Bits and Bobs

Filed under: @ 11:04 am

Why You Should Spay Your Dog When She’s Young.

You should spay your dog when she’s young because otherwise your veterinarian won’t be half amputating the tips of her forefingers when she is trying to spay your dog.

Okay that’s a little bit of an exaggeration (no really?), I’m being a bit of a drama llama there,but dangitall, that HURTS!
The story is as follows.

Yesterday I spent TWO AND A HALF HOURS spaying a 72 pound 9 year old dog and removing three mammary tumors. On a 6 month old 72 pound dog the spay part of the surgery would have taken -maybe- half an hour. As it was….
There’s SO much fat in a mature dog’s abdomen and there’s SO much fat around the blood vessels that you need to ligate that you have two options.

Option the First:
You can dig around in the slippery abdomen with your slippery gloves (fat is very VERY slippery) while you try to excavate the blood vessels from the fat (making the surgical site that much more slippery) sufficiently that you don’t have to crank on your ligatures to be sure they’re tight enough to hold once you cut the tissue away. This means that you take the risk of traumatizing the blood vessels in the process which would make your surgical site slippery AND bloody. This takes a LOT of time. OR
Option the Second:
You can suck it up and ligate the blood vessels within their sheaths of fat. Which takes far less time and means less risk of immediate hemorrhage, but does mean that you have to use ENORMOUS suture material and you have to crank on your ligatures REALLY REALLY HARD to be sure that the fat and the blood vessels are compressed enough so that when you cut the tissue away the blood vessel won’t bleed. It also means that you have to ligate the blood vessel at least three times before you’re comfortable enough that all your ligatures won’t fail at once and your patient hemorrhage to death.
Most surgeons I know take the second option. It’s never a comfortable feeling to not be 100% certain of your ligatures, but it’s really the best option.

This is where semi-amputating my fingers comes in.
See I was flailing around in a slippery abdomen with my slippery gloves trying to ligate slippery blood vessels inside huge sheaths of slippery fat. I was using 0 suture material (the lower the number, the larger the diameter of the suture. 0 suture material is about a millimeter in diameter) and cranking REALLY hard on the tissue to be sure that my knots were tight. I was, it appears, wrapping the suture material around the first joint of both forefingers and pulling until my eyes popped.
I say that because when I finished with the surgery and finally pulled off my sweaty, slippery gloves, I found that suture material and glove had been pulled so tight at the inside surface of the first joint of my forefinger that suture material and glove had cut right into the skin.

You’ve all had a paper cut on a knuckle, right?
This is like that, only deeper.

A Multiplicity of Me.

I’ve known for years that there are four Margaret Hammonds living in the south end of King County. One is a plastic surgeon, one is a little old lady in a nursing home, and the other, who was also born in June of 1968, is a bad credit risk.
I know this because I was getting the plastic surgeon’s mail at work for a while.
I got a call from the little old lady’s nephew once.
And for about two months I was getting harassing phone calls at work from a collections agency who were trying to collect on a towing bill for the bad credit risk’s 1982 Subaru Legacy.
Now it appears that there either is a fifth one of me, or that one of the other three is a musician.
Yesterday I got a notice in the mail from the University of Washington’s School of Music. As an alumnus I am invited to the 2011 School of Music Piano Sale on the 25th through the 28th of this month.
Okay, I knew I was talented (pardon the vanity), but I never knew that I was capable enough to earn a degree in music from the UW in my sleep.
Sorry UW. I wouldn’t know what to do with a piano, save to dust it regularly, if I had one. And since I don’t dust very regularly, it’s probably not a good idea for me to have one.
One of the other Margaret Hammonds.

2 Responses to “Bits and Bobs”

  1. Eric Scharf Says:

    Re: Part II
    I received the identical junk mail from the UW School of Music. At the time, I thought my only magazine subscription (Film Comment) had sold my address.

    Clearly, Amy Worsham has ratted us all out.

  2. Valerie Says:

    Gaaaaaaah! on Part I. Also, owie!

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