Monthly Archives: February 2016
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is the final addition of her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
7:15 p.m. I meet Dr. Murphy in the doctor’s office where he is able to sit down for the first time. He takes one bite of his sandwich before being called to another room. It’s another vaccine exam for a very playful bulldog puppy.
7:45 p.m. – The new bulldog owners are full of questions and Dr. Murphy answers them all. They apologize for keeping him. “You’re already the best kind of puppy parents because you have questions, ask away,” Dr. Murphy says.
8:00 p.m. – Dr. Murphy takes a few more bites of his sandwich (apparently finishing an entire snack is very rare) while researching some possible reasons for the cat’s lethargy. Two of the other doctors huddle around him, sharing their thoughts. Theories range anywhere from anemia to constipation. Dr. Murphy will have to wait until the test results are back to be able to narrow down a potential diagnosis. Another emergency is brought in and Dr. Murphy walks out of the office.
8:05 p.m. – The emergency is a tiny pup that had been involved in a dogfight. This time it’s a long-haired Chihuahua weighing in at four pounds. He’s shaking, but still manages to kiss anyone he comes in contact with. Dr. Murphy checks everything. His eyes, ears, chest, legs, and stomach. He listens to his heart and lungs. And X-rays are taken.
9:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy discusses the extent of the injuries and care options with the family. One of his eyes is going to have to be removed. The dog has a few punctures around his torso and will have to have a tooth extracted but other than that, it looks like he’ll be okay.
9:50 p.m. The Chihuahua is prepped for surgery and given anesthesia. After the dog goes under, Dr. Murphy scrubs in to perform the eye enucleation (removal). He also cleans and stiches the Chihuahua’s puncture wounds and extracts damaged tooth.
11:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy is done with another successful surgery. He calls the parents and says that they can pick up their pup in the morning and that he is doing well, though he is a little drowsy.
Dr. Murphy sits down for a few minutes and checks his voicemail. He then gets back up to take a walk through the patient ward to see how everyone is doing.
The hospital technically closes at 10 p.m. but the doctors are on-call for emergencies 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I didn’t stay past the surgery but I do know that two more emergencies were brought in after midnight.
Following Dr. Murphy was everything I thought it would be and so much more. Yes there were a lot of cute puppies to play with, but there was a lot of science, compassion, and care. From the slides to surgeries to research, no wonder they go to school for so long!
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is the second addition of her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
Missed the first article? Read it here.
3:20 p.m. – After Dr. Murphy makes sure the Border Collie was comfortably waiting in a kennel, he checks on the Pit Bull mix with the mass between his toes. The friendly dog that greeted us in the room earlier has been replaced with an uncooperative bulldozer. “Dr. Murphy room six.” With the help of three Veterinary Technicians, Dr. Murphy is able to retrieve the needed samples.
3:50 p.m. – Dr. Murphy goes into room six. He currently has two dogs in the treatment area and three exam rooms he is working between. Exam room six has a lethargic cat that has had one bite of food in the past four days. Exam room three has a very sick puppy that looks like she may have contracted Parvovirus, a common and potentially fatal viral disease in dogs, and exam room eight has a three-year-old Golden Retriever that ate his owner’s birth control pills.
I decided to take this opportunity to chat with a few of the other doctors while Dr. Murphy tends to his many rooms, as I felt I was slowing him down. I laugh when I remember how worried I was when coming up with ideas of what to talk about during “down time”. I was able to talk to the five other doctors on the floor who were also busy prepping for surgeries, giving vaccines, and analyzing blood work. There are only eight exam rooms, but this place is busy! Besides the appointments, there are walk-ins that are coming in as well. I ask if this is normal and was told that this is just a typical day at Craig Road. The hospital caters to an average of 150 to 200 pets per day and one doctor can attend up to 20 to 30 rooms each shift.
4:30 p.m. – Dr. Christopher Roberts offers to take a look at the blood samples from the Pit Bull with the mass for Dr. Murphy while he attended to his other rooms.
The process for the samples is a long one. First the sample must be dyed so that the different cells are readable. After the dye dries, they can be viewed. All in all, the process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and if the sample isn’t readable, the process starts all over again. The third sample was the winner.
5:10 p.m. – Dr. Roberts deciphered the cells…it looks like cancer. He calls over Dr. Murphy to take a look at the slide. Dr. Murphy agrees but wants to send it to the outside reference lab for a confirmation.
5:30 p.m. – Dr. Murphy makes a few calls to update owners on their pets. The lethargic cat is being held overnight so that tests can be performed and treatments started. The puppy does have Parvo and is placed in isolation for aggressive treatment and the exam room is sanitized. The Golden Retriever is given an injection that makes him vomit. And then an emergency comes in and it’s given to Dr. Murphy.
6:00 p.m. – A brown, mixed breed dog, is brought in with three BB-gun shots between her torso and abdomen. She was in her front yard before being shot by an unknown assailant. The poor dog is groaning and barely moving. It doesn’t look good. The dog is 10-years-old. An ultrasound is performed and there is fluid in her abdomen. Surgery will need to be performed to evaluate the full extent of the damage. But even with surgery, the dog may not make it. “These are the discussions I never get used to having,” says Dr. Murphy before he walks out of treatment.
6:45 p.m. – The parents tearfully request to have their dog euthanized.
Yes, I got a little teary eyed. I needed to take a break.
Next week: Another emergency that leads to surgery and puppies! Stay tuned!
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
By Tianna Winters
I never thought that being a veterinary doctor was easy, but I also did not realize it would be quite so hard.
Their patients don’t talk. They squeak, bark, and meow. Sometimes they even growl. If my skin is terrible I go to a dermatologist. If my sight is blurry I go to the optometrist, and if I have a toothache I go to the dentist.
If any of these ailments are affecting my pet, I go to the vet. A doctor of veterinary medicine’s (DVM) education is never ending, even after the eight to 10 years it takes for them to receive their title. They have many different hats- a dietician, dentist, cardiologist, dermatologist, surgeon – the list goes on. A veterinarian must specialize in everything. They wear these different hats every day and sometimes multiple hats at the same time.
I decided to follow one doctor around. And to be honest, I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day…and I was just watching. I was there for appointments, walk-ins, and emergencies (that’s where the juggling really gets interesting).
2:00 p.m. – My “shift” has started. I’m following Dr. Shane Murphy, and I’m excited because I found out he shares my love for Star Wars and metal music, so we can have something to chat about during the slow periods. I think it must be nice to start in the afternoon, having your mornings all to yourself, until Dr. Murphy checks up on the emergency he had at 4 a.m.
Dr. Murphy was the “on-call” doctor the previous night. A Pomeranian was rushed in due to seizures. Dr. Murphy had to give the dog an injection to stop the seizures, run blood work, and then place a collar with bells attached to monitor for additional seizures. The patient had one more seizure that night and Dr. Murphy didn’t leave until 6 a.m., when the first doctor of the morning shift took over.
2:15 p.m. – Dr. Murphy’s first appointment of the day is an adorable Labrador puppy coming in for his first round of vaccines. This puppy is very playful and sweet. Dr. Murphy examines him while discussing new puppy care and how he is adjusting with his new family. Dr. Murphy then administers the vaccines right in the exam room. “Well that was easy,” he says.
2:30 p.m. – “Dr. Murphy room seven.” His next appointment. As he walks into the exam room, he is also called again, this time to room four. He has now had three rooms in less than 30 minutes.
As we walk into room seven, we are greeted by a friendly Pit Bull mix with a huge smile on his face. The owner does not share his enthusiasm and has a look of distress. The dog has a mass that has sprouted between his toes and his Dad is worried it could be cancerous.
Dr. Murphy takes a look and proposes to take the dog into our treatment area to retrieve a sample. He explains that depending on what it is, there could be a few different ways to remove it. “The good news is that you brought him in as soon as you noticed it, and that could be very important,” he tells the owner.
2:50 p.m. – Dr. Murphy gives the dog to his exam room assistant to the treatment area while he goes and starts room four. Here we have a five-year-old Border Collie checking in for a laparoscopic spay, which is the removal of the reproductive organs using a smaller incision than the traditional spay. This type of spay uses a monitor and tiny camera to assist in the removal of the ovaries. Dr. Murphy explains the procedure to her parents and also, because of the dog’s age, suggests to have pre-operative blood work done to see if there are any health issues that could affect the surgery. They agree, and they let their baby know they’ll be back soon, and we’re off with the dog leading the way.
Next week: Find out just how we go about deciphering the cells in the mass. I also encounter my first emergency call. Stay tuned!
Meet Rocky, a Pomeranian and Brussels Griffon mix. But mom, Christy, says don’t let his little angel face fool you. Mom says that he’s “ a little a**hole and Tasmanian devil and asshole all in one.” Yes, not only is he very energetic, Rocky likes to chew up everything…remotes, CD’s, toys. Mom took him in after her granddaughter decided he might be too much for her, and after he chewed up all of her shoes. And it was love at first sight. Mom says he’s mellowed out over the years but he’s still a very active pup. Just four years old and Rocky dominates obstacle courses and loves playing fetch. Rocky may be a little bit of a misfit but he fits right in with mom and she loves him dearly. Congratulations Rocky, you’re our February Pet of the Month!