Piddle Me This

, , , , , | Healthy | October 9, 2019

(I work at a very busy veterinary hospital, and due to the volume of clients and the fact that we are near a highway, we have a “dogs on leashes, cats in carriers” rule to keep everyone safe. People often carry in small dogs, though, and today a woman sets her puppy down and lets it run around the lobby.)

Coworker: “Hi! I’m sorry, but could you please pick your puppy up? She’s very cute, but sometimes we get dogs in that don’t like other dogs.”

Woman: *scoffs* “I don’t let her run around. She had to pee, and it was either on me or on your floor.”

(Outside in the big grassy areas dividing the parking lot was, apparently, not an option. We get animals that piddle on the floor for a variety of reasons throughout the day, but I don’t think it’s ever been quite THIS intentional.)

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Cats Off, To Responsible Pet Owners

, , , , , | Friendly | October 5, 2019

(I’m sitting in the waiting room of the clinic with my kitten in a cat crate on my lap. My female kitten has been desexed, and now we are waiting for a vet to come and remove her stitches. As she has had stitches, she also has a cone on her head for the last two weeks and it’s safe to say she’s well and truly over it. The poor thing is softly doing sad little kitten “meep” sounds and looks miserable. As she is also rather small, even as a kitten, the sight looks even more woeful. She has been getting a lot of sympathy from the staff and the receptionist says that since it will take less than five minutes to get the stitches out, she will bump me ahead of the queue to get me out of here quickly. A woman waiting with her dog is also in the waiting room and sees my kitten.)

Woman: “Oh, no, poor thing! What happened here?”

Me: “She’s okay; she’s just a bit miserable at the moment because she’s had the cone for the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, it comes off today!”

Woman: “That’s good; she certainly doesn’t look happy! Is everything okay?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. She’s just been desexed. We’re just here to get the stitches out. She’s had the cone to stop her licking at her stitches.”

(The woman looks rather taken aback by this news.)

Woman: “Desexed? What do you mean by that?”

Me: “Well, I had her spayed.”

Woman: *still looking confused* “Yes, but why?”

(I now assume the woman is confused because my kitten looks rather small for her age, and therefore looks a little too young to have been desexed.)

Me: “Well, it’s to stop her having kittens herself. My other kitten is a male; he was desexed, as well. She looks small, but she’s at the age where it’s safe.”

Woman: *now looking slightly annoyed for some reason* “What does spaying involve, exactly?”

Me: “Well, it’s not the nicest thing, but it involves the removal of the female’s ovaries to stop egg production. Thankfully, it’s a very routine procedure, and apart from the cone and some stitches, my little girl has come out wonderfully. She was walking up and about in two days. She just can’t wait to get the cone off.”

Woman: *now looking horrified* “That sounds horrid! Why would you do such a thing?!”

Me: *taken very much aback, but also annoyed because it’s really none of this woman’s business* “Well, cats make wonderful pets, but they also aren’t good for the ecosystem. I’m not a cat breeder and wouldn’t know how to properly breed kittens and look after them, so I desex my cats to ensure they don’t contribute to a feral cat problem, and also to reduce the number of cats in shelters. Especially since my other cat is a boy; I don’t want kittens. He’s been desexed, too. Not only that, but a female cat in heat is irritating. They meow and screech horribly, and they mark their territory by peeing everywhere.”

Woman: *thoroughly disgusted now* “Well, that sounds ridiculous. I could not imagine putting my poor kitty through that torture and removing their body parts just to stop nature happening. You should be ashamed of yourself!”

(I was about to make my retort when I heard the receptionist call my name. Not wanting to start a fight and just wanting to get out of there, I went in and got my cat’s stitches out. The whole thing took two minutes, and my kitten already looked much happier without the cone. As I walked out, I overheard the receptionist call out for a neutering. Guess who stood up with her dog?)

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Only Thing That Dog Did To A Stick Was Fetch It

, , , , , , , | Healthy | September 23, 2019

Caller: “My dog is pregnant!”

Me: “Ah, would you like to make an appointment to confirm?”

Caller: “Confirm? I already confirmed!”

Me: “Oh, I see. So, a follow-up appointment. Could I have your dog’s name, please?” *takes details* “I don’t see anything in her records about her pregnancy. Did you have her tested at another vet?”

Caller: “No, we’ve only ever gone to you.”

Me: “Then I would advise one of our team examine her to confirm.”

Caller: “I just told you. I’ve already confirmed. I peed on the stick and everything.”

Me: “Sorry? You used a human pregnancy test on your dog? 

Caller: *huffs* “No, I put [Dog] on my stomach like you told me to, and peed on the pregnancy test I got from the pharmacy. It was positive.”

Me: “…”

Caller: “Hello?”

Me: “Sorry, umm, we wouldn’t advise that as a means of determining your dog’s pregnancy. You should come into the vet where we can test her. And I would probably advise you go to the doctor and have yourself checked.”

Caller: “Are you saying I’m crazy?”

Me: “No, I’m saying you might be pregnant.”

Caller: “Oh.”

(We make an appointment, although I’m doubtful the dog is actually pregnant.)

Me: “Before you go, could I just ask where you got this pregnancy test idea? You said we may have advised it?”

Caller: “Not you specifically. A vet on Reddit told me about it.” *hangs up*

(I was working reception when she had her appointment. I asked if she had been to the doctor, to which she went on an elaborate story about seeking a holistic abortion centre — something else she read about online. The vet who examined the dog confirmed she wasn’t pregnant, and told me after the woman had left that she had never met anyone so out of touch with reality.)

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Breathe Easy: This One Has A Happy Ending

, , , , | Healthy | September 16, 2019

(My dog has developed a swollen face, is vomiting, and is not her usual, rambunctious self, but not lethargic. Although I’ve had dogs most of my life, I’ve never had a dog with such symptoms. It’s late in the day, just before they are due to close, but I call my veterinarian’s office for advice. She had a Bordetella vaccine just a few days ago so I think it might be related and mention that. After I explained the symptoms and asked about any relation to the vaccine:)

Receptionist: “I don’t think it’s related to the vaccine, but let me check.” *a few moments of silence* “No, the vet doesn’t think such an allergic reaction would happen at this point. It’s been three days and any adverse effects generally are seen with the first few hours, not longer than 48. Besides, the Bordetella vaccine doesn’t cause anything like what you’re describing. If you’re concerned, I can fit you in at the next available appointment. How about Tuesday at 10:00 am?”

(I’m calling on a Thursday.)

Me: “Um, did you say allergic reaction? Do you really think I should wait almost a week to have something like that checked? By then, I’m sure she would be already recovered or dead! Maybe I should take her to the emergency vet?”

Receptionist: “Well, the face swelling usually means the pet is on the way to recovery from whatever set it off, but yes, possibly an allergic reaction. If it makes you feel better, we can see her at 8:00 am tomorrow, but leave us a voicemail to let us know tonight or first thing in the morning if you won’t be coming. She should be fine.”

Me: “And if it gets worse, I’ll take her to the emergency vet; either way, I’ll let the office know if I don’t need that appointment.”

(My dog did appear to be improving, with the swelling decreasing. She stopped vomiting and started acting more energetic, but I didn’t call to cancel that appointment. Close to midnight, she started almost frantically pacing, madly shaking her head every couple of minutes — maybe something in her ear? — and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep. She generally sleeps on her own blanket at my feet on the bed but finally, about two am, she settled down wrapped around my head, laying on my pillow with her head on mine, her nose next to my ear. Soon, her breathing became soft and her usual light snoring started, and I dozed off myself. I was suddenly jolted awake a few minutes after four am and I quickly realized that, even though her nose was next to my ear, I couldn’t hear her breathing! I quickly sat up and turned to check on her. She was not only not breathing, but she was totally limp like a rag, no muscle tone at all, and she felt somewhat cold to the touch. I quickly moved her to an accessible position and started chest compressions, with no response, and I started bawling, calling her name, and berating myself for not taking her to the emergency vet. That woke my husband up and he, too, acknowledged that she appeared to be gone. He reached out to touch and caress her limp body and pretty much instinctively, I think, also squeezed her chest. And her head moved, very slightly. Imagination? Wishful thinking? No, it moved again and she started breathing again! It took several minutes but she recovered enough to pull herself to her blanket and she almost immediately fell asleep, gently snoring. She slept; we didn’t. I kept that appointment, but by then she was not showing any remaining symptoms at all, except for a bit of residual swelling. After questioning why we hadn’t given her any Benadryl –I wasn’t instructed to and didn’t know to do so — the vet explained that the head shaking was because the swelling makes the ears “not feel right,” that her ears were then perfectly clear and her temperature and color normal. I’m not sure the vet believed what had happened earlier, but he noted it all in her file. My pup was given injections of Benadryl and steroids to fight off any remaining toxins, but didn’t have any further issues. We still have no idea what caused such a dramatic allergic reaction, but it’s suspected to be a bug or spider bite from the back yard. Now, we keep Benadryl in the medicine cabinet and have instructions that if she begins to show any similar symptoms, no matter how slight, we are to give her half of a tablet and take her to the emergency vet immediately. And one veterinary receptionist is probably in a heap of trouble for his casual reaction to my very real concerns.)

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Unfiltered Story #163235

, | Unfiltered | September 14, 2019

(I’m a kennel tech at a veterinary hospital, meaning that I do most of the mundane animal-handling, cleaning, and feeding. On this occasion, a woman has brought her dog in for boarding, so I’m weighing the dog on our big floor scale while the owner and receptionist fill out the paperwork.)

Owner: How much is your grooming? He just needs a bath and brushing.

Receptionist: Well, it depends on how much time it takes, and how big the dog is. *peers over the counter* He’s got pretty short hair, so probably [price] if he’s under 30 pounds, [slightly higher price] over that.

Owner: Oh, no, he’s never been over 30 pounds! I take good care of my little [Dog’s name]!

(I have finally managed to coax the dog onto the scale and sit down. He’s a nervous, medium-sized shepherd mix, with ribs that are slightly visible as he breathes; I’m not sure if he’s too skinny or if it’s just youthful lankiness.)

Receptionist: *to me* You have that weight?

Me: 31.9 pounds!

Owner: WHAT!? Oh no no no!

(The receptionist and I share a look, and I hurry the dog and his bags back into the kennels while she tries to pry the last few bits of information out of the now ranting owner. Fast forward to the evening dog-walking, where I’m walking the dog and another coworker catches up to me.)

Coworker: Did Mrs. [Dog Rescue] come by today? Who is that?

Me: This is [Dog’s name], he got brought in by his owner a few hours ago.

Coworker: That dog is too f***ing skinny.

(The dog has been back to be boarded since, and while he looks pretty skinny, his health seems to be good and he’s fairly well-behaved.)