Our day starts at 8am when we takeover from our emergency team, e-vets. As e-vets provide emergency care throughout the night and weekends to eight practices in the Edinburgh area there are always many interesting cases to start our day with. This morning e-vets have a puppy, Marley who has fractured his leg and requires a surgical repair. We also find out how the medical inpatients have been overnight.

Dexter, the dog that had eaten a toy car(!), is recovering well after his surgery and enjoying eating a nice bowl of bland food. Dolly the cat that ingested lily pollen, is still receiving supportive treatment. She is on an intravenous drip. Lily pollen is poisonous to cats and can cause vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure and can be fatal. Dolly is eating well and today requires a blood test to see how her kidneys are recovering after 48 hours on the fluids. I will now go and set up the operating theatre for today’s procedures.

Mike Hall is the veterinary surgeon caring for Dexter and Dolly. We examine the patients together and I assist Mike in taking a blood sample for Dolly. Mike is very happy with Dexter’s recovery and arranges for him to go home later today. The results of Dolly’s blood tests will be ready soon and hopefully she can be reunited with her owner too.

Next is to admit the patients in for operations today. Today’s operations list includes Molly for a bitch spay, Toby the cat requiring a dental with multiple extractions and Sonny who requires a scan of his bladder. When all of the inpatients are admitted they are checked by a veterinary surgeon and given a cosy vetbed to rest on comfortably before their procedure.

Molly is first to have her operation, I assist Chris Ross the veterinary surgeon in sedating her ready for her anaesthetic. Once anaesthetised, I clip and clean her abdomen to make the site sterile for surgery. My role during the operation is to monitor her anaesthetic and to hand equipment and suture material to the veterinary surgeon. After the operation I monitor Molly closely and provide her with a warm blanket during recovery.

My next job is to assist vet Peter Sharp in scanning Sonny’s bladder. Sonny has had recurrent cystitis so Peter is checking for any causes of this such as a bladder mass or stone. Once sedated I cuddle Sonny during the scan and monitor his heart and respiration rate. Peter has found three small stones in Sonny’s bladder and it will require surgery to remove them.

Toby is just recovering from his dental procedure and is returned to bed. I monitor him closely during his recovery and ensure his drip is still running fine. He recovers very well and the Toby’s Veterinary surgeon Scott Dickson is happy for him to return home this evening.

I now continue to monitor the animals post-operatively, Molly is now fully awake and very hungry! I offer her some warm EN, which is a bland tasty diet perfect for after an anaesthetic. After all the patients are I fed I walk the dogs to the runs and then back to bed.

In the afternoon I carry out nurse consultations, first is Tigger an overweight cat on a strict diet. Tigger and his owner have done brilliantly as Tigger has lost 300g in 6 weeks. He has a little further to go to reach his target so will be back for another weight check in 6 weeks.

All of the inpatients are due to have their heart and respiration rates checked and temperature taken, this helps us to determine if they are comfortable. I administer all medication due to the inpatients. Marley is doing very well after his op and is eating well. After examining Dolly and Dexter the vet is happy for them to go home, I ensure all of their medications and food are ready for being reunited with their owners. I speak to Sonny’s owner who is relieved to hear he is comfortable and already eating his prescription urinary diet food. Sonny will have his bladder stones removed tomorrow.

After cleaning the dog and cat wards it’s the end of my shift. My last task is a ward round with Lynne, the e-vets nurse, to hand over the cases to her for care through the night. Today has been another busy day but rewarding, and I know that tomorrow will bring other new cases. As a Veterinary Nurse, no two days are ever the same!