On leaving my dignity behind in the veterinary exam room
Sometimes things in veterinary medicine have a way of going wrong...very wrong. Want a sampling of human errors and stupid veterinarian tricks? Here’s a bunch for your amusement:
1. The blood bath
Ever seen your vet do this one? Take a large syringe designed to sample a full twelve cc’s of blood. After you’re almost done, pull just a little harder on the plunger and––voilá––blood...everywhere!
2. Where did it go?
Yes, thermometers have been known to disappear in my exam room. Though I’m pretty finicky about keeping hold of the thingie––especially as I’m partial to the greater accuracy of a non-digital thermometer and I don’t like the idea of a mercury spill––it did (once) manage to make it in too far after the fractious beastie attempted to jump off the table just as I’d lodged it in its proper place.
That giant sucking sound? My dignity, as the thermometer was swallowed whole by my patient’s rectum. (Never fear, I successfully fished it out, unscathed.)
3. Missing the exit
More irrefutable evidence that the canine anus should have an “exit only” sign just above it: Try getting a sample of stool from a hairy, matted creature who refuses to have his backside clipped sans sedation. Miss the spot over and over again until the dog is irrevocably infuriated and the owner wonders how you ever managed to graduate from vet school.
4. Adventures in anal gland-land
OK, after this one I’m done with the canine and feline backside. But I can’t resist telling tales out of school on the amazing powers of anal gland excretions to lay a room low with their powerful stench. This is especially true when the anal glands somehow escape their intended target (a rubber glove and gauze pads) and fly headlong into a too-curious owner’s cleavage. This has happened. In my case, to a well-dressed woman who, before this escapade, was on her way to court. Wonder what the judge thought.
5. Pustule power!
More flying bodily fluids. This time, infected ones (and usually on me). Good thing I wear glasses. Too bad it’s not always possible to close one’s mouth in time.
6. Euthanasia...for everyone
This is a popular problem––so popular, in fact, that at least one veterinarian has been sued by a client after the euthanasia syringe slipped its moorings and some of the resulting spray of thick, gooey solution landed in the client’s eye.
Truth be told, it’s happened to me, too. That’s why I’ve used luer-lock syringes ever since. It’s just too easy for the viscous stuff to fly everywhere should the needle rebel from the pressure. Simple physics is not always our friend.
7. Gender benders
Ummm...I’m sorry to tell you this but the pet you’ve been calling “Genvieve” for the last four months is probably going to have to be renamed, “Jean-Claude,” (or some such variation). We regret the error. The good news is that his spay has been discounted.
OK, so I know you’ve got more fun adventures in exam room embarrassments. Give ‘em up.