I don't know about the rest of you, but I actually pause when someone asks me about my profession. Each and every time I'll wage a cerebral war with myself on the pros/cons of telling this complete stranger about what I do, because 75% of the time the next words will be, "So I have this dog...".

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hand-me-down Frontline

What would you do if you accidentally applied two doses of Frontline Plus (a popular flea and tick killer) onto the same dog? You could do nothing and forget about it, after all it's much much less toxic (if at all) compared to other pesticides. You could wash the dog and try to remove it. But would you then apply another dose for this month (is there any residual that you didn't completely wash off)?

Well, the client that just called had a great idea. She was wondering if she could rub both of her dogs together, essentially sharing the extra Frontline between the two.

Makes you think, huh? Seriously, that stuff is expensive!

Of course we said no. But hey, at least she called us before doing it, which is more than I can say about most of our clients.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Respect my authority!

My associate just saw a client that brought her dog in to discuss some behavior issues. She was upset because instead of chewing HER underwear up, her dog preferred to chew up her 21yr old daughter's underwear. The owner firmly believes that this is a sign that her dog doesn't respect her as much as her daughter.

I'm seriously NOT making this up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stupid clients

We all have 'em, right? This isn't a funny story or anecdote, just a vexation about a client I saw this afternoon.

I'll never understand how some people ignore their pets' illnesses. Never. You know the usual "he's been vomiting for 2 weeks.", or even the "no doc, I hadn't noticed the 2 pound mass on his leg.". I really want to start making a list of the symptoms these pets have, and the length of time their idiot owners have ignored them before rushing in to the clinic on a Friday night just hours before their flight to Cancun.

This poor dog this afternoon had been chasing a ball yesterday when he acutely came up lame on his left front leg. Sucks, but happens unfortunately. The owner only brought Fluffy in because his leg must've been broken or dislocated because it was "hanging" off to the side at a weird angle. It seemed "back in the normal position" this morning. What annoys the hell out of me is that in MY corner of the world, there are four 24 hour emergency clinics within 25 minutes. But instead of taking his very painful dog with a leg "hanging off to the side" to one of them, he waited almost 24 hours to bring Fluffy in here. Thankfully although the elbow was severely swollen and painful, other than a small amount of DJD I didn't notice anything severe. I do think that it luxated and tore the joint capsule, but it must have self-reduced sometime overnight (I'm guessing here).

By the way, did I mention that this dog was diagnosed with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia one month ago by one of my associates, and the owner hasn't been back for rechecks since the initial diagnosis and hasn't picked up his meds? At the time, the platelet count was 24,000. I guess I wasn't surprised that he had multiple petechiae on his gums. I told the dumb ass that he's lucky his dog hasn't died, and that maybe it was a good thing that Fluffy hurt his leg, otherwise we might not have seen him back until it was too late. (Add: I have to wonder if some of the swelling in the elbow is actually hemarthrosis which the owner won't let me treat).

The owner did show one shred of concern though (and I'm completely serious): Despite the painful, swollen elbow and the IMTP, before I took the dog downstairs to do the x-rays and bloodwork the owner really wanted me to look at a small lump on Fluff's neck (sebaceous adenoma), because it was really ugly.

hurry doc, I need this fixed real quick like.

At least that's what I usually hear. Not the couple that came in with their 5 year old daughter and two 1 year old cats. Their idea of a quick fix is measured on the scale of ice ages. During their annual exams, I noticed fleas.

me: "So your cats have started to go outside? How long have they had the fleas?" (leading into a conversation about life expectancy of indoor vs outdoor cats, fleas, parasites, vaccines, etc).

mrs. tortoise: "Yeah, we can't seem to keep them in. They've had the fleas about 3 months. Oh, and do you know why she's been urinating outside the litter box?"

me: "Um, no I didn't realize she was doing that. How long has that been going on?"

mr. tortoise: "Every other day or so for about 6 months. We figured it might be a bladder infection and she'd need some antibiotics."

When I told them that it could take months to get the urinalysis back (joking of course), I guess I wasn't surprised that neither of them seemed the least bit shocked. Their recheck appointment is scheduled in.....well, we'll probably do it during their next annual exam in 2015.