You gotta love holidays. More specifically, the day before the holiday. In everyday life, all the chaos seems to erupt during and after the big day. But anyone in our business can relate to our sighs and head scratchings on the eve of any major holiday. Unlike banks and other places, most clinics are open darn near every day. But it's funny how to close for 7 days a year can cause panic in hearts of most of your clientele. What has waited for a week or longer, has suddenly became an emergency and needs seen NOW! And keep in mind that all of your holiday boarding is coming in today, too, so not only are you already busy, but now you have zero extra space for any has-to-be-seen-no-matter-what.
My first incident is a man I have affectionately nicknamed Mr. Sunshine. He borders on rude with his abruptness and never wants to communicate either with me or my doctor. It's pulling teeth to talk with him, and the more you have to talk to him, the worse it gets. Getting a medical history is tons of fun. I could see him coming, so I grumbled some under my breath and looked to the heavens for support before plastering on my fake professional smile.
His dogs needs to be seen. She has a bunch of scratches on her side and is a little lethargic. Of course I have no doctor in yet, so I give him the option of a) coming back at a regular appt time (about an hour away), or b) dropping her off. He seems put off by the fact no one but me is around, and he gives me a look. Then informs me that she needs attention 'sooner than later'. Undaunted I try to get more history--is she eating (yes), is she urinating/defecating ok (yes), can she walk (yes). He lets it slip that he first noticed it at 4-5pm the night before. I ask him if she is in a fenced yard, asking if she could get hit by a car. He says it is highly unlikely-she has a fenced yard. But in the next breath he tells me she 'gets out all the time'. He finally decides to drop off her off, albiet reluctantly. He tells me how they are supposed to leave at noon that day for the holiday. I contain the eye roll and assure him we'll get her looked at ASAP and give him a call. (as it turned out, we looked at her at the original time I offered, and she presumptively was a HBC).
First sigh of the day.
The next case is a woman whose dog has had an aural hematoma for 7 days, and now needs it looked at TODAY. She calls in at 9:30am, which is ok, because we have a 10:40 opening. Ahh-but she can't come in until after 11am and then she's just going to drop the dog off. Of course, we have no time to look at the dog, and if it needs surgery, my doc and tech will be staying late. Did I mention that it was a 14 year old dog that would have to have BW and a catheter and fluids, too? And now it's not really her dog even though it's in her file, but her grand daughter's so now we have a 3 way communication going on?
Second sigh of the day.
In the end, they did nothing. After hmming and hawing for the better part of 2 hours, they decided they couldn't afford treatment, and picked the dog up with the intention to treat the underlying ear infection and 'go from there'.
How about the client with the 14 year old unspayed dog with the mammary tumor the size of Texas that was open and draining? Something that he 'just noticed'? My God, the smell was enough to make even the most seasoned veteran gag. My doctor who can't smell anything, as it goes, could smell it! It was one of those smells that you don't get out your nostrils all day long--no matter how much spray and cleaning you do. He did nothing either. He was truly surprised at what was going on with the dog. His other intact female dogs has those types of bumps, "just smaller" and they never looked like that........
And finally we have the 2pm no show that showed up at 3pm and wanted to get worked in. Did I mention she had 2 dogs which were ear exams and probable cytology's? Or that we were already booked up for the day? We offered to get one dog in later in the day, but we had absolutely no way to get in the other dog. In the end, she didn't bring in either dog, but was going to call back next week.
And our byline of the day was waiting to see if our associate was going to have her baby or not. She was supposed to work today, too, but babies have their own schedule, y'know.
I love the holidays, don't you?
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