Project Lucy

Honestly, I am not sure what happened today, and when I say today I am really referring to yesterday,as it is 4 am and I am still working! My regular work day at my clinic started at 8 a.m., and was a fairly ordinary day. We had Daisy who may have ingested a gopher poison that caused her to seizure when any loud noise was made. She was doing great and finally got to go home. Friend Lori’s dog had a huge abscess in his throat, that needed to be lanced and drained. The day changed as I embarked on my night shift at the emergency clinic.

The first omen should have been the 2.8 pound kitten that was already neutered. This has to be an error, how could he possibly be neutered already coming from Valencia County? And then don’t forget about the penile spikes! Did you know cats have spikes on their penis that regress after they are neutered? I have a ton of trivia floating around in my brain waiting for an opportunity to escape!

Anyway, then came the dreaded call about a dog that was attacked by other dogs. When Lucy arrived she was in shock with punctures wounds to all her legs, her left front leg seemed to barely be attached, with large vessels dangling from a huge hole in front of her elbow. Did I mention that her abdominal fat was glistening from her right side. She was laying there, unresponsive, no temperature registering on the thermometer. The saddest part was she was a foster dog. She was with her owners for 8 years, until they got a new dog and decided they no longer wanted Lucy. My recommendation was to euthanize Lucy. The foster parents and rescue organization wanted to try to save her, knowing that the prognosis was poor and unfortunately,it would come with an expensive price tag.

So project Lucy began. We were focused on warming her, and placing an iv catheter, which was a amazing feat since her legs were pulverized and she had very low blood pressure. Somehow she hadn’t lost too much blood, and slowly her temperature began to rise. Once her temperature came up we had to clean her wounds. She was plastered in dirt and leaves. She received a small bath, before she could even set foot in the surgery room. Once we began operating she was a trooper. The surgery was endless (over 2 hours) Then came the recovery. It was very difficult to control her pain, but finally we seemed to make her comfortable.

It is now a waiting game. As a veterinarian, it is my job to give people advice, but ultimately the decision of what to do, belongs to the client. Most of the time, my advice and the clients decision align, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t it can be difficult, however it can also be quite rewarding, when a client takes a chance to save a life.

Well, it’s Saturday afternoon, my kids are missing out on a trip to Chucky Cheese with their cousins, because their mom has been awake for 32 hours! Oh well, disappointment builds character? It will all be worth it when Lucy is recovered.

1/20 update just received a call that Lucy passed away in her sleep. She was amazing. I wish I had known her prior to the incident.

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