I think some clients truly believe I have a crystal ball squirreled away in the treatment area. With such a mystical device at my disposal, surely there is no need for such silly, superfluous money wasting devices like bloodwork, x-rays, or even a pesky physical exam. I simply see the dog or cat- nay, with my powers I can even ascertain their sickly auras over the phone- run into the back, whip the velvet cover off my ball-box, and gaze into its depths.
“O, Great Crystal Kitty Ball,” I intone. “Max has been vomiting for 2 months. He is an indoor/outdoor kitty and he is 10 years old.” I pause for dramatic effect. “Is it IBD? Did he eat some bad tuna? Is it lymphoma? Is it diabetes? Is it hyperthyroidism? Is it a piece of yarn? Squamous cell carcinoma? Hairballs? CNS disease? Pancreatitis? Cholangiohepatitis? FIV? Hepatic lipidosis? GI ulcers? Parasites? Salmonella? Fungus? Melamine? Rat poison?”
“You forgot renal disease,” the crystal ball reminds me.
“Shoot- or renal disease! Or any of the other myriad causes I missed! Please, crystal ball, enlighten me!”
The crystal ball fills with a grey furry fog. It swirls and glimmers and whirls. It raowrs a bit, and starts making a gagging noise. Then, it hacks out a little piece of paper covered in wet cat hair. I pick it up with some forceps, wipe off the cat hair, and unroll it.
“How…should I know…did you even SEE the cat?…you idiot….get a CBC…and a chem panel….And a urinalysis.”
Sorry, Max’s mom, the ball is feeling feisty today. Looks like you need to come in for an exam. And I just might need to run a test or two.