- Things I like to hear “We brought a stool sample.”
Where else can you bring a bag of poop and the employees there are excited to get it. I know I have on many occasions heard, “I’ve brought you a stool sample.” and I’ve replied, “Oh, good. Thanks.” In truth, regular testing of your pets’ stools is very important. Intestinal parasites and general gut flora can be seen in a stool sample. Tape worms and other intestinal parasites can be easily treated with medication. But, if they are left unchecked, intestinal parasites can cause a lot of health problems for your pet. If your pet’s gut flora are off, a veterinarian can proscribe probiotics to help repopulate the good bacteria that should naturally be in your pet’s gut.
- Things I don’t like to hear “He’s only talking, he won’t bite you.”
As a veterinary assistant I get to work with a wide range of pets. Everything from cute fluffy puppies to giant terrified German Shepherds, sweet old boxers to hyper young Labradors, and cats of all temperaments. I love working with sweet pets (who wouldn’t) a sweet boxer or golden who just loves you no matter what you do to them are wonderful to work with. I also don’t mind at all working with a dog that is scared. Sometimes a patient will come in scared to death. Some of these pets stand like statues, others try there hardest to get away from you, and others still become aggressive and will bite you. Usually these patients get muzzles, and the owner understands. The worst is when an owner insists that there pet is “only talking.” If I’m about to stick a thermometer up your German Shepherd’s butt and he starts growling and baring his teeth, I don’t think “he’s only talking.” I’m not going to risk being bitten/clawed by a patient because the owner swears their pet is just vocal and won’t bite. I’m going to get a muzzle.
2. Things I like to hear “The vomiting/diarrhea just started.”
As a general rule, people don’t want to hear about vomiting or diarrhea, it just isn’t a topic that is usually discussed. Unfortunately, at work I hear about vomiting and diarrhea a lot. It’s one of the most come reasons a patient comes in. When a client tells me there pet has been vomiting/having diarrhea my first question will be ” has there been any blood in it?” but my second question will be, ” how long as your pet been vomiting/having diarrhea?” Too many times the reply to my second question is that it has been going on for a week or two if not longer. Would you let yourself or your child vomit for over a week before seeking professional help? Pets do on occasion vomit or have loose stools without there being any alarm. I know if I brought my cat to see a vet every time she threw up, she would be in there a lot. I’ve long ago learned the sound of one of my pets about to vomit, and my first response is to rush them outside so I don’t have to clean up any puke. However, my pets don’t regularly or daily vomit. If they did, I would see help right away. One of the most immediate concerns with vomiting/diarrhea is dehydration. If your pet is vomiting or having diarrhea several times a day, please seek out medical help. I’ve seen too many pets come in for vomiting/diarrhea for over a week with significant weight loss. I can’t stress this enough, please call your veterinarian.
2) Things I don’t like to hear, “No, my pet doesn’t have fleas.”
I know that “my pet doesn’t have fleas.” is not always a false statement. Some pets don’t currently have fleas. However, that is not to say that they will not always be flea free. It only takes one chance encounter, one flea to claim your pet as her home to cause an infestation. That flea doesn’t even have to come into your house on your pet, it could come in on a friend’s dog that came for a visit, or a field mouse looking for some food, or even your own pant leg. Monthly flea prevention acts as a shield against any such encounter. A good flea preventative will stop an infestation before it starts. While a flea infestation is a preventable annoyance, most good flea preventatives are also tick preventatives. Ticks are truly more harmful than fleas. Ticks spread Lyme disease which can affect your pet for the rest of its life. Lyme disease can cause fever, lethargy, stiff painful joints, an other symptoms. Fleas and flea allergies can cause your dog a lot of discomfort, itchy skin, and other problems, but ticks and Lyme disease tend to be the forgotten evil that flea and tick prevention should be used for.
3) Things I like to hear, “I’m not feeling well, can I reschedule?”
This phrase has taken a more important meaning in the past few weeks, but, if you are sick, please stay home. There aren’t many things more disheartening and now a days frankly more scary than going into an exam room with a person that looks or is acting ill. I know that people suffer from allergies and other things of that nature, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about people that are genuinely sick that still come into the vet clinic to keep their pet’s appointment. There are times that your pet’s health needs to be checked regardless of how you feel. In these cases I implore you to find a family member, a friend, a neighbor that can bring your pet to the vet. I have been in many rooms with people that seem to be sick themselves, and I do my best to take every precaution not to take whatever that person has home with me to my children. But still, anyone that comes into the vet clinic sick is putting my children and everyone else’s children (both coworkers and clients) at risk. Please, if you are sick, reschedule your appointment, and, if you can’t reschedule, please find someone else to bring the pet on you behalf.
3) Things I don’t like to hear, “We only brought $30.”
I know there are numerous people with varying degrees of financial constraints, and I have worked with doctors that try their best to diagnose/treat a patient within whatever monetary limit the client has. I’ve had doctors give out donated medication (that’s what donated medication is there for after all), I’ve also seen doctors not charge for diagnostic tests. Veterinarians do everything in their power to provide high quality medicine for your pet at very low prices. But, sometimes we have a client come in and, their pet has a very real problem, but the client did not bring enough money to even pay for the basics of vet care. I have heard clients say that a “vet should take care of my pet because they love animals!” Unfortunately, this argument completely washes over the idea that a vet clinic is also a small business, and small businesses usually don’t operate with much financial freedom. Me and Emily both rely on clients paying for vet care. If clients are not paying for their visits, the clinic can no longer keep me employed. So, while we will work as hard as we can to take care of your pet, we cannot do it without clients paying for our service.
I hope you enjoyed my post, and, as always, thanks for reading!!