Emergency Vet's tribulations II

After many years assisting emergencies, I and my colleagues have seen all kinds of cases and situations.

The most common situations for the emergency service deal with traumas; knockings down, fallings, cuts and fights are the main causes for fractures and wounds to need urgent assistance.

The presence of objects in the different parts of the animal’s body has also lots of emergencies callings. Ears corns inside their own ears or between their fingers, hooks inside their mouth or into any other part of the digestive system, bones, stones and other objects inside the mouth, stomach or intestine. I remember a pet that had to be operated twice because it ate the dummies of a baby and got the intestine obstructed.

The allergic reactions to insects’ bites or certain substances and food are often the reason for a consult, sometimes they are not so important, but sometimes they can be very serious and present a vital risk, so intensive care and hospitalisation are needed.

Poisoning and intoxications are some other causes for us to be called. Many substances, which are used daily, are responsible for these intoxications, such as the products used in agriculture like insecticides and herbicides. Products used to kill rats. Medicines such as paracetamol (very toxic for cats) and certain tranquilizers and anxiety pills, and also drugs. We have seen dogs with signs of intoxication for hashish, cocaine and once for heroine.

Cardio-respiratory crisis, generally in dogs with heart problems such as cardiac disorders or unbalanced cardiomiopathies. Sometimes, these cases present an immediate vital risk and need to be treated with a maximum emergency and diligence.

The neurological emergencies are also usual. Vestibular syndromes, convulsive crisis and the appearance of light paralysis due to haematomas, masses or slipped discs are usually assisted out of the ordinary consult period.

Ocular emergencies such as estrange bodies, wounds, ulcers and acute glaucoma often happen.

The grastrointestinal emergencies, such as acute gastroenteritis processes, peritonitis, stomach obstructions or torsions are some more cases assisted frequently and that need immediate assistance and urgent surgery to solve the problem such as the stomach torsions or peritonitis due to the perforation of some viscera.

Sunstrokes, hypothermia, hypoglycaemias, diabetics or uraemia crisis, obstruction of the cat’s lower urinary conducts, etc., are also common in the emergency services.

All these pathologies are usually faced up only by the vet who is on duty in that week, although, sometimes, the whole team (sometimes, also the assistants) meet to try to save the life of an animal that needs intensive vigilance or some urgent surgery.

Av. Costa Cálida Nº 31 - CP 30860 Puerto de Mazarrón (Murcia)