2007-10-10

Gruesome-ness

Yes, another post about work. It's really the only thing happening in my life at the moment. Yesterday was a day of irony. Throughout the whole day, from 8:30am when we open till 6pm, it was so quiet that I was starting worry about the future prosperity of out practice. For an hour between 4pm and 5pm, I literally did not see a single consult (and not because I was slacking off). It was such a rare moment for us to be able to catch up on things that need doing. And then, it's like the general public made a pact to just rock up after 6:30pm, an hour before closing time, with their animals in dire need of attention.

Anyway, the point of the post was not to complain about the random late finish despite a day of total lack of activity, but to mention this patient who I saw which totally gave me nightmares. It was a bunny who's owners have brought it in coz it had maggots around the bum end. Okay. My first inner thought was "eww...". Despite my line of profession, there are certain gross things one never really gets used to, and maggots are one of them for me. Little did I realise how bad this rabbit was. I flipped it upside down, and on first glance to me it looked like there were literally HUNDREDs of creamy pale, plump, gigantic, wriggling maggots digging in and out of the back end of this poor bunny. It took a lot of self control for me not to fling this bunny out of the my hands and run out of the consult room screaming. Instead I calmly told the owners that "I'll take the bunny out the back and have a closer look where there's better lighting", which is talk for "I need to get out of this room right now". I bundled up the bunny, took it out the back and proceeded with a bit of a breakdown. It's like feeling goosebumps all over your body, and one can't help but want to scratch at oneself, as if the maggots are eating me alive. Empathy works in strange ways.

Nehoos, I admitted the bunny so we can try and clean him up, by which I mean, individually picking out the maggots, then cleaning the wound. Only when I had the courage to have a look at it the second time, did I realise the extent of damage. This bunny literally had a giant wound around the anus, with necrotic tissue, which extended at least 5cm under skin towards the head. With shaking hands I picked at least 20+ maggots out of the wound with still more wriggling in and out of the tissue. I guess my first impression wasn't that far off.

Unfortunately this is not a heart-warming story, because the bunny ended up going to bunny heaven. There was just too much damage done already, and given the fact that this bunny just laid on his back without a single attempt at struggling while I picked at the maggots probably meant that it was near death bed anyway.

Moral of the story? Check your bunny more than once a week! It's a lesson for me as well. I never thought rabbits could ever get fly-struck (like sheep), but obviously there are some than can.

Not surprisingly, maggots dominated my dreams last night. Eww~ *twitch twitch*

 
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