Reply To: Meet our new Specialists
I have been meaning to log in for a while and introduce myself a little and say hello. Andy and the team have uploaded the blurb on my training but so you know a little more, I am an ECC specialist based in Australia – though I do miss the UK a lot! I am based in a small but busy referral centre in Sydney and am slowly building my department up so it is now myself, a few nurses and a handful of interns and a lot of chaos in the ICU.
We are getting ready for my favourite time of year in Australia – tick paralysis time. Which means I get to use the mechanical ventilator on some rewarding cases. Tick paralysis is caused by the Ixodes Holocylcus tick which is found along the east coast of Australia. The salivary gland of the tick secretes the toxin and generally after 2-3 days clinical signs begin; which includes a voice change then a progressive pelvic limb paresis to a full tetraparesis also involving the oesophagus (causing megaoesophagus), larynx (causing absent gag) and respiratory muscles (causing respiratory failure). The great thing about this problem is if caught early, after tick serum, a happy healthy dog goes home in a few days. Occasionally they are more serious and can be fatal if not treated early. When used appropriately, parasiticides prevent the problem or at least reduce severity. I love having the chance to get out the mechanical ventilator as it is a great challenge, but myself and my team get to place central lines and arterial catheters in these cases so it can be challenging, interesting and often rewarding.
I have a large interest in respiratory emergencies, which brings me to another personal introduction. I own a surrendered pug that bulldozed his way into my life but is a lot of fun. So when not at work, I am walking the dog or basically whatever he wants as he is in charge at home!
Anyway, feel free to reach out if you have any questions on any topic!