draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
Okay kids. Rant time. Prep wall of text.

Here's a thing that pissed me off good last night. I was still at work, trying to finish up charts and paperwork almost 2 hours after closing. I had not yet checked my phone for messages - I wasn't expecting any.
Phone rings, I answer it even though I don't recognize the number, because it might be a rescue thing. It's not. It's a guy who lives near me, that I've had exactly 1 interaction with - he brought an animal to the clinic once. He knew when he dropped said animal off that it had fleas. We treated for the fleas because we can't have them in the kennels... he said he couldn't afford to pay for the flea treatment until the next month (that'd be $7, he still hasn't paid it 3 months later). So this is the basis of our relationship so far... just setting the scene here. I have not given him my personal cell number. I do not know where he got it (though in fairness, it's out there for rescue stuff, so... maybe not super creepy? ish?)
He calls, I answer. He tells me his first name, and asks if I am me. I confirm that I am. He says he's my neighbor. I say "ok". He then asks if I will work on an animal that needs medical care. I tell him I can, and give him the price for after-hours call. He clarifies that he wants me to work on his "service animal" cat for free ... because he's my neighbor. Uhm, that's a big fat no, buddy. You've got zero special claim on my time, labor, education, and business just because you live on the same road as I do. So I tell him if he can't afford the after hours call, he can come in during business hours, which is less expensive. I do not bother to argue that his cat cannot be, by definition, a service animal. He did not sound particularly pleased with this answer, and changed the subject, asking me about my own dog, and telling me that she "came after" he and his kid the other day - which I do not for one second believe, because that dog is about as un-aggressive as it's possible for dogs to get. Seriously, I've seen this dog literally lay perfectly still while a kid stomped and kicked her, until she had a clear shot at running away without knocking the kid down.I don't even know what you would have to do to get her to be aggressive toward a human. So I grill him on it, and finally get that his kid "came at" the dog, not the other way around, and the dog "took a defensive posture". Yeah. that's exactly the same thing as "came after you and and your kid". Right.
So now we've added vaguely threatening and potentially setting up a situation in which he will try to justify hurting my dog to vaguely creepily tracked me down and called me on my personal cell to ask me to do him special favors. I am not best pleased.
So I get off the phone, and notice that I've got a bunch of missed notifications. Turns out same dude called me at 9:59 am (no voicemail), then texted me at 10:01 am, then called again at 10:04 am (and left a voicemail). Like feeling entitled to my time and work for free because "he's a neighbor" isn't pushy enough, trying to contact 3 times within 5 minutes on a fucking work day is going to make me more likely to do favors? Fuck that noise.
draggonlaady: (Teddy)

Hey - I'm alive! Massively overwhelmed with work and constantly too busy or tired to write, but alive.

Got an emergency call last night. Good conversation with the lady (we'll call her PC, for Poor Comprehension):

PC: Where are you?
Me: We're in C-town, where are you coming from and I can give you directions?
PC: From just this side of A-town.
Me: Okay, so you're just going to go straight down the highway until just before you get into C-town, and we will be on the right hand side.
PC: So you're out on the old road?
Me: No, we are right on the highway, you make no turns. Just come down the highway and we are on the right, shortly before city limits.
PC: So I turn at the church?
Me: NO! You do not turn. I know what clinic you're thinking of, and that place has been closed for more than five years. There is no clinic on the old road. Just stay on the highway and we are on the right hand side, just before you get to C-town city limits.
PC: Well, we haven't been there in a while, I'm not sure I can find it. Where's the turn to the old road if it's not the church?
Me: Ma'am, that clinic does not exist. You need to stay on the highway, do not turn on the old road. We are on the highway, next door to the coffee stand, just before you go into town.
PC: The coffee stand? On the edge of town?
Me: Yes. (Side note- this is so frequent, and I don't get it. The big brick building with big brick barn and extensive fencing doesn't get noticed, but just say "next to the coffee stand" and everybody knows what you're talking about. Seriously, you could fit the coffee stand in our lobby, but apparently we're invisible.)
PC: Okay, I know where that is.
Me: Great; how long will it take you to get there, I'll meet you there.
PC: About 30 minutes.
.
.
.
50 minutes later, they arrive. PC's son (who drove, so why she didn't just put him on the phone to get directions is beyond me) apologizes for being late, and explains that his mother insisted they drive down the old road because that's where the clinic is.
.
.
.
After evaluating their pet, I give them an estimate for what's needed, and then go over optional additions while the animal is anesthetized. PC asks if she can get a bunch of stuff done and then make payments. I explain that we take payments through Care Credit, which offers a 6 month interest-free payment period. I tell her that she can apply on the phone, or on-line, and that if she wants, we can help her apply online here. We also take all the standard credit cards, which she can pay back as she normally would. She does not apply for Care Credit. We do not do any of the elective procedures. I have to physically point out the signature line (which I marked with an x) on the treatment consent form; PC still signs in the wrong place.
.
.
.
This morning, PC's son comes to pick up the cat. He brings no money, no credit cards, and no Care Credit.

draggonlaady: (Teddy)
Man. It has been a loooong time since I've posted here. That is, sadly, not because of lack of crazy stories to tell, but instead is due to lack of time to tell them. Here's one for you though, if anybody even still follows this journal, while I have a couple slow minutes...

Gent called today saying he had a chinchilla which had been bitten by a dog. Wanted to know how much enrofloxacin he should give, rattled off several doses to the receptionist, who verified with me that we will not prescribe medication or give doses to an an animal we've not seen for the problem being treated (and in fact have never seen at all for anything), as doing so is illegal. Recommended he have the chinchilla seen, since bite wounds can be a very serious problem (totally reasonable to expect broken bones in a dog-bitten rodent, and no amount of antibiotic is gonna fix that!). He declined an appointment.

Gent called back later and I answered. He asked if he got prescription for enro could we fill it. I said that if we received a prescription from another veterinarian for a product we carry, we could fill it. He then claimed to be a physician and asked if he could write a prescription for us to fill. No; physicians cannot write prescriptions for non-human animals (I refrained from saying 'and if you were actually a physician, you'd know that), and veterinary clinics can neither prescribe nor fill prescriptions for humans. He then asked how much 10 mLs of 25mg/mL enrofloxacin would cost. I explained that 25 mg/mL is not a concentration available on the market, and is therefore not a product I stock (and refrained from saying that if he was actually a physician, he should know that). He asked again if he had to have a veterinarian prescription. I said yes, you must have a prescription to leally purchase prescription medications; your pet must be seen for a veterinarian to legally prescribe medications; a physician cannot legally prescribe to non-human animals; veterinians cannot legally prescribe to humans; and I WILL NOT BE DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL FOR YOU.

He hung up, and (surprise) did not show up before closing with a script, legal or otherwise.
draggonlaady: (Teddy)
You know what's really obnoxious? being repeatedly interrupted by clients asking you the question you are trying to answer. Here's a suggestion for anybody going to a doctor or expert of any kind - when they start trying to go through your lab results (or car engine print-out, or architectural blue-prints, or whatever) LET THEM TALK. When they get to the end of the section, ask questions if they missed anything. DO NOT interrupt them every 3 seconds to ask "but how is this all related" questions - THEY ARE GETTING THERE and you are just delaying it.
It is bad enough that on several occasions I have literally told clients to stop - this isn't just occasional questions, this is constant peppering of disconnected bits that don't allow me to finish a single thought, to the point that I start pointedly repeating EXACTLY the same 3-4 words several times until they stop interrupting me at exactly the same word, and if that fails, I tell them that the only way we are ever going to get anywhere is if they let me get through my spiel and then they can ask questions if I missed anything.
What makes people do this? I mean, if this was one person who was just seriously manic or overwhelmingly ADD or something, it'd be annoying but rare. Instead, I have similar encounters on an at least weekly, sometimes daily, basis with multiple clients. I don't get it.

In not entirely unrelated news, just got a call on the after hours line from a guy who interrupted every fucking sentence I said during the entire conversation, completely missed the repeating-start technique, and then didn't want me to call the hawk he was asking about a 'raptor' because that's "ominous"... it's just a little bird, and yeah, it has a hooked beak, and bit my friend 3 or 4 times, but "raptor" just sounds so mean.... *headdesk* This being toward the end of the conversation, I was pretty fed up with him anyway, and I pointed out that I don't care how big or not big it is, if he has a hawk of any type, it is by definition a raptor, that's what a raptor is, end topic. I did not say, but did think, "Also, your friend appears to be a fucking idiot and tell him to stop sticking his hand in or near the mouths of wild animals."

Shitty week

Aug. 3rd, 2012 10:29 am
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
This has been a week just full of owner fail and subsequent frustration for veterinarians.
Full details to follow, but for now, an open question:

What could go wrong when an owner decides to administer fluids intra-abdominally to sick puppies? I kinda want a list of things that maybe not-medically-trained folks can come up with off the top of your heads, and what your reaction as a pet owner would be if you were told to do this? For those medically untrained enough that you don't know what I am talking about - if someone suggested to you that your sick puppy was dehydrated and therefore you should give it fluids by putting a needle through the belly wall/flank directly into the abdomen, what would you think of that idea?
draggonlaady: (Vampire Cat)
Just thought I'd throw this out here, since so many of my posts are ranting. This morning was mostly dedicated to 2 really really good clients, who don't flinch at all from doing things even if they're expensive. Client 1 (Sweet but crazy, I've mentioned her before) just dropped over $200 on rechecking things here (blood work, radiographs, cytology) on her way to S for more recheck lab work (ultrasound) which will probably run over $500, all of this subsequent to a $1000+ surgery she had at the referral surgeon in S several months ago. She is always chipper and happy and fun to work with. Client 2 brought in 3 dogs (which is how this took most of my morning) for dental cleanings, mass removal on one, blood work on 2 (the 3rd had blood work a month ago prior to a different surgery), they're looking at a $700 bill and they will smile and laugh when we hand it to them. Additionally to the clients being friendly and compliant, so are all 4 of the dogs! Total jackpot.
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
*cue Pinocchio soundtrack*

Gotta take it with a sense of humor, right? Caller wants to see Dr B. Caller is informed that Dr B has retired, and is offered choice of Dr S or me. Well, is "Dr Draggon the owner?" "Yes, she is." "I don't want to deal with her, I want to see a real doctor!" "She is a licensed Veterinary Doctor, Ma'am." "That's just...no. I will ONLY deal with Dr B." "Well, I'm sorry we can't help you with that, as he has retired and is no longer taking appointments." *huff, click*

How to resist saying "That's nice, guess you'll never take an animal to a veterinarian again then." and/or "What? Dr Draggon can't be a real vet because real vets do surgery with their penis?"
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
I just got a call from a girl with a chinchilla; said chinchilla has been lying in one place, twitching its tail all day. Won't/can't get up and move. Cannot hold its head up. Feels cold to the touch. Recommended that she take chin's temperature, and offered to come to clinic and look at chinchilla to get better idea what's going on. Doesn't want to bring it in, doesn't know how old it is, doesn't own a freaking thermometer, after questioning turns out that they have been feeding the chinchilla hamster food. Explained chins are not hamsters, should be feeding CHINCHILLA food. No other species' food. Girl asks what chinchillas are allergic to. I explain that as a species, chinchillas are not particularly prone to allergies, in fact I've never seen allergy problems in a chinchilla, but I suppose in theory they could be allergic to anything a human can be allergic to. Owner says "well, the people we got him from say chinchillas are allergic to apples, and that it's okay to feed him parakeet food." To which my only reply had to be "They are wrong. He is not a bird." Well, can we give him vitamins? No. There is no amount of human-multivitamin you can shove down his throat (and good luck with THAT) that will make bird seed or hamster mix a balanced diet for a chinchilla. What should we do with him? He's really weak and acts like he hit is head." Well, as I said, I can meet you at the clinic and take a look at him, but I can't tell you over the phone what's wrong with him. "ok. well, thanks anyway," and she hangs up. So the chin's probably going to lay there and die because they can't be bothered to 1: look up proper care for the species of pet they have, which is available for FREE at the library or on the internet, and 2: can't be bothered to take it to a veterinarian when it's sick, because that costs money.
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
We are short a doctor, which means I am on call all the time. This situation will likely continue until June. Whee. For the last 3 weeks, I've had a senior student here, and have been able to shunt a decent amount of routine work onto her, giving her experience and myself a very welcome break. Sadly, she decided to go finish the rest of her senior year and actually graduate rather than staying here as my indentured servant. boo.

Yesterday, I got to have a very fun conversation with a woman who has 2 6-month old giant breed dogs that are apparently completely untrained. She wants to have a minor surgery done on one of them, but is unable to get him in a car or truck. She requested that I come get the dog and transport him to the clinic. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. I explained that 1: I do not offer this service, 2: the dog is no more likely to load into a car for me than for her, 3: the back of my truck is full of equipment, with no place for a dog to ride, and 4: she should be training these dogs to load ANYWAY for the next time she needs to do something with them. Then I offered several ideas for training the dog to load into a car, or a truck, or a trailer, or a kennel (which could be lifted into a truck or trailer). I do not expect to actually see this dog any time soon, but will let you know how it goes if I do.

Today, my first dental cleaning appointment turned into a congestive heart failure and obesity discussion, sent the dog home with medication for his heart and said we'll consider doing the dental if medication helps stabilize heart function. This managed to take LONGER than just doing a dental likely would have. Sigh.
We were already scheduled busily enough that I'd called Dr M in to fix a broken leg that'd come in last night, because neither Dr S nor myself would have had time to do it today, so when the woman with the cow problem called it was a bit of a scramble to get out the door to go see her. Middle-aged cow with a broken horn. Oh, and can we vaccinate some heifers as long as I'm coming anyway? As I was pulling into their driveway, I got a call notifying me that the cow had died. Replied that I'm here anyway, so we might as well do the vaccinations. They declined to have me necropsy the cow--I'm pretty sure she didn't actually die of a broken horn, but guess I'll never know. Glad it died before I got there instead of right after I left though!

Today is my afternoon off. It is now 4:10, and I have been working on charts from this morning and catching up on a ton of paperwork (some of which should have been done in January...hahahaha) since 12:00. I am, I think, finished. Maybe. Some afternoon off! Anyhoo... away to dinner with Bruce and his folks, and tomorrow I get to stay late to do payroll. Someone remind me why I bought this joint?
draggonlaady: (Default)
They're siblings!

You know, it's truly amazing how many times that statement is immediately followed by my informing someone that their pet is pregnant. *sigh*
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
1: It is not my problem that you lied to your wife. When she came in and the receptionist mentioned the outstanding balance, it is in no way our fault that she freaked out about it, when you told her you had paid it but you hadn't. If you don't want your wife to be confused or upset, STOP LYING TO HER, because I sure as Hell have better things to do that keep track of your BS and back you up on it.

2: It is standard procedure anywhere I've ever worked or heard of to put all the day's checks in the day's deposit. If you want us to hold your check for a week until you get paid, you'd bloody well better mention that and not just expect us to somehow magically know what your financial situation is. The fact that it bounced because we deposited it is YOUR fault, not ours.

3: Do not lie to my receptionist. You will be caught. No, the "woman you talked to earlier" did NOT tell you that you could come in and not pay anything today. Yes, we do communicate, and we have a small enough staff that trying to lie when you get here about what was said on the phone earlier is a stupid, stupid thing--chances are that the woman on the phone IS the woman you're talking to now, and she knows she didn't tell you that.
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
Given previous experience with this client, you can guess how incredibly thrilled I was when they called at closing last night. My enthusiasm was only amplified by the fact that I was already a sleep-dep zombie after being called at both 2:45 AM and 4:45 AM by Mrs Miller, and getting to the clinic at 5:30 AM to actually deal with Mrs Miller in person that morning.

So it seems that Sue Happy here decided to breed one of her other dogs, to get that litter of puppies that she's been wanting for 15 years or something. She did not, of course, have the dog x-rayed to get a puppy count prior to whelping. Dog whelped 2 days ago, and now has foul smelling vaginal discharge, decreased appetite, and doesn't seem to be making much milk. Sue is very concerned that it took 5 hours to have 4 pups. I tell her the time frame is normal but the number of pups is small. I am concerned that either the dog has a uterine infection, or the dog has retained puppies. We agree that the dog should be seen as soon as possible due to the risks of retained pups (you know, cool stuff like dead pups rotting inside, ruptured uterine walls, peritonitis, and death). And at this point things just get fun.

She says she wants to bring the dog in, but her car's transmission is going out and it can only be driven in second gear now. It'll thus take her over an hour and a half to get here. I point out that she will be driving past 2 much closer clinics and especially if the car is that unreliable, perhaps she should consider going to the clinic 33 miles closer, or the one 25 miles closer to her. She says the people at clinic one have already left (like I'm trying to? no worries asking me to wait late for you, but can't ask them to come back?) and she "had a bad experience once" at the other clinic and doesn't want to go back there. ("Well, lady" I do not say, "I had a bad experience with you once, so I don't particularly want you to come back here!")
So I reluctantly agree to meet her at the clinic in an hour and a half.
An hour and a quarter later, she calls back. Says she can't get the car started. She's "going through some marital difficulties right now" and doesn't "want to accuse anybody," but she is pretty sure that her car "has been sabotaged". The only vehicle she has that will start is blowing exhaust fumes into the car and she's worried that this will kill the puppies. Can she bring the dog in tomorrow instead? Once again, I point out that there are clinics MUCH closer to her, and the logical solution is to take this other car (perhaps with the windows rolled down?) to the the MUCH CLOSER clinic to have the dog seen tonight, since if she does have retained puppies, 18 hours may be the difference between sick and dead. Somehow, her response does not give me confidence that she will do this.

She does not (I confess that I am surprised) call me back in the middle of the night to tell me that the dog is worse, or that she has suddenly acquired a car. Nor did she ask if I could come get her and the dogs. (Bruce agreed that if she did ask, he would do so for sufficient cash.)

Instead, she shows up without warning this morning (after my first surgery is sedated, of course). She says she tried to take the dog's temperature last night, but "took it in the wrong place" because didn't realize she was supposed to use "you know, that thing". I assume this means she took a temp in the vulvar fold instead of the rectum, but decide I don't care enough to ask for clarification. Owner's idea of restraining the dog so I can check her temperature is to hunch over the dog's head sobbing. I go get a technician, both to hold the dog, and to insert herself between me and the owner, as I would really like to smack her upside the head just on general principles. We end up taking a radiograph of the abdomen, and find no retained pups. Whoo!

Send dog home on antibiotics, warn owner that this may cause diarrhea in the pups, and if it does, they need to be taken off of mom and bottle fed.

I ask what she feeds the dog, and she replies "chicken soup and Caesar's" and goes off about how she won't feed anything with corn in it, because corn is clearly evil, and practically the worst thing you can ever do to a dog (besides leaving them ill for months on end before taking them to a doctor, I guess?). So, I'm hazarding that by "chicken soup" she means Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul brand, and not chicken soup. I could be wrong though. Either way, I'm not impressed with Caesar's as nutrition for a lactating bitch, and recommend she switch to a puppy food, for the higher calcium and calorie content. I make a point of telling her at what age we want to start vaccinating the puppies, so that 5 months from now I'm not stuck dealing with all 4 of these pups dying of parvo, and send her on her way, so that I can go start the 4 spays I've got lined up for the morning.

Her half of the entire conversation is held at a volume which really doesn't make my head happy, and is frequently interrupted with alternating crying and prayer. Guess I should just be thankful there was no screaming today.


*********


So in pulling up the links for my previous encounter with Sue Happy, I realize that I somehow did not detail the wonderful phone conversation which occurred when I notified her that the dog had died. I don't know why I never shared this story with you, it's a good one.

I called with the bad news (I'm sure you've figured that part out, but anyway), and her reaction was to throw the phone to the floor /crash, thud/ and go storming through the house screaming and slamming doors. I hear a steady stream of curse words (not terribly inventive, mostly just "fuck" and "shit" repeated over and over) and then she finds a victim to take things out on: her unlucky brother-in-law, who is apparently sleeping. She drags him out of bed with curses and thuds, and lays into him about how it's his fault the dog died, because he went to visit her at the clinic, and if he hadn't gone in and taken that bitch his girlfriend, the dog wouldn't have used up all her energy interacting with them, and she'd still be alive, and how fucking dare he kill her dog, what a son of a bitch he is... and about this time, bro-in-law's girl picks up the discarded phone, apologizes, says someone will call back about what to do with the body when they get Sue Happy calmed down, and hangs up. I think if it was me, I'd have calmed her down with a garden hose, but then I've never really dealt with raving hysterics well.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
When the receptionist asks you for your last name, they don't intend you to repeat the dog's name. ("This is Buster, you've seen him before. He gets all his vaccinations done here and you neutered him." "Yes, but what's your last name!?") We have approximately 100 "Buster"s in the computer. She asked for your last name so she knows which Buster she's looking for. Similarly, when she asks for your first name, it's an attempt to narrow down which of the 3 dozen "Jones" files she's looking through for that chart. Continuing to repeat the dog's name is not helpful in this situation either.

(This happens periodically... it's apparently not just one person who doesn't understand the concept of answering the question which was asked.)

If you drop the dog's leash in the lobby, letting him run loose, and then leave the building, you should not be surprised when you come back in to find your dog no longer in the lobby. Just be happy that the reason he's not in the lobby is that we put him in a kennel, and not that he's off getting into trouble somewhere. No, I really do not give half of a dooky that you were "only gone for a minute" or that you were "coming right back". You didn't say anything to anyone, just walked out the door and got in your car, leaving the dog loose.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
but really, I'm not. I already knew that people were too stupid to figure out on their own that letting the dog sit in their lap while driving was a bad idea. It's a sad comment on the level of people's stupidity that this is enough of a problem someone feels compelled to address it through law.

Also, this person makes me want to smack them repeatedly about the head and shoulders with a large blunt object:
“We constantly have a war back and forth. I keep having to block her from getting up to the front of the car,” said dog owner Sarah Kingery. “You should focus on driving but that’s not always realistic. Once they have short legs for some reason you just become a sucker and let them do whatever they want.”

She actually said this to a news-reporter? TOTALLY FUCKING proves the point that some people are so stupid they need this made into a law. *headdesk* There are several varieties of car dividers to install to address exactly this problem. Also, not that I expect this bippytart to figure it out, but there is the option of training the dog to stay in the back seat, instead of letting it jump onto the driver's arms and lap.

Sadly, I have at least one client who is a repeat offender at this exact issue, resulting in the dog falling out the driver's side window and skidding along the road not once, but twice that I know of. Who knows how many times the guy has let the dog fall out and NOT brought it to the clinic?
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
This morning I told a lady that her elderly dog has a tumor that I'm unlikely to be able to remove all of due to location. We'll try, but I expect it won't go well.

This afternoon, I killed 3 cats for 1 client, right after Dr S killed one for another client. Then Dr S went home early because we were really slow for the day... and shortly after he left, we started getting emergency calls.

I've got a dog with a shattered femur and broken pelvis; I'll be amputating her leg tomorrow. Owner doesn't seem to grasp the concept that unless he builds a fence, he will continue to have dogs hit by cars on the road in front of his house. (I heard several times during the exam on this dog about how his other dog was just hit and died last month!)

Ended up euthanizing an old dog about 20 after 5, while tech and Dr A prepped a probable pyometra/possible peritonitis that turned out to be (as so many things that Dr A has seen recently! Poor Dr A...) completely freaky. We got in, and the whole abdomen is full of pus, the left ovary is adhered into a big knot of intestine and omentum all stuck into a solid chunk surrounding something nasty and oozing pus. So I called the owner and explained the badness while Dr A closed the abdomen up, then we sat around and waited for the owner to come say goodbye so we could kill that dog too.

I'm gonna tell you about this last dog, because you all need a good, whoppin' dose of rip your damn heart out, right? She was a chihuahua pit bull mix. Not really something I'd generally recommend, but she managed to turn out sweeter than sugar. So the owner comes back to say goodbye, and brings her little girl to say goodbye too. The dog was just waking up from anesthesia, so she was wobbly and having trouble sitting up. Mom's trying to explain to daughter why it's the best thing for the dog to let her die quietly, they're both crying and hugging the dog, and the dog manages to sit up long enough to lick the little girl's face. I don't really have words here for how heart-breaking that moment was. You'll just have to accept that after that point, I was crying too.

The one good thing of the day is that Holly has gone to a new home--hopefully a permanent one!
draggonlaady: (Default)
My evening has definitely been... backwoods? county? gruesome? practical? I dunno how to label it. So I'll just tell it out. If gore bothers you, do stop reading now.

My last appointment of the day was to kill and behead a horse. We met the neighbor at the owner's house; he drove his backhoe down so that the horse could be buried promptly. The horse was down and unable to rise, but still skittish, so I wrapped my jacket around her head as a blindfold and kneeled on it to keep her still while Dr S did the actual euthanizing. Then we took the head off and strapped it to the back of Dr S's truck. Tomorrow, he'll bring an axe to work and we'll open the head up to get the brain out and ship it to the lab to test for rabies. Not that I really think it's at all likely that the horse is rabid, but just to be absolutely certain. Normally, for a dog or cat, we'd just send the whole head, or the whole body for something particularly small, like a bat. The cost of shipping a horse head on ice is, however, rather...daunting. The neighbor with the backhoe has apparently buried many a horse... one of those tasks that anyone in the neighborhood with a backhoe will get called to do around here.

I was home just long enough to sit down and look longingly at the food Bruce had cooked when the phone rang. So instead of doing justice to dinner by savoring it, I shoveled food in my mouth while changing into old jeans and boots to go see about a breach calf.

Took about 2 minutes to evaluate mom and calf, and decide it was a bad go. Asked the owner if he liked the cow enough to pay for a c-section to take out a dead calf. "Not really," says he. "Guess we'll burger her. We weren't going to breed her again anyway. Sorry to've disturbed your evening."

And all of this... all the interactions with the owners were just so matter of fact. No drama, no fuss, just doing what needs done, even when it sucks. Acknowledging that it sucks, of course, but what else are you gonna do?

Better day

Mar. 3rd, 2011 07:58 pm
draggonlaady: (Default)
Very little on the crazy spectrum today. And Mrs Miller did follow through with giving us money, so no need for nagging phone calls, yay! The only kinda weird was a woman who came in looking for a couple of kittens. When I said that we have a couple sheriff's department impounds that will be going to rescue, but they haven't been spayed yet, she explained that she "doesn't have a cat problem" so she doesn't really care if they're spayed. This is NOT a good way to get me to adopt a cat to you, in case you wondered. I pointed out to her that the fastest way to develop a cat problem is to put a couple intact females out for the males to find, because they will come from miles around, and just because you haven't noticed them doesn't mean they aren't there. And I did not give her any cats.

Oh, the internet thing--I called back the next day and talked to the receptionist again, basically "nobody called me back, what's being done?" and she informed me that J would be stopping by today. Well, that's nice (really), and also nice (sarcastically). Good that he'll come down, rather annoying that nobody thought maybe they should call ahead and see if there was a good time or a time that just flat wouldn't work for me (not gonna be there, we're closed for lunch, whatever). J seems to think that the issue has something to do with the fact that we're using a static IP address. Since I have no freaking clue what that even means, one of you computer gurus wanna hazard a guess as to why having a static IP would cause wireless to intermittently drop service? Just as curiosity, really, because I'm still thinking the faster DSL at the same cost/month is the way to go.

Bought plane tickets to Alaska. For those of you who care, you apparently cannot buy Alaska Airlines tickets through Orbitz, you have to go directly to AA website. Which turns out to be less expensive than Orbitz anyway (by a few bucks, nothing shocking) but the flight choice options were less "build your own" than Orbitz--you can't mix-and-match return flights for some reason; choosing one way locks you into certain return trips. Whatever. But it looks like I'll have a layover in sea-tac on my return trip, if anybody in the area wants to meet for dinner on the 28th of May. And about 4 hours or so in Juneau on the way up, so if there's anything that I absolutely MUST see in Juneau that takes less than 3 hours, let me know.
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
And this is not a good thing. I've had yet another visit from this fine specimen of reputable breeding. Don't worry, I was assured at least 6 times during today's conversation that she is not a puppy mill. Perhaps, to overuse a saying made trite by overuse, the lady doth protest too much?

Early afternoon (no, don't rush in first thing in the morning) appointment for a bitch that's been in labor since some time this weekend. Had 3 dead pups at home. Currently leaking bloody, foul-smelling fluid and still straining. Smells like rot. Has at least one puppy in the abdomen, and one in the vaginal canal that I can feel. Owner wants to know if I can remove the puppies with forceps.
No. No, this is c-section territory here, sorry.
So before I can even get into a discussion of sections and/or offer blood work or to spay the dog while sectioning her, owner vehemently declares that she does NOT want the dog spayed. Right. Fine. I lay mental odds of about 50% that I will "have" to call her during surgery and say that leaving the uterus means the dog will probably die.
When I get into the surgery, I discover why the dog was not able to have pups normally: she has extensive adhesion of the bladder to her uterus. The bladder itself is massively overfull (under no circumstances should one's urinary bladder be larger than one's head!). I open the uterus, remove 2 dead and decaying pups, flush everything with sterile saline and leave a whopping dose of antibiotics in the abdomen, but do not have sufficient reason to tell the owner the dog will die if I don't take the uterus right now.

When owner returned for the dog (half an hour before I told her to expect the dog to be done) I started explaining the dog's problems and that this is the most likely cause of her difficulties whelping. I'm about half way through this when she interrupts me with "well, I'm only going to breed her once more." I state in no uncertain terms that I would strongly recommend NOT re-breeding this dog, ever, at all. I explain that it is very likely that she will have problems whelping EVERY time because the issue she has will NOT go away, and in fact, will likely become worse following this surgery. Adhesions are quite common when tissue has been disrupted, adhesion between bladder and uterus is a relatively common sequela to c-section because of the normal contact between the surfaces of the two organs, and this dog is apparently prone to developing adhesions, because she's already got them with no prior surgical history. It is, in my mind, a very clear cut case of "breeding this particular dog is not a good plan." Owner repeatedly asks, despite my unequivocal statements on the topic, whether it would be okay to breed the dog, if she, say, waits a year. Or only breeds her once more. She explains that the dog is "just so pretty" and she "only wants one pup from her".
I ask her if she wants one pup enough to justify a significant risk that she will end up not only with another batch of dead puppies, but this dog dead too. Apparently, she does, because her stated plan prior to leaving was to try "just one more time" but to schedule the dog for a c-section instead of trying to let her whelp on her own. Which I suppose is the best option I can scrabble for if she insists on the idiocy of breeding a dog with a known physical impairment of uterine function. sigh.

So then the conversation moved along to 2 other dogs she has. Which she wants debarked, because (she repeatedly explains to me) she's had to separate from her husband because the dogs were barking so much that they were driving him nuts and he was hitting them. And it's not like their in a kennel or anything, she's not a puppy mill. These are dogs she's had since they were 6 weeks old, and they sleep in her bedroom--after all, she's not a puppy mill. I explain that I have never done a debark, and that on dogs as small as these, the risks of the dog dying are so great even in the hands of a surgeon adept at this procedure that nobody I know will do it. She asks if it's because I "don't believe in it." I say no, it's because I don't want to do a surgery that's going to kill your dog. She then asks if anyone else here will do it. I say no. About this time, Dr M walks through the room, and she yells at him across the lobby to ask if he will debark her dogs. He looks at the dog she's carrying (not the dog under discussion, but he doesn't know this...this is totally a blindside question) and says absolutely not on a dog that small. She then proceeds to explain that she means her other dogs, which are "very large--8 and 9 pounds!" Now, I don't know in what world an 8 pound dog is "very large" but it is not in this one. He again tells her no, and then wisely flees (er, walks from the room in a dignified manner). Leaving me in the targets again... Well, can't you do it with a laser? she demands. I explain that while someone somewhere could possibly do so, I have neither the knowledge, nor the laser. She rounds back about to me "not believing in it". She explains that she's training the dogs, and it's not like she's a puppy mill, she's trying! but she absolutely will not use a bark collar, because they make such horrible sores on the dogs' necks. I tell her (in as many words; I'm out of patience and she is so dense that I feel I need to be using a larger hammer to get through to her) that if the collars make sores on the dog, she is doing it wrong. She tries to muster some sort of argument, and I run her puny illogic about the collar not working if the prongs slip to the side of the neck down with my statement that all of my dogs wear Invisible Fence collars daily and have for years, and that I have used electric training/shock collars on several dogs for various reasons, and not a single one of them has developed sores or complications from use of said collars. If the collars are resulting in sores, the owner is at fault. The collar is either too tight, or left on too long with too long prongs, or placed over a fold of skin. There are no bark collars sold which should shock hard enough to create burns, but I welcomed her to try shocking herself with her collar to verify that it was not malfunctioning. And then we're back around to why I won't just debark them. I refrain from smacking her and saying "look, lady, this has not a damn thing to do with my personal beliefs on elective surgical alterations, it's about not killing my patients and if you are so dense as to not grasp that concept maybe I should practice my debarking surgeries on YOU". I instead explain in loving detail how the tissue around a surgery site swells following surgery, and the consequences of such swelling in a very small trachea, and repeat that I do not perform surgeries that I am almost certain will kill the patient. I then offer her the numbers of several trainers (so very, very sorry if she calls you, [livejournal.com profile] kresentia!) and the number to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where she may or may not find someone willing to do a laser de-barking. I honestly have no clue if they would do that or not, but I somehow don't find it likely that a woman who is too cheap to run blood work on a dog is going to pay the prices attached to a referral for something like that.

And guess it's good she showed up half an hour early, because by the time we get done with all that shit, the dog's awake enough to send home. Yay. Get the bloody Hell out of my clinic, you crazy bat.
draggonlaady: (Filtered)
For things to die.
This week alone, we've had 2 colic horses that died, one of which was a long-time patient we've done a lot of work on. Euthanized a cat that was attacking the owner's grandkids, I did an at-home euthanasia of a really nice older dog on Monday. I've just heard from a client that one of our favorite regular boarders (an older Newfoundland) died at home about an hour ago, and I'm scheduled to euthanize an elderly boxer this afternoon, who's been enthusiastically and happily starving himself for weeks. I've been talking to a couple with a dog in kidney failure daily this week, and expecting to euthanize it at anytime--they're just trying to nurse her through the next few days so they don't have to kill her on Christmas. Yay. Happy Holidays, everybody.

November 28/30 + one client
draggonlaady: (Vampire Cat)
I have 2 dogs in foster currently. Arctic is a young adult male neutered Siberian Husky, good with other animals but needs a good fenced yard (was found wearing an Invisible Fence collar--still surprised nobody at least called to get the collar back, those things are spendy).
Holly is a medium sized, short haired, yellow dog of indeterminate breed, a "lady of a certain age". Really well behaved and calm, have yet to find anything that gets her riled up.

Pictures and full profiles here: http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=WA388

In other news, if you have a pet, get them microchipped, and register the microchip. I have a client who found a cat last weekend. She brought it in, and it has a microchip.
I called the microchip company: chip is not registered to an owner, but lot was shipped to Idaho Humane Society.
I called IHS: click/disconnect
Called IHS again: left message
4 hours later, no return call, called back, again got message machine.
I called Humane Society of Palouse (howdy, sphynxagain!) and left cat's description.
Finder called IHS, left message.
Finder called all veterinary clinics in Pullcow area, as well as Pullman shelter.
We heard nothing back over weekend.
This morning, I called IHS: click/disconnect.
I call IHS AGAIN: finally spoke to someone who gave us owner information. For someone in Meridian (this is many and long away from Pullman, where the cat was found).
Finder calls number IHS gave. Turns out that cat belongs now to that owner's daughter, who is a WSU student. Cat has been missing since September, which is why nobody had a current lost ad.

Morals of the story:
--Microchips get lost pets home. They are worth doing.
--Registered microchips eliminate the hassle and many potential points for failure in getting the pet home; what if I'd not persistently called back, or if IHS hadn't kept back records of microchip numbers with adoptions? if the microchip is not associated with owner's name, it makes it MUCH less likely to be traceable.
--Update your registration when you move! What if we'd dropped it when we found the registration was so far removed from where the cat was found?

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