And then there were THREE

Vet tech advisor describes Murray’s amputation


Dr. Dan Drahos and Murray

Murray was always a happy cat since he was rescued by the Humane Society of Muscatine.  He only had one issue….he had trouble walking on his front leg.  That is where the MCC veterinary Technology program ‘stepped’ in.

The Humane Society and vet tech program have always had a wonderful partnership since the program started in 2009.  Animals are provided for the program to perform essential skills and teaching while the society animals receive medical exams, diagnostic tests, spays, neuters, dentals and many other medical services before they are adopted..

When Michele Nigg, CVT, requested animals to perform radiographs for Diagnostic Imaging class, Murray was a perfect candidate.  The students performed a radiological study and it was discovered that his front left carpus (wrist) had an old injury and infection which left his wrist permanently damaged and useless.

Dr. Dan Drahos is the program director/veterinarian and also owns Riverside Animal Hospital in Muscatine. He has been performing surgeries utilizing the CO2 Laser for 20 years at his hospital and realized that Murray would benefit greatly from this advanced surgical instrument.  The CO2 laser provides reduced pain, bleeding, and swelling and was a perfect opportunity for demonstration to the students since Murray needed an amputation of this leg to give him a pain-free future.

On Wednesday, October 16, Murray was given this opportunity when the MCC Vet Tech Students held their annual open house at the Agriculture Learning Center where the teaching hospital resides.  The students celebrate National Veterinary Technician week every year with this open house and this year, Dr. Drahos gave a live demonstration on utilizing the Laser for a front leg amputation.

Three students were given the opportunity to assist with anesthesia, surgery, and recovery during the procedure while the amputation was streamed live into the class room where the rest of the students and the public were invited to observe.  Becky Taube, CVT graduated from the program in 2011 and is an adjunct instructor as well as Dr. Drahos’ surgery technician at Riverside Animal Hospital.  Becky was in the room to answer questions and explain the procedure to the audience.

Gage Coghill was one of the students and helped position the smoke evacuator while Dr. Drahos performed the procedure. “I was amazed that there was no bleeding at all during the procedure…and Dr. Dan was cutting through a lot of muscles!”

Amanda Fowler and Joslynn Hahn also assisted and were impressed during recovery that Leo did not complain at all after having a major surgery to remove his useless front leg.

Chris McGinnis, Director of the Humane Society, reported the following week that Leo is doing great and is on his way to adoption.  She added,” We are so glad he had this surgery and now as a second chance at life”

Author:  Dan Drahos, DVM