing. He was radiographed to determine the extent of the broken bones, and then taken to surgery to put his face back together. Four hours of surgery yielded a complete horse skull with three “String-of-Pearls” plates holding the bones together so that they could heal. It took until midnight for him to be fully recovered in the stall. For the next couple of weeks they changed his tracheal tube twice daily and gave him NSAIDs and antibiotics through an IV (because he was a little baby about intra-muscular injections). He is fully recovered but needs to have the plates removed and have the vets look at a possible obstructed airway issue (he might need surgery to remove his septum). All in all the procedure was nearly $11,000. Chump change compared to what they paid for him (likely as a weanling) but still an incredible amount.
The final case was another thoroughbred race horse, but this one only 8 months old. She was admitted for “standing funny” and trembling. She was found to have very tight flexor muscles in both legs that were causing her to have her legs slightly bent at all times. This awkward way of standing exhausted her poor muscles which lead to the trembling. In a younger horse they would have used splints or casts to bring her legs back to the desired position,but due to her age they opted for surgery. The surgeon went in and cut in precise areas to basically lengthen the tendons with scar tissue. Post op they found that she was still “standing funny” on one leg so put her back under and did some more cutting to fix the problem. Once she was standing correctly they took some radiographs and discovered that she had a very small (very common in young horses) fracture in her foot. They cast her hoof to give it extra stability and extended the amount of stall rest required. The cause of her unnatural stance was likely due to pain in her foot from the fracture (that she likely sustained while acting like a fool as most young horses are want to do). When she stopped using the sore leg she exhausted the other one and so had to switch back and forth between legs, exhausting and damaging both. Because she progressed so quickly from fracture to stance abnormality, the vets didn’t think to take radiographs to assess her feet (she did not respond to hoof testers that test for soreness in the feet). She is doing much better and most horses with her condition do go on to race after the problem is corrected. Hopefully it was worth the cost (though I don’t remember the exact figures, it was less than Face Horse).
After Grand Rounds was Post Mortum rounds where upperclassmen (of unspecified year, or at least I don’t know what year though likely fourth or fifth years) discuss interesting cases they saw during the week. We could only stay for the first fifteen minutes because we had to get to our animal handling practical, but we got to see: a cow with aspiration pneumonia and a scarf in her rumin, a lamb with half a brain, a lamb with goiter, and a heart with a massive abscess. I am definitely going back to those on weeks that I don’t have animal handling.
This week in Animal Handling, we had Equine handling. Having been around horses for as much of my life as possible, I was not impressed with the list of things we needed to accomplish. We had to: pick up feet, halter, lead, move tail for taking temperature. Since most of my group had been around horses before, and only two people were unfamiliar with the basics of horse handling, we were allowed to demonstrate our prowess and then leave. We were also taught a Ferrier’s hold for the front and back legs which was cool. My sub-group was done in 20 minutes. I spent about 10 minutes grooming our patient partner and then I walked back to campus with my friend from India. We had managed to secure rides to the Large Animal Teaching Unit, but the rides were doing the cattle practical and so we had no way back until they were finished. The walk was nice though and we got to talk about horses. As we were walking up to the vet tower, I saw one of my third year friends who kindly offered me a ride home.
I was planning on going to a “happy hour” but have decided that I am too tired to deal with loud, drunk people. Instead I will stay in and read a book to relax before bed. Maybe light some candles.
Still no sign of the wayward kitty.
Edited to add: kitty came home at about 10:00 pm just as I decided to crawl into bed. He is happily eating and purring and hopefully doesn’t do something like this again.