Vets spill: Eight confessions of a veterinary industry worker
I confess. Sometimes I’ll find myself doing things I know my clients — and the world at large — might find unseemly, hypocritical, downright strange, or even unsafe. I also know I’m not alone. I’ve seen plenty of veterinarians and vet team members engage in many of the same unmentionable behaviors.
1. Degloving "injuries": Not wearing gloves while … fill in the blank with some disgusting chore involving bodily fluids.
2. Sleep dancing: Twirling with a floppy kitty as she recovers from anesthesia.
3. Unmentionable games: Playing with body parts. Who hasn’t dangled tomcat testicles up by her ears as if modeling a new pair of earrings? Maybe you haven’t, but I promise it’s only because you haven’t had the opportunity. It’s an irresistible urge. And leaving the mangled tail you just amputated inside the receptionist’s purse? Priceless.
4. Dangerous liaisons: Taking blood samples all by yourself, for example. Some of us put ourselves in harm's way all the time.
5. Oral fixation: Removing needle caps with one's teeth is a sure way to get an unwanted tongue piercing … eventually.
6. Do as I say … : Yeah, we're sometimes guilty of not registering our own pets' microchips, letting our cats go out of doors, failing to buckle our pets in while riding in the car … etc.
7. Licensed?: (A correlation to #6.) At a recent veterinary meting it came to light that more than half of those present had not licensed their dogs, as is required by local law. I won't tell you where I stand on that issue, but past posts on Miami's municipal dog licensing hell may inform you well enough. And yet it's our hospital's policy not to allow a rabies vaccine without a tag. Go figure.
8. Expiration blindness: How else to feed your cats, some vets say, but to put any expired bags of food to good use? A renal diet for your one-year-old? I promise you it's been done. Antibiotics that are a year past their “use by” date? Never for our clients, but A-OK for our own.
Now it's your turn. Fess up to your unmentionables … or out your vet and her (his) staff. Go ahead. It's all in good fun.
Dr. Patty Khuly