I’ve been so distracted with my 12 Days of Petmas stuff and this nasty bronchitis that I haven’t been writing too much of substance. Please forgive me. My throat aches.
However, I do have some stories from the week to share. These are the sorts of highs and lows that make me alternately love my job or want to stick 15 blades in my eyeballs.
I had 2 appointments this morning at 10 am. The first was a follow up on a Golden Retriever who had come to see me last month on a lark. The owner had taken her dog to her regular vet for years, and the poor dog was so itchy and uncomfortable she figured getting a second opinion wouldn’t hurt. In 20 minutes I had diagnosed a yeast hypersensitivity, something that wouldn’t respond to the months of antibiotics the dog had been on.*
After 3 weeks on antifungal meds, the dog had a new lease on life and looked amazing. “If I knew you better, I’d hug you!” gushed the owner, who must have thought I was a cold hearted Grinch for not taking the obvious opening there, but I was petrified of getting her sick with my super-bronchitis bug. So I politely smiled from the other side of the table, and covered my mouth when I coughed.
On this high, I then had to go into the other 10 am appointment, a man whose bulldog was having congestion problems. He was, for lack of a better descriptor, being willfully obtuse since we had discussed the particulars of owning a brachycephalic dog on multiple occasions.
“You do realize,” I said, “that you have this prong collar on inside out?”
He looked aghast. “The pointy things and supposed to point in? But…then that would poke her!”
“Right,” I responded. “Which is why she shouldn’t have one on at all.” I tried to take it off. “Especially not one that is two sizes too small.”
The owner looked skeptical. We talked (again) about the dog’s severely stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, and probable elbow dysplasia. “Please promise me you’ll put this dog on a harness instead.” He shrugged. Then he (again) declined to schedule a spay since he was going to breed the dog as soon as she came into heat at 7 months or so. His eyes glossed over as I made my plea to please not do something so ill advised. Lord help us all.
(*I’m not trying to ding the other vet in the scenario here- sometimes we get stuck in tunnel vision pursuing a diagnosis and miss taking a step back and finding the real problem. I had a mortifying moment many moons ago after sending a dog to the dermatologist because his allergies were getting worse and worse and I couldn’t manage them, even with prednisone. Turns out he had Demodex mites, a condition that was worsened by the prednisone. I took the owner’s word for it that he had been tested for it at another vet. It happens to the best of us.)