I have had the most interesting week this week. I got to witness first hand what the doctors and staff can do here at Bear Creek Animal Clinic. I have seen lots of dogs and cats and ferrets and rabbits come in for different surgeries and procedures. Sometimes they need anesthesia and sometimes just a mild sedative. Sometimes not even that is needed. It all depends on how still the patient needs to be, or how painful the procedure might be. I have to tell you, if it is painful, once the sedatives are on board the patient doesn’t know it.
I started sneezing a few weeks back. No idea why, but I started feeling this incredible tickling sensation in my nose and then just sneeze, sneeze, sneeze. It was crazy. Poor Dr Deb got the worst of it. She has the best lap, so I spend most of my cuddle time with her. The only way I could tell her about the tickling sensation was to start sneezing. She thought it was cute at first, but the more I sneezed, the more concerned she became. Finally, after about a week, she talked to Dr Alice and the two of them decided they needed to look up my nose. When I heard that I thought, snow or no snow, I need to head for the hills. But Dr Deb and Dr Alice talked to me, like I had heard them talk to all the other pets that come in for some sort of procedure. They told me they were going to try to find out what was making me sneeze, and that I would be able to take a nice little nap, and wouldn’t know hardly anything had happened. They told me that I might be a little sleepy for a day or two, and I might still sneeze a little bit after, but I should start feeling lots lots better as soon as I was awake. They decided Friday was the best day for me and my procedure. I agreed because that would give me a couple of days to rest before I needed to monitor all the activity in the clinic again.
Thursday night Sarah gave me my dinner like she always does, except that she didn’t leave any food for me to snack on through the night. I didn’t really realize it before she left. I certainly informed her the next morning however! What did she think she was doing? Doesn’t she know how I love to nibble here and there through the night? She picked me up and cuddled me and told me how sorry she was, but that because I was going under anesthesia I had to be a brave cat, and it would be better for me to not have breakfast. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be a very hungry cat, but it sounded like they knew best. I settled down and tried to take a nap. I was feeling pretty anxious, though. I can’t remember ever being anesthetized before. I was pacing back and forth, but pretty soon Neetza came and found me. She talked to me, and told me she was going to give me some medicine that would make me relax and feel less anxious. I had heard her tell other pets that before, but I had never known what she was talking about. I actually started to feel calmer, just with her talking to me. I felt a little pinprick, but she kept talking to me. It was hardly noticeable, kind of like when I get bitten by a flea. But no itching after! Anyway, pretty soon I started to feel kind of sleepy. After what seemed like just a few minutes, which I knew was actually about half an hour from watching other pets, Neetza came back to get me. She laid me gently on the table, on top of some very soft blankets. Then she put a very warm pillow over me. Ahhh, I can still feel how warm and soft everything was. She was talking to me, still, telling me that I was going to get the really good stuff and then, off to dreamland. She told me to dream good dreams and she would see me in a little bit.
At that point, I gotta tell you, I don’t remember anything except grassy meadows and trees and butterflies. And sun. Glorious warm wonderful sunbeams. It was beautiful. And so warm. After what seemed like just a few moments I heard my name, like it was very far away but getting closer and closer. I woke up to see Sarah looking down at me. She was holding me wrapped up tightly in a blanket. Which was good, because out of my sunbeams, it was really kind of chilly. She held me for a bit longer and I started feeling warmer. After a little bit, she told me I was looking perkier and could rest in a house, but she would check on me every little bit. She came back and looked in on me, and so did Neetza and Dr Alice and Jen. It was a little strange, the feeling I had, but it wasn’t bad.
A little dizzy, a little sleepy. I just laid my head down and went back to sleep for a while. When I woke up again, I was back in my regular bed and there was a yummy plate of soft food for me to eat. Not as much as usual, but that was okay. I ate what was there and then napped a little longer. Before she left for the day, my girl Sarah gave me some more of the yummy soft food. I started to notice that there were some weird things in my mouth, and I couldn’t quite understand why I couldn’t have my crunchy food. But with everyone gone for the night, I have to tell you I was really not all that worried about it. I curled up and went back to sleep.
Next morning I woke up, a little later than usual, but boy, was I HUNGRY! A moment of panic crossed my mind. It’s Saturday – no one comes in on Saturday. OH NO! What am I going to do? But just as I started to think about maybe foraging through the clinic I heard the key in the lock. The door swung open and there was my Dr Alice! She had come in to check on me. Of course she did. I have no idea why I was worried.
Dr Alice started talking to me, before she was even in the door. “Good morning, Thomas! How are you this morning?”
“Oh, Dr Alice, I am so glad to see you. I’m fine, but I have to tell you my mouth feels pretty funny. I thought you were just going to look up my nose. Although, come to think of it, I haven’t sneezed more than once or twice since I woke up yesterday. So whatever you did fixed that problem.” I meowed back to her.
“I bet you’re wondering why your mouth feels funny, aren’t you, handsome boy.” She said, like she had read my mind. “Well, that is because we had to take a couple of your teeth out. Two of the little ones on the bottom jaw were in pretty bad shape. It’s a good thing your sneezing caught Dr Deb’s attention. I flushed out your sinuses, and that seems to have made a big difference. I haven’t heard you sneeze since you woke up yesterday. But while we were looking around in there, I found those two little teeth, one on each side, and saw that they were going to start causing you pain, if they weren’t already. Neetza and I took pictures and x-rays, and knew we needed to take them out.” She paused for a moment as she opened a fresh can of soft food for me.
“So that’s why my mouth feels funny.” I meowed back to her. “Huh, I am missing a couple of teeth.” My tongue poked around a bit. “And come to think of it, I was feeling a bit of a dull ache in my bottom jaw when I would crunch my food,” I purred into her hand as she knelt down and rubbed my head. “Not enough to make me want to stop eating, but I was trying to find different places to chew. That ache seems to be gone, though it still hurts a little.”
She smiled as she started talking again to me, “So your mouth is going to ache for a few days, but I put some medicine in your food that will help that. And the stitches, those poky things you’re feeling, those will go away after a couple of weeks and then you can have your crunchy food back again. As far as the sneezing, I didn’t see anything other than a lot of mucous up in your nose. I flushed it out and it looks like we flushed out what was irritating you.”
She sat down at her desk and started working on some notes and other doctor-y type things. I jumped up on her lap and went back to sleep. I started dreaming again, of sunbeams and meadows, and butterflies. I woke up when I felt Dr Alice lift me off her lap and back into my bed. She kissed my head, and said, “Good bye for now, Thomas. I will check in on you again tomorrow, and then Dr Deb and Sarah and Jen and Cindi will be in to see you Monday. I bet you’ll be feeling just like yourself again by then, and maybe even a little better without those teeth bothering you.