Vet Tales – Lies we tell and hear
|August 22, 2017||Posted by Melinda under Vet & Sports Medicine|
Lies we tell and are told and other outrageous
tails tales from the vetmed trenches.
I’m probably not in an exam room…
…when you call. LIES! But I need time to get your chart, remember who you are, remember who the patient is, and briefly review the history so I can actually answer your questions and provide better service. So let’s just play pretend OK?
Starving your pig is not a viable way to keep it small.
Lies lies lies. No matter what the breeder told you. Hint, if the breeder recommends starving it to keep it small, don’t buy it.
Strange but true.
If you show me a black and white picture of a dog and ask me whether it’s alive or dead, I probably can’t tell. In fact, I’m a little traumatized you asked. But I pretend I’m not.
Don’t ask me what I would do.
Because I’m going to lie. I have $200K+ worth of student debt, a husband that’s trying to make a career change, and I work
3 5 jobs (this post was written a while ago). Your pets probably get better vet care than mine. You know all those tests that cost money? If I wanted to do them, they would cost me money too. So I end up using the “tincture of time” a LOT. More than I would ever recommend.
There’s more than one right way.
Medicine is shades of grey with many right answers. There’s also a lot we don’t know. And I’m not talking about “we don’t know how to cure cancer” type stuff. There’s basic stuff that we don’t understand how or why it works. Anesthesia is a giant black box and sometimes perfectly healthy young animals die with no apparent cause. Some animals respond to therapy while an identical case doesn’t. Most of the time I suspect half the stuff I’m saying in exam rooms is completely made up and in 50 years it will be hysterical we ever thought such things were true. Do you know how hard it is to keep a straight face during serious vet conversations when you believe this?
I use Google too.
But I’ll tell you I’m “looking it up in my reference books”. Which sometimes I do. But I google first. Why couldn’t you find the answer? The difference is likely the sites I know have the good info and if something doesn’t agree with what my training and experience tells me, I have a lot more resources and a community to verify information against.
Speaking of Google.
I would preferred to hear that you read something on Google or asked your mother-in-law then hear that you’re doing something because your breeder said so. The absolutely most horrifying situations I’ve seen in practice so far have come out of breeder households and recommendations.
Why you own a miracle dog
I’ve learned not to be an optimist. This means I don’t emphasize best case scenario unless it’s really bad and I’m trying to demonstrate the lack of hope. It’s not a deliberate lie.
“This is the hardest thing”
Euthanizing pets is not the worst part of my job. In fact sometimes it’s the easiest.
It’s probably not the food.
Statistically it’s not food allergies it’s probably fleas. Even if you don’t see fleas.
Your mutt is not any healthier than the purebred I saw half an hour ago.
Punishing the fear aggressive.
Your dog that is very scared in the exam room and is growling. Contrary to what everyone seems to believe, it’s not going to improve when you discipline them for it.
I have yet to see if fearful dog that was punished then wag their tail and be like “I’m so sorry glad to meet you!!!!! I was totally wrong that this is the worst room in the world where painful things happen!” There’s lots of things that we can do if the dog is fearful so ask me about the options.
I’m not a vet because I love animals
So using that line to try and guilt me into to doing anything doesn’t do much to help your cause. I’ve a vet for a lot of reasons that have to do with my love of biology and medicine, wanting to help my community and public health, and yes, because I think our fellow animal companions are the coolest thing since the national park establishment. But I did not go a quarter of a million dollars in debt “because I love animals”.
The vet career pays for itself and is “financially” worth it
Not really. However, here’s my current answer to “should I go to vet school?”. Save $100K and then decide how you want to invest it. Do you want to invest it in vet school? Some other education? Start a different business? $100K won’t pay for vet school, but it will go a long ways towards an initial investment and put into perspective what a vet school education is – an investment – and help decide whether it’s the right investment for you against other investments.
Your <insert relative relationship> is so awesome as a tech, they are “basically a vet”.
Now here’s a touchy subject – I know this because I’ve re-written the below paragraphs a billion times over the last hour to try not to offend the techs and people who DO think they are basically vets and all I can wonder is…. in the human med world are assistants and nurses considered the same as, or consider themselves the same as, “basically doctors”?
So, techs as doctors?
Nope nope nope. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some REALLY good techs. Techs are not doctors (and BTW my tech skillz are nothing to brag about – no one is lining up to hire me as a tech, TRUST ME) but the best ones freely recognize that. I appreciate and value my best techs because they are good techs and we look out for eachother – not because they are “basically doctors”. I can’t do my current job without my techs – but I do just fine without another doctor.
By the way, telling me your daughter/nephew/granddaughter is in “vet school” and then finding out that they are in a “pre vet tech program” always makes me wonder whether you realize just how much training and schooling I have beyond that and how much I’ve invested in order to stand before you today?
And here’s one truth for you. If thirty seconds is the difference I couldn’t save it anyways.
And if I don’t sprint to your car I’ll have a clearer head and steadier hands to try my best to do what’s needed. You know that saying that panic never improved a situation? Vetmed is no different.
Love, love this!!
THIS!!!! All of them!!! #Truth Love, love, love!!!
I love this!I laughed out loud once, and I did a lot of head nodding in agreement.
There is a similar occurrence in nursing, as well, with aids and assistants incorrectly being referred to or referring to themselves as nurses.
When people ask why I went into nursing, they are disappointed to learn it wasn’t something I dreamed about since being a little girl; there was no altruism involved.
It is criminal how higher education has become a debt sentence. I was able to get my BS in under $10,000 in the 1980s. The masters degree 10 yrs later was $38,000 — for just 2 years. I was furious. And now, hearing from my doctor’s MA, who wants to go to UC Davis for his NP/PA — over $200,000!
Thanks for letting us into your world. 🙂
I still kinda want to stick my fingers in my ears and believe my vet is just a LITTLE bit magic 😉
What is magic is the ability that living things have to heal themselves given time and not too many obstacles. I still think surgery is magic even though I do it 30+ times a day. Who would have thought we could slice and dice and fix and repair and remove stuff to increase welfare and comfort…..and during that process have the animal not feel a thing? Sometimes I do feel like a magician as I juggle a million different benefits and risks of different treatments…and find the perfect combination for THAT animal and it’s circumstances and voila! IT WORKS. There’s magic in the medicine, it just isn’t always where you think it is.
Brutally honest and such an important read. Thank you for taking the time to write this up. And from the tech side… you are not offending me! Never considered myself “almost a vet” and I get super annoyed when people try to ask me advice instead of asking their actual vet. “Make an appointment with your vet,” is my answer every time. Also, LEAVE ME ALONE. LOL. Kudos to you. As a kid, I thought I wanted to be a vet, but the schooling, money, and PEOPLE kept me from even trying. I do not regret it and it makes me extra grateful for the people who do go through with it.
Brilliant, and no surprises here. Did you know that there’s a librarian corallary? 🙂