Friday, October 21, 2011

Not keeping up....

Hey readers,

I'm still here -- but I've come across a month of boring cases and un-exciting clients.

Are there any diseases you want to know about?  Is there something you've always wanted to ask but were too afraid/embarrassed/timid?

Comment on this post, and I'll get to writing about it for you!

~ER doc


  1. Yes, how did you choose the emergency medicine route? I'm a first year vet student, and am pretty open-minded in exploring different career paths, though I do have some areas I'm particularly interested in, with emergency/critical care being one of them. Somewhat related to that topic, how do you remember everything that you need to do your job? I'm so afraid that the further I go in vet school, the more I forget about the previous stuff I learned in order to make room for the new information! Every vet I've talked to, though, seems to have the magical ability to beautifully integrate content from all of our classes when explaining a case. How do you do that? Hopefully things are easier to remember when you are actually seeing the clinical relevance.

  2. I would love to have a post on two subjects.. One on bloat.. I recently had a friend loose her dog to bloat as it went undiagnosed in the ER for 5 hrs. It was found on necropsy. The Dog ( Great Dane ) had a previous history of bloat and had been tacked. Is it common for a dog that has been tacked to bloat again?

    The second subject near and dear to my heart is Canine Addison's. It is common for it to be initially missed because it mimics so many things. Some Vets do the ACTH test for Addison's without the dog being off steroids long enough so they get a false positive and treat the dog for a disease it does not have. Or give a dog florinef or percorten when it only need a steroid replacement.. Every article or post on this helps to educate owners and Vets alike.

    thanks for at least considering the subjects..

  3. Another subject I'd like to hear about is obstructed airways. In a CPR seminar, we were discussing the possibility of performing a tracheotomy in order to better fish something out that is stuck really far down in the trachea. Have you ever had to do that?

    One other thing I'm curious about is thoracocentesis, particularly for overweight/obese animals. In school, we're taught to pierce at the 7-8th intercostal space in dogs, at the costochondral junction. How pressing is time in an emergency setting if an animal has, say, a pneumothorax? Is thoracocentesis something that needs to be done immediately? And for overweight/obese animals, is it significantly harder to palpate the ribs
    to find the correct space?

    Thank you so much for offering to answer our questions! I truly enjoy this blog, because it reminds me of how cool vet medicine is!

  4. Hey Alisha,

    Upper airway obstruction is a great topic! Thanks for the idea, and no, I've never had to fish a FB out of a trachea... yet. :)

    Thoracocentesis is really a lot easier than it sounds. A few times of hands-on practice during your clinical year of veterinarian school and you'll be ready to go. Time is very much of an urgency in a patient who is needing an thoracocentesis - often less than minutes. I'm sure your instructors will show you some tricks of the trade. I never spend time counting rib spaces - you can use the 7-11th spaces with no problem. Ask your instructors if you can spend some time observing in the ER, and you'll see these more times than you can count. You can also consider shadowing a private practice ER to get a better idea of the technique. Thanks for your ideas, and I'll get to writing them soon.