Today was my fourth day on Large Animal Anesthesia. I spent the majority of the day waiting for my one and only case, a foal with a broken mandible. He wasn’t at the hospital this morning so we had to wait all morning for him to arrive.
I assisted with two MRIs and a mare with a tumor on the side of her face in the mean time. The tumor removal was pretty interesting, since it was supposed to be super simple and got very complicated in a hurry. The mass was sitting just behind her nostril opening on her face, and seemed like it would be easy to slice over the top and pop out of there. Once the surgeon got in there and started dissecting it out though, things got complicated. Two large nerves were running through the middle of the mass, and there was no good way to remove the mass and leave the nerves intact. The surgeon in charge got on the phone with the owner to discuss whether she wanted to have the mass taken out and risk some facial paralysis, or if she wanted to leave the mass and the nerves intact. The owner and trainer decided that the mass needed to go, so the nerves were cut and the mass was removed and submitted for analysis. When the mare recovered from anesthesia her nose was a little deviated away from the side of the lesion, so it seems like she will have some paralysis, although the extent of the paralysis is unclear. She can breathe and eat, so hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue. There is also a chance that the nerve endings will be able to grow back together and she will regain some function.
When my foal finally arrived around noon today, he had to go to radiology to see how badly his jaw was broken. Turned out it wasn’t broken at all! He had a tooth that was fractured and displaced into the middle of his lower jaw, and his gums were a little torn, but otherwise it wasn’t bad. We sedated and anesthetized him and it only took about 20 minutes for the surgeons to fix his little mouth. Easy as pie :)
That’s about all that happened today, it was kind of slow. I’ll be back tomorrow with a forget-me-not Friday post, but in the mean time you’re welcome to read my recently received acceptance letter to Hogwarts! (I love my friends.)