The Bridges Of Maddening County

, , , | Right | November 5, 2019

(I call a new client — who lives over an hour away from the clinic — at the request of a doctor to set up an appointment so her dog can be evaluated for surgery. New clients usually have questions about costs and policies, but this one throws me for a loop.)

Me: “We’ll see you on Saturday at 11:30.”

Client: “Oh, can you tell me how to get there and avoid the major highway?”

Me: “You mean, take [Road]?”

Client: “Yes, but I need you to tell me if there are any bridges on that road. I cannot drive over any bridges.”

Me: “Uh, I think the last time I drove to [Office] on [Road] was over ten years ago, so I would have to say I really am not sure.”

Client: “Oh. Okay. Thanks, anyway. Maybe you could tell me if [Road] has any curves or hilly spots? I don’t do well driving over bridges, curves, or hills.”

Me: “Uh… I’m not sure about the hills or curves on [Road]. I’m sorry I can’t help you more.”

Client: “That’s okay. See you Saturday!”

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The Number One Problem For Check-Ups

, , , | Healthy | October 25, 2019

(I have three ferrets, all due for a checkup. First ferret, fine but getting old. Second ferret, perfect health. When the vet picks up the third and starts feeling his little fuzzy abdomen, his face falls.)

Vet: “Hmm. Have you noticed that he’s got quite a large lump here? In his abdomen?”

Me: “No, I had no idea.”

Vet: “Okay. Hm. So, it seems very close to his prostate, maybe even on his prostate, so that’s quite worrying. It’s really large; are you sure you haven’t felt it before?”

Me: *starting to freak out a little bit* “No, definitely not.”

Vet: “Okay, well, I’m going to take him out the back and we’ll do a little ultrasound. Don’t panic; there’s a good chance it could be something benign, and if it isn’t, we have options, okay? I’ll be back in a minute.”

(I sit in the consulting room for ten minutes, wringing my hands, wondering if one of my pets has cancerous tumours and how I couldn’t have noticed. The vet comes back, still holding my ferret.)

Vet: *putting my ferret down on the examination table* “Okay, so, we did an ultrasound, and we’re at a little bit of a loss. It doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen, so we’re going to have to either biopsy or…”

(He trails off, as my ferret has toddled over to the sink and started urinating. It goes on for a very long time.)

Me: “Oh, geez, I’m sorry! He’s never done that before.”

Vet: “Well, better there than on the table, right?”

(He pauses, realisation dawning on him. He picks up my ferret once he’s finished his business, and feels the abdomen again.)

Vet: “So. Uh. This is a little awkward, but good news! He doesn’t have a tumour.”

(It turns out, my little boy was too polite to pee on a person or on the examination table, even while people were touching and scanning his large and very full bladder. They didn’t charge me for the ultrasound.)

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Unfiltered Story #172086

, , | Unfiltered | October 19, 2019

I take calls for a veterinary emergency clinic and, since seriously ill animals are a stressful event, we understand that people will be on edge when they call us. Still, some people act as if it is OUR fault that their animal is injured or sick. The situation is made even worse if they have no funds to pay for their animals care.

Me: _________ Clinic, this is _______, how may I help you?

Pet Owner: My puppy is dying and needs to be seen.

Me: Can you tell me what symptoms it is displaying?

Pet Owner: He’s lethargic, he’s vomiting blood, and having diarrhea!

Me: I would recommend that he need to be seen as soon as you are able. Do you know where we are located?


Me: We don’t do any billing through our hospital. I can recommend [Medical Credit card company] that you can apply for over the phone or online, or we can take a credit card over the phone from a friend or family member.


Me: Ma’am, we have to have our services paid for so we can continue to treat emergency cases like yours. We do not have outside sources of income over government assistance, so our funding comes from the customers that we treat.


Me: Ma’am we have cameras at our front door, a door we control who comes in, and police available with one button push. I highly recommend you refrain from doing that.

Pet Owner: F*** YOU!!!!!!!

She never showed up, but did call to let us know that her puppy did die and that it was all our fault. The kicker is that the puppy most likely died from a disease that it could have been vaccinated against or worms that would have been easily treated if she had taken proper care of her puppy.

Cats Always Land On Their Feet, Wherever They Are

, , , , , , , | Friendly | October 17, 2019

(I have recently adopted a new kitten. I am taking him to the vet to get his vaccinations and to get neutered. He is sitting in a cat carrier next to me in the waiting room. As cats often do, he is sitting with his paws all tucked under his body so you can’t see any of them. A little girl, about five or so, approaches me and we have the following exchange:)

Girl: “I have a really important question about your cat!”

Me: “Absolutely. What’s up?”

Girl: “I’ve never had a cat! I’ve got a dog–” *points to her dog* “–and I was wondering if you brought your cat to the vet because he doesn’t have any feet? I would worry if my dog didn’t have any feet.”

(I start laughing and pull my kitten out of the carrier, revealing that he did in fact, have feet. She was very relieved.)

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Unfiltered Story #169583

, | Unfiltered | October 13, 2019

(I am a kennel assistant at a veterinary hospital. I don’t have medical training, I just handle the animals and care for those that are boarded. While a coworker and I were trimming the nails of an elderly dog, we noticed some ugly sores on the dog’s legs, hiding underneath its fluffy coat, so when I bring the dog up front to its owners I ask them about it.)

Me: Here you go! And, uh, we noticed some sores on her legs, are those-

Owner: Oh, yes, they’ve been looked at and there’s not much we can do.

Me: Okay, sorry, I just had to ask. We don’t get their files when it’s just a trim.

Owner: So, do you think [ointment] would be good to use, or is there something else we could get?

Me: I’m not a doctor, sorry.

Owner: Okay.

(It was just a strange interaction.)