Friday, 30 October 2009

Sound Bites

I have been at a small practice this week but it is busy. They do a lot of nurse clinics which is great to have the interaction. Generally people are there as they want to listen and ask questions. To many places just have the odd one usually a post op check and it doesn't utilise nurses skills properly.
Where l have been nurses do micro chipping, health checks (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs hamster, birds), post op checks, geriatric clinics, nail clipping (all above species)2nd(primary) vaccinations, basic behaviour clinics, more complicated they are sent to specialist behaviourists and several other clinics.

It has been my week for injuries though:
Have had both arms attacked with teeth and nails by cats .
Inside of one arm scratched by psycho rabbit.
Back of my hands scratched by nervous guinea pig.
And the best was a retriever that chomped my finger when l reached to its lead to get it out the kennel. There was no warning the teeth just snapped like a shark, my reflexes were a bit slow and it got the base of my finger. Pulling the hand out scored the teeth upwards to the tip. The HN had to under sign my remarks about what happened in the accident book and l said to put down... "Heard nurse swearing loudly about **&%^*& bitch" This was vetoed to just verbally.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Toadstools for Tea

It has been a poisonous time on shift this week not counting the usual cases that we have in.

Had a cat in whose renal parameters were all over the place but the worst was the way the calcium was heading to ground zero on subsequent checks. Given how his bloods stacked the vet was certain it was antifreeze tox. It is so depressing to see a lovely cat folding in and dying his bloods going worse and worse and nothing we could do would help. The vet rang the owner about 2am and had a chat.

A dog we had in had decided on a walk that those yummy orange toadstools growing out that nice smelly pile of cow dung were put there as a meal just for him. Being as he was a Labrador by the time the owner got to him and got him off the “meal” there was not much left.
He had a bad night of hallucinating (we think) as his eyes were like saucers and he was falling all over the place. With the aid of lots of iv fluids and some other treatment at the end of 24hrs he was able to go home with just checks for a couple of weeks.
We were all relieved to see him go because he was farting with a vengeance. To quote the vet “something horrible crawled up the dog’s arse and died” Critical care was so aromatic even with my bad cold l could smell it.

Another Labrador had been pulled off different toadstools [not orange ones] to late and he was very bad. His pcv (thickness of red blood cells) was 76. It should normally be max 55. He was so dehydrated that he did not have blood but syrup in his veins.
He needed fluid flung down his iv in vast quantities. He was shaking and collapsed, he had stinking blood leaking out of his rectum and saliva running like a bath out of his mouth. In fact saliva flowed out of the kennel like a tide onto the floor.
His owners were rung in the middle of the night and warned that it was unlikely he would see the morning and to be prepared for the worst.
Never say never though, at about 4am he was more alert, moved to a comfier position on his own and slowed down salivation. I went to do his stats and he raised his read and checked me out. By change over at 7am his rectal blood had stopped leaking.
He whizzed through 3 litres of fluid in 10hours on my shift, not counting what he had before l got in and more during the day, when l got in l the next night was over the moon to find out he had gone home. Again checks over the next couple of weeks but looking good.

Mind you l recon it was the noisy cat in the kennel above him must have helped keep him awake. He was claustrophobic. He had been in an RTA his back leg was past salvation. They had put a support dressing called a Robert Jones on and he had been going mad the dressing had slipped and it needed changing. The vet decided that if he was in so much pain the leg would come off in the night but in the mean time the 2nd dressing slipped.
He held the cat while l cut it [dressing] off, after first unscrewing the leg a couple of times so it faced the correct way.
We put him back in the kennel to see if he would settle down often animals just can not handle the dressing.
No it was obvious the leg was not bothering him but he loathed the kennel. He would pin himself to the door shaking it and yowling in anger leg whirring in the air. When not pinned to the door he did not even look at his leg but gazed angrily out. Stats were impossible, as soon as l tried to slide open the door l was being attacked by angry cat.
We got too busy for the leg so the vet gave him a very deep sedative and he took several hours to wake up to the agitated state he had been in.

His leg was removed the next day and he was sent home, a bit woozy but he was so stressed, first act on awakening was to attack the door. By now he had made his feelings clear that it was better he was sent home with less strength analgesia treatment instead of keeping him in overnight for stronger as we would normally do.

Yet 2 more dangerous dogs in that were grabbed on behalf of the police with instructions to slide water under the door lob food over the top and don’t go near them. One bit the collection driver the other tried.
Actually it was 3 dangerous dogs but number 3 was a boisterous staffie cross with no manners. We had him out having a game and a hunt the treat time and he was fine with us, what he needed was discipline. The most dangerous thing about him was his snapping for treats so we dropped them on the floor.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Live Safari SA

I have discovered a fantastic new site. It is called Wild Earth TV. It is based at Djuma Game Reserve in SA. They have a fixed cam at the waterhole and a roving cam that goes on safari twice a day, three on certain days. It is all live and best savoured with sound as the presenter talks you through things going on. They have the full spectrum of game there all the big 5 and nothing is set up. There is certain regular animals seen a lot from buffalo to leopard and hyenas who all have names.

On the night safaris it has night vision so you get a better view of things. When not on night safari they have a "fireside chat"

There is a small chat room attached to the site and the control watches that and relays info. You can also send in questions and comments direct via email which they try and answer during the safari or fireside chat. It is very interactive, with regular viewers being an important part of the overall safari with their feedback and they also hunt answers for the presenters. It is like no other show l know, a schedule is posted so you know what is going on when.

Below are a couple of links for it l have found the first link the better one but it seems to vary for different people:

Link 1
Link 2

Enjoy, just don't let you boss catch you at work

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Treasure Hunt by Boat

We were back in Tenerife at about 8am or some ungodly time that is similar, with about 40 or 50 others in Puerto Colon marina having a briefing for a treasure hunt by boat.
B, Liz and l were on Liz’s boat but one of the boats had a problem so the crew was shuffled round and 2 brothers about 19years old joined us. You could see their “oh god oldies” contempt look. Bad move that look we intended to win. Safety and general rules were explained and we were given our first clue. Group huddles were dotted around as we tried to hear what others said or read their lips, not allow others to hear or see us and try and work out the clue.

We were off…. Brian untied us and started to climb back in via the folding windscreen when Liz gunned the boat. I grabbed him and pulled him down, he slammed into the bottom of the boat and broke the floor… “The hell with it it’ll fix” yelled Liz. The 2 lads went a bit green.

We arrived at the first clue point in Los Cristianos and the 2 lads and l swam ashore. The clue was about octopus and there was a bar by that name. We found the next clue after a bit of a hunt round the bar and ran back to swim to the boat to decipher it.

The next clue took us back to Puerto colon and some more running around. Clue 3 was to spaghetti beach. This was a nice secluded beach for nudists. We were told to go there and look for a mermaid. The 2 lads and l swam ashore again now life got fun. Nudists do not like to be stared at. Our task was to find a mermaid. As B and l used to go to the beach quite often l was nude however the 2 lads were a bit shy and kept their trunks on. I stayed close to keep an eye, and try to head off trouble.

They tried to look innocent while staring hard at people but things started to get a bit hot well not really under the collar as there was none. I had to jump in several times and explain we were looking for a mermaid and why. After about 10minutes no luck so we swam back to the boat to consult. Another good look at the clue and nope it had to be the beach. By now word was getting round and we got some good natured jokes but still a fair lot of black looks from those who thought we were lying. The lads were getting flustered but hung in there. Then they found their mermaid. A tattoo on a female, at that point the beach settled down and black looks became grins. We spread the word about 14 or so more boats would be coming through assuming their crews managed to work out the clue.

We were nicely in the lead when we headed to the next point. This one required B to swim ashore as he had to do splicing of rope. Well that’s what we thought but there was no one at the bar where we worked out there should be. Back to the boat and a confab then swim back to shore to double check. B stayed on board and let us do the work. Nope, the locals looked at us like the spaghetti beach patrons had. Trying to discern signs of intelligence on us as no sane person could ask questions like where do we get the splice rope and who is in charge of this check point. Back to the boat and a zoom to a couple of other villages but they did not have the right description.
Back to the village and still no luck then back to the boat. We had a quick discussion and decided we had to get back to base to see what was going on. By now the lads had realised we were out to win and were grinding their teeth about anyone catching up with us which by now of course other boats were doing.

The organisers comment was.. “Well we can not tell you if you are right where you went, but we have managed to trace the person and they did not expect anyone so soon so stopped for a beer”… Liz bent down and gave her evil eye look …”and” she snapped.
“And errrr” said the organizer knowing it was not good to upset Liz she was not a shouter but would verbally and with a sweet smile cut him into little bits with no swearing taking place.
“We have lost time because your lot wanted to drink” she said still glaring.
“Oh umm yes err how about 40minutes off your final time is that ermm fair?”
Liz straightened grinned and we powered back to the village.

Once again we swam ashore with B this time and sure enough, there was the splicing rope. By now the other boats were there and a lot of cussing was going on as people tried to either learn fast or remember old skills. Thankfully B has kept up old skills, god knows why but it came in useful and while he was trying to admire his work l ripped it off him and the lads hauled him off balance to get the message. He was a bit grumpy stuff him we had a race to win.

The last clue was to swim to the beach at la Calleta below the church run up to the church and run around the outside twice.
Well it isn’t a beach but a rock strewn area. We had a debate about this as by now the wind was up as a storm moved in and the sea was getting rough. We were in a small powerboat. A lot of the crews on the other boats decided against it due to the water and weather conditions, their captains refusing to risk crew.
Of course we were going to win and that mean doing every section. So the 2 lads and l took the plunge. It was hard going to shore but not to bad. The rocks made it tricky and we got a bit rolled going ashore. The slope to the church was hard as we were tiring by now and twice round the church was a killer. The lads were in front of me, they slowed down to see if l wanted help, l shoopered them on as l just needed to get my breath back.
By now no crews were coming ashore, the sea was rough and a couple from the last boat but ours said they were going to ring for a car to collect them, it was to rough and their boat pulled away.

Just to make it more fun did l mention we did not have any life jackets, funny how thoughts strike you at the wrong moment. I looked at the waves thought “aghh f*ckit all will be fine” and ploughed in.
Part way to the boat l knew l was in big trouble. I had done too much over the course of the day, then the final run’s round the church wasted what l had left, l cramped. I managed to tread water and on the crest of waves l saw the boat, the lads were struggling but almost there. I adjusted my direction and tried to swim but l wasn’t going to make it.
I waved my arms in the double arm “I am in trouble” signal. Liz and B saw me and waved back. I stared in disbelief. I tried to swim slowly and started to go under struggled back up. Again waved FFS they waved back grinning. I was in disbelief B and L had both done diving ok l wasn’t 100% sure if l gave the signal for diver in distress or not, but for Christ on a crumbs sake the fact l was stopped and kept going under, the waves were deep troughed now and a lot of white about the sky black it must have been obvious to the blind l was in trouble.
Nope it wasn’t, I looked back and realised the beach was too far and by now being hammered hard with breaking waves. I had 2 choices l swam and got to the boat on my own or l drowned.. while friends and family happily waved me downwards.

So l swam if you can call what l managed swimming. I saw the boat in flashes when l crested waves, l tried to spit out water when l went under, which was a lot, and struggled to break surface and gulp air when l could, while ignoring my cramps and exhaustion and finally l got to the boat. It was only when l was too weak to reach up for a lift that the idiots realised just how far gone l was and jumped to help me. The lads got back in to help push me upwards, B and Liz hauled me in.

I lay collapsed all the way back getting my breath and when l did l gave a broadside to B and Liz that left them in no doubt of what l thought about them. There was a hell of a lot of apologising from the pair of them. I forgave them eventually it took some time though. I was scared as hell on that swim and l really did not think l would make it. By now it had also sunk into them just how close they had come to waving me down to a watery grave and they were having a good hard think about things themselves.

As we had done all the clues and with our 40mins off our final time meant that despite almost being a crew member down we were the winners, with a certificate to prove it.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Woke up Sunday morning after a not great restless night had lost my voice and felt pretty grotty. Great way to start a set of night shifts and of course Sunday was manic. 9 ops, 30+ in patients, isolation and overflow isolation full, icu full and from 23:00 the usual set-up of 2 nurses a vet and auxiliary. At least l did not need to answer the phones. I remembered at 7am that l had forgotten to take a break. I sort of took one then till l ended at 8am interspersed with my morning change over and oops l forgot to do's...

Last night quieter but l had to take several phone calls after the vet had gone to bed and the other vn and auxiliary had gone home. l sort of squeaked sorry laryngitis to callers but most never seamed to notice anything strange. The collection driver put the phone down thinking it was a rude phone call. He got the message on the callback l did.
If one more person laughs at the whisper interspersed with squeaks that l am producing instead of a normal voice l am going to brain them with an upside down dog food bowl full of rancid food.

2 nights left before my 4 off. There must be some bug going round as the day shift have been calling in sick faster than flies on a wound. Back to the good old problem. 1) l don't feel l am sick enough to call in sick 2) l am self employed not that that makes any difference see 1) and 3) Trying to find emergency night cover is like looking for a werewolf at a vegans convention... it just isn't going to happen.4) And finally nights like to stick it to days to show we are better than they are and need less sick time.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Simons Cat

Sorry l have been a bit MIA lately. I was doing nights and they were very busy so l was a bit brain dead. Then l came off duty with a series of 10 books that the trublood tv series is based on. Have read all 10 in under 3 days. Have to say l loved the books, tv series big rasberry.

As l have been lazy l decided to do the latest Simons Cat that has just come out, have to say l love them they are brilliant.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Hedgehog X-Ray

Have a nice x-ray of a hedgehog. Thought l would share it here. You can see the spines along the side of the hoglet like a halo.

Hoggie came in collapsed, the vet x-rayed to check for anything obvious. Nothing was earth shakingly showing and he made it through his problem and went to wildlife rehab, many don't. They get poisoned, hit by cars and sliced up by strimmers.
Worse case l saw was a hedgehog that had 2 long red stalks with black tops on sticking out of a hollow cavity. We think a tractor pulling a hedge cutter that was working the area had cut the top of his head off and scooped much of his brain out. We all leapt for the pentobarb unable to believe that what we were seeing was still alive. The soggy noises as it tried to breath and the waving stalks that were his eyes confirmed it was.