Archive for the ‘Veterinary Quotes’ Category


In Veterinary Quotes on May 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Being a Cowboy can be a good or not so good thing. What it means to me is to blaze a path with a courageous take no prisoners attitude. Probably a good thing. It can also mean to do stuff that others wouldn’t do because it is foolhardy or not care what others think. Less of a good thing.

A singular episode associated with this is additionally one of my fondest memories of a colleague and how I was perceived. Y is going to be terribly embarrassed by this association if I know her like I do. To set the stage I need to explain her a little bit.

It was during her interview at the hospital that I was working at for her first job out of school. I had actually met her at a previous interview for a job because I was working at that hospital for the day to help out. In some small way I have always wondered if she didn’t end up at my full time hospital because of me.

To go back further another memorable and possibly the first thing she said to me is “you are at the best place you can be” in a gushing manner. VERY complimentary. Simply put that I was 5 years into my career and she couldn’t wait to be that experienced because her perception was that is when you were at your ultimate best. A big part of why this is so memorable is the package she presents. You see Y did not start her professional life as a veterinarian. She had been a concert cellist.

And if there is anyone who should have been a cellist, it is her. I actually long to see her one day play the cello because I can only imagine how magnificent she must be. Tall, gorgeous, thin, platinum blonde (I know, I know, we are starting a singles ad here!) wearing all black holding onto the far too big instrument just so with her concentration only focused on making beautiful music. Pause. Sigh. Pause.

Back to the story: going forward my lasting memory of her was unlike everybody else, she would stand waiting with some little white fluffy dog for help, with much aplomb as the rest of us scurried around or forced our way into getting our work done. But Y always had the patience to wait. So unusual.

Towards the end of her shift working with us that first day, she is checking us out and we are checking her out (not like that!).  I had the opportunity to help out a patient named “Cash” – rarely would I remember a patients name from a decade ago but this one stood out. He was a terribly ill and very thin mastiff with the type of owner who would have a dog with this kind of name (think wearing about 1o too many gold chains). The dog had a huge fever and one leg was grossly swollen unlike anything I’d seen before. I was positive this would be a euthanasia situation if only because of how much CASH it was going to take to fix this dog.

I don’t know if it was how much I wanted to impress Y, how badly I needed to be creative to make the dog better or how scared I was of his owner and which was the predominate driving force behind my actions. But I took the dog, drove a rubber tube “drain” into his leg to gravity allow a liter of pus to be removed. The dog was too debilitated to care, no anesthesia or pain medication was administered (wait, I did what?!?).

Y looked at the dogs leg, then looked at me totally blank faced, and back again at the dogs leg and uttered the words that still ring in my mind only when I think of her: “(my name), you are such a Cowboy.” She knew I would be titillated and happy to hear this from her. And nobody else at that practice would possibly have done the same thing the same way.

Darned if it didn’t work beautifully 🙂  Given the proper medication to fight infection and that miracle procedure when I saw him again to remove the drain, he was a new dog with a lot of weight gained and felt great and the leg was healing nicely. Definitely a top 5 in my career save to this day – I’ll have to recount some of the others on here later.

The Point (trying out new end titles, due to Y actually):

Cowboys almost always get the job done. And I love it when I can be one and have my way with the nature of things.


“Patient is odd”

In Veterinary Quotes on April 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

“The cat is acting odd which my daughter and I disagree about and we wanted to know what you thought of this.”

This is all I was told, no further information was forthcoming without my prodding, 3 sets of expectant eyes gazing upon me waiting for me to work my magic (client and daughter, both older than I, and cat).

I elucidated that the “odd” behavior which this middle age indoor cat had never displayed before consisted of avoiding the floor in the bedroom, staring under the door entering the room, trying to get up to high places and vocalizing. Otherwise perfectly healthy. Then I asked the key question = any fleas? “No, but I did get bitten by one recently.” Aha!

Sure enough fleas were found on the cat which I showed to all and flea preventative medication was administered as well as dispensed and I’m pretty sure the odd behavior will now subside.

It is always interesting to me that people are so impressed that veterinarians can figure out what is wrong with animals, as “they can’t talk.” But they certainly exhibit some kind of changed activity which their owner caretakers pick up on and through the process of history, physical exam, testing and/or treatment/medication trials we can usually figure out what is happening or at least make them better.

Often is takes just the right query or use of the proper instrument (in this case a quick sweep of a flea comb) and away we go. From a starting point of “odd”, which may have been conjecture or strictly behavioral and I might have had to conjure up a presumption of the presence of roof rats in this case to mild or significant medical distress – it all starts as a mystery but definitely requires the client appreciating that something is amiss. I just help them focus to the best of our ability on what the problem is at hand.

This is a close cousin to our vague friend: “Ain’t Doing Right” abbreviated (unfortunately) ADR in medical records.


Even though subtle, our pets give us clues to their state of health if we pay close enough attention



In Veterinary Quotes on April 21, 2011 at 3:39 am

Another in the long line of board posted statements made (Quotes of the Day), this time by a client:

“… and then he had a wound by his peenieweenie.”

This statement was humorous both in its specific use of the euphemism for the embarrassing anatomical area as well as the way this good ol’ boy (for lack of a better stereotype) dramatized just that word in a cartoony way. The poor dog did look a tiche taken aback (“do you have to discuss my parts?”).

It never ceases to amaze me the creativity that people come up with for organs or functions that are not easily discussed. Are these suddenly conjured up on the spur of the moment or the regular term used by this person’s family? Relates somehow to how they were raised? Is there a whole series of generations at BBQs talking this way?!?

The use of inappropriate terms (not the actual medical/physical one) also reflects a lack of knowledge in my mind. These people may simply not know what to actually call that “xxx” thing. They couldn’t pick it out of a lineup, look it up in a book or find it on the internet. Don’t really know what it does and in fact are kinda scared of it and would rather not look directly at it if at all possible.

Or maybe I’m over interpreting here just a little.


It’s a good thing vets are around to decipher what people really mean when they tell a story about their pets.


Quote of the Day

In Veterinary Quotes on April 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

“”My male cat keeps mounting my female. I think he may need to be re-neutered”

Back to this again. People just don’t get it. Our client said this with all earnestness. There is a significant difference between the primitive urges of our animal patients and *behavior*.

Now, this particular pair of cats had surgery a couple weeks before so the question was about whether the original surgery “took” and the reality is that a castrated (neutered) male cat can impregnate an intact female for longer than a month after surgery because of hormones that take time to dissipate as well as the stuff that can impregnate to die off or be used up.

Does this represent someone not being able to compare themselves as a human to the animals? The biology is generally similar. Just kinda shaped different. Or is it a basic lack of education, or rather knowledge about how even this basic physiologic process works?



It’s all gonna be confusing if it’s about cats or sex, put them together and thank gosh for vets


“The biggest mistake I made was…”

In Veterinary Quotes on April 14, 2011 at 9:00 am

One of the best things I like about other veterinarians is their ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes and more importantly admit and even share them. With gusto. Usually this is about medical things but can be about most anything. For whatever reason I think veterinarians, perhaps more than most others, use the fact that things go wrong as lessons in life.

Most of us can remember any time a patient has an unfortunate outcome and we vets take it very personally that we either caused or could have prevented that from happening. It may not be true, but if we can take any little thing and sear it into our minds as “I’m not going to do that ever again!” then we will. This teaches something that takes hold much more strongly than ALL the times something worked for us. The bad things that happen are ever remembered.

This came to me with the recent conversation I had with a vet with a lot of experience who had built a large vet hospital complex with ancillary stores and in fact owned the whole shopping mall complex. The intent was to build a 24 hour facility and he was happy to share the fact that he lost all this money over the unbuilt water therapy area among other things. He had sunk all he had into this dream project and the economy had hit him hard.

And what he had to share was a minor financial point, using the quote above. Which just amazes me that somebody I barely knew was willing to show how he “blew” it just to let another of his kind (a veterinarian) know so that maybe they could prevent it from happening to themselves in the future or would share with other vets. Just remarkable.


Making mistakes and sharing them can be a key to learning


Funny quotes/Racist?

In Veterinary Quotes on April 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

At the clinic we write down those things we find humorous. Invariably these are things either clients or staff say. Usually not intentionally (to be funny that is). It helps to relieve tension and laugh at ourselves. Often quite morbid. I have noticed a trend lately:

“His Spanish has an accent”

“A hint of French! A french mexicans”

Now the way I was raised you simply did NOT bring somebody’s race into a discussion. To describe who somebody was or to differentiate them. It wasn’t proper and had no bearing. I constantly tell my high school teen that when telling a story he doesn’t have to mention the race of the person who he is telling a story about, unless it directly pertains to the content.

But I have started to see a comfort level of the new Generation (do they have a name, yet?) where it seems race is a comfortable casual thing. Especially because fewer are the standard check off boxes anymore. It seems a mix is going on and it is a good thing. It is almost Dr Seussian. Half white/half asian = whasian. Half black/half mexican = blaxican. This is really a very interesting thing.


The coming together of who we are as a people has beneficial effects.


How to handle dogs

In Veterinary Quotes on March 25, 2011 at 2:51 am

“Just go get him!”

Said the burly client, back when I was in vet school. He was referring to his dog, a big menacing Rottweiller (Rock Welder) that somehow had wedged itself under the relatively miniscule chair he was sitting on and was growling malevolently. I did not take him up on his suggestion.

As a follow up to prove that he was an authority, the client told this tale:

Apparently he was in security. The kind that proved you needed some by breaking into a building and then giving you plans on how to improve your system. One day while plying his trade he found himself in the vicinity of a large strong Doberman Pinscher which jumped on him.

This guy was big, huge even. His arms were larger than my legs and I’m a pretty good size myself. So the dog is on him standing up and biting at his face so he just takes the dog in a bear hug and squeezes until the dog passes out! When the dog came to the fellow had his tongue in his hand and after that they were perfectly good friends. This is how the story went.

The tip of the day was to grab the tongue of any dog who wants to bite me and I’ll be fine. Pass.


Brains over brawn anytime when dealing with an unruly pet