Day 18: Busy, Busy, Busy

Today was really busy and a lot of fun. It started out with an all-staff meeting about the upcoming AAALAC visit. You can read all about them at the website I linked, but basically they’re a voluntary accreditation organization that does site visits every 3-5 years and they inspect everything – from animal care, to the facility upkeep, cleanliness, maintenance, expiration dates – you name it. So this morning’s meeting wasn’t incredibly interesting, but important for me to attend because it is something I’ll be concerned with as a lab animal veterinarian.

After the meeting I went with one of the AHTs to bleed some mice. She put them under general anesthesia, collected blood retro-orbitally, and then recovered them. I obviously didn’t give it a try, because it’s not something you should do in research mice until it’s been practiced a lot and you’re skilled at it. But she explained everything in depth while she was doing it and I helped her by recording each mouse’s weight and glucose and place the capillary tubes in larger tubes and then in ice. So while it wasn’t hands-on, I learned a lot and will hopefully get some practice during the next mouse handling class.

The meeting was long and there were a lot of mice that needed blood collected, so after that it was lunch time. After lunch I went with a different AHT to take care of some mice that needed evaluated and/or treatments. It’s getting to the point where they trust me with certain tasks, and that’s great. Thankfully, most of the mice I checked didn’t need any treatments, but I did give one little mouse SQ fluids. That took a long time, because there were a lot of mice that needed evaluated. From there I went and helped with the full physical exam of the new dog. I got really frustrated with myself because I missed a jug stick on a 37 pound dog – ridiculous. That’s the one thing about vet school – technical skills are not used and so I’ve gotten really rusty, apparently. Ugh. Anyway, I helped with holding, taking the temp, evaluating for pulse deficits, etc. I also played with him, running up and down the room letting him chase me. :) After that there was one more stop, the little sick chinchilla. Despite aggressive treatment, he’s not really improving much. The doctor thinks it’s become and animal welfare issue and has told the lab that euthanasia is the best option. They said that they would do it next week, but to prevent any suffering, the doctor said that it absolutely has to be done by tomorrow. Poor thing. But to hopefully make him feel better, we gave him SQ fluids, a pain injection, nutritional supplements, and tons of yummy fruits and veggies that any healthy chinchilla would be thrilled to get.

By then it was late, and I headed home. Tomorrow is Friday, and I’m looking forward to the weekend and two days off!

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