It's 7:45 Monday morning, and there are 2 people already waiting as we unlock the doors. Bo, a 10 year old Lab, hasn't eaten in 3 days. Fluffy, a 4 year old neutered male cat, has been doing the cha cha in and out of the litterbox since Sunday morning. Both doctors are running late... and so it begins.
Some days, it can be a whirlwind in here ( as many of you have experienced). You never know what you are going to encounter when you walk into that exam room. A family comes in with their new, wiggly puppy-you can tell the kids are already in love . Smiles quickly turn in to tears as the veterinarian, after listening to the puppy's heart, must inform the family of the puppy's severe heart murmur. Next comes Sally, a 13 year old Golden Retriever that we've been seeing since she was 7 weeks old. Sally needs to be carried in-she can no longer walk on her own. The owners have worked diligently to keep Sally comfortable. After the initial diagnosis of osteoarthritis, Sally went on a diet, and the owners were able to get almost 20 pounds off of her. She was much more comfortable and was able to join in the family "neighborhood stroll" each evening. Even with medication and Dr Caldwell's acupuncture treatments, Sally has reached a point where her owners decide it is time to say goodbye. We all have tears in our eyes as Sally continues to wag her tail as she is given her final injection.
The phone continues to ring off the hook. Frodo has just had diarrhea all over the waiting room. Someone rushes in with their cat, who has been lost for several weeks. The cat, Sinclair, is very dehydrated and require immediate placement of an IV catheter. Appointments are backing up because of the emergencies. The lunch hour comes and goes, with the entire team working to take care of the patients. Afternoon appointments begin, and we start all over again.
Each of our team members has made the choice to be here. This career is not for the faint of heart. Remember, our patients cannot tell us where it hurts. Veterinarians must use their senses of sight, hearing and touch to try and decipher their patient's problems. Veterinary medicine has made significant advancements in recent years, in terms of what diagnostic tools and surgical procedures are available. Our veterinarians must listen to owners relay their pet's list of symptoms, and then determine a practical and affordable course of treatment. And sometimes, while on that path, they are peed on, covered with blood and other "stuff", or bitten. So why do we come back, day after day? Because we are dedicated to helping animals and their owners live the best life possible. On some days, that's a tall order to be able to do all of that and keep ourselves organized, efficient, and with a smile on our faces. At the end of the day, we simply want to know that we've done the best job possible.
Sorry, got to go. I see Randy walking in the door. He has a history of eating things he shouldn't. I have a feeling by the way he's hanging his head, he'll need an emergency exploratory tonight. Well, so much for getting home to watch the season finale of 90210.