October 11, 2013

Being a vet has its ups and downs

Sometimes as a veterinarian, I encounter all sorts of different characters. Some put a smile on my face, while others do the opposite.{{more}}

One of my clients who has always been my bastion of strength and my mentor is Eileen Punett. For over 20 years, I have relied on her for advice on practical issues of dog and puppy care, likewise I have given her advice on the medical aspect of it.

Two or three times a year she would round up lots of dog owners in the Penniston/Queensbury area and I would head up there to do sometimes 20 or 30 vaccinations, among other cases. I always have to make sure that I have a few hours on hand, because after seeing the cases, of which her dogs made up a cool 50 per cent of the cases I saw. I would sit and talk about animals, and to listen to anecdotes of the good old days, that I never tire of listening to.

Nowadays, she has scaled down considerably on the number of dogs, birds, turtles etc that she is accustomed to rearing, due to health issues; who wouldn’t at the age of ninety-something?

We do not talk as much these days, but my prayers and goodwill always go out to her.

On the other hand, there is the other spectrum of clients. Thank heavens, they are few and far between.

Once, one of these people brought a puppy into the clinic with a parvovirus virus infection. I explained to him the severity of the disease and advised that we keep the pup hospitalized until it is better. I explained to him the cost implications and he decided that he will take the other option I gave him. That is to give the animal a few injections and some oral treatment to take home.

As most of my readers would know, parvovirus virus is a disease that we see primarily in puppies; it is quite deadly and treatment is focused on keeping the pup alive over the five to seven days course of the disease. Because of the persistent vomiting and bloody diarrhoea, that go with the disease, continuous rehydration, using appropriate intravenous fluids is essential for survival. But I should have noted some warning signals as to the type of person I was dealing with. While I was treating the puppy, he was relating to me numerous complaints about his own personal doctors.

A few days after, I was in my clinic talking to some clients, when the gentleman, (and I use this term quite ambiguously), walked into the clinic unceremoniously and announced at the top of his voice that I killed his puppy. That I gave it three injections and these injections killed his pup and he needed a refund. That is the same person to whom I had explained a few days ago that the chances of survival would be much better if I had kept the patient hospitalized on IV fluids etc. The same person who decided to go against my advice and take the patient home.

Thankfully, the persons in the clinic at that moment were people who knew me well enough to realize that the loud mouth was just a troublemaker.

For further information, contact:

Dr Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981