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Pitfalls in Veterinary Surgery

Geraldine B. Hunt (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-24164-5 April 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 192 Pages


Pitfalls in Veterinary Surgery offers a candid examination of real-life mistakes and mishaps encountered while operating on veterinary patients.

  • Describes a range of mistakes and mishaps encountered by a veterinary surgeon with 30+ years of experience
  • Provides an honest examination of the reality of operating on pets
  • Offers the opportunity to learn from an experienced surgeon’s mistakes
  • Discusses mistakes in a wide range of situations, ranging from commonplace to unusual
  • Presents a realistic view of veterinary surgery, including how to live with mistakes


Notes on Contributors vii

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

1 “Can’t You Do Anything Right?”: The Shocking Realization That I Was Not Perfect 1

2 Beastly Bellies 5

3 The Friday Night Special: Or Why Do Patients Become Critical Just Before the Weekend? 15

4 Between a Rock and a Hard Place: When to Refer and What Do You Do When Referral Is Not an Option? 27

5 Courage, Mystery, and Awe: The Intangibles of Being a Veterinary Doctor 39
Julie M. Meadows

6 Placed on Earth to Test Us: The Not]So]Humble Spay 43
Catherine F. Le Bars

7 “Oops!”: Not a Good Word to Hear During Surgery 47

8 Learning the Hard Way: Student, Resident, Teacher 57

9 “But I Don’t Want to Look Stupid …”: How to Let Others Help You 65

10 “It Didn’t Look Like That on Paper!”: When Textbooks Let Us Down 73

11 “It Will Be Interesting to See Whether That Works”: How to Be a Creative Surgeon 83

12 When the Unthinkable Happens: Mishaps, Mis]steps, and Medical Errors 95

13 Things Went South – Now What? 103

14 “There’s Got to Be a Morning After”: Things Went Wrong – Now Live With It 111

15 One Leg Too Many: Patients Who Lost Limbs 121

16 Reconstruction Rescue: When the Hole Just Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger 133

17 “Why Is Sam Straining?”: Iatrogenic Strictures and Stray Oddities 143

18 “An Alien in My Waiting Room”: Everyday Occurences of the Unexpected and Unbelievable 155

19 Rewind: What Would I Do Differently If I Had the Chance? 167

Index 171

“[The book] is generally well written and will be a great adjunct for general practitioners and veterinary students, interns, and residents who have an interest in small animal surgery. For experienced veterinary surgeons, it is a heartwarming and humbling read of relatable experiences.” JAVMA, January 2018