Looking After Dogs Is As Easy As Pie

, , , | Healthy | March 19, 2018

(When canine patients need a little more fiber added to their diet, the doctor will often advise the owner to add a spoonful of canned pumpkin to the food. One day we get a phone call from an owner to whom we recommended pumpkin.)

Owner: “I ran out of pumpkin pie. Can I use apple pie, instead?”

750,000 Reasons To Quit

, , , | Healthy | March 18, 2018

(Federal law requires that before administering any vaccine or prescribing any medication, there must be a current DCPR — doctor-client-patient-relationship. Basically, the doctor must have examined the pet within one year of the date. I have been called up front to help a new coworker with a client who doesn’t seem to understand this.)

Client: “I don’t need an exam. He’s healthy. Just give him the shot.”

Me: “But federal law says we have to.”

Client: “But he had an exam in January.”

Me: “Yes, January of last year, so we could have given him the shot this January, but it is now April.”

Client: “Well, what can I do? He needs the shot.”

Me: “We can examine him.”

Client: “But I don’t want to do that. Could my friend Benjamin Franklin convince you?”

Me: “Are you asking me to accept a bribe?”

Client: “Maybe.”

Me: “You realize that the exam is only 50 bucks, right?”

Client: “Yeah, but I don’t want to have him examined.”

Me: “So, you want me to break federal law, make the doctor lose her license, and all my coworkers and me find new jobs in new career fields. Yeah, that’s going to be more than $100.”

Client: “So, how much?”

Me: “Seven hundred and fifty thousand.”

Client: “What?!”

Me: “Seven hundred and fifty thousand to break federal law; I think that’s cheap. Or 50 bucks for an exam.”

Client: “What times do you have on Tuesday?”

(After the client is scheduled and leaves…)

Coworker: “What would you have done if he said yes to the $750,000?”

Me: “Insisted he bring cash, and check all the bills for counterfeiting, then administer the vaccine. Tell the doctor, and split the money evenly among the whole staff.”

Coworker: “What?!”

Me: “Official company policy says that if someone wants to give you 15,000 times more than the price of the service, in cash, you are not to expected to turn them down. But accepting anything less, not getting cash, not checking it for fakes, or not splitting the bribe are all offenses that will get you fired. We’ve had that option for 30 years now; so far, nobody has ever taken us up on it. Can’t imagine why.”

All I’m Getting Is Snake-Eyes

, , , , | Healthy | March 9, 2018

(I come home to find that one of my pet snake’s eyes appears to be injured in some way. Since this is my first pet reptile, and I am not sure if this is something that needs immediate attention, I call the veterinary hospital of a very prestigious vet school nearby. Since it’s relatively late in the day, all the vets have left, but there are receptionists on call 24 hours a day.)

Receptionist: “Hi, you’ve called [Vet Hospital]. How can I help you?”

Me: *explains problem with my snake’s eye*

Receptionist: “I see. Is he blinking normally?”

Me: “Um… It’s a snake. It doesn’t have eyelids.”

Putting A Negative Image On Breeders

, , , | Healthy | March 6, 2018

(I work as a veterinary technician. We are preparing to perform a blood draw on a dog to test for a specific disease that affects the production of hormones from the adrenal glands. The dog in question is not neutered and is likely used as a show dog.)

Owner: “So, this disease you’re testing for, is it hereditary?”

Me: “Yes, the factors that cause this disease can be passed on in a dog’s genes.”

Owner: “So, like… If he tests positive, would you recommend not breeding him?”

Me: “If he does test positive, then we don’t recommend that you breed him, as there is a chance he could pass the gene onto his offspring.”

Owner: “But it’s only a recommendation, right? I could still breed him, regardless of the results?”

Me: “Sir, as a medical professional, it’s a very, very strong recommendation that you should not breed a dog if it is certain that he has a specific hereditary disease. There is a very high chance he would produce more dogs predisposed to developing the disease. It would also ruin your reputation as a breeder if you did this knowingly. So, let’s just hope he comes back negative.”

(The owner seemed satisfied with the answer, but it troubles me that he was still considering breeding the dog if the test came back positive.)

You Can’t Just Take It On The Chin-Chilla

, , , , | Healthy | February 19, 2018

(It’s a Saturday evening. We are at home trying to have a relaxed evening when our chinchilla starts having a seizure. She has had them before; her liver is severely damaged because of pain medication she was on some years before. Our vet told us that if she had a seizure again, we would have to put her to sleep. Because the cramps stopped after about an hour and a half the last time this happened, we decide to wait and hope she’ll get better soon. But after two hours pass and there is no foreseeable recovery, we decide with a heavy heart that this will be her last evening. Because we don’t feel too comfortable driving to a vet with a wriggling chinchilla in our hands, we start looking for an emergency vet who does home visits, to have her put to sleep. I find one and give the telephone number to my dad. He puts the phone on loudspeaker so we can help him explain.)

Vet: “[Vet].”

Dad: “[Dad] speaking. Good evening. We are having problems with our chinchilla. It is having—”

Vet: *interrupting* “I’m not handling emergencies anymore. Call [Animal Clinic], instead.”

Dad: “They don’t offer emergency services anymore. Please, we just need to have it—”

Vet: *interrupting again* “Go and call [Animal Clinic]. Good night.” *hangs up*

(We just looked at each other in disbelief. Desperate to relieve our poor pet, we had no other choice but drive over 20 miles to a different vet that had emergency services, in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm, with a severely cramping chinchilla in our hands. To this day, I can’t believe that a vet, who explicitly offers emergency services on both his website and answering machine, refused to even listen to what we wanted.)

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