Friday, April 20, 2012

Humerous Life Story #6- "Awkward Veterinary Moments"

I thought that I would share a couple of very awkward moments that I have experienced as a veterinarian. 

Story #1-My first year out of veterinary school, I was working in a 4 doctor small animal clinic in Oregon.  A woman rushed into the waiting room clearly distraught.  She was carrying in her arms a grey cat.  I was free, so I rushed her into the exam room that I was using.  The woman placed the cat on the examination table.  She told me that the cat had been playing with some of those styrofoam puffs that are used in packing boxes and suddenly started choking.  It was clear without even touching the cat that it was deceased, but just to make certain I placed my stethoscope on the cat's chest and listened for a heartbeat.  The woman stood by anxiously waiting for my comments.  I removed the stethoscope from my ears and said, "I'm sorry, but you cat has passed."

"Aren't you going to do anything?" she asked.

I was a little caught off guard by her question and answered, "There isn't anything that I can do, ma'am.  She is dead."

Then the woman flew into histerics.  She started screaming and pulling at her hair.  Then she threw herself into the wall and fell to the floor.  She was rolling around on the floor making loud wailing noises.  I was at a complete loss for what to do.  I had never witnessed such a total meltdown before. I knew that the people in the waiting room could hear her.  I just stood there in frozen stunned silence.  Finally, after a few minutes, the woman stood up and asked me if I was sure that there was nothing that could be done.  I assured her that the cat was deceased and there was absolutely nothing that I could do for it. and proceeded to tell me that it was the cat's first birthday and that she and her kids had planned a big party for it.  She was at loss for how to tell them that the cat had died.  I felt terrible for her, but was very relieved when she finally accepted that the cat was deceased and left the clinic.

Story #2- During my time in the US Army Veterinary Corps, I was station at Lackland Air Force Base.  I was in charge of the small animal outpatient clinic on base.  The purpose was to provide a low cost clinic for soldiers and retirees to bring their pets for basic care.  One day, the elderly wife of a retiree brought in her Boston Terrier to get its annual vaccinations.  I examined the dog and gave him its vaccinations.  After I was finished with the dog, I bent down to place it back on the floor.  While I was bent down, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.  I glanced over and saw that the woman's pants were around her ankles.  Out of sheer surprise, I glanced up and the woman was pointing to an area on her inner thigh.  I quickly averted my eyes as it registered that the woman was talking to me.  She said, "Will you please look at this spot on my leg?"

I lept to my feet and went around to the opposite side of the exam table.  I think that my face was probably about a red as a tomato.  I told her that I was a veterinarian and that it was against the law for me to practice on people.  I recommended that she consult her doctor.  She told me that she had already seen her doctor and that he told her that it was a spider bite, but she just wanted to get my opinion, since I had been so good with her dog.   I told her that I was flattered, but just wasn't allowed to give her my opinion.

Story #3- This didn't happen to me, but a friend of mine.

My friend was giving vaccinations to a small kitten.  After he finished, he scooped the cat up to hand it back to its owner.  He had been looking down at the cat and when he looked up to hand the cat to the owner, she had half of her blouse unbuttoned. She held the blouse open and said, "Billy rides in here."  In his shock, my friened about dropped the kitten.  The woman was just standing there holding her blouse open expecting him to place the kitten there.  He said, "That's nice." Then placed the kitten back on the table and turned and hurried out of the room.

My friend called me that night to tell me the story.  He thought that it was especially funny, due to the fact that the kitten and I shared the same name.

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