Saturday, January 8, 2011

PNYTS - Post New Year Trauma Syndrome...

Back to clinical stuff again...

This year starts off with a series of bad trauma that dogs sustained trying to flee firecrackers.
One trapped her leg in the metallic door she was trying to jump over, stayed hung like that for like 3 hours and fractured a leg bone before owner came to rescue. Dog came to me with a badly done bandage compressing the leg with massive pitting oedema due to loss of blood circulation. Tried to save the leg from "Compartment Syndrome" but necrosis starting at the tip of this leg; with loss of nails and pads - She is scheduled for amputation tomorrow.The limbs are made up of several"compartments"; distinct from each other and if there is an increase on internal pressure due to any kind of swelling, the pressure reverts back on the underlying blood vessels and flattens blood vessels - causing the lower parts to die. Compartment sydrome is insidious and may caost the life of your dog. Sad, Sad case...Bandage was put by someone who wanted to immobilise a fractured tarsal bone but caused much more damage than the fracture itself! Hera is a beautiful Malinois; so full of energy and life...
But I have faith in dogs' adaptation faculties...She will be alright and find a way to be happy...even with a missing lower leg.
Second dog fell from the rooftop and snapped his left femur ! Who the hell keeps dogs on rooftops?? Well...many Mauritians do...and think it's ok. So I wore my "angry eyes" and had a serious talk with the owners. The animal finds itself in blazing sunlight all day long and no matter what little shade it gets; a hot concrete rooftop is not your first choice to lie down on when you are feeling hot! Then there is wind...rain and the fact that dogs have scarce depth appreciation and in moments of extreme excitement or panic...they will cross overthe rim and fall.This one fell from a 2 storeyed house...I spent like 2 hours in surgery fixing that broken bone and judging by the amount of muscle damage the broken bones caused, he will have some permanent locomotory deficit.
The last one came today (or is it yesterday already?). The owners found their big fat doggy impaled on the projecting metallic "spikes" we like to put on our gates here. Massive deep skin laceration with exposure of mammary glands. Wound looked clean but I have a guarded prognosis on these types of wounds: at locations where there is a lot of fat as around mammary glands (sorry ladies!)wounds tend to heal slowly. Fat depots have a poor vascularisation and at the first laceration, the lipocytes will die, liquefy and mess up healing; hindering formation of repair tissue etc. I have left a gauze drain underneath and we'll see what comes with it on monday. Ok...funny moment during my conversation with the owner; when I prescribed pain killer suppositories he innocently asked me: "How do I give her that?" Looool! Good one! Am still waiting for someone to ask me "Do I put the suppository before or after a meal?" !

Trauma surgeries are cool but the room is in such a mess afterwards!!After the fracture surgery, my operation table was like a war zone...and it sometimes takes more time cleaning afterwards than actually performing the surgery. Talking about cleaning, I always smile when I wash one special surgical instrument: my Needle Holder! This buddy has been with me for like 17 years now and still look like new and performs like just out of the box...some stuff (and people too) are like that. I guess I will cry when this one breaks down eventually.

Yup! My 2011 started with a lot of stitching. Am happy that the heat is keeping the flies low key...otherwise, all these trauma would have been of full of wiggling, jostling little nightmares! Uuuugh!

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