Dona Nobis (originally posted to on 09-12-07)

Sunday, September 10th…… My Sunday shifts run 14-16 hours long. I go in at 8am and leave sometime between 10pm and Midnight. It’s a long day, and can be really boring sometimes. Other times it’s so busy we barely have time to scarf down a couple tacos or sandwiches or even order in and actually eat anything.

This last Sunday was sort of in the middle. I don’t know if it was the upcoming 9/11 anniversary that had people so on edge or what. It wasn’t the moon this time. But people all week have generally been nasty and disagreeable. We lost 10 animals Sunday. Death swept through the clinic as if on the winds of a hurricane taking everything that came in the door at the same time.

Enter a Beagle mix. non-responsive, unfocused eyes, temp 104.6. Petichiating (bruising in the gums, inside the ears, belly, sclera of the eyes) so fast it was unreal. The after affects of severe heat stroke. I put her down myself because the owners couldn’t stand to be with her. I sat with her the whole time, petting her, and believe it or not, singing Non Nobis with tears streaming down my face looking like a complete idiot.

At the same time, Enter a 130 pound St. Bernard that had been taken upstate to serve as STUD. He had started seizures 2 hours before. (Took them that long to get to us.) Core temperature: 111.6 and rising.  Heat stroke. One final HUGE convulsion that took 4 people to keep him on the treatment table…. then nothing. They tubed him, did 4 man CPR, gave him drugs…. nothing. Honestly, I’ve never seen a heatstroke or seizure pet with a core temperature higher than 107 leave the building alive. Their brains just can’t take that kind of abuse.

Teeny little Maltese puppy from a puppy mill. Parvo. Been in the clinic 2 nights already on IV’s in ICU for pets, checked on every 30 minutes. Top of the hour she was depressed but with us. 30 minutes later, not only gone, but stiff.

Enter a dog that’s been HBC “hit by a car”. Around here, people in the country don’t keep their pets on a leash because there are no ‘containment laws’ (read leash laws) outside the towns/cities. People don’t seem to understand that dogs are not street smart. No one teaches them to look both ways before crossing….. This one was a repeat offender…. and in the words of the owner: “you’d think he’d have learned.” *I really wanted to take these people out and smack them with a bat*. Crushed chest, shattered pelvis. Died before we could tube him.

All those came in the clinic in a 5 minute period. I hate it when death wins. I mean, yeah, ultimately, Death always wins…. but I don’t have to like it.

Complicate that with an Xray machine that literally exploded in pretty blue sparks 10 days before and our board of directors taking their grand time about getting their heads out of their collective asses long enough to see that to practice effective and quality medicine at the AEC, we NEED a functioning Xray machine.

Everyone was on edge. We were all ready to bite each others heads off. It was ugly.

And it gets better….. Our managing doctor…. whom I love a whole lot and is like a grandfather I’ve not had since I was 6…… has been in declining health in the last 2 years. He’s recently had several small strokes that don’t really show up on CTs. Not a thing wrong with his brain. It’s his speech and his balance that’s in question. Oh… and he’s gotten a bit meaner, but I can allow for that. He’s been doing this a long time and if *I* am burned out on the stupidity of people in general….. I just can’t imagine what he’s seen in the 50 years he’s been practicing. If he retires…. we’ll be getting a new manager. If it’s Dr. P…… I’m quitting. She’s a decent Vet, just a shitty people person in the clinic. Nothing pleases her… her “god” complex is phenomenal sometimes. She would make a really bad managing doctor. I am hoping that Dr. H will recommend someone or a couple someone’s to do that job when and if the time comes. The board will take his recommendations over a doctor who gets more questions from the WVBVM (west virginia board of veterinary medicine) because of client complaints for rudeness.

So far, the last two days this week have been relatively easier. Tonight is my last shift of the week. We’ll see.

Dona Nobis…… Give them Peace…….  As I watched Death sweep through the clinic……… All I could think of was Give them Peace….

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