The Vetmed Dictionary
|April 5, 2023
|Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized
There are words that you think you know the definition for, and then you work in vetmed for a hot second and you realize that actually, when you finally get around to writing that book about veterinary medicine, you are going to have to use a metric ton of asterisks and footnotes so everyone is on the same page.
In no particular order, and definitely not alphabetically, here is your guide to often used words in vetmed.
Doesn’t have a recall and no one bothered to train it because it isn’t aggressive.
While I appreciate that your dog won’t actually bite me…my staff and I getting yanked around by an 80-pound dog that doesn’t know how to walk on a leash, jumps on me, jerks my shoulders, bowls my techs over, won’t sit, and won’t be restrained is a problem. Your friendly dog also needs friendly boundaries.
Tip: I can usually tell if your dog looks happy and relaxed. Telling me it is friendly while it’s jumping on me at the end of the leash that you have just let go of and it’s muzzle punching me in the chest is an excuse, not an explanation. What I would love to know if your obviously friendly dog has any triggers I should know about so I can make the vet experience a better one for them.
A tiny panther like creature that will shred you into pieces while spitting at you scaling your body to launch itself into the air to uncertain destination. Probably behind the dryer. Or similarly inaccessible location.
Oh wait. Sorry. That description belongs to that precious little munckin named Sweetie Pie in the cloth carrier.
Apparently a feral cat is actually that cat that has been hanging around your house for the past….7 years that you have been feeding and now lives in your house and cuddles on your pillow nightly.
Folks, that is called a *stray.
That you now own.
*Not to be confused with a rescue animal. See below.
Typically a poorly trained, poorly socialized dog that someone has owned since it was 3 or 4 months old, and now it’s 3 or 4 years old and is still…poorly trained, poorly socialized, and has a service dog patch on it. Who isn’t currently on vaccines or preventative medication, and I’m not quite sure I’m going to do anything but a 5 foot visual exam today because it’s most definitely going to bite me no matter how slow I go. (and no. you can’t hold it. I have zero confidence in your ability to keep me safe since in the last 4 years you haven’t managed to produce an animal that matches the description of “domestic.”
Tip: At some point after you acquire an animal and time has passed, you own it. All of it. Including the responsibility to keep you and others safe. I don’t care if you got it as an 8 week old puppy or as a 8 year old dog. Yes, there are some dogs that come with an asterisk because of their past (don’t we all?) but if you can’t make the dog safe and keep others in the safe, then you, as the person responsible for the dog, are responsible to seek additional behavioral help, training aids etc after enough time has passed and progress has stalled.
The good ‘ole days
According to the old-time vets, this is the time not so long ago where vet debt was lower because they were harder working, you could exchange your service for pies, clients thanked you for your best try even when it all went wrong, and everything was fixed with prednisone and vitamin B 12.
A cheap, highly effective medication that treats practically everything…at least for a while. But also causes gastric ulceration, diabetes, calcium deposits in the skin, a million overnight potty breaks, and incessant panting.
Also known as cobalamin and used to treat…cobalamin deficiency. But most of the time it’s used to color bags of IV fluid and make injections look like magic
The staff here is family
This clinic is toxic as sh*t and you need to run far far away. The employees that aren’t related have been there for 20+ years and are “irreplaceable.” Also see “the good ‘ole days”
Also correctly referred to as a “mutt.” Also known as “designer dogs” or any dog that is *almost* purebred that has *just enough of *something* to be a NEW PRETTY COLOR that didn’t previously exist in the breed (looking at you long haired frenchies). Also specifically refers to the mashed up breed that someone work-shopped a cutesy name to sell you (cockapoo anyone? Doodle anything?).
Related but not: hybrid vigor. No, you *don’t* get a healthy dog by buying something that was outcrossed to get a pretty color. What you get is…dermatitis, cancer, and dystrophic weirdness.
Common presentation: “I got this puppy off craigslist 2 days ago and now it’s sick.” A viral disease characterized with vomit and bloody diarrhea with a fifty fifty chance of life and death and I can’t always predict which side of the line any particular patient in front of me will fall on. Treatment either consists of a 3+ hospital stay in isolation with IV fluids, anti-nausea drugs, feeding support, and prayers…or go home on SC fluids, anti-nausea drugs, feeding support and prayers but with a smaller bill. Extremely contagious, lives in the environment forever, and is generally a kill-joy for showing your puppy off in pet stores, parks, the sidewalk in front of your house, and your front lawn that every neighborhood dog uses as a toilet. Especially in central California it’s EVERY where and I’ve seen puppies, young dogs, old dogs, and middle aged dogs get it. Preventable with a vaccine.
Fun fact: There’s a theory that parvo in dogs originated from a similar “parvo” disease in cats. It possibly jumped species when the two species were housed in close conjunction. Or maybe from minx. Or foxes. If you are interested in the origins of the dog parvo virus here’s a good article. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2730235/)
Fight club for dogs. But also with parasites and diseases.
Aka “slow.” The word uttered in ER before all hell breaks loose.
Where the uterus turns into a bag of pus, necessitating an emergency spay that will cost 4x more (at least) than the spay procedure you could have scheduled literally at any other time in your female dog’s life. Completely preventable.