5 Ways to Really Annoy Your Vet
1) Neglect to tell us they bite
We are really good at reading animals and can usually tell if they are nervous or aggressive. In the consulting room the vet is responsible for your pet’s behaviour and actions. If they bite you, technically it is our fault.
So, if you know your pet is likely to take offence, then you MUST let us know. Our livelihoods depend on having fully functioning hands, limbs and faces and we really appreciate being warned if they are in danger.
It is absolutely, totally, unacceptable to not discuss with us any concerns you may have.
Equally, please don’t get upset if we decide to muzzle your pet. Plenty of animals are delightful at home but untrustworthy in the vets. And I won’t let you, ‘just hold them’. Ever.
2) Tell us you are planning to breed
Although my stance on this has soften recently (see ‘Just One Litter, Have I Got it Wrong‘) I still won’t be terribly impressed when you announce you are going to breed from your dog and definitely not from your cat.
No, they are not unique (however much you believe it). No, having a litter is not ‘good’ for them. Just like studding your dog ‘just once’, is a bad idea. Yes, I am sure their babies would be very cute. Just like every other baby animal ever born.
It is also not, I repeat NOT, a good, easy or moral way to make money. If that’s why you do it, I will have to restrain myself from neutering your pets there and then, and probably you as well.
Every vet knows how full animal shelters are and, although I have been lucky enough not to do it, plenty of our number are forced to euthanise unwanted animals, many of whom were probably also bred by well meaning fools.
Obviously, someone has to breed to keep the pet population going and plenty of people will. However, it would be a LOT better (in the vast majority of cases) if they didn’t.
That said, if you are going to do it, please listen to our advice! It isn’t a walk in the park, it can be expensive, time consuming and very hard work but with forward planning and you are genuinely committed, it can be extremely rewarding.
But not with cats. Have you ANY idea how many unwanted kittens are born every year? I rather suspect not.
3) Insist, although they are lame, that they aren’t in any pain
“I’ve brought ‘im cos ee’s limpin’ but ee’s not in any pain.”
Why would he be limping then? Just because he fancies a change?
Nope, he’s in pain. That is why he cannot fully weight bear on the affected limb. The fact he isn’t crying out means nothing. Or would you prefer him to be howling the place down?
Oh and you’ve ‘felt ‘im all over’ and ‘he ain’t wincing’. Well, that’s just marvellous. I mean, why did you bother to bring him at all, what with you clearly having a veterinary degree and all?
This, you might have realised, is a big bug bear of mine. He’s limping, he’s painful, end of.
4a) Do Believe what you read on the internet
I am a big fan of the internet and encourage my clients to use it all the time to educate themselves on their pets illnesses. There is some excellent information out there on a huge range of subjects and I find it makes my life much easier if owners know what I am talking about and understand why I am making the decisions and prescribing the medications that I am.
However. There are also some grade A, loon pant, nut job, single issue (usually) crazies spewing out unsubstantiated,conspiracy theorist clap trap as well. It is usually easily identified by a website made up of primary colours, hysterical prose and OVER USE of capital letters. However, some appear to be more reasonable and you might even believe them.
Which I don’t mind, as long as you come to me and discuss it, so I can put you right. I understand some of the stuff can be scary and I know you don’t want to put your pet in harms way but rest assured I, and my profession, would never prescribe anything to an animal we wouldn’t give to our own.
4b) Don’t believe what I tell you
I’m not telling you your pet is fat/needs to be neutered/has dreadful dental disease for the benefit of my health, I am doing it for theirs.
You can chose to ignore my advice if you wish but don’t you dare try to pass of my diagnosis as a money making scheme/fuss over nothing. What I am telling you is true and if your pet could speak, they would be saying the same.
5) Don’t Plan Ahead
Look, I’m busy as well and I totally get how sometimes life just runs away from you but your pets need to have some priority too.
It is not my fault if their vaccines run out and you need them to go into kennels today (you would have had a reminder), my staff and I will do our best to fit you into our fully booked clinics but yes, you may need to wait and no, I won’t fiddle the dates on the card. Oh, and you’ve lost the original and would like me to create a new one with the dates of your pet’s vaccinations for the last decade. Of course, it will be my pleasure, thank you so much for taking up even more of my time.
Equally, if they develop a totally preventable condition (fleas/worms/infected uterus/pregnancy/rotten teeth), we can absolutely fix it but it will definitely cost you more money and be more effort than stopping it happening in the first place. Which is as simple as neutering them, keeping up to date with parasite control or throwing a dental chew in their direction on a regular basis. Not. Very. Hard.
This article is intentionally tongue in cheek but each point is one which veterinary staff deal with on a daily basis. So please, do us and our blood pressures a favour and take it on board!
Look out for the next 5 coming soon! 😉