Wednesdays are groom days. So in addition to the usual chaos of surgeries, drop offs and appointments, we have grooming clients to deal with as well. In the midst of the noise and phone calls this morning, we get a call from an RV dealer in Houston. The man on the phone tells the technician that they have a client there with a dog whose head is stuck in a vent in his RV; can we get the dog out? In my head I’m picturing a small Jack Russell-type dog with his head stuck through the AC floor vent and I tell the tech, sure, no problem. We can get the dog out. Tell him to head this way.
A month ago my sister wanted to know if her Jack Russell Terrier could be sick because he was drinking and peeing all the time. I told her he needed to go to the vet; he could have a simple urinary tract infection or he could have more going on. Inside my head, I was screaming “diabetes” as polyuria/polydipsia (drinks a lot and pees a lot), or PU/PD as medical types call it, is a hallmark for diabetes mellitus in dogs, cats, and people. In dogs, diabetes mellitus rarely responds to dietary changes – unlike some people and some cats – and almost always requires twice daily insulin injections to control the disease.
It’s just a three-word sentence, but uttering those words can make you feel like one of the 300 Spartans about to face the thousands of invading Persians at the battle of Thermopylae or like the guy who lets the winning World Cup goal by. For a medical practitioner, saying “I don’t know” sometimes feels like the ultimate declaration of defeat. After all, the doctor is supposed to have all the answers, right?
The phrase “human-animal bond” gets a lot of currency in veterinary medicine as does the acronym-worthy but mouthful-of-marbles-sounding “Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship.” Yet we almost never hear about the most critical bond and the one that most impacts the success of any veterinary care. The veterinarian-client bond — yeah, I just left out the patient. Sorry about that, but I’m going to ask Frisky over there to step out of the room for a while.