The Owner’s Bark Is Worse Than The Pet’s Bite

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I am working at a fancy vet office close to the rich part of town, so most of our clients are more willing to do what is necessary for their pets regardless of cost. An older couple brings their senior small breed in for teeth cleaning.

The vet assistant is responsible for going over admissions paperwork that includes optional services and a section that would allow the doctor to do teeth extractions without calling the owner first. We include this option because many times, we cannot get a hold of the owner to ask permission. after the client has been placed in a room I enter ready to go over paperwork.)

Me: “Good morning! I have some paperwork to go over with you really quick, and then we can take [Pet] back and get him started with his procedure.”

(The woman starts to fill out the form while I’m going over what each section is. When I get to the part about optional services that, of course, cost extra, i.e. nail trims, more in-depth blood work, etc. She throws the pen down and starts yelling at me.)

Woman: “Don’t you dare try to sell me something!”

Me: “I am sorry, I was just going over the form; these are additional services you can add on if you’d like but you don’t have to.”

(She just stares at me sternly, so I move on to the part of the form that allows the doctor to do extractions.)

Me: “Okay, do you allow the doctor to do what is necessary as far as extractions go or would you prefer—”

Woman: “I told you not to sell me anything. I don’t want to hear it! If the doctor wants me to do something she can tell me herself!”

Me: “Okay, would you—”

(I was going to say, “Would you like me to get the doctor?”)

Woman: “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!”

Me: “Fine.”

(I leave the room and go get her doctor and tell her that she needs to go into the room and finish the check-in, because I will not be talked to like that again. The doctor knows who the couple is.)

Doctor: “Oh, yeah, they can be weird like that.”

(Apparently, after the doctor went in, they were all smiles and agreed to let the doctor do whatever she needed to.)

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At Least The Names They Picked Had Letters In Them

, , , , , , | Healthy | March 30, 2020

I work for a vet, and I’m checking in a new patient. She was adopted from a shelter about a year ago and is now due for her annual exam and vaccines. Her entire family comes with her: Mom, Dad, and three pre-teen or teen children.

Me: “The shelter paperwork says her name is Princess. Is that still her name?”

I get five very clear negative responses.

Me: “So, what is her new name?”

Simultaneously, each from a different person, I hear the names Molly, Fluffy, Annie, Coco, and Jessie. They then fall into a several-minute-long discussion of names where they actually end up adding at least three other options. I let them continue until an exam room is available and then lead them in and put the chart on the doctor’s ready pile. When the doctor grabs her chart, he gives me a look.

Me: “It’s the only thing they all agreed on.”

The doctor shrugs and walks into the room.

Doctor: “So, this is the dog formerly known as Princess?”

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Fluffy’s More High-Maintenance Than Most Pets Of His Kind

, , , , , | Healthy | March 23, 2020

(I work at the front desk at an animal clinic that is located on a street with many assisted living facilities. Most of them are not pet-friendly — they may have an office cat but residents can’t have personal pets — except for the largest of them which is right next door and pet-friendly.

We have a deal with the management of this facility where, whenever a new resident moves in with an animal, we set them up as a patient with us, the facility handles all their billing, we send care instructions to them to make sure the residents don’t forget the doses, and when making appointments we contact both the owner and the facility so they can make sure the owner doesn’t have something else scheduled that day and doesn’t forget their appointment.

For the humans who think they are more self-sufficient than they really are, we make sure someone from the facility is available and needs to take “important paperwork” over to the clinic at the same time the owner needs to leave, to make sure they get there and back safely. Sometimes they slip through alone, though, or decide they have an appointment when we don’t have them on the books, so we are used to having random elderly people coming in.

A clearly distraught elderly woman carrying a small dog carrier comes in one day.)

Woman: “Please, you have to help me!”

Me: “What can we do?”

Woman: “It’s Fluffy! He’s not acting right and I think I need to put him to sleep.” *sobs*

Me: “Oh, dear, we’ll get you and Fluffy in to see the doctor and take a look at him to decide if that is the best thing to do, okay? Now, what is your name so I can pull your chart?”

Woman: “It’s [Name I don’t have in my system].”

Me: “I can’t find you on the computer; have you been in before?”

Woman: “Oh, no, Fluffy and I just moved into our new apartment today and you are so much closer than his old doctor.”

(I figure she is so new the facility hasn’t had time to bring us her paperwork, so I get Fluffy’s age and breed and go about making a chart. We’ll get the rest of her information from the facility when we contact them. Thankfully, we’ve had a cancelation so I can get her into an exam room right away.

A while later, she comes out of the exam room with the doctor, with one of our techs carrying the carrier for her, much happier than when she came in.)

Woman: “And you really think it will cure him, Doctor?”

Doc: “If it doesn’t, you just have your doorman give me a call and we’ll get you back in, no charge. Now, I’m going to have my son carry Fluffy home for you. You have a good day.”

(The doctor is referring to our tech who isn’t actually his son, but that’s the code we use to let the front desk know the resident is not paying us directly and to just smile and say goodbye rather than following the normal checkout process. As soon as she and the tech are out of the building I turn to the doctor.)

Me: “So, we’re charging an exam and what else?”

Doctor: “Nothing.”

Me: “So, just the exam?”

Doctor: “No, Fluffy isn’t real.”

Me: “What?!”

Doctor: “He’s a stuffed toy; he’s just been laying around all day for weeks now. So, I told her we were going to try an experimental treatment, and if it works, that’s great, and if not, she can bring him in to be put to sleep later. Then, I drew up some air from an empty vial and injected it. She said he already looks perkier. Poor thing; she is really far gone.”

(Tech returned almost an hour later. The woman wasn’t from the facility next door, or even the one on the other side of them. She was from the one almost all the way down the block, and they had to check into all of them because she couldn’t recall which apartment building she lived in.

To their staff’s credit, they thought she had gone to get lunch with her daughter and her daughter thought her mom was taking a nap after an exhausting morning of moving in. Nobody knew Fluffy had been feeling bad, or that he was capable of feeling bad.  

The experimental treatment worked great for a month, and then Fluffy relapsed and had to come in for another treatment. We gave him his shot once a month for three years, and then one day he just stopped coming in.

Six months later, the daughter brought him in; her mom had become too ill to take Fluffy for his shots so she had just taken him out of the building for a bit and then come back and told her mom he’d had his shot, and now her mom said she couldn’t take care of Fluffy anymore so could we find him a new home. We found him a nice place in the doctor’s office; he’s our supervisor.)

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There’s No Need To Behave Like An Animal About It

, , , | Healthy | March 19, 2020

(I work as a receptionist for a veterinary hospital. Earlier today, I gave a prescription to a client for a drug that is classified as Schedule II, which means it is considered as having high potential for abuse, so our facility is not licensed to carry it on-site. It can only be picked up from a human pharmacy. Thus, we write prescriptions instead of filling them ourselves at our on-site pharmacy. My first interaction with the client ends like this:)

Client: “So… what do I do with this?” *holds up prescription*

Me: “You take it to a pharmacy, just as you would with a prescription from your doctor. I would recommend calling around to see which places have it first before going anywhere because not all pharmacies can or do carry it.”

Client: “Can you call the pharmacies for me?” *stares expectantly*

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t. There are dozens of pharmacies in the area, and I have no idea which places have this drug. And unfortunately, I have other clients waiting so I’m not able to set aside that kind of time.”

(She’s not happy with my answer, but she takes the prescription and leaves. Maybe an hour later, I get a call from her.)

Client: “So, can I use my insurance card to pick up the medication?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that’s legal.”

Client: “But I’m getting the medication from a human pharmacy. Why can’t I use my insurance?”

Me: “Because the medication is for your dog, and the prescription is filled out to reflect that. The pharmacy will be aware it is for a dog, and your insurance only covers you. If you have pet insurance, that may or may not help cover it, but that depends on your plan.”

Client: “Well, I should be able to use it. It’s a pharmacy, not a vet. Why can’t I use it?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I’m not sure what else I can do for you. If you have further questions, I can ask the vet to speak with you.”

Client: “No. Never mind!” *hangs up*

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To Censor Or Not To Censor: The Editors’ Dilemma

, , , , , , | Healthy | March 5, 2020

Our English Setter has had surgery to repair an ACL injury. She chews on her stitches and manages to pop one. We load her in the car to make the 45-minute drive to the vet, calling ahead to make sure they know we’re coming, as we know we’ll be pushing closing time for them.

We get there a few minutes before close and our vet comes into the waiting room to greet us. He picks up our girl and proclaims dramatically, “What did you do that for, you b****?!”

His vet tech (and we) totally lost it.

And he replaced the stitches with staples for us!

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