Drunk Up To Their Guts

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 25, 2019

I work the overnight shift at an emergency vet. We get some interesting calls.

One night, I answer the phone and it is a very drunk man, slurring his words. He explains that it’s his anniversary, he and his wife have had a few bottles of wine, his cat was “faxed” yesterday, and now her guts are hanging out.

I tell him to bring her in and I give him the number of an animal-friendly cab company we recommend. Then, I go to let the doctor know what is on the way. He laughs and says it’s probably just a minor dehiscence and the subcutaneous fat is showing — quick sedation and we sew it back up and the cat will be fine. So, the tech starts prepping the surgical room while we wait.

The phone rings again. It’s a drunk woman, who explains that it’s her anniversary, she and her husband have had a few bottles of wine, their cat was “spaded” yesterday, and now her guts are hanging out.

I give the exact same instructions I gave the man and go tell the doctor that the same cat is coming in twice. We all laugh at how Mister either didn’t tell Missus he had called or they were so drunk they forgot he had called.

About half an hour later. a cab pulls up and the driver brings in a cat carrier, warns me that the passengers are totally wasted, and then helps them stagger inside. The tech takes the cat out of the box and the doctor was right; it was just a minor dehiscence with exposed fat.

While the doctor is explaining what we want to do and how much it will cost and getting approval, a second cab pulls up.

These owners are significantly less drunk; I’m still glad they didn’t drive, but they can carry the cat in on their own. The tech is busy prepping the first cat, so I take them to an exam room, take the cat out of the box and… Oh, my God, that’s a liver! This cat ripped out all her sutures and there are intestines just hanging out of her body.

The second cat gets into surgery first, both sets of owners have a fun conversation in the lobby while they wait, both cats make a full recovery, and we all learn that not all drunks are exaggerating. We also have a lot of fun wording the notes to send to the cats’ usual veterinarian, trying to diplomatically tell them to adjust the way they tie their knots without outright blaming them for what happened — both cats had been allowed, against doctor’s orders, to climb up to the top of a bookcase and jump down.

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Unfiltered Story #160056

, , | Unfiltered | August 8, 2019

*In my city you have to purchase a rabies vaccine license/tag for your pet every year. At our office we offer them to be purchased through us, and then we send the paperwork in for clients.*

Customer (over phone): Hi, I was wondering why I didn’t get a rabies tag when I was in a few weeks ago?

Me: Ok let me go grab your chart and I’ll figure it out for you.

*I check the pet’s chart and confirm with the doctor that she declined to purchase a tag, and initialed saying that she declined to purchase one from us*

Me: Ok it looks like you declined the tag.

Customer: What does that even mean?

Me: Um…you didn’t want to buy it from us?

Customer: Well why would I say that?

Me: Umm….I don’t know….but it’s right here in the chart crossed out and initialed by you. Maybe you didn’t want to that day because your dog is intact so the tag would cost $80? I don’t know.

Customer: Well then I guess I didn’t know what I was signing.

Me: *Thinking how the hell it’s my problem that she initials things without understanding them* Oh…well, it was initialed as declined so….

Customer: I thought the tag came with the vaccine.

Me: Well, they’re usually done together, but they are separate charges. You pay for the vaccine, and then pay for the tag separately since that money goes to the county.

Customer: That’s not how I remember it being.

Me: ……

Customer: Well I’m going to look into this and call you back on Monday.

Me: *so confused* Ok…have a good night ma’am.

P.S. She never called us back.

Switcheroo Boo Boo

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 5, 2019

(A client walks in with her dog. Since I recognize the client, I print out a confirmation sheet, just asking to check the accuracy of all of her information, such as the spelling of her name, address, phone number, and email address.)

Client: *with a BIG smile on her face* “I pulled a switcheroo on you guys!” *gestures to her dog* “This is Linus, not Ella; Linus is having ear troubles. Also, I will only be boarding Buttons with you, not Ella or Linus, so we don’t need to have Ella in for her exam and vaccines.”

Me: *strained smile* “All righty, then. You said that Linus is having trouble with his ears, so let’s get you into a room.”

(Seriously, if you have two children and you set up an appointment for an annual well-check with the pediatrician for one child, would you not only switch the child that you are bringing in, but change the reason for the visit, and not bother telling the doctor’s office what you are doing? If not, why do you think it is okay to do that to a vet?)

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What A Day!

, , , , , | Right | June 10, 2019

I am working in a vet clinic one morning and a client comes in with her cat for an appointment. I look down at the book and notice her appointment is actually for the following day, Saturday. I mention this to the client and the blood drains from her face as she proceeds to yell, “Oh, s***, y’all! I’m supposed to be at work!”

The client had somehow gotten an entire day ahead in her own mind. She came back the following day on her actual appointment day and told us that, thankfully, her boss just laughed the whole thing off!

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Unfiltered Story #153782

, , | Unfiltered | June 9, 2019

(I work as a receptionist at a private practice animal hospital. An elderly woman comes in; I recognize her as the mother of one of our clients.)

Me: Hello! How are you?

Her: *no response**hands me a plastic bag with a stool sample inside*

Me: … Would you like me to run a fecal parasite test for you?

Her: Yes. My cat has fleas, and I want to make sure he hasn’t gotten anything from them.

Me: Oh no! No problem. What was your last name again?

(She gives me her last name, but when I ask for her cat’s name, I can’t find him in the system.)

Her: I’ve never brought him here before.

Me: Oh, okay! That’s alright, we can still run the test. *I quickly create a new file for the cat and enter the charge for the fecal parasite test into the system.* Okay, so we should get the results back from the lab tomorrow, and we’ll give you a call as soon as they come in. Your total for today is going to come to $49.

Her: *slightly condescendingly* Oh, I forgot my wallet at home, sweetie. But I assure you, I’m good for it. I’ll come back in to pay it at a later date. *winks at me*

Me: Oh… Okay.

(Normally I wouldn’t let this slide without a manager’s approval, but a) I knew from past interactions that she was, indeed, good for it, and b) she walked out before I could consult with a manager.)

(A month passes. She never comes in to pay, nor does she call to make an over-the-phone payment. I send her a statement with a short letter attached, politely asking her to contact us to complete the transaction, and reminding her that she had left her wallet at home before. Several days later, I see her come in.)

Me: Hello! How are you?

Her: *no response*

Me: … What can I do for you today?

Her: *no response. She fishes out a credit card and hands it to me*

Me: … What was your last name?

Her: [Name].

Me: And your pet’s name?

Her: *stares at me as though scrutinizing the second head growing out of my ear*

Me: … What is your animal’s name?

Her: [Pet’s name].

Me: *I pull up her file in the system, suddenly remembers* Oh! Yes! Were you trying to make a payment on your account?

Her: It should be the only charge there.

Me: Oookay. *runs the card for the full amount*

Her: What can you tell me about Rat’s Lip?

Me: … I’m sorry?

Her: Rat’s Lip.

Me: … I… I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

Her: *looks at me as though she were talking to a mentally disabled child* It’s a rare condition that some cats can have. *she describes it to me, and explains that one of our doctors had diagnosed one of her cats with it a long time ago* I was wondering if you knew anything about it.

Me: Oh, no, actually I’ve never heard of it before.

Her: I just need some information about it.

Me: … I can… get the doctor, if you’d like.

Her: Eh, she’s probably busy. I just cant use the internet. I’m not one of those tech people.

Me: *noticing that the doctor’s patient has just stepped out of the exam room, and that the phone is ringing* … If… you give me just a moment, I’d be happy to find some information for you.

(I manage to put the call on hold, search for Rat’s Lip – which is actually called a “Rodent Ulcer”, apparently –  and print out the website’s information for her. Hoping she’ll leave soon, I smile pleasantly and hand it to her.)

Her: Thanks. My cat had this once. *walks out*

(The best part? I later relayed this story to the doctor. Even SHE had no idea what this condition was! How this lady expected me – someone with no in-depth veterinary training – to magically provide information about such a rare disease, I’ll never know.)