Friday, November 9, 2007

When Dachshund Lives Are On The Line

Veterinary medicine sure has changed since 1954 when this great old photo was taken. God bless our dedicated vets. The Appleton Post-Crescent out of Wisconsin offers up this look inside 'Frankie' the dachshund's visit to the modern emergency veterinary clinic. Excerpt from the Appleton Post-Crescent, by Kirk Wagner:
The patients come in at all hours of the day. Big ones. Little ones. Some are awake, even alert. Others are unconscious.
A few cling to life by a thread as thin as a spider web's.
Frankie is one of these. He arrives at the emergency room in a coma after drinking antifreeze.
A doctor and several nurses surround his tiny form. A high-intensity overhead light glares down on surgical gloves and stainless steel instruments. Syringes, used and unused, litter trays and tabletops. Barely audible country music trickles from a speaker in the operating room.
Dr. Lisa Peters tells a nurse, "Put pressure right here, but don't stretch anything."
To another nurse: "Put your hand on his trachea."
She probes an incision in Frankie's neck and shakes her head.
"He's so flat-out comatose."
They work on Frankie for hours. They check his blood pressure, then lay him on blankets inside an incubator. A nurse starts filling out his chart. Another one tapes I.V. tubes to his paws and attaches him to a heart-rate monitor.
He has a long way to go.
Frankie, a dachshund, is one of 300 animals treated by the emergency room of the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center each week, according to Lyn Schuh, public relations and outreach coordinator for the center and its sister facility in Green Bay.
The high volume of patients keeps Dr. Peters and her colleagues busy.
"There are emergency doctors here 24-7," says Dr. Peters, who has been practicing emergency veterinary medicine for almost 10 years. "It's nights, holidays, weekends. Your day shift turns into a night shift."
She pauses.
"The hours are extensive."
In the days after his emergency surgery, Frankie recovers.
And goes home.

Related: New Dachshund Momma Post C-Section

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