Monday, January 23, 2012

Stupidity pays the bills

It was surprisingly quiet Monday afternoon.  That should have been a sign.  All of a sudden it went from quiet to kind of chaotic with two emergencies back to back.  Not that the owners really seemed to think they were emergencies.

I took the first dog.  The appointment was made for possible UTI.  An older, unspayed, small breed dog was presented by two young girls.  They were not sure of the dog's age or vaccination history.  I didn't bother to ask about heartworm prevention.  They indicated that the dog was drinking excessively, not eating for a week and having occasional vomiting.  She was also having bloody vaginal discharge and was in heat a few weeks ago then started acting funny.  That history, along with the presence of a large fluid filled organ in the abdomen made me suspicious of a pyometra (basically a pus filled uterus that can be a life threatening emergency).  Bloodwork and  radiographs confirmed our suspicions and off to surgery we went.  Congratulations, you just had your dog spayed for more than three times the normal cost.

My employer took number two which was an underfed, overly pregnant large breed dog.  Presenting complaint was possible labor with no puppies produced for several hours.  Owner just wanted her "checked out."  Off to surgery that one went.  This is the second c-section this dog has required in her young life.  Personally, I feel every dog that needs a c-section should be spayed but not all doctors feel that way.  It's probably more of an ethical debate than a medical one but that's for another day maybe.  I should also mention these owners provide only minimal preventive care for their dogs and there was no sign of any OFA or other genetic testing in their file.  And as it turns out this time the dog had been accidently bred by the neighbor dog but they failed to have her spayed after the incident because they still wanted to raise another purebred litter from her!  Congratulations, you just contributed 16 (Yes-16!) puppies to the pet overpopulation and put your dog through a significant ordeal because of your greed and irresponsibility.  Not to mention the 13 puppies of questionable quality from the previous litter.  Fortunately they did elect to spay her this time.

Idiots like this drive me crazy but they do make a slow day more profitable! Of course I don't own the business, which might be good as I could possibly run off all the idiots and go bankrupt!


Karissa said...


My vet told me that there have been several circumstances where she has refused to do an emergency c-section unless the client agrees to a spay. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with having this requirement. If a client has a problem with this, it's always their option to try to find another clinic that will take on their emergency.

That pyo case makes me stew. Of the multitudes of ignorant pet owners who keep their females intact, I would guess that less than 1% of them have ever even HEARD of pyometra. Regardless, you don't wait a *week* when your dog is having those symptoms -- They are lucky she didn't die. But hey, at least she is spayed now. Sigh.

Nicki said...

Kudos to your vet. I've not done that many c-sections and fortunately no one has yet to argue with me on the "must be spayed" point. In the location I used to work in, most people were not in a financial position to argue as none of them were actual quality breeders. Shocking huh?

Kathy said...

I have to admire you for not lashing out, especially the people with the huge litter, at least they will have to shell out some money for the csection so maybe that helped contribute to their decision to spay and realize having a litter is not just a way to get a little money or a fun thing to do Where are they going to find that many homes, YIKES!! Just what is needed with all the pet overpopulation. You would think any owner of an intact female should know about pyometria--I know that does not happen but geeze that is a huge thing if you choose to keep your female intact ;-(