1. An estimate, in the mind of the client, is an exactimate.
2. The person who feeds tablescraps or overfeeds the pet will not be the person currently in the exam room with you.
3. If a client has to ask their spouse, the pet’s treatment will not happen.
4. You will be held accountable for what you say, what you don’t say, how you say it, and what the client thinks you said.
5. The client who is late to their appointment will be in a hurry.
6. The additional pet brought to an exam who is “just along for the ride”, isn’t.
7. An owner who tells you they will be “waiting by the phone for your call”, are “easily reached” at the given number, or “always have my cell phone with me”, will not.
8. If you tell a client when test results will be ready, you will be wrong.
9. Always double how long someone tells you their pet has been ill.
10. Anyone who is late to their appointment or know you’re near to closing will always be “only five minutes away”. Corollary: When they say this, assume, at a minimum, they mean football minutes.
11. Clients can relate a problem to anything that was previously done at your clinic regardless of how much time has passed. Example: “(problem: ie tumor, coughing, limping, etc.) has been present ever since (spay, nail trim, boarding, etc.) back last (week, month, year, decade, etc.).”
12. People will always double what they say they spent at the vet’s compared to what they actually did.
13. If you are told a pet “doesn’t like men”, you’ll find the truth is it doesn’t like anyone.
14. If you have to carry a pet to and/or from a person’s car, they will have parked as far from the front door as possible.
15. If the owner is asking if it is ok to give “Substance A” to their pet, they’ve actually already given it.
16. If you have the most accessible, easy-to-hit, Alaskan pipeline-sized vein, the pet will be the most uncooperative and fractious patient. Conversely, the sweetest, most easily-handled, cooperative pet will have the tiniest, movable, hard-to-find vein to hit.
17. The client will tell you the most valuable piece of information in diagnosing their pet while you are using your stethescope.
18. You will always be told that the poor dog with the smelly, matted, oily, tangled mess of a coat is scheduled for grooming “tomorrow”. This will be stated no matter when in the year or how often you see this dog. Also, all of the problems with the dog’s coat is not what it will be in for.
19. The word “not” is the most widely client-misheard word in a veterinary setting. Consider the following examples:
What is said: “This problem will come back.”
Client hears: “This problem will not come back.”
What is said: “Do not allow Bongo to run after surgery.”
Client hears: “Do allow Bongo to run after surgery.”
20. Client definition of “expensive”: It costs something.
21. Scheduling Paradox: It is not important for clients to be on time, only for you to be on time.
22. There is an inverse relationship between how loudly a client proclaims how well they take care of their pet and how well they actually do.
23. Once a client uses the term “you people”, you can be done with the conversation.
24. The best, nicest dogs get the worst diseases.
25. You will know exactly where you stand with a client and what they think of you the first time you tell them ‘no’.
26. If the owner doesn’t have previous paperwork and/or can’t remember the name of their previous vet, that means the pet is unvaccinated.
27. Diagnostic Exclusion Principle: If an owner obtains a diagnosis on their pet by looking something up on-line, it will not be that problem.
28. Veterinary clinics are the only place where shit can literally hit the fan.
Things Said In A Veterinary Clinic
This section is to be a list of things that you will not hear outside of a veterinary clinic or hopefully you won’t, as they would sound like something completely different out of context. These are sentences we use where we know what we’re talking about at the time, but can be seen as a total non-sequitur as viewed by an outsider to the profession. Please feel free to share your own!
1. “Before you hook him up, let me see his balls.”
2. “Get your foot out of my pocket!”
3. “He peed on my hand!”
4. “Cats look to you for oral care.”
5. “I need to go run the poopy.”
6. “I got it twice, but then he’d kick the pee out of my hand!”
7. “I’ll help you right after I do these anals.”
8. “He ate his blanket again!”
9. “You’re such a handsome boy! You’re so cute! You better not be peeing on me!”
10. “I’ve got poop goin’! Just give me another couple of minutes.”
11. “The owner is interested in breeding.”
12. “I don’t know who I even killed this morning.”
13. “Gotta scrub that vulva extra good on this one.”
14. “Who can extend this penis for me?”
15. “He vomited, but ate it up again before I could grab it.”
16. “I have a cat testicle stuck to my shoe…….again!”
17. “You just stand there and I’m going to come up behind and pop it in.” (“it” in this case was a thermometer)
18. “I want to pluck the balls! I love plucking balls!”
19. “There’s a toenail in my eye and anal juice in my hair!”
20. “He’s two testicles short of a brain.”
21. “I found a toenail in my bra.”
22. “Let’s just pop a finger up and have a feel.”
23. “Just hold her while I have a look at her vulva. I don’t want her biting me.”
24. “I’m done killing things today!”
25. “He’s eating his butt again!”
26. “Is my poo-poo negative?”
27. “I’m going to get “Lucky”!”
28. “I smell big dog poop!”
Famous Last Words (In A Veterinary Setting)
1. Regarding muzzle size: “That looks like it’ll fit.”
2. “The schedule looks easy this morning.”
3. “Who’s a good kitty?”
4. “We should be able to just do light sedation to get those x-rays done.”
5. “They’re only here for rabies vaccines. They don’t have any questions.”
6. “Hey, hon. I should be home on time tonight.”
7. “It’s just a nail trim.”
8. “Precious? What a sweet name!”
9. “I don’t anticipate any complications.”
10. “Well, they’re an hour late. They’re obviously not showing up.”
11. “Sure, you can write a check!”
12. “We should get lab result by tomorrow.”
13. Client: “Oh, don’t worry. He won’t jump off the table.”
14. “I’ll retire next year.”