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Jul 03
2014

Future Veterinary News

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

Allergies of the future

An update on the most common food allergies in dogs, April, 2047: kangaroo, bison, ocean fish, pomegranate, blueberries, kelp, Yucca extract, and broccoli. Attempts have been made in the past to produce an all-inclusive non-allergenic diet for pets, which has simply changed what they are exposed to and therefore to what they become allergic. Veterinarians are now recommending owners with food allergic pets to try novel protein and carbohydrate sources such as beef, corn, chicken, wheat, and soy. New dog food manufacturers have already jumped on these latest trends, producing Blue Chicken brands, Solid Platinum, and Immunogood just to name a few. Their advertising lambasts Big Box companies for using such inferior meat sources as kangaroo, besides the inhumane slaughter of such a noble beast, and the obvious high allergen content of blueberries and broccoli.

Flee the fleas

Jun 01
2014

Defining "It"

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

We were on the phone recently with a client. (Now, when I say "we", I'm sure many of you understand that I am not directly on the phone, but am working through an interpreter called a "technician". Interpreters work like this: Dr. says, "She does this every time! Tell her "no"! No!  No!  No!  I haven't seen her pet in almost a year!  She needs to get off her lazy @$$, drive the two blocks down here in her &$!*@! little car, and let me actually touch her pet, pay her $%&*!@! bill, then get the ^%$@#! out!" Interpreter: "I spoke with the doctor and he says it is very important for us to see your pet so that we can treat appropriately.") It was a client-driven conversation in that they wanted to just get some medication because they knew what the problem was and they didn't want to bring their pet in (not the first or last time this request will be made in my career). We, in our naivete, insisted that we really, really, really needed to see their pet before just arbitrarily treating.   The client then replied, "You're just full of it!" and hung up
This threw me a little bit. "It"? I'm full of "it"? What is this "it" that I am full of? There's ambiguity here because the client left out the "sh-" prefix which at least would have clarified her statement as a negative thing. I can't believe she left this off out of some weird politeness or bashfulness.

(Though, I'm so difficult to insult anymore I don't think I could even take that as a negative thing. After all, we are all full of the "sh-" form of "it". Especially if you believe the commercials that talk about how we, people, on average, have about seven to eight pounds of accumulated waste in our bodies. Maybe the people who say that mean it as a more descriptive phrase than as a disparagement. Yes, these are the thoughts that get me through a day.)
And even though her tone and the abrupt hang up could be taken negatively, I still think there's some room to interpret this mysterious "it" quality of mine as a positive. After all, there are people who are described as "with it", meaning they are capable and intelligent individuals. If you are a highly talented actor, you are said to have "it", an indefinable quality of aptitude, a gift. The term "It girl" was coined to describe a woman with a certain physical and mental facility that set her apart from others. I felt like calling the owner back to clarify, because maybe she just has a unique ability to see "it" in others. The thought of how that conversation would go just exhausted me, however; it just seemed like too much effort
When I see someone I admire, should I tell them how full of "it" they are? I could do a study on peoples' reaction to be confronted with such a declaration. I wonder how that would go? And the other part of this that still eludes me is the "fullness" of "it". Is this a replenishable commodity? I'm full now, but I might use "it" up. And how do I know where I stand on my level of "it", unless I have an expert like this client to tell me? I've looked and cannot find an "it"-gauge or "it"-reader. What if you lose "it"? I've heard of people losing "it" and that didn't seem like a good thing. (In fact, some people have lost "it" at the same time as being told they're full of "it".) Which reinforces that having "it" is a good thing, losing "it" a bad thing. Even if I don't lose "it", can I use "it" up? Can I get a refill? Can I Supersize "it"? I can't believe I got to this age without knowing I had "it". Maybe such ignorance was a good thing, because with great power comes great responsibility. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I really wish people would be more specific in their words, because this has bothered me a great deal, though probably not in the way the client intended. I'm back to thinking I should call her. Is "it" something you want from me? If "it" is something you want, I'm all about making a client happy. I can definitely bring "it". Because if you want some "it", I'll be glad to give you some, because I apparently have plenty.

May 05
2014

Veterinarians Anonymous

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

"I want to thank you all for attending tonight's Veterinarians Anonymous meeting. My name is Dr. S and I've been a veterinarian for 21 years. I'm working my way through the 212-step program but keep tripping up on the "Don't Strangle A Client" step. I recognize that no matter what I do, no matter how much help I get, I'll always be a veterinarian. Temptation is everywhere. Picking stray pets off the road, volunteering at the local shelter, helping out rescue groups, giving discounts to owners who can't afford their pet's care, adopting pets through owner relinquishment. I just have to recognize my limitations. I take one day at a time, because, well, I'm part of a chronologically-challenged species and have no other choice. This is usually the time, too, that we need to apologize and make amends to others who are negatively affected by our being under the influence of veterinary medicine, whether it be to inattention, over-work, or what we used to call "lost weekends" in vet school.  Like a lot of you, I got hooked on veterinary medicine early in life. Before we knew better. The profession should come with a warning label, but it's just another of those addictive things that society allows and the Surgeon General stays quiet on. We thought we'd get into this to help pets, only to find that we have to treat people's whims, expectations, and psychology before anything else to be able to get to the pets. And we have to base our livelihood on "the public", a most frustrating and uncooperative group at its best. Like we often say in VA about clients, "One is too many, a thousand is not enough." I often find myself using the Serenity Prayer to get through a day. By "often", I mean several times during each client visit. But, really, in my defense, can they just shut up about their personal problems? Your divorce from five years ago has no relevance to treating your pet today! It's not my responsibility to control your spouse and your stupid spawn/children to not feed the pet off the table! Or that your job changed your hours and it's going to be difficult for you to give two pills a day, because that's just too much of a burden for you! And can they just stop interrupting us when we're trying to give them advice and guidance, because, you know!, you know! that's the part later that they'll say you never told them, because they weren't listening in the first place!, after they do something wrong and want to blame it on you. And can we, for God's sake, stop talking about money! All I need to know is "yes" or "no". I don't need your warped logic and convoluted justification as to why you can't do something. I'm not your accountant, financial planner, social worker, or parole officer! And, no, I'm not interested in what you read off the internet, or what the worker at the pet store had to say, or your breeder, or your groomer, and, hey! I'm not finished! No, Iam not letting go of this podium! I've got stuff to say. Let go! Arrrgggghhhh! Let go! Serenity now! Serenity now dammit!"

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