20 years at work!

Today begins decade #3 at work. 20 years ago today, I started working here. To say that there’s been a lot of changes at work since I started would be a bit of an understatement.

I’ve gone from having everything all nice and contained within the main campus to now having multiple locations across the tri-county area with imaging equipment that I need to visit. The amount of imaging equipment I lay hands on has also gone up by about 3x since I started. It definitely keeps me busy, but doesn’t leave much time for working on other things like I used to have.

Lots of interesting things happening now, and there’s going to be a lot of new equipment arriving over the next few years: new hospital buildings, new clinic sites, new imaging technology. With any luck, we’ll be able to get a diagnostic imaging residency program started in the near future too.

Next few years should be an interesting time.

Goodbye, Simba

It was with much sadness that we said goodbye to Simba today. This morning, he only wanted to eat a few pieces of chicken and left the rest. After that, I decided that maybe it’s time.

We went down to the vet clinic this morning and two of the vet techs there that have known Simba since he was an 8 week old puppy were able to see him and say goodbye as well. Unfortunately his regular vets weren’t in the clinic today so Simba didn’t get to see them.

4 week old SImba
4 week old SImba
4 week old SImba
4 week old SImba

Simba was the happiest dog (he could also be a bit growly at times, especially when other dogs wanted his ball). The dog park was one of his favourite places, and he loved visiting all of them. He was a bit of a ball fiend and chasing the ball was one of his favourite activities. He’d run after the ball until he got tired, and then stop bringing the ball back. If he picked up the ball and walked away from me before I could grab it to throw again, that was when it was time for a rest.

One time when chasing after the ball, he got T-boned pretty hard by another dog zooming around the dog park. After that, whenever dogs got to running and chasing each other, he’d run over and try to break up the shenanigans.

Happy 4 year old Simba
Happy 4 year old Simba
Simba getting snowed on
Simba getting snowed on

Simba also made a good first impression on Connie too, eating her jury summons.

Simba on his 13th birthday
Simba on his 13th birthday
Out in the yard

Simba was the best boy. I miss him a lot.

Simba’s getting picky

Simba’s become quite the picky eater since we started giving him chicken and rice.

First he picked out the chunks of chicken to eat those, and then maybe finish off the rice if he felt like it. Then I shredded the chicken and mixed it into the rice. He ate that for a couple meals, but then started turning it down.

Simba's messy eating
Simba’s messy eating

To make sure he still wanted to eat, I made up some more chicken (cut up into cubes) with some peas and carrots. Sure enough, he ate up the chicken chunks and left the carrots and peas behind. He’d sniff around the bowl, grab a mouth full and drop it onto the floor of the crate, and then grab the chunks of chicken. When there was no more chicken, he stopped eating and ignored the rest of the peas and carrots. Nala happily helped Simba finish those off (she’s so helpful).

It seems that he’s still interested in eating, as long as it’s just chicken. I’m fine with feeding Simba chicken for now (although it seems to be giving him some…aromatic gas), but nutritionally it’s probably a bit lacking. The vet suggested some Hill’s Science Diet i/d food so we were able to get a couple cans of that today for him to try out.

Hopefully it’s something he’ll find appetizing enough to keep eating.

Dog scan follow up

The past few days, Simba hasn’t been eating much of his kibble at all, so yesterday we tried giving him some wet food thinking maybe he was having problems with his teeth making him not want to crunch down on his kibble. He ate some wet food we’ve been using to give him his medication with, so I ran out to buy some cans of wet dog food to see if he’d eat more of that. He snarfed down 1/3 of a can, which seemed encouraging.

This morning, he didn’t want to even eat the wet dog food, and didn’t seem like he was feeling very well.

A lab not eating is a Serious Thing. Fortunately Simba’s vets (Riverbank Vet Clinic) are awesome and they were able to work us in this morning.

Some follow up x-rays showed what appeared to be thickening of the walls of his stomach and, like with the previous x-ray, his stomach appeared unusually dense on the radiograph. This time he hadn’t eaten anything, so it wasn’t full of food like it was a couple weeks ago.

Simba lateral x-ray
Simba lateral x-ray
Simba ventral-dorsal x-ray
Simba ventral-dorsal x-ray

The stomach (upper right of the ventral-dorsal image) is quite dense and the stomach walls look quite thickened. That likely reduces what his stomach can hold too.

Vet suggested giving people food (chicken and rice) to see if he’d eat that. When we got back home, I made up some chicken and rice which he ate (very encouraging), but still turning away from his kibble and the canned food.

So now, as long as he’s eating, we’ll do what we can to make sure he’s feeling ok and comfortable. At some point though (could be a week, maybe months, who knows) he’ll probably get to the point where he won’t want to eat again. Then it will be time for that last visit to the vet.

Simba on his 13th birthday
Simba on his 13th birthday

He’s a good boy.

300V in a battery

One of the exposure meters in my collection (a Radcal/MDH 1515) uses this Eveready #493 300V battery as bias voltage source for the ionization chamber used to measure x-ray exposure. The rest of the meter is powered by 4x2V rechargable lead acid batteries in a D cell form factor.

Looks like this battery was installed in December 2002. Last calibration date for the meter was 2003, so it was probably replaced when it was sent in for the previous calibration.

Installed December, 2002
Installed December, 2002

After 16 years of sitting on the shelf, the battery is pretty flat.

Dead battery
Battery’s pretty dead

Let’s take the cardboard off and have a look at what’s inside.

There are 10 plastic wrapped packs, each 1.3 cm x 2.2 cm x 6.6 cm long, all connected in series. Each pack appears to have 20 individual cells coated in a waxy type material and wrapped in plastic to hold them all together. With 200 cells, that gives 1.5 V for each cell.

Looks like there’s been a bit of leakage while the battery sat on the shelf for the past 16 years.

A little bit of leakage
A little bit of leakage

A close up of one of the packs.

Inside the Eveready 300V #493. Close up of the cells
Inside the Eveready 300V #493. Close up of the cells

Neat stuff.