Sunday, March 24, 2013




We all are familiar with "Pet Peeves"...things that, for one reason or another, go against our grain and bother us.  For an interesting way of looking at this concept from a different point of view, Helpful Buckeye would like to discuss things that pet owners do when visiting their veterinarian that may or may not be bothersome to the veterinarian and his/her staff.  Granted, we're always reminded that the "customer is always right" and, therefore, can do no wrong.  However, a pet owner visiting their veterinarian is obviously there for help and advice concerning their pet...and a cordial, informative conversation will be more likely to benefit all concerned parties. 

Let's look at some "Vet Peeves":

Vet Peeves
by Victoria Schade

I stopped by to visit my friends at a local vet office today and we got to chatting about patient do’s and don’ts. I asked them if they had any human client pet peeves, and wouldn’t you know it, the floodgates opened wide. My veterinarian friends and their vet techs offered up an impressive list of bothersome traits. Think you might have peeved your vet? Here’s your chance to find out. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Top Ten Vet Peeves List:

1. Letting your pet greet other pets in the waiting room without permission. The waiting area in most vet offices is typically small and filled with agitated animals. Sure, your pup is just there for a nail trim, but the dog two seats over is dealing with a serious case of diarrhea and the discomfort that comes with it. He doesn’t want a face full of puppy, and he’ll make that very clear. With his teeth.
2. Extendible leashes in the waiting room. Tight space + sick animals + 15 feet of freedom = a big mess. Flexible leashes turn an already stressful room into a potential battle zone. See number 1.
3. Laughing when your dog bites the veterinarian. Really? People actually do this? The vets assured me that it happens – often – and that the laughter is usually accompanied by the person saying “Oh, what did that big bad vet do to you, Fido?” Yeah, the vets ain’t laughing with you.
4. Praising your dog as he growls. The vet office is bound to evoke some unusual canine reactions, but growling and surliness are serious business and need to be treated as such. Telling Fido “It’s OK sweetie, it’s OK!” as he growls at the vet tech is not a sound strategy.
5. Mentioning your pet’s sensitive areas after the fact. “Fido bit you? Oh, I should have told you that he hates to have his feet examined.” Too late, and thanks for the bleeding wounds.
6. Giving your child a pet as a “gift”. We’ve covered this one too, folks. Pets aren’t presents.
7. New puppy, no money. New puppy parenthood comes with boatloads of responsibilities, and a yacht-load of bills. Vets can’t understand the sticker-shock expressed by their new puppy clients. Thorough research, that oft neglected step of getting a dog, would have left little doubt as to the high costs associated with puppyhood.
8. Forcing the vet to give you a breast exam as she examines your pet. Clingy pet parents, beware: if you can’t surrender your pet to the vet for examination, be prepared for accidental chest grazes and gropes. The exam table is there for a reason. Put your pet on it and let your vet do her job.
9. “Doctor, the treatment you suggested didn’t work …” “ …Um, no I didn’t finish the pain meds. Or the antibiotics. But why is he still sick?”
10. Not researching your breed. (Amen, my veterinarian brothers and sisters, I’m with you on this one.) You wanted a small dog so you got a Jack Russell. Any JRT owners care to comment on just how “small” the breed really is? You’re a starving college student and you got an English Bulldog because you like how they look. What happens when the breed’s far-too-common genetic defects start surfacing, and the vet bills pile up? When I meet with new clients I’ll often ask why they selected a certain breed. (The correct answer begins with “I did a ton of research and…”) When I hear “I just wanted a pretty dog,” I want to head for the hills. Did you recognize yourself on this list? It’s never too late to add a New Year resolution … why not vow to be a better patient and make your vet’s job a little easier?
Adapted from:

...See anything on that list that looks familiar???  Might you be an offender on some of them?

"Vet Peeves": What We Do Wrong at the Vet's

by Victoria Schade
I compiled what I thought was an exhaustive top 10 list of “vet peeves” (the things that we do wrong in and around the exam room at the veterinarian) back in 2008. During a recent disastrous appointment at the vet with Olive I discovered that I might be one of the peevers (more on my embarrassing experience later), so I decided to revisit the “vet peeves” concept and see what else might be missing from my original list. After some coaxing, an honest veterinary technician and veterinarian weighed in with the things that we do to make their jobs more difficult.
1. Everything that relates to restraining your animal.
Restraint is probably the most unpleasant part of a vet visit for both you and your animal, and based on the feedback I received, it can be equally unpleasant for the techs and vets doing it. When it comes to restraint it’s important that we all take a deep breath and take a step back, literally. Hovering near your dog as she’s being restrained (guilty as charged), handling your dog during restraint (guilty as charged), getting in the way of the person trying to restrain your animal, and touching the vet tech or veterinarian as she’s trying to hold on all make the process that much more difficult. As much as you want to comfort your dog during this scary time, understand that it will probably go faster if you let the professionals do their jobs.
2. Not paying attention when discussing post-treatment care.
It’s dumbfounding to me that people zone out when it comes to the most important part of a vet visit: what you have to do once you leave the office in order to make or keep your dog healthy. The vet tech told me about a person who wouldn’t stop watching the TV in the waiting room while she was relaying complicated dosing instructions. Maybe the dog was paying attention?
3. Animals that are poorly groomed or neglected.
You can try to keep secrets from your vet, but some of them are written all over your animal. The dogs with long curled over nails, or mats so tight that they have to be cut out convey that you’re denying your dog the basic care that he deserves. One poor cat came into the office with a rump impacted with enough fur and dried on fecal matter that the poor thing couldn’t even defecate.
4. People who walk in without an appointment and demand immediate care. 
Now, we’re not talking about emergency situations here. People actually show up and expect a well-run office to screech to a halt in order to accommodate their needs. Would you try this at your primary care physician’s office? Probably not. Though I didn’t chat with the front desk staff, I’m sure that this is one of their big vet peeves too.
5. Arriving late for an appointment.
This one is common sense, but it still happens often enough to warrant a mention. Diagnosing accurately takes time, and if you show up late you not only risk a rushed appointment, you also inconvenience everyone who has an appointment after you. If we’re being completely honest here, MY vet peeve is that I always show up on time but wind up waiting 15 to 20 minutes before we’re seen. I’m guessing that the two peeves are related.
6. Getting insulted if you’re asked to leave the room.
Sometimes pets react better when their person isn’t standing right beside them, so if the staff asks you to step outside, go with it. Keep in mind that they’re not going to hurt your dog (this assumption is another vet peeve), they just want to perform the procedure as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you’re worried about what’s happening to your animal when you’re not in the room it might be worthwhile to ask yourself why, and consider finding a facility that you trust completely.
I hang my head in shame, as I know that I’m now a frequent peever. After a 20-year history of perfect canine patients, I’m living with a very unruly one. Olive’s handling issues escalated in dramatic fashion when we had to do a blood draw last week, so I’m going to be working hard to avoid being one of those people my veterinarian dreads seeing. Hopefully this list will help you do the same!
Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer for over eleven years.
Adapted from:

Helpful Buckeye would like to emphasize that there isn't usually an antagonistic relationship between a veterinarian and pet owner.  If a pet owner feels that such is the case, they will most likely decide to visit another veterinary hospital where they feel more comfortable.  However, many of these "Vet Peeves" don't necessarily involve antagonism, but rather a certain amount of inconsideration and inattentiveness on the part of the pet owner.  If any of these apply to you, perhaps now is the time to re-evaluate how you prepare for your next visit to the veterinarian.

Just to show that all is not lost during the visit to the veterinary hospital, consider the following snippets of conversation during a normal pet examination:

Did They Really Say That?

Dr. Ken Tudor
As with all professions, veterinary clients and customers are capable of saying some outrageously hilarious things.
I think veterinary staffs get an inordinate amount of these experiences owing to the large numbers of owners that have such limited understanding of basic animal biology. I am sure my nursing and medical doctor colleagues share many of the same hysterical moments with each other. Today I want to be less serious about pet health and nutrition and share some of my funny experiences.
No. 1
Ms. W had to euthanize her dog for acute irreversible kidney failure. Our hospital policy is to make a clay imprint of the pet’s paw and provide the imprint and a lock of fur to the owner prior to final care of the remains. In this case the owner elected to have the remains of her pet cremated. When she returned to the hospital to retrieve her pet’s ashes she asked if we could make her a second paw imprint for her sister, who was also very close to the deceased dog.
Kudos to the staff! They treated the situation very delicately, rather than hysterically, and explained the impossibility of such a request.
No. 2
At closing time, Mr. X rushed into our hospital with a limp puppy that was weak from violent vomiting and diarrhea. Mr. X was concerned, and he was convinced that he knew exactly why the dog was seriously ill. He had a previous dog that he had also purchased in Utah and it had died of Provo. The puppy did indeed have Parvovirus, and he responded well to treatment.
Mr. X has sworn never to buy another dog in Utah, especially from the city of Provo.
No. 3
Mrs. Y presented her dog to me with very bad breath and was adamant that the fecal smell was caused by constipation. She insisted that I give her dog an enema despite the fact that I could not palpate any stool in the dog’s colon. She refused an X-ray to solve the mystery, insisting that constipation could be the only reason for fecal breath. Not so delicately, I asked if she had fecal smelling breath when she was constipated. She assured me that such an assumption was absurd and that dogs were different.
The fact that the dog ate its own feces was immaterial.
No. 4
Mr. Z reported that his dog was constantly voiding small amounts of urine very frequently. X-rays revealed that the dog had over 30 stones in its bladder. When I showed the X-ray to the owner, his response was, "How did she eat all of those stones!" Explaining to the owner that the urinary system and the gastrointestinal system are not connected was an absolute exercise in futility.
Fortunately, he let us surgically remove the stones from his dog’s bladder, but he has since removed all stones and gravel from his yard to prevent a repeat of the problem. Dietary management of mineral and water content made absolutely no sense to him.
Adapted from:

Any comments or questions should be sent to Helpful Buckeye at  or submitted at the "Comments" section at the end of this issue.
~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

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