A Night in the ER
A Night in the ER
A couple of weeks ago, I listed “Five Reasons to Go to the Animal ER NOW!” Readers seemed to take my advice and from Sunday night until Monday morning, 12 of the 25 patients seen in AMC’s 24/7 ER were admitted to the hospital. Here are the highlights of Monday morning’s admissions list:
Admission One: Sand Impaction
Too much fun at the beach landed this dog in the hospital. The owners noticed her eating sand the day before she started vomiting. What they didn’t realize is how much sand she had eaten. Based on the x-ray on the right, there was enough sand in the intestine to make an entire castle.
Admission Two: Food Bloat
The next admitted patient had tried a new dog food and suddenly appeared bloated to his owner. Usually dogs diagnosed with food bloat have helped themselves to a few extra portions of their dog food when the bin or cabinet is left unlocked, but in this case, the bloating may have been due to the new food. It could have also been the result of non-food items that were seen in the stomach on the x-ray.
Admission Three: Vomiting Ribbon
The first feline admission of the night was a young male cat. His family was rightly concerned when they noticed he had vomited up a length of pink ribbon. An ultrasound determined the ribbon was blocking the flow of food out of the stomach. Part of the ribbon had also wound its way out of the stomach and into the small intestine. If left in the stomach, ribbon or any type of long linear object can slice into the intestine and cause peritonitis.
The photograph on the right was taken using the endoscope camera and shows the endoscope grabbing the ribbon to pull it out through the cat’s mouth.
New York City is one of the urban areas experiencing a boom in backyard chickens. This chicken was extremely friendly and apparently escaped from its yard. A Good Samaritan collected the chicken and brought him or her to AMC for safe keeping. The chicken was not injured and scored a place in a Labrador-sized run where it had a nest box with a nice straw bed and space to run around.
The hot, humid NYC weather is tough on canine and feline patients with respiratory disease, especially small breed dogs with collapsing tracheas. The AMC veterinarians use stents to pop the collapsed trachea open, allowing the dog to breathe much more easily. Dogs with stents are prone to developing pneumonia, which landed this dog in our intensive care unit’s oxygen cage.
Seizures in an Uncommon Patient
One common emergency AMC’s ER veterinarians manage is seizures, usually in dogs and cat, not chinchillas. But a seizing chinchilla was exactly what got admitted on Sunday night. Most pet families associate seizures with brain problems, like epilepsy, but low blood sugar, lead poisoning, ingestion of other toxins and liver disease can be the cause of seizures as well. Testing did not find any abnormalities in the plush, silvery chinchilla and she was discharged on anti-seizure medication.
This list reflects the tremendous diversity of the patients and disease we see at AMC, but in writing this blog, I found something even more tremendous. Every one of the 12 admitted pets were successfully discharged from the hospital, making the trip to the ER a very worthwhile one indeed.