Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This is why

I sometimes come home with the strong desire to beat my head against a wall.

First appointment of the afternoon-boxer for check ears and itching/licking feet.  Background information on this case is that the dog was seen in April for check ears and mild generalized itchiness.  At that time we treated the ears, I recommended trying Benadryl and mentioned a food trial in case of food allergy. She was also supposed to come in for a recheck in 2 weeks and didn't.  Now the client reports the itching, licking, and head shaking is driving them crazy (never mind how the dog feels) to the point they are considering getting rid of the dog. The conversation went as follows.

Me: So the benadryl didn't work at all?
Client: We didn't try any benadryl
Me: So I see we discussed a food trial at the last visit.  Is that something you want to do or have already done?
Client: We tried the food for a few days but she kept eating our other dogs food and we didn't really see much difference.
Me: Well you would need to feed the special food exclusively for 6-8 weeks to notice a difference.
Client: Oh.

So basically what you are saying is you didn't come for the recheck, didn't try any of the recommendations and have let your dog itch to the point of making everyone miserable for 6 months and now you want it "fixed?"  And you want to get rid of the dog because "magic" didn't make it better?  How hard was it to just try the benadryl?

Appointment number two-young adult dog with urinary tract signs and some lethargy and decreased appetite (but is of course grossly overweight).

Me: So how long has the urinary problem been going on
Client: Probably a couple of months (oh, nice-have you ever had a UTI sir?). We thought she just learned marking from another dog we were visiting.  Can they do that?
Me: Well, not very likely. And how long has the decreased appetite been going on?
Client: Well...probably a couple of months as well.
Me: We need to check a urine sample for infection and probably an x-ray for stones. Is that ok?
Client: Can stones cause these symptoms?
Me: Yes

So we do the urinalysis and x-ray and of course find...wait for it...

infection and bladder stones!

So I explain the options to him.  Today we will start on antibiotics and then we have two choices for the stones.  You can try to dissolve them with diet or just skip to surgery.  If they are not the kind that dissolve with diet then we will have wasted two months feeding special food and then still need surgery.  I pointed out that since she was obviously already so uncomfortable that surgery was the way I would go if it were my dog.

So I got the antibiotics and the estimate and told him we could schedule him as soon as possible.  He declared that in 2 weeks he had to go pick up his son in another state and so would need to wait until January or February?  Excuse me?  Did you not just tell me your dog had been sick for 2 months?  Did I not point out the need for surgery instead of dietary treatment because your dog is so uncomfortable?  And now you want to not do either of those things for 2-3 months?  I advised him we could get her in next week so it would all be taken care of before he left. No comment.  Well, you can call us.  Really? What is wrong with people?

Later in the afternoon was a nice elderly woman with a cat to check eyes.  All went well but there was a note in the file that a follow-up Feline leukemia/FIV test had been recommended since he had been in a fight several months ago.  I asked if she wanted to do that today and she responded with well he never gets into any big fights.  Ok, well it only takes a little bite to spread diseases.  We did the test.

Lastly was the woman with the cat she thought was not eating as much and having diarrhea.  Turns out she really doesn't know how much he eats because she leaves food out for both cats overnight and she just thinks there has been more left lately.  And the stool sample she brought us was hard as a rock.

What do you do?  Find wall.  Bang head.


Kathy said...

hehehe, it would be so funny if it was not true! It just makes you wonder could they really be thinking? I really admire you and I just dont know how you do it, but glad there are people like you out there that do ;-)-but I can see why you must regularly bang head against said wall.

Brianne said...

I did that for 6 years, I feel every bit of your pain!

K-Koira said...

I thinks that's why so few vets end up being really active in the dog world (like agility and such). They deal with so many stupid people with their poor animals all the time, they just can't stand it.

I would like to think I'm the good kind of vet client, if a little over protective- Dog's ear seems dirty, so I clean it, it gets dirty again the next day, so I clean it and make a vet appointment for later that afternoon. And, I warn the vet before the appointment that my dog may be snappy about his ear being inspected due to a history of ear infection.

Border Collie Mom said...

I guess I'm the crazy on the the other side of the coin. Last vet check I mentioned that Jake has a dark area on his tooth that I can't brush or scale away and was worried he was getting a cavity. The vet laughed at me and said not to worry so much.

Karissa said...

I work on the opposite end of the spectrum - in the shelter world - so I feel your pain. I can't tell you how many times I just have to shake my head and try not to have a meltdown. How can there be such HORRIBLE animal owners in this world?

I am friends with my vet and get to hear some of the stories that come through the clinic -- It is absolutely mind-boggling that people can be that stupid.

I'm a hypochondriac pet owner -- We go in for the smallest things and I'm pretty sure the vet staff thinks I'm nuts sometimes. lol But I figure it's better to be safe than sorry!

Nicki said...

It's always better to be safe than sorry. I always tell people not to feel bad about being worried and getting something checked out.

K-koira I'm sure your vet appreciates the honesty about the snapping!

And being involved in rescue and in the past shelters I know how you feel Karissa. It's part of why all my dogs are rescues. Those poor wonderful animals deserve good homes after all they have been through.