Guinea pig prolapses, and a very pleasant suprise (Day 524)

Guinea pig uterus prolapse

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The first chance I got this morning I rushed into clinic to check on yesterdays guinea pig patient. Now when I left after surgery last night the prognosis was pretty poor, this was a patient with a reoccurring prolapse of the uterus. It initially presented and was replaced after the guinea pig gave birth (it was a rescue animal so pregnancy and birth was unexpected). This is what a guinea pig prolapse looks like (and requires immediate veterinary attention)…

Guinea pig uterus prolapse

Unfortunately in guinea pigs (as in many animals) a prolapse once it occurs is likely to occur again. In the case of guinea pigs the recommended solution is to neuter the guinea pig to remove the organs involved and so prevent the prolapse happening again. This is what last nights surgery last night did, in addition the cervix was also fixed to the abdominal wall to help prevent the remaining stump of the uterus prolapsing again. After the surgery I was pretty pessimistic as to the outcome, however arriving today I found the guinea pig alive, and with an appetite which was a much better outcome than I ever imagined so put me in a very good mood for the rest of the day.

After this quick break it was time for pathological anatomy with today being our first lecture after last weeks was cancelled. This is something I enjoy as its very practical and todays lecture was around the post-mortem changes within the body. The practical after was then basically a post-mortem of what I believe was a victim from a RTA (Road Traffic Accident) with severe internal injuries. After last week we were expected to be able to carry out the procedure ourselves with only assistance in identifying the pathology which we did pretty well. To be honest I find this pretty interesting, I am not sure where I heard it but the saying this is where the dead speak is pretty true as if you know what you are looking at you can piece together a story.

After this I had another short break so popped back to check the guinea pig, and also saw another very interesting case of a rat with skin that had a jelly feel. Still not entirely sure what this was but was very interesting to see…

My introduction to dog post mortem (Day 517)

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Well today has been long, and it is seriously feeling like it is Friday already. I started the day with a clinical diagnostics practical, todays practical was a revision session for what we had done last semester. We were split into small groups and given a set of points to evaluate (clinical exams are kinda like checklists). My group managed pretty well doing a dual exam on two different dogs at the same time.

After this we were supposed to have our first Pathological Anatomy lecture, however as the professor was away at a conference this was cancelled, and so we got a gap before the practical class. Turning up to the practical class I was lucky to be in the group which had the instructor present and so we started the subject.

Something here that is taken very serious is the risk from pathogens, and so the department issues us each a lab coat which remains within the unit, along with gum boots/shoes just for the session. After this was done we got a crash course in health and safety and the different equipment available to use (all hand powered) before being offered the opportunity to order the book for the subject.

After this a colleague and myself were asked to start the post mortem of a dog under instruction as a demonstration of the correct method and technique. Using a post mortem knife was very different from surgery scalpels and indeed the technique was very different using gross dissection rather than the fine surgical technique. I am going outline the protocol followed below briefly so if squeamish now is probably the time to stop reading.

During a post mortem the exterior of the body, eyes and orifices are examined for any abnormalities before the legs are opened out to let the body lay flat. The skin is reflected back from a midline incision the entire length of the body and the underlying muscles examined for any abnormalities. The peritoneum is then incised midline and reflected back with a quick visual inspection of the abdomen for fluid and position of the organs. A window incision is made into the diaphragm to check the thorax for fluid, and then it is completely resected from the arch of the ribs. The ribs and sternum are them removed at the junction costosternal junction exposing the lungs and heart.

The thoracic organs are then removed with an incision beginning with the tongue and going along the trachea and esophagus until the chest where the lungs and heart are removed. The front of the pelvis is then cut to allow access to the pelvic cavity, this then allows an incision around the anus to remove the gastrointestinal tract and associated organs from the abdominal cavity.

The last thing to be removed is the brain, I’ve seen this done either with cutting around and lifting off the top of the skull or like today by cutting down the middle of the skull and removing the brain in two half.

Anyways I am really exhausted so will leave it there for today!