Kakato Scholarship 2021 March's Diary

This month I helped take my friend’s dog to the hospital because he got into a fight with another dog living together with him, fracturing his forearm. Luckily only the ulnar but not the radius was fractured, because if the radius is fractured then the surgical operation will be needed to stabilize the fracture site. In his case, only external coaptation was needed. He was muscular and active so his recovery time should not be too long.

He is a Chow Chow- French bulldog mix.

-Ernest Yu

As mentioned in past journals before, I took a course of independent investigation study in this academic year. It is about spending a whole day each month neutering stray animals (aka TNR). Entering the second half of the year, all of us in the course should have familiarized ourselves with the surgery content as well as preparation work for the surgery. Hence, even for the year 4 students, we started to participate in some relatively important roles. This time, I was the anaesthetist, which is responsible for monitoring the physiological status, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, blood oxygen content, etc throughout the surgery. An anaesthetist should also determine the depth of anaesthesia through palpable reflex, jaw tone as well as position of the eyeball and adjust the concentration of anaesthesia gas.

The patient of the surgery is a female stray dog, about 3-5 years old. The physical examination did not reflect any abnormal signs. Intubation is followed after the dog had been anaesthetized to the appropriate depth. This was my first time to really see the larynx in such a short distance. Since I was not skilled in it, I failed to make the epiglottis down. To save time, the senior took over and completed the intubation for the patient. Later, I was told that I had to put the laryngoscope on the root of the tongue such that the epiglottis would depress itself.

It was a healthy doggie, and the whole process of anaesthesia was successfully completed. This was really a fruitful and meaningful experience for me!

-Linda Lau

I was in Internal medicine this month. It was the same as last semester, we were required to do consultations, physical examinations, and we may do blood draws or injections. I am impressed by a kitten with a high fever. As we did not know what caused the fever, during the patient’s hospitalization, the doctor in charge had been working hard to find the cause of the disease, hoping to find the right antidote. I was also taught what I could do for the patient, such as when to use supportive therapy to help the body cool down, and when to use medication to reduce fever. These are all that I learned from this patient.

Patients in the internal medicine clinic often have some non-specific clinical symptoms, such as fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, etc. We may need to ask the owner for more information or do more examinations on the patient. Their cooperation and trust are very important at this moment. Some tests may not be able to diagnose anything, but at least they can help to rule out some other possibilities. I hope people will not find the examination is done in vain when they hear there is “no abnormality” after it. In fact, it still has its meaning.

-Yoki Chau