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Expect the Unexpected

The morning was winding down. We had finished our surgical procedures and the busy bustle of appointments had come and gone. My stomach was churning, and a smile was plastered on my face with the thought of a quick lunch with my little son and 2 rambunctious pups.I was at the front desk sorting out files when a Taxi quickly pulled up.  Out of the car emerged a man with a cat carrier.

No appointments were scheduled, so it looked like we were dealing with either a walk-in or an emergency.  My smile quickly morphed into a frown.  Lunch would have to wait….

That was just it with being a Veterinarian. The very thing that quickly squashes life’s plans, fuels our fire. Every day brings the unexpected. Cases so quickly take unforeseen turns, and our course is rapidly redirected.

It was a walk in,  an unaltered 2 year old cat with vaginal discharge. Miraculously, I wasn’t hungry anymore.

Lou was a sweet little girl. Gorgeous and regal – even with foul discharge. Her owners reported yellow secretions from her vagina the last 2 days. She was not eating, and acting quieter than normal. Her physical exam was fairly unremarkable, with no signs of discharge. Being thorough, I explained to the owners that her symptoms sounded like “Pyometra” – a massive uterine infection seen in unaltered females.

Reluctantly, Lou stayed for her x-rays. Ah Ha! it was Pyometra, but that wasn’t all.

Lou has ingested a bear.  Yes, a bear.
Well, more like a bear-shaped figurine. There it sat so happily in her stomach.  An incidental finding that was currently residing in Lou’s stomach. We would have to evict the bear.

Breaking the news to Dad was not easy. Not only would he have to do surgery to remove her badly infected uterus (which could have very easily been avoided had she been spayed as a kitten) but now she also needed a Gastrotomy (a surgical procedure in the stomach).

I did get lunch finally, and Lou was put under general anesthesia. Her uterus and ovaries were removed (Spay) and a Gastrotomy was performed to free the infamous bear. It was a small pink figurine, a charm most likely. Everything went well, and by the afternoon Dad came to pick up Lou and her bear. Off they went happy to be feeling better.

Although we don’t like to admit it, Veterinarians are adventurous nerds at heart. It’s that excitement of the unknown that keeps us on our toes. Each day is different, full of emotions, and sometimes you just never know what will happen in this dog eat bear world!

Written by: Alexandra Saura, DVM

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