This post is all about the lighter (or weirder) side!
Just another Sunday at the vets....
Many years ago, before I was the boss of Russell Vale Animal Clinic, I used to work the Sunday shift at another vets. It was usually boring, and mostly consisted of re-checks of the cases seen during the week by the "regular" vets. And most Sundays, I had no vet nurse for back up or reception.
This particular Sunday started like any other - I cleaned the cages, fed and walked the animals, answered the phone, and served at the counter. I was in the back kennel room, and I didn't see the elderly gentleman walk in with his dog, but there was an almighty screech of the door bell.
When I walked out to the reception area, there he was, sitting down, with his dog sitting very quietly next to him. The man looked at me as I walked in, but the dog was very obedient, and didn't move - he was looking lovingly at his owner.
"How can I help you", I asked, leaning over the big front yellow counter that separated me from the
|A bit stuffed!|
"My dog is stuffed", the owner said. As a vet, I am used to a lot of different comments on what the owner thinks the problem is, but I had never had anyone say that before. They usually say or "they are not well", or "I think it is time", or " you tell me, your the doc".
I walked around the counter to face the gentlemen, and said " I am sorry to hear that, let me have a look at him, what is his name". All the while, the dog's loving gaze doesn't shift.
And as I start to move closer to the gentleman and his dog, I realise that something is amiss. The gentleman grabs his dog, on both sides of him, lifts him up and swings him around, so he is now facing me, with two glass eyes, and a loving expression.
The dog, literally, was stuffed! This dog had cancer, which was treated by one of the other vets in the practice, who the gentleman thought was working that Sunday. Alas, it was me.... facing a stuffed dog.
The look on my face was priceless, and fortunately, the vet hospital did not have CCTV, otherwise, I have no doubt, it would've made it onto youtube!
The sex change -
The consultation room can be a magic room sometimes. It sometimes doubles as the "sex change room".
At every vet check, we go through which sex the pet actually is - there are usually only two kinds - male or female ( though we have see the hermaphrodites - the ones who look like girls externally but are boys internally or a mix of the two)
It is always a funny moment when you lift the tail of the kitten, and instead of it being a girl, it is a boy. It is even funnier, when the client says "how do you know". A hard one to answer - the two testicles sitting in the scrotal sac gives it away a little bit, I guess.
Your dog ate what?
TV shows are made of the strange things that dog's eat. We have had dogs eat tampons, used condoms (gross, I know - can you imagine what it was like when we made them vomit it up? eeewww).
The strange ones come when you xray the dog because it has a back problem, and find a strange object in the stomach. Or the dog that is "not doing right", pass a blue coloured poop (on further investigation, it was the arm of a little blue teddy bear).
The Clayton's stitch
Many years ago, a gorgeous dog, named Barry came in with a cut on his leg. It was a big cut, and you could see the muscle underneath. It needed stitches. We anaesthetised Barry soon after he came in, as we know that the sooner you stitch it up, the less likely that it will get infected.
Barry went home the next morning, happy as Larry. The wound looked great, and he was happy.
But the owner was not happy at all when he saw the wound. "I am going to sue you". the owner says, angrily, and in a very threatening manner.
I was absolutely dumbfounded. My associate vet had worked hard to clean the wound, flush it well, and then close the skin using "plastic surgery quality" dissolving skin sutures, so you can hardly see a wound. They had stayed back to do it, without asking for any extra pay, even though they were paid it. I stayed back to help him with the anaesthetic, as it was the type of surgery that this vet loved to do. At the end of the surgery, the wound looked amazing - all you could see was a shaved area, with a little line where the laceration had been.
"There are no stitches!" Barry's owner exclaims. " I am going to report you to the Mercury, for
ripping people off.... there are no stitches there at all. How can you rip people off like that."
To this day, I have no doubt the owner still believes he was ripped off because we managed to "stitch up" a really deep laceration with the care and skill to make it look like nothing had been done.
This is the "Clayton's stitch"... for those who remember the slogan... it is the stitch up you have when you haven't had a stitch up.
The high rise balls! (graphic terminology ahead!)
Desexing a male dog is never a routine procedure. Usually, the boys have two testicles sitting in the scrotum (sac), and the surgery is a routine one (with the little anatomical variations that vets have to deal with, but owners are usually non the wiser).
It is becoming increasingly common that we see the dogs with only one obvious testicle, and then we have to go searching for the retained (or cryptorchid) testicle.
But I was accused once, when I was a newly graduated vet (so over 24 years ago), of pushing the testicles up higher instead of removing them.
"Ya shoved them up higher!" this agro male shouted at me, a few days after the surgery. " I took my
dog home, and he had these two things swelling up every time he saw me"
As a new graduate, I hadn't yet developed the skill of keeping a straight face when the pet owner says something completely stupid. Admittedly, I still haven't developed that skill, which is one of my faults, but I know I will never win an Academy Award for acting!
What this owner was concerned about was the swelling of the accessory sex glands which sit on either side of the penis, and become swollen when the dog is excited. As that area is shaved, coupled with the fact that this was probably the first time this guy actually looked at his dogs abdomen (as he needed to check the surgery wound), the bulbous swelling was a real shock.
Fortunately, my grey haired and bearded boss was walking past and overheard this discussion, and gave his appraisal of this situation " Why would we shove the balls up higher for you to see? Do you realise how difficult that procedure is, because, technically, that is impossible to do! If that is what we did, then we didn't charge you enough!"
Welcome to the mad side of my veterinary world - there are a lot more stories, but when I shared them with my family, I was told that they were "funny weird" not "funny - ha ha", and I guess you guys want "funny ha ha" (but I did share some "funny weird" because I couldn't help myself).
This is mad Dr Liz, signing off... end of November 2013..... thanks for all of you being part of the animal mad animalclinic family.
And the silly season is yet to begin....