In Uncategorized on May 15, 2022 at 5:26 am

Then there was the time I decided I was going to become a large animal Dr.

My buddy/client/contractor has a herd of sheep, one of whom had a medical problem. Usually this kind of thing is handled by an ambulatory/mobile veterinarian who comes to your barn or ranch. The ones he contacted were not interested. Too small an issue, too far to travel, would prefer to “turn and burn” (huh?) or taking care of a sickly family member. He was told to take it to the vet school and not to delay treatment.

I get the urgent text – scenario and pictures. My advice is replied to “can i learn how to do that on You Tube?” Maybe I should get involved. Negotiations start on timing – bring the sheep to the clinic for $X or I’ll come there (over an hour away) for $Y but it might not be for a day or two. He says he’ll find someone to bring it by. Not.

So that same night I’m on my way out, after a heck of a week and final day. I text ahead “have the sheep ready at X o’clock.” I certainly am not intending to chase sheep or have him figure out which one it is when I get there.

My anticipation was well warranted. He’s a bit tipsy, says we are having steaks first. I’m a bit concerned as daylight is fading but he waves me off, light will not be a factor. We have a lovely dinner with his wife (it’s their usual date night) and one year old. Finally time to go get sheep. It’s darkish but the arena is lit.

Find a paddock with 3 new alpacas and 3 lambs. One of the 5 girl lambs has the problem. All 5 were in there before my arrival it is reported. The darn alpacas let them out, apparently. One can see where I am going with this. None of the three have the medical condition I was summoned for. I knew, just knew we should have started the vet stuff when I got there and earned our dinner.

I get to return to the house to watch the playoff game while our “farmer” goes out on the ATV to catch the/more sheep. Ultimately he returns dejected – not gonna happen that night. He (and I) are very frustrated. He is getting out of the sheep business.

New plan is hatched – I end up sleeping on the sofa bed. In the 5 o’clock hour we are up and I think good to go. “Give me 15 minutes” apparently a decent hangover is causing some troubles. 2 hours later we still haven’t budged.

Finally he takes off on the ATV having yelled something unintelligible to me in the house – obviously he is going to round up sheep. Do I join? Come down in 15 minutes? Where? Wait for him to call/text? The Mrs says just wait it out, what’ll happen will happen. More delay. He returns looking for his phone which naturally can’t be found.

Finally 15 sheep are in the paddock. None still can be identified as having the medical problem established. It self corrected! (apparently that is a thing with this particular issue)

Sigh. I get a steak dinner out of it and some ground beef from one of the cows he raised. We are not talking further compensation til he’s “done being dead” some other time. Promises he will not drink again for a month. I intend to hold him to that.

Maybe this is why people are having a hard time getting vets to come out to look at their livestock?


Quote of the Day

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm

“My dog doesn’t like men, he gets upset when my husband gets friendly with me”

This is such an interesting concept on so many levels. I often get the “dog hates men” deal which I used to take as a personal challenge then realized I didn’t have to address it at all as I worked with 5 other veterinarians, all female. Let them deal with the unhappy dog.

The reality is that dogs are likely poorly socialized to “men” at an early age – whether it is a dominant large tall deep voiced individual or simply someone different than the woman/child who they got to know. I do agree that a bad experience with a person who mistreated them can have last effects (“the dog was abused”) but it makes more sense to me that they recognize as ok that which they experience and especially at a young age.

It feels like a bit of a disservice, socially, what we do with our dogs when we keep them to ourselves while getting their vaccines. Until 4 months old. They should get out there around all kinds of people and vaccinated healthy dogs.

Which brings us back to the client with the amorous husband. I don’t think that “man hating” really had to do with men (or me) at all. This was more of a dysfunctional triangle where the top resource (her) was being competed for by husband and dog.


Go Yelp Yourself

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Social/Media scrutiny is always a double edged sword for us veterinarians. It’s the 80/20 rule all over again. Most of the great people clients of ours write glowing reviews which of course we skim over then live and die over the relatively few “bad” comments which of course our version is going to be somewhat different. Should they be responded to? It’s so tempting.
I’ve seen vets go so far as to threaten legal action, right there on the site(s). Any response feels like it’s only going to fan the flames. I’ve finally resolved to not bother even reading them anymore and now I’m generally a pretty happy person. It’s interesting the path people will go to complain – you gotta tell me directly if you want any action. Most will just leave quietly and I get that.

The most recent face off in my lobby this week involved a client with a number of concerns including a “by the way” which ended with suggesting that I am no Dr Noble (the founder of the clinic who it’s named after). Ouch. And he stated that he had already made these complaints, yet I knew nothing of them until that moment. When going through the confirmed and bad things I agree we did do and the more paraphrased stuff I realized perception may be reality but hearing the account from the different people involved were quite a bit different. It makes me want to put all the parties in the same room and hash it out. But instead mea culpas were offered. We’ll see how that goes.

Which brings us to “Sophisticated Lady” who Yelped us, in the “not recommended” section but since disappeared. We’ll call him Bob (yes male) who owned a rabbit. He broke up with his veterinarian for what reason I don’t recall and traveled over 45 minutes to see us. I have come to realize those clients that complain about their previous vets I can be the hero for until they inevitably find something wrong with us. The rabbit has an abscess (infection) requiring multiple surgeries and lots of expense. Bob is what I consider high maintenance but I’m up for it. The medical challenge of his rabbits care being paramount. Both of my managers tell me they can’t deal with him – this should have been enough of a flag. But I persevere telling them to leave him to me. We have rapport, see?

And then we overcharge him, he thinks. Bob wants $27 back. Goes from being a fairly sweet talkative guy to a serious bully. Accuses us of horrible things, poor care, incompetence, malpractice, and says he will absolutely sue.  And yes god forbid Yelp us unlike we have ever been Yelped before. Which of course is not the way to get me to give in. Poof goes our relationship. He goes back to his original veterinarian who simply increases the dose of medication and everything heals. Which of course I’m happy about but the fact that I don’t know how to prescribe for my patients has been confirmed.

The Yelp review was remarkable. I truly wish I had saved it for my own future entertainment. Just a rambling recitation of events painting the picture of Dr Evil and my minions with the recitation of a bill of $x including all the various items when he was expecting $x – 27 and he was suing me to get justice. (The bill was over $600, mind you) He never sued, natch. But the moniker was just special.

Another No Rec was one written by the out of state breeder of a puppy that I told my client I wasn’t sure of a health issue and we would just watch it. No big deal. The breeder calls me up to read me the riot act for questioning the puppy and his reputation by extension which I was certainly not. Then the classic Yelp review had a “$” for every “S” implying I was just out for money. I suggested no test and no return of the puppy for any clear defect. Sigh. Do I go into the Yelp wars and review him as a breeder with questionable tactics? There is not enough time in the day.