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Mar 08
2015

Pet Personals Column

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

Dogs Seeking Dogs

Alpha dog seeks submissive dog for light BDSM. Must have own leash and collar. Send inquiries to Fifty Shades of Greyhound. Mail#34290

Golden Retreiver seeks life partner. Enjoys long walks on beach, good food, rolling in anything smelly. Will share ball. Send inquiries to High Hopes. Mail# 42187

Feb 08
2015

Fear Free

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

Let's talk a moment about a new trend I've seen that seems solely designed to cause us more anxiety in this profession.  I received three of our mor prominent veterinary magazines around the same time.  Each of them had their take on promoting a Fear Free practice.  Right.  Sure.  That's going to happen.  Let's set our goal level to Unreasonable right off the bat.  Not to say that some of the suggestions aren't valid; it's just promoting it as "Fear Free" sets everyone up for failure.  True, "Less Fear" doesn't have the same alliterative ring and maybe sounds a little vague; however, it would be more accurate.  I sometimes think that these topics are pushed so that other people can make a good living working the lecture circuit promoting them.  What it does to the rest of us is to apply yet another layer of responsibility on our already burdened shoulders.  As if we aren't doing enough.  These articles all seem to slant things to suggest that if you aren't doing what's recommended then you aren't doing a good job, or a good enough job.  And "Fear Free" is only the latest of fads aimed at making us feel inadequate.  Then we turn around and wonder why we have such a high suicide rate, a high burn-out rate, a high drug use and mental instability rate.  Gee.  Could it be we do it to ourselves?  From what I've seen of our veterinary magazines and consultants, their sole goal is to assume to aim to a level of make-believe perfection.  And we fall for it.

As a side note, please notice how much of "Fear Free" is geared toward cats.  I have never heard a client say they don't like to bring their cat in because it's difficult.  My proof?  How many difficult cats I have to deal with.  They're not staying home because of a client thinking there's going to be a negative experience and are fretful over their little kitty getting "overwhelmed".  No.  Cats make infrequent visits to the vet because people are generally lazy and don't see the importance of annual visits or vaccines or FELV/FIV testing for their indoor/outdoor cats or for pretty much anything advantageous for them.  They seem fine, so no need to take them in.  Until they're not fine.  This is what I see with cat owners.  All of this effort geared toward making your practice more "cat-friendly" will be lost on the majority of cat owners.

Dec 08
2014

Client Education: Fecal Sample

Posted by Dean Scott in Untagged 

Dean Scott

Often a veterinarian will ask you to bring in a fecal sample (also known as poop, poopy, poopoo, doodoo, excrement, midden, brownie, colon cobra, dung, dookie, scat, lincoln logs, mud bunnies, or Hell's candy) from your dog.  They will have many reasons for this, the primary one being to see if you'll actually do it.  This can create a high level of anxiety for most clients.  To help you not fall in it, smear it around, or otherwise mess up a pretty simple task, we have put together a guide to ease your burden.

1.  There are various methods on how to obtain feces at home.  Here are some ideas:

    a.  if you have a child, have them do it.  Give them no instructions to add humor to the project, especially if they're home-schooled.  This is called character-building.

    b.  use a container (preferably a hard plastic one with a child-proof cap; why a child would want to get into this is a mystery, but they do a lot of stupid things don't they?) to scoop feces or part of feces into it.  A downside is that some fecal molecules may adhere to the outside rim, thus warranting cleaning of the outside of the container.  You will then have many days of anxiety wondering if some might have gone unnoticed and be hiding somewhere in your house.

    c.  use another implement to scoop a piece of feces into the container.  Challenge yourself to drop it perfectly into the opening without hitting the edges, thus preventing extra cleaning of the container.  Need it be said that this now becomes an implement that you will no longer want to use?  So, choose wisely.

    d.  alternatively, you can use an intermediary piece of plastic or small bag to put the feces in before the container.  If you do this, make sure you squish it around a lot, because most veterinary staff members like a surprise when trying to get the sample they need out.  You can make it even more of a surprise if you use something opaque, so they really don't know what they're getting into until they have to peel it apart.

    e.  do not use your hands, even if gloved, because that is just icky.

    f.  like bread, you want to pick the freshest feces of the day, preferably while still warm.  If the feces is white, it is too old.  And you need to clean your yard more often.

    g.  do not try to catch feces while still in mid-air.  I don't know why this needs to be said, but I just know some of you out there will try to do this unless you're told not to.  It's not like when you have to catch a urine sample, ok?  If dirt or grass gets on the feces, it doesn't make it grosser.

    h.  as in "g" above, do not play in the feces.  Shouldn't need to be said.  But you never know.

Finally, once you have the fecal sample, follow these steps:

3.  Seal container in continuous layer of clear plastic wrap.  You want to use clear wrap so you can verify that the feces has not escaped.

4.  Place in sandwich-sized sealable plastic bag and roll bag around container.  Since this is also clear, verify that feces has still not escaped.  No?  Good.

5.  Wrap in several layers of absorbent paper towels.  While it is unlikely that fecal gas or oozy fluid will dissolve or otherwise cause, by expansion, hard plastic to explode, you can never be too careful.

6.  Place in sealable, hard plastic container.  Like the implement you may have used to get feces, this should be considered non-reusable.  However, for fun, you can insist to the veterinary staff that you want it back, just so they can talk about you later.  It's a great way to be remembered by them in the future.

7.  Finally put everything into a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag.  Alternatively you can place this in a festive bag or maybe put a bow on it to hide the otherwise disgusting nature of the contents.

8.  It is now safe to drive your pet's fecal sample to the veterinary clinic.  Drive slowly, avoid pot-holes, sudden stops, or unnecessary jostling.  Make sure you obey all traffic laws.  The transportation of feces outside of a body cavity is illegal in some states.

9.  If you have any questions regarding the above steps, please feel free to call your nearest veterinary practice.  They love answering these kinds of questions.

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