Mondays are notoriously chaotic at veterinary clinics. Yesterday was no exception with an afternoon chock full of appointments and an emergency surgery going on in the back. Naturally that's when the hysterical client walked in, covered in blood and begging us to save her puppy which she had accidentally run over with her car. And not just any puppy. This particular puppy had shown up at their house shortly after her husband had passed away and she believes that he had sent her this dog. No pressure there right?
I was really worried what we would find when we got to the parking lot but there in the car was an obviously injured but still tail-wagging puppy. I breathed an internal sigh of relief and we carried the pup inside to assess the damage.
She was bleeding from her nose and mouth, her gums were gray, breathing was shallow and harsh sounding and there was some loss of function to her front leg But she seemed relatively alert and not overly distressed. All the while I was going over the puppy the owner kept asking if she would live. I assured her I thought she would be ok but we needed to start treating her and getting some x-rays.
We started her on fluids for the shock and got some pain medications, light sedatives and a few other medications on board. In no time she was more relaxed and breathing easier and her gums were getting pinker. Radiographs (x-rays) showed significant lung bruising but no broken bones. Bloodwork showed a mild amount of blood loss. Although she has some nerve damage in her leg that may or may not fully resolve she was a pretty lucky girl.
This morning she was walking (with a little difficulty) begging for tummy rubs and wolfing down food. Her mom is so happy and grateful and relieved and tomorrow she gets to go home to continue recovering
Stories like that is why we are in this profession. It's the reason we can get past all the rude, unhappy, non bill-paying clients who never follow our advice anyway.