Sunday, June 7, 2009

Major Mishap

I was warned by all 3 anesthesia instructors, "You will make this mistake." After 3 successful intubations in class, I honestly thought I wouldn't be that stupid. I was. I had the opportunity at my emergency shift Saturday to be the anesthetist and I messed up the intubation. We fixed it quickly and the dog did great under anesthesia, until another horrible thing happened.

The abdominal exploratory looked worse than expected and the simple procedure the owner agreed to pay for would not be sufficient. The owner still refused to perform the other, more expensive but good prognosis, surgery and I had to euthanize the animal on the table. I was really shaken up by my decrease in confidence and the irresponsibility of the owner. The owner has many times allowed the 2 year old sweet poodle/lab mix to eat socks because "he always just passes them." Yet he refused to perform the appropriate surgery to heal the dog he hurt.

It was horrible and again made me question if small animal medicine is the right career for me.

As I write this I realize what a tremendous learning experience and career exploration this summer may turn out to be.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

I have been contemplating this a lot lately - what can you do when the owner refuses bc they're selfish or sadly financially cannot make it work? In these times where people sometimes cannot afford health insurance for themselves you wonder how the animals will suffer when it comes to vet bills. I would like to think that people who truly love their pets will do anything to pay for their care, but then again will it affect their ability to buy food, pay utilities/rent, and look after their family?