As promised, the happy story...
Last week we had new client euthanasia on the schedule. These can be tricky, it would be better if we didn't schedule them but we do. Sometimes it's obvious that the animal is actually in need of the procedure. But sometimes it's someone trying to sneak in a convenience euth (not happening) or they don't want to admit to their regular vet that they don't want to pay for any more treatments and diagnostics, or won't fix a treatable problem, etc.
Anyway, the dog in question was an older fat yorkie (about 12) who came walking in tail wagging and looking for all the world like nothing was wrong. The receptionists thought this was suspicious and brought the dog back for me to evaluate. Other than being chubby he seemed happy and stable. The complaints at home were lethargy, urinating and defecating in the house. They had a whole laundry list of things the other vet had said was wrong with him, some of which were certainly not as fatal as they seemed to believe. Now, there is often a huge disconnect between what a a client is told and what they hear. So although they seemed pretty set on euthanizing I decided to wait on the faxed records before doing anything permanent.
When the records arrived (after no less than three phone calls to the other clinic) it seemed the dog had a pretty thorough work-up the day before, which indicated only a UTI and some arthritis. I'm not sure where the communication breakdown occurred or how the other doctor interpreted these findings but I felt like the dog might have a favorable response to antibiotics and pain meds. After a lengthy discussion, they decided to try it. A follow up call today revealed that the dog was doing fantastic and they were eternally grateful to us.
So it took half the morning and a team effort from my staff, but in the end we saved a life. Not in dramatic Emergency Vets fashion, but a life nonetheless