Saturday, September 29, 2012

Please don't stand so close to me!

Despite my hardened cynical exterior, deep inside I have the heart of a social butterfly. Really. I enjoy chatting with people, when they aren't being stupid idiots, and the confines of the exam room don't usually provide cause for me to feel like my personal space is being impinged upon.

That said, life is full of exceptions, isn't it?

I wish I could post a sign on my door listing the expectations I have. To gain entry to my exam room, you must be:

1. Fully clothed. If it requires bikini waxing to prevent hair from curling up above your waistband, you are not fully clothed. If I can see your areaolae, you are not fully clothed. If I can describe the fabric and color of your undergarments, you are not fully clothed.

2. Reasonably clean. This isn't to say that I mind good clean DIRT, or anything. Accumulated layers of human sweat and filth that has not been showered off in who knows how long is another thing entirely. If you've been in the garden just prior to your visit, fine. If you've been gardening all summer and you haven't showered since Easter, step off.

3. Hands-off. You must be able to control yourself. If you feel compelled to touch everything within a 4 foot radius, including my vaccine refrigerator, my otoscope cones, my prize bandage scissors, and even my own personal body - you can't come in. Go away.

4. A Pet Owner: At this point in my life, I really do not have time to talk to you unless you have a pet. I do not want to be on TV. I do not want to be in the newspaper. I do not want to do a presentation at your 8-year-old's school. If you are in the pre-purchasing phase and you are serious about finding a vet in advance - ok, yes, I will speak with you. But if you are just here to "interview" me for your own personal benefit, guess what? I am totally not interested.

What are your exam room entry rules??

Thursday, September 27, 2012


On the lighter side, a friend of ours is having a problem in her practice with zombie puppies. She explains:

We had a recent phone call that had me scratching my head.

Mrs Necro Whelper: My dog was pregnant, but she died before the puppies were born. Only one of the puppies survived. I've had him since he was two days old. He's 18 days old now, but his eyes are still not open. Should I be concerned?
Technician: I can't say without seeing the puppy. I would recommend that you bring him in to be examined by the doctor.
Mrs Necro Whelper: Oh, I don't have the funds for that. click
The technician told me about the call. Problem one: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BITCH? Seems like important background info! Problem two: if it was the caller's bitch, how is it that she has only had the surviving puppy since he was two days old? Who had him when he was one day old?? Was he BORN two days old? Obviously the only rational explanation for a 2 day old puppy being born from a dead dog: zombie puppy. The technician and I agreed that neither of us were experienced enough with zombie puppies to know when they open their eyes.

Veterinary Un and Underemployment Post

Yes, we are harping on this one.  It sticks close to home and for every vet out there that is looking for a job or struggling to keep their doors open, this is our reality.  Working for Banfield does not cut it.  Have I mentioned how each time I did relief for them, it took threats of calling an attorney to get paid?  I mean, in some cases, it took upwards of 6 weeks.  And even when I was employed by a BF "owned" by a private vet....that took me telling him he needed to write me a personal check to finally get paid.  And that is just the money thing, not the severely limited pharmacy they stock, the cook book medicine, the hard sell, the high turn over rate...etc.  I have worked in mixed animal practice, taking my own overnight call by myself, work as a GP in several practices (could only find part time, so I had to cobble together jobs), worked full time in a small emergency clinic (getting paid $30,000 less than my male counterpart even when I out produced him every freaking month), worked in a large referral/critical care place....worked all sorts of jobs.  And in my 10 years of practice, things have become worse.  Working relief, I can plainly tell you that many of the practices that are needing vets are just not good.  As in mixing steroids up with vaccines....leaving vaccines out every day.  Thinking that every cat that has urinary tract signs has an infection (ack!!!).  The good ones have little turn over.  It is like that neighborhood that everyone wants to move into, but you have to wait until someone dies to do it.  The good practices have a steady, unchanging vet staff.  Once you find that good job and that good job finds a good associate, they stick together like glue.  And the economy is slowly, slowly recovering.  However, this does not mean that the practices can grow.  In fact, many owners are letting their part time people go, so they can take the extra hours and keep their income the same.  So, this information was compiled for your perusal:

2012 JAVMA Senior Survey summary

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
October 1, 2012, Vol. 241, No. 7, Pages 890-894 doi: 10.2460/javma.241.7.890
Employment, starting salaries, and educational indebtedness of year-2012 graduates of US veterinary medical colleges Allison J. Shepherd, MBA; Laura Pikel, BS

Survey offered to 2686 (entire US CVM senior population).
2502 responded.
2501 provided debt data.
2410 looked for paying work.
1272 provided salary data.

43 took a job in public practice.
547 got a job in private practice, down 17% from 2011
-49 in food animal, down 14%
-112 in mixed, down 20.6%
-3 in equine, down 91.9%
-362 in companion animal, down 14%
727 went to advanced education (internship/residency/dual degree), down 5.7% from 2011
1093 were at odd ends.

590/2410 makes an effective employment rate of 24.5%

89.2% (2232) had debt.
92% of debt was from vet school.
Mean debt was $151,162, up 6.4% from 2011
22% had debt > $200,000

$65,998 was the mean starting salary in private practice, down 1.0% from 2011
$29,628 for those in advanced education; up 1.8% from 2011

For context, 4729 took the NAVLE, 3879 passed
4118 takers and 3653 passers were from accredited schools
as there are 2686 US seniors, 4118-2686= 1432 foreign accredited enrollment

Yes, low unemployment of vets?  I don't believe the numbers bear that out.  Grim picture for everyone that wants to be a vet?  Yes.  Down right horrifying for those about to graduate with mountains of debt and few prospects?  You bet your sweet bibby.  Unless you have a boat load of money and a sure job once you graduate, run away.  Shortly, with all of the new openings, the general IQ and scores required to get into vet school are going to go down.  It will be a luxury career for someone that is a second income to a partner.  Is that who you want seeing your pet?  When I got into vet school, there were 60 spots for 600 applicants.  If they widen that pool, does that mean that the average VCAT/GRE score and GPA goes down.  I think so.   Think long and hard AVMA, vet schools,  and large industry.  The veterinary population is begging you to sit up, take notice, and do freaking SOMETHING about this mess YOU have created.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yo, Irreverent Vet! Over here!!!

Dude. I don't know who you are, but I just read your article over on and I'm trembling with rage. So, I'm going to go through it point by point, if you don't mind - seems your blog doesn't really have any comment mechanism I can find so this seemed most efficient.

Your list of things that "Veterinarians Don't Want You to Know," with VBB commentary:

1. A Veterinary Hospital is a Small Business: Duh. Of course it is a small business. Unless, of course, it is a big business because it's one of those megacorporate monstrosities. But I digress. Most privately owned veterinary hospitals are small businesses. This isn't a secret. Most people of normal intelligence are fully aware of this fact. I know no veterinary practice owners who are trying to hide this. Do you?

2. There is a High Profit Margin on Vaccines: again not a secret. I've told people how much our vaccines cost. I've also explained some of the other points you bring up. People can decide what to do. I have never had a person refuse a vaccine based on our markup after I've explained what our markup actually includes.

3. They Want to Sell You Preventative Medication: Well, maybe they do and maybe they don't. Unlike some folks, I wouldn't deign to speak for all vets, but I personally would just as soon do away with the pharmacy biz. It's just that my clients find it a convenience, and if I don't carry these things, they get annoyed (heaven knows we get a ton of complaints if we are out of stock of something!). I'm sure some vets like to keep this business in-house, and that's fine too, but don't tar us all with the same brush, dude.

4. Vaccines Can Be Dangerous: Hello! McFly! Are you actually trying to hide this from your clients? Do you actually know vets who fail to disclose the potential risks associated with vaccines? What kind of scary-ass clowns came to your party? Oh. Oops. Sorry, got carried away there. But seriously - no. I refuse to believe that my colleagues do not disclose that vaccines can have adverse effects, and allow their clients to engage in informed consent. I am completely insulted that you disagree.

5. There is No One in Our Hospital Monitoring Pets at Night: Again with the failure to disclose! Seriously? I find myself fighting with clients who want me to admit their pets to our day practice, literally yelling "BUT WE HAVE NO ONE HERE TO MONITOR YOUR PET AT NIGHT!" and they still want to have the pet admitted. I certainly would never in a hundred and fifty billion years consider admitting a pet and keeping the unmonitored overnight status on the downlow. Where do you practice anyway, that you think this is normal behavior?? Are you in Dr. Pol's neighborhood or something?

6. Vaccine Recommendations Have Changed: ok, at least you say "some" vets are still giving annual vaccines instead of longer vaccine intervals but again - this is not a thing that "Veterinarians Don't Want You to Know!" You make it sound like there is some big conspiracy and that most vets are hiding these facts from their clients! 

7. Vets Often Don't Agree With Breeders: I'm gobsmacked. You seriously think that vets do not want their clients to know that we often disagree with breeders? I would like to see a show of hands from the readership... who here finds him or herself telling a client that the breeder is wrong at least once a day?? I know I do. 

8. There are Some Things Some Vets are Better at Than Others: Were you running out of things for your list? This is just silly. No one individual is equally good at absolutely everything he or she does, and only a complete blithering idiot of a client is going to assume that he or she is. This is not a secret. 

9. You Have Referral Options - I guess maybe there are some vets who hesitate to offer referral, as you say. I'm not one of them but whatever. I'll give you this one. 

10. I'm not that Familiar or Fond of Alternative Medicine: Er - it's true I've never told a client your opinion of alternative medicine. But, they will get an earful of mine - which is essentially "show me the research, if there isn't any and it seems harmless fine, if there is some and it shows efficacy, fine, otherwise, no, stay away."

11. Most Vets in General Practice are "GP's" : Are you kidding? I am starting to wonder if you have a different way of defining 'don't want you to know' than I do. Like the many colleagues I speak to on a daily basis, I am frequently telling clients that I am a GP, and that I would really prefer to consult a specialist. Most of the time they reply "oh Dr. VBB - we really only trust YOU." To which I reply "well, if you trust me, take my advice and see a specialist!" to which they reply "oh no, we could never let any other doctor see Fluffy." *headdesk*

12. Vets Have a Low Tolerance For Aggression: Funny you should bring this up. This week I have told two puppy owners that their new puppies showed unacceptable amounts of aggression to me and that they need behavioral consults. My clients are well aware that aggression is not amusing or acceptable in my exam room. I don't jump to euthanasia as a first line of treatment for aggression, but I definitely have it on my list of treatment options, and if dedicated behavioral interventions fail or are refused, better to kill the dog than the dog kills a person. And I'm not afraid of using muzzles or chemical restraint if necessary. This is all explained clearly up front. No one who has been to VBB central with an aggressive dog comes away misunderstanding this. 

13. Vets Get Attached: Not sure why this is even on your list when you state right there that we sometimes cry. Hard to be keeping it secret when you're crying in the exam room with your client, really. But, I don't know any vets who think their clients shouldn't know how much they (the vets) care about the client's pets. Why would we not want people to know this?

14. Vets Have Bad Days Too: This is kind of right up there with number 11 and number 8 and number 1 as not really something that a normal person of average or better intelligence would not know, and not something that anyone is actively trying to keep secret from his or her clients. Whatever.

15. Cats May be Happier as Indoor/Outdoor Cats: OK, you got me! I do know some vets who would never ever be willing to state that it's ok to let your cat outdoors due to the associated risks. Good work, Irreverent Vet! Now the people know.

16. Your Dog Doesn't Need Vitamins: again, not a secret, not something anyone I know is hiding from people, actually something I tell people all the time and the people choose not to believe. 

17. Not all Foods Are Created Equal: also not sure why this is something you say vets don't want people to know....just seems like list filler. 

18. All Drugs Have Side Effects: see item 4. OF COURSE this is disclosed! 

19. If Your Dog Acts Aggressive We Muzzle: See item 12....

20. Even if Your Dog is Really Bad They May Minimize It: so you see a lot of vets shooting themselves in the foot this way? I don't. I just tell people "your dog's behavior is not acceptable" and then explain why and what needs to be done. Seems many of the vets I speak with regularly do the same....

21. No House Calls: how is this a secret? Obviously if people call and ask for a house call and that's not a service you provide, you tell them, right? How is this something we don't want people to know? Are you saying we just want people to go around assuming if they call us we'll drop everything and run over? Why would we want that? It would just end up in disappointment and anger. 

22. Many Pets Do Better When You Aren't Around: again, not something we don't want owners to know. This is something I tell people All. The. Freakin'. Time.

23. We are Often People People: Not touching this with a ten foot rabies pole :)

24. Vets Hate Talking About Money: ok this is a true statement, but I wouldn't say it is something we don't want people to know. 

25. Vets Aren't Always Right: Sigh. Again with the statements from the Department of Obvious Facts. See #1, #14.... Also not a secret.

26. Pets Can Change: again a true statement, again something I find myself explaining OVER and OVER to clients who JUST DON'T GET IT. So - I'd call this something vets DO want you to know, not something vets do NOT want you to know. Did you get your columns mixed up?

27: Vets are Not Nutritionists: well, some are. The GPs aren't, though. That's true. This is no secret in my practice, but I don't discuss it with a lot of other vets so couldn't say what is generally done. In my practice, I will offer to help with basic dietary stuff, and have sometimes consulted a nutritionist for assistance (at the school where I trained), and have made referrals to nutritionists. Tell me more about how the vets you know keep this hidden from their clients, though! Sounds like a great story hiding behind this.

OK, well - this is all I have to say. Feel free to explain yourself in the comments!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fractional Man

It was a dark and snowy night. That's quite rare in south Louisiana. And I was on duty.

Here, we consider snow like having a hurricane during an earthquake during a plague outbreak. No one was moving about that night. I did what any sensible ER type would do. I went for a nap.

I was awakened about 2 AM by the receptionist, saying "We've got a walk-in". Consciousness returned, and I went in. It's amazing how much you can see in the first seconds of an exam.

There, swaying slightly, stood a rather disheveled client. On his hip was a revolver. As a shooter, I notice such things. The revolver had rust and was in a very cheap holster. It was the sort of holster you'd see sold for a dollar on the junk table at a gun show. He also had a badge that said "Special Officer", also dollar gun show type thing.

As soon as I entered he started talking, rambling slurred words that only a drunk can do. He told me he was a US Marshall, in some detail. Look, I know Federal Marshalls socially and as clients. They are well groomed in public, not drunk. They hadn't carried revolvers in a generation. And I've never met a Fed, ever, who's sidearm was rusty.

So drunk? Check. Armed? Check. Liar? Check. I've handled drunks and don't mind guns. But combined they are dangerous. Add in liar, and I wanted him GONE. I was getting pissed.

It took several tries to divert him from the David Koresh ramblings. (The Waco standoff was in progress.) When I asked about why his dog was there, I got silence or "umms". To this day, I don't know why the dog was there. To speed things up, I tried asking multiple choice questions. Whatever I asked he always picked the "B" answer. On physical, the dog looked fine. I think I gave some pen and sent him out as fast as I could.

As I said, I was annoyed. I do not like people impersonating Federal agents. I decided to act.

I called the US Marshall's office and asked to speak to the duty officer. I told him I'd had a client impersonating one of their people. The agent said that was a serious allegation, and asked how I knew. I described the inebriation and dress, and the officer said it was possible that he was not a Fed. When I mentioned the rusty revolver, he said, "Nope, that's DEFINITELY not one of ours. I think we'd like to have a chat with him. Do you have any information on him?" Sure, I got the client info sheet, and gave the officer the client's name. Then we got to the address.

I had not looked at the address until then. "Holy crap!" I said. The duty officer asked what was wrong. I caught my breath. "Let me explain to you that I am not the drunk here. I'll be happy to hand you a copy of this or fax it to you. But I am not making this up.", I said. "Sir what are you talking about?" "It's his address. It's PO Box 0423 1/4". No that is not a typo. The drunk wrote down box 0423 and a quarter. The officer said "Sir? Are you kidding?"

We faxed the sheet. When he got it, the officer said, "Holy crap, you were telling the truth!" I asked what next. The officer promised that they would find the client, and he promised that if I ever saw him again, he would not be drunk, nor armed, and that he would never, ever claim to be a Marshall again.

That suited me. I went back to bed. But to this day, I still wonder what sort of conversation the man with the fractional address had with the real Marshalls.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Speaking of Veterinary Economics....

I read this today Apparently the state of Montana is considering starting a new vet program.  This press release quotes Montana State University College of Agriculture Dean Jeff Jacobsen as saying, "There is a workforce shortage of veterinarians practicing large animal in Montana."

Yeah?  Why is that?

It's not a lack of veterinarians!  

There are enough veterinarians willing to practice in rural areas.  

Maybe if I say it again:
There are enough veterinarians willing to practice in rural areas. 
Maybe if I type it real slow: 
T  h  e  r  e    a  r  e    e  n  o  u  g  h    v  e  t  s . . . 

Maybe if an expert says it. A bunch of them, actually.
The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) (national professional organization for cow vets) made this statement in May 2011:

" there is not currently a shortage of veterinarians for rural food supply veterinary private practice....Efforts to increase interest in rural practice among graduating veterinary students have been successful, so lack of available veterinarians is no longer an issue... there remain underserved rural areas across the country that may not be able to sustain a veterinary practice... The committee is extremely concerned that the perception by veterinary schools and the public that there continues to be a shortage of rural practitioners is leading to increased class sizes at veterinary schools and the creation of new veterinary schools.  Continuing to increase the number of veterinarians interested in serving rural areas will not solve this problem."

Figures the guys who remove testicles for a living would have enough to come out and say that.  I'm not hearing it anywhere else.

I mean, really- the people who make a living doing it are saying, basically, there's not enough money in some places to make a living doing it. 
So what the hell kind of sense does make to to crank out ten more heavily indebted* new grads every year to do it in those very places?!?!!?

Especially since there's not much proof that a state's students will come back to that state to practice.  
Much less farm kids.
I married a guy who grew up on a farm.  He'll tell you, there's a reason he went to college.  It wasn't so he could go back to the farm and pull calves in the 20 below dead of night.  Very few people are going to put themselves six figures in debt for that.  And they're damn sure not going to put themselves six figures in debt to do it for chicken feed. 

Will educating kids from Montana mean those kids will come back to Montana to practice large animal?  Especially if there's not enough money for them to get paid for it?  

Must be nice, spending other peoples' money. 

Seriously, if I were a Montana taxpayer I would reeeeeallllyy want to see some independent financials on this.  Would the state not be better off taking the money that's going to go into this program and paying vets to provide services in those areas, or hire techs or some sort of paraprofessional to work with existing remote vets, or set up telemedicine, or, well, ANYTHING a little more certain to achieve the goal of filling the gap?  As a staunch free market adherent those words make me cringe but I have to say them.  For animal welfare and biosecurity purposes we can't let large areas go without some kind of veterinary presence.

The reason there are areas of Montana, and the rest of the country, that lack a veterinary presence is because there's not enough money in those areas to pay a vet, and not enough reason to go be a vet there even if there were plenty of money.  See above about pulling calves in the 20 below dead of a Montana night.  

Think that's cold?  How 'bout 40 below?  Because Alaska is proposing a new program to produce 20 a year, in collaboration with Colorado State. This article from a Fairbanks paper last year  quotes a Fairbanks veterinarian as saying the shortage of vets there leads to burnout and high turnover. Typically, labor shortages lead to high wages and lots of work which leads to happy veterinarians; it's crappy working conditions and a lack of clients wiling to spend money that lead to burnout and high turnover.  Even if there were a shortage... does Alaska need 20 more vets every year?  Really? There's enough paying work for TWENTY MORE VETS in Alaska every year, year after year?

And Utah is accepting it's first class of 30 this fall, to spend their first two years in Logan and the last two in Pullman at good ol' Washington State.  Not to be a hater, but there's no way Utah needs 30 more vets each and every single year.  It's Utah.  I'm unaware of it being a huge agricultural power and a major population center.  

I haven't even mentioned the new schools that are supposed to be starting in Arizona and Tennessee at over a hundred students apiece every year.  Or the bigger classes at lots of the established schools...

So I guess the takeaway for me is that it doesn't seem like the profession is working as a system.  The schools aren't hearing what we as practitioners are saying.  The VMAs certainly don't seem to be saying much to the states.  The AVMA can't figure out what it ought to be saying.

I hope things start getting better soon, but with the tsunami of new grads hitting the market, and the livestock markets dropping like a rock because of the drought, things are maybe going to get a lot worse instead.  I don't know what to do other than this. I'm scared for my future.

Dr. Who-the-hell-runs-this-joint-anyway-oh-*&^%-its-us

* Well, they will be slightly less heavily indebted.  Spending the first year at Bozeman instead of Pullman means $14,000 instead of $39,000, according to the colleges' websites.  I grant that $25,000 isn't chicken feed, but it's not exactly a huge reduction of the $160,000 tab these kids are looking at running up before they graduate.  Well, more than that if you count inflation- Washington State's tuition went up over 6% this past year.  Plus there's interest while you're in school now.  Fabulous!

Guest post: Dear whoever you are

Dear hysterical lady who calls literally in the middle of the night: 

1) I cannot understand hysterical crying, whether in a voicemail or while on the phone. 

2) Calling 4 times in 5 minutes does not necessarily get me to call back any faster, especially when (#1) applies. I need to understand your phone number at the very least.

 3) $150 plus euthanasia costs is not "insane" (thanks insensitive husband in the background) when I'm the one getting woken up in the middle of the night to take care of a cat that you "don't think" I have ever seen before in my life.

4) "Do you live here in town?" The location of my residence relative to the hospital does not get you a reduced emergency fee.

5) I really do hope he passes quickly so the trauma stops, because I feel bad that you are hysterical, and it doesn't sound like your husband is going to "let" you bring him in.

After this call, it's to the couch I go so I don't keep my fiancé up for the next 2 hours that I won't be able to sleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hearing voices?

Like many other professional offices, VBB Central has a television in the waiting room. Generally, ours is tuned into something relatively benign - the local news, one of those annoying morning shows, or a loop of animal-health-related videos. It's not something I ever really pay any attention to.

Today, when I walked into the building, the caught my attention. You know those TV ads by ambulance-chasing lawyers? Where you have this vaguely ominous sounding guy saying "Have you ever experienced night sweats, disfiguring acne, and crippling toe pain? If so, and you've taken mistakeomycin, CALL IMMEDIATELY, to take part in a class action lawsuit! ONCE AGAIN, if YOU have SUFFERED THE EFFECTS of MISTAKEOMYCIN, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL NOW!" Well.... I heard a similar type of ad this morning. I looked at the TV & saw what appeared to be a row of beds in a hospital taking up half the screen, and some text scrolling on the other side. The voiceover was the same vaguely ominous sounding guy from the lawyer ads, but he was soliciting patients for some kind of research study at a local hospital. He was saying something along the lines of "are you between the ages of 18-25? Have you been diagnosed with schizophrenia for at least the past 2 years? If so, PICK UP THE PHONE and CALL NOW to enroll in our new study! Again, if YOU are suffering from SCHIZOPHRENIA, don't delay! PICK UP THE PHONE and CALL NOW!"

I swear to dog, all I could think was "OMG, some dude with schizophrenia is going to call his psychiatrist and tell him his TV is talking to him, and the psychiatrist won't know that the dude's TV *was actually talking to him!*"

I don't know, it just seemed to me perhaps not the best method of recruitment for patients with this truly tragic illness.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

I recently had the very great pleasure of being presented with a dog for the purpose of emptying his anal sacs. His owner informed me that he'd brought the dog in several days prior, and a licensed tech had done the sac-emptying, but maybe didn't do a good job because the dog was still scooting. So, I assessed the situation digitally, as one does in these circumstances, and I found that in fact the sacs were empty. "Guess what, TBB? You actually did a great job! These are empty! Now let's see...." I said, as I looked for another cause of scooting in this pup. "Aha. See that little protrusion there, sticking out from the dorsal rim of the anus, where 12 o'clock would be if this were a clock?" I asked the owner. The owner expressed agreement that yes, there was something there. "Well, I'm not 100% sure what that is, but it's only about 2 mm wide, and it's on a less than 1 mm wide stalk, and it's a tiny bit irritated - this could be the issue." I gave them some cream to put on it and explained ultimately we could just remove it if it continued to be a problem.

About an hour or so later, the owner's other half called me. I was instructed to take the call.

Me: Hello, this is Dr VBB, how can I help you?
Mrs. Knowsit: Yes, my dog and my husband were just there. Why didn't you run a fecal?
Me: Oh, you mean on little Fluffypants, with the scooting problem? Well, you didn't send in a fecal sample, and I didn't feel one was indicated for any reason, so I didn't do one.
Mrs. Knowsit: but obviously she has worms, she is scooting.
Me: That doesn't mean she has worms. It could be something else.
Mrs. Knowsit: well, but most likely it's worms. I just don't understand why you didn't do a fecal.
Me: I don't believe she has worms. A fecal was not indicated. She's 12, she's on a monthly dewormer, she's never had clinical signs referable to worms before, and she has a perfectly reasonable cause for scooting in any case.
Mrs. Knowsit: Oh? What's that?
Me: The mass on her anus.
Mrs. Knowsit: The what?
Me: The mass on her anus, it was a little inflamed.
Mrs. Knowsit: (laughing) I've never heard it called that before!
Me: What do you mean? You've never heard a mass called a mass, or you've never heard of a mass being called inflamed? Sorry I don't understand.
Mrs. Knowsit: Wait a minute. A mass? I thought you said she has a mouse on her anus.
Me: No. Your dog does not have a mouse on her anus.
Mrs. Knowsit: OK. But I still think she has worms.
Me: I'm more than happy to run a fecal for you any time. Just drop off a sample at your convenience.
Mrs. Knowsit: Ok, thank you doctor.

The fecal was duly dropped off and was run. GUESS WHAT? It was negative. But how much do you want to bet that this client will tell me she doesn't want to spend whatever my next recommendation was cost because she just "had to" spend "so much money" on a fecal? HMMM? I did try to avoid taking her money for the fecal. Honest.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ball Bells

Well gang, this is my first post to VBB.  I have been hanging around VBB Cental for awhile, and they finally decided I was warped enough to contribute.  Let the games begin!

Speaking of doing things with testicles...(which we do at VBB Central) a good friend and client of mine gave me a little gift one Christmas.  I had neutered her beloved dog, Murphy.  Being the great veterinarian and friend that I am, I place those BIG buggers in a formalin jar, and sent them home as a parting gift.  Little did I know that they would come back to me, along with this cute poem.

A couple of Christmas ornaments for you to put on your tree.
You may remember seeing these before, you took them from me!
I saved them for a little while hoping they might bring me luck,

But look what happened to them - they all shriveled up!!!
I can no longer lick them and that really sucks
And I've come to realize now I can't even F**K!
So I'm passing on to you my little holiday nuts
Maybe as a warning to all those other mutts,
Who come thru your clinic door to see you Dr. No
This this maybe the last time they lift their leg to go!
I do hope you enjoy these little Christmas bells,
And thank you for taking care of me so well!
My little sac is now empty, a little fuzzy pouch,
My pecker no longer dribbles so I can now lay on the couch.
They'll no longer get blue or make me run away,
So thank you Dr. No and have a Happy Holiday!!

Love, Murphy

Yes, it was painted and glittered!