Today was another fun-filled day at the prison! We rode along with another of our clinicians, code-named Pappy. He’s a hilarious 60-70 year old veterinarian, full of crazy stories about “back in the old days” and I really wish he was my honorary grandpa.
First we went out to check on the dogs that we did surgery on last week. My patient, Penny, that I had removed the salivary gland on was doing fairly well. Her incision looked good, but she still had a lot of swelling associated with the area (as we expected). We also found out that she had been given two doses of dexamethasone over the past week. For those of you without a medical background, this would be seriously contraindicated in a dog that just had surgery. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid, which works by decreasing inflammation and also by suppressing the immune system (to put it simply). Since one of the major concerns after surgery is infection, potentially suppressing the immune system’s ability to mount an appropriate response to infection is a huge problem in a post-op patient. Apparently the people in charge of the prison dogs (who are not veterinarians) believe that dexamethasone just “decreases swelling,” so they have been giving it to Penny who has had a significant amount of postoperative swelling.
This was the last dog that I saw who had received steroids postoperatively.
Its ventral body wall was in the process of necrosing and sloughing when it was brought in, and it had to be euthanized.
Pappy, not-so-subtly, told the sergeant that “she probably doesn’t need any more of that.” Thank God.
After rabies vaccinating some pups at the kennel, we headed over to the prison hospital building to check on some in-patients. We saw a couple of lacerations, a horse with laminitis, and a potential pigeon fever case. They were pretty interesting and we spent a little while chit-chatting about what we were going to do with them.
The prisoners broke for lunch at around 11am, so we headed out to a local barbecue place to get some food. I brought some fruit with me for lunch, but I decided to go ahead and have a salad with some grilled chicken for my meal. After lunch we drove back to the prison to work on some horse dentals. I floated two 3-year-old mares’ teeth over about two hours. I really enjoy dentistry, so it was a nice afternoon :)
My mares had relatively easy teeth to float since babies’ teeth are really soft, so I got them knocked out pretty quickly. I also had to pull wolf teeth on both mares, so that took a little extra time. The tools we had for wolf tooth extractions were really old and dull, so I was struggling to get them to cut through the gums into the alveolar bone. It was a little challenging and frustrating, compounded by the fact that the inmate helping me wasn’t familiar with equine dentistry, and my headlamp was being finicky.
We finished up on our mares a little before 4pm and headed back to school. The prison is about an hour and a half away, so I may have dozed off a time or two on the drive back. I was pretty exhausted from the day, and I knew I was out of good dinner food at home, so I headed over to Subway and Spoons for a healthy meal that I wouldn’t have to make for myself. I got a Veggie Delite Salad at Subway:
Spinach, romaine, banana peppers, onions, black olives, jalapenos, pickles and fat free honey mustard dressing. So good.
I picked up some dessert from Spoons as well:
I added original tart frozen yogurt, strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and a few mochi rice nuggets.
It was a delicious, healthy meal, and I didn’t have to cook any of it! Perfect for a lazy night catching up on watching the Voice :)
Have a good evening everyone!