My First Surgery Practical
The incident I would like to share happened eight years ago while I was still a student. It was a fine Monday morning but I was rather apprehensive of joining my team at my first surgery unit. It was my first practical hour in the surgery department, generally notorious for its strictness and hot tempered professors. I really don’t know what it is with surgeons and temper, but mind you most of them are little bundles of dynamite willing to explode at the slightest provocation.
And so on that day I was assigned the task of tending to the ear of a German shepherd which had a bad infection of the middle ear. The dog was mad from the pain and irritation and the owner was having a hard time trying to calm him down. I knew both of us were fighting a losing battle trying to restrain him but I could sense the professor’s fixed stare on my back so I kept going. Just when I was showered with a rain of maggots from the ear of the dog, (regardless to say that the owner kept a straight face as if he was blind to the sudden spurt of maggots) there was a small commotion at the door.
The man lifted the covers and the sight was so pitiful and repulsive that I stepped back, bile rising in my throat.
Please do something. He is going to die…
A young man came running in followed by a small boy not less than six, tears streaming down his face.
“Please do something. He is going to die.” He was a sorry sight and nestled in his arms was a small blanket which he lowered carefully onto the examination table. My professor got up from his chair and went up for examining. We all edged in for a closer look. The man lifted the covers and the sight was so pitiful and repulsive that I stepped back, bile rising in my throat. Over the 5 years spent in veterinary college I have seen many sights that normal persons would run away from; but nothing has prepared me for this.
It was a daschund , a black one with several angry lashes across its body. The sheets were drenched in blood and the wounds appeared as if someone has attacked him with a sharp object something similar to a chopper. The man explained that he found the dog covered in blood and mud in his garden close to the boundary walls. Someone had attempted robbery and the dog had tried to fight them off.
Each gaping wound was three to four inches deep and covered in mud. There was a sudden activity around the table; someone introduced the tracheal tube, the wounds were being cleaned and fluids were connected. The small boy broke into more tears when the professor explained that it was too late to save the dog as too much blood has been lost.
“He is more like our family, my first son. I brought him home before my marriage and he is my best friend. Night after night he has taken care of my house without fail. Expense is not a problem sir, please do your best.” His words were drowned in the sobs that followed. I realized that the vacuum created by the demise of his beloved dog could never be filled.
The thought that a human would so viciously attack an animal way much smaller and helpless than him left me stunned.
Grieves that cannot be mended with Wealth
That day I learned many things. There are situations where your knowledge and ability is worthless. There are grieves that cannot be mended with wealth. And man doesn’t deserve to behold the throne of the animal kingdom. The thought that a human would so viciously attack an animal way much smaller and helpless than him left me stunned.
The incident has haunted me ever since and my distress got a little alleviated only when the man showed up with his son in my medicine unit a morning one month later. Nestled in his arm was the same blanket and guess what I found inside. Of course a black daschund puppy!