Sunday, February 10, 2013

1282. Chinese New Year Feb 10, 2013

tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS

Date:   11 February, 2013  

Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs & rabbits
The hamster has a gangrenous ear and swollen nose 
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   11 February, 2013 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2013-0131


Feb 10, 2013. Chinese New Year.
10 am to 1 pm

I opened the clinic for half a day on this Chinese New Year so that I can check on the sick animals feed and clean up the kennels. Singapore is a developed country that is thriving and has low unemployment rates.

So there are high rentals and high manpower and operating costs. The vet must be hands-on as it is costly to employ more and more inexperienced staff who will job hop after a few months of experience. Other vets poach experienced staff and that is part of life.

The phone did not ring throughout the morning. I reviewed the severely dehydrated hamster with the ear gangrene and large nose abscesses operated yesterday at 4.30 pm. 17 hours after surgery. Would she be alive? She was less than one year old but from her hagged appearance with leg skin folds raised, I thought she was very aged. "Very little chance of surviving anaesthesia and surgery," I told the young lady who brought in this hamster on the eve of Chinese New Year.

"You have two options," I said. "Euthanasia or surgery with a high possibility of death during or after surgery." The hamster was not eating or drinking as her upper lip was bursting with pus starting from the bridge of the nose towards the upper incisor teeth. In addition, two black gangrenous tumours filled up the right ear pinnae.

"My mum said to operate," the young lady said on this last day of the old year. It was 4 pm and this would be my last case for the ear. "If there are bad news, can you phone us early in the morning on Chinese New Year?"
"No news is good news," I dislike deaths on Chinese New Year and here, there was a very high risk patient that could not wait for surgery as she was downhill in her health, being scarcely awake.

"I will give a 0.1 ml of dextrose saline under the skin now and operate soon."

The images illustrated the surgery. I was surprised that the hamster was still alive 17 hours after the surgery. Not moving but alive. This was a very tough cookie.
tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)5950 - 5956.
Ear gangrene 

Updates and follow up at webpage:
tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)Toa Payoh Vets
Clinical Research
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All rights reserved. Revised: February 11, 2013

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