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...".

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.


  1. I had a dog come in for a neuter the other day. In passing the owner mentioned the dog had been vomiting every day for 6 months and today collapsed after vomiting. I told they we needed to delay the neuter and work up the vomiting. They declined and left. Probably took the dog down the road and got him neutered elswhere, after all they needed it done now so they could give the dog away tomorow.

  2. holy crap! I can't believe they still wanted the surgery after he collapsed! Ok, I can believe it. But still.

  3. Just like some folks should not have children, some should not have pets.