Sunday, April 22, 2012

The First 5 "Secrets"




This is my take on the May edition of Reader's Digest article titled, "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You."

The article is divided into sections.

The first is "What We're Thinking".

Number 1

"People always ask, 'How do you handle pit bulls and rottweillers and big German shepherds?'
The truth is, the dogs that scare me the most are the little Chihuahuas. They're much more likely to bite." Mark Howes, DVM, owner and medical director of Berglund Animal Hospital in Evanston, Ill.

OK, to this I say, "Yes, very true." The little dogs are more likely to bite. They also give you less warning. Almost every fearful small dog says they hate you with teeth.

Most larger dogs are better at giving you very clear definitive clues that they are uncomfortable around you. Also, many times it is harder to get a muzzle on a small dog, especially the brachycephalics. And then there is the whole fear of proptosing (medical jargon for the eye literally pops out of its socket) an eyeball..It happens, and it is terrifying.

But if I have to choose between equally angry dogs I will take smaller than larger. I have seen five of us pile ontop of a dog losing his mind and still felt that the odds were not in our favor of maintaining control of this beast. A little dog can always be scooped up with something, (like a towel), and put into a cage or a carrier to allow him to simmer down and finish his spitting profanities at us. I have had to sedate a big shepherd with enough tranquilizers to make a charging herd of wildebeests sleep for a week. Only to find that  he can, and does, still come at me when I get within 12 inches of his face, or feet. (God, I have spent hours doing a nail trim on a bad dog that needed sedation).

Number 2

"We know when you're twisting the facts. If your dog has a five pound tumor hanging from his skin, please don't tell me it wasn't there yesterday." Phil Zeltzman, DVM

I will add to this; if you do tell me that it wasn't there yesterday, I am going to ask you "when the last time that you paid attention to your dog was?" I have had clients tell me that their "dog lives outside and they hadn't checked on them in weeks." (Yes, there are times I want to scream. That's why I blog..OK, slightly just kidding).

Number 3

"Most hospitals keep comprehensive records of behavior-of both your pet and you! If you are aggressive to the staff, you will be treated differently." Oscar Chavez, DVM

I actually wrote a blog about this. But my staff got so upset at me that I was being too brutally honest, and I told the truth, (which I think is appropriate if your blog is titled, "Real-Life") that I pulled it. (Someday I will get the courage back to re-post it).
I will also add that my staff has a memory like an elephant. They remember every aspect of almost every pet and owner. If you lie to them, yell, or (god forbid) swear, or disrespect them, they will remember. AND, if you say something to them and then something completely different to me, they will bring it to my attention and we Vets will believe the people we spend 40 hours a week with, our staff.

Veterinarians and veterinary staff have devoted their lives to taking care of your pet. We are in most cases significantly underpaid for the amount of school and training we have to have to work in this profession. This job is for most of us a labor of love. We all have bad days, but please always be nice to us. We will be nice to you, and more importantly, your pet in return.

Number 4

"Looking for a way to say thank you to your vet? Last year, one pet owner gave us a check for $100, saying we could use it at our discretion for an animal in need. That was a wonderful gift." Patty Khuly, VMD

Here at Jarrettsville Vet, we have the most incredibly wonderful, generous, and kind clients. I have had clients donate items for us to raffle off for our "pets in need fund." I have also had countless clients buy these raffle tickets. I have clients volunteer to help walk dogs, pet our clinic cats, donate food, blankets, towels, time and resources. I am amazed everyday that we are surrounded by so many outstanding compassionate people. I really believe that it is a direct reflection of what we give to our community.

When a clients cat came in with a blood pressure of over 250 I called another client who has their cat on blood pressure medicine and asked her if we could borrow some for our new patient who needed it ASAP. I told her that I had ordered some but it wouldn't be here until tomorrow afternoon. She immediately got in her car and drove us down a weeks worth. There isn't a day that we don't have clients bringing us bagels, cake, cookies, cards, or helping to pass out flyers of our "up for adoption" pets. There may be a few reasons I want to scream everyday, but there are a million more that I am forever grateful to have known the people that I get to see and become parts of each other's families because of JVC.

Number 5

"The reason your pet is fat is because you are fat too. I would never say that to someone in an exam room, but the fact of the matter is, if you have an owner who overeats and is inactive, they are very likely to have an obese pet." Oscar Chavez, DVM

How many times have I said this before. (Hint; see all of my Biggest Loser blogs).

It is a difficult task to get an owner to acknowledge that their pet is fat, and then admit that they are responsible for it. It is even harder to get everyone in the household to join forces to get healthier together. I have seen some families start walking and eating better simply because they love their pet so much. It wasn't enough of an incentive for them to live longer, feel better, and be healthier for themselves, but it was when it was for their dog.

Hey, whatever it takes.

More to come tomorrow.


  1. Hi Y'all,

    Really enjoyed your post.

    Spent a lifetime with farm animals including performance horses and of course the retrievers who lived in the house with us. I remember the young vet from our vet's practice who came out on a farm call.

    Hubby and myself were talking with her. She wasn't being paid enough to pay her rent, much less school loans. Shortly after this conversation she returned home to Missouri to live with her parents again. That's sad.

    Hawk's young vet was lucky enough to buy an established practice. Yes, we stayed when his vet retired and like her very much. All the old vet's staff stayed with her. :) I took that as a sign saying lots of positive things about her.

    Of course Hawk sees 2 other vets also, due to his allergy problems and living in 2 different I'm exposed to other vet's opinions.

    His one vet, a man, actually yelled at me in front of others in the waiting room for not properly caring for Hawk's ears. I had taken Hawk because his ear infection wasn't getting better.

    We still go to him. He's a good vet. He's a rural vet in the south where it's common for people to think anything furry should not be allowed in the house. Dogs run loose. Dogs aren't neutered for fear of dulling their hunting abilities. People stop feeding them when they don't have a successful hunting season.

    If you're not from the rural south it's difficult to conceive the enormity of the animal care problem.

    Sorry for running on here. I'll have to do a post on Hawk's blog about pets in the rural south.

    BrownDog's Human

  2. Most of my cats are a little on the pudgy side right now, but although their mommy comes from a family of obesity, she has learned and keeps obsessive tabs on their tummies.

    Vets do a lot of work, but what do you think of vets who work for corporations? I don't want to mention the one I went to, but I took a newly rescued and pretty sick stray there (they were the closest and I talked with the technicians running the front all the time) and they stared at me with dollar signs in their eyes. I'm never going back there.

    I hope there's something I can do, maybe make some posts about the animals you have for adoption or do some guest posting.