Random Thoughts On File Entries

  • May 8, 2012

During our day-to-day activities we use a lot of short-hand things to simplify our lives – acronyms, abbreviations, etc. We do this when writing in files when taking histories or putting down our diagnositic findings. Some computer programs, for instance, may only allow you a certain number of characters to input in the problem line when making appointments. If an owner is going on and on with description after exhaustive description of what’s wrong with the pet, we may, perhaps, end up putting just ADR (ain’t doin’ right) or NDR (not doin’ right – what I’ve been told is the northern version of ADR). The person writing or inputting such short-cuts know what they’re trying to say, and why, yet others reading the entries later may interpret a completely different slant. These are some of the file entries that I’ve come across over time and what my brain thought when I saw them.

Sneezing puppies
– Sure you may assume the obvious, but it could be that the dog has so many in the litter that they’re coming out her nose. I envision little puppies covered in boogers.

Vaccinate left eye
– Well, ok. If that’s what the owner wants. Hold reeaaallly still, Max.

Coughing bloody black stools – It’s bad enough when that’s what’s coming out the expected end. It’s a whole different level coming out the front end!

Not eating diarrhea
– Yeah? Well, I wouldn’t eat it either!

Lethargic mucousy stool
– Awwwww……poor little stool. What’s got you down?

Vomiting orange for two days
– Sounds like we’ll need to do a gastrotomy to get that orange out.

Diarrhea for 34 days
– Wow. That’s pretty specific. Makes you wonder why their tolerance level for the diarrhea lasted past, oh, I don’t know, 3 – 4 days tops!

Limping on leg – As opposed to limping on……..what?

Check ears not acting right
– How are ears supposed to act? Now, the left ear isn’t supposed to be acting right, that’s the right ear’s responsibility. So….that makes sense to me, but this distinctly says both ears, so I have no clue. We may need a behaviorist.

Check fatty lump – You have to love the pre-diagnosis appointments. What are you supposed to do with these? “Yep, that’s a fatty lump. Next?”

Sneezing watery eyes – I was really curious to see this one. I mainly wanted to see if it was possible for the nostrils to stay open when the eyes sneezed.

Limping lumps – Sure, it could be two different problems, but that’s not how it reads. So, these lumps? They have legs?

Check ears and leg – owner reports fell off couch
– Wait. What? The ears fell off the couch or the leg? Or was it the owner? And if so, why would they tell us that?

New client fecal – Uh. You can take that bit of nastiness to your own physician, dude.


Rash on skin not acting right – Well, yeah. Rashes, by definition, aren’t supposed to act right. They’re…….rash. How do you expect it to act?
Can’t stand not eating – Me neither. In fact, I’m suddenly hungry.

Check ears excessive drooling
– When ears “drool” we call that “bad”.

Check eye constipated
– It’s just seen too much!

Coughing check ears
– Well, I don’t know what vet school you went to, but I usually listen to the chest if there’s coughing. I think that one was a trick question.

Owner needs sedation – Now you might think that this was an incomplete entry and that the owner needs sedation “for their pet”, however it could just mean what it says, in which case I’m thinking something intramuscular.

New puppy seeing worms
– Is anyone else seeing these worms? Is the puppy hallucinating?

Running nose – Go, nose, go!

New client scratching
– Oh, it’s you again. Look, we only see animals here. And would you stop doing that in the lobby and please leave!

Limping hot spots
– I’m thinking this one goes along with the limping lumps. I’ve started using this as one of those things Robin was always saying: “Limping Hot Spots, Batman!”

Falls over for no reason – Oh, he has a reason, I’m sure.

Typos can be fun as well. While still working on this blog an appointment was made to “Check Sin”. There’s seven differentials for that: Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, Wrath, and Dopey. One last thing. We use a lot of acronyms in this profession, both for describing diseases and as file entry short-hand. There’s one I’d like for us to get away from and that one is this: FU. It’s supposed to mean Follow-Up, but, ya know, when you see it, that’s not the first thing that pops into your head. The first time I was exposed to this particular bit of short-hand it was on a sticky note stuck to a chart: FU Dr. Scott. What’d I do?

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