My name is Laura Root, and I have worked at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital for over 26 years. Basically, I was hatched and raised here in this building. Soon we are moving to our new hospital which is exciting and will be very nice. I will miss this place though; after all I have spent over half my life in it!
I wanted to share a humorous story about something that happened a while back with Dr. Connolly, another person who has spent many years in this building. As most of you know, we see wildlife as a courtesy, and that brings in many interesting cases for us. On one particular day, a raccoon was brought in that had serious skin issues. Obviously, we have to anesthetize a wild raccoon to examine and treat it. Usually, I like to tape up the box or crate the animal is in and then run gas anesthesia into the box, but in this case, Dr. Connolly wanted to try something else. He wanted to try to get the raccoon out and use a mask to anesthetize it. I tried placing the Rabies Pole around its neck but the raccoon just kept taking it off with its little raccoon hands. So, after several failed attempts, Dr. Connolly took the Rabies Pole from me and he tried to use it to restrain the raccoon. Well, it didn’t work for him either and the raccoon escaped from the crate. Now the raccoon was loose in the X-ray room with us! Not being stupid, I quickly hid behind Dr. Connolly which astonished him, causing him to ask me why I was hiding behind him. Where else is a person supposed to hide in a dangerous situation like this besides behind their boss?
I then left the X-ray room and tried to think of an alternative means of capturing our not-so-furry friend. I came up with the idea of using a trash can lid. Not the best solution, but I was in a hurry. Dr. Connolly and I were able to pin the raccoon under the lid and restrain it with a large towel. Success! After that we were able to get a mask on the raccoon’s face and finally sedate it. Sometimes we have to get creative when dealing with wildlife. They are truly unpredictable.
-Laura Root, RVT