It’s never fun and I know I’ll never get used to it...but I am getting better at it.

No, I’m not talking about treating canine bloats or blocked cats. This time it’s all about the nasty-grams I’m a magnet for. Somewhere on my forehead it must say, “Got a beef with veterinarians? I’m all yours!”

It’s frustrating, really––especially when I do my very best to write daily posts and answer everyone’s questions.

Now, of course I can’t answer every missive that comes my way, but I do try. Still, there’s a sizable contingent that can’t wrap its head around the idea that I might be overwhelmed with work, convinced as they are that I’m intentionally ignoring their e-mails.

Then there’s the group that doesn’t much like my answers. Here’s yesterday’s exchange (with a rescue facility) for your consideration:

We brought a healthy [dog] to a vet. It was determined a stomach xray was necessary and the vet reported to us that there was nothing abnormal about the results.The dog was taken home and in the morning the dog was bleeding from it's nose. Quickly the dog was rushed to [a vet] who agreed to help this dog. We got the [old] xray and showed it to the [new] vet and he said the dog has a bone in her stomach and needed surgery...and she died. The vet we went to first said it was not their fault...The owners of the [dog] are heartbroken and the vet would not even refund the money. I personally think this vet should lose his license and be charged with criminal negligence...What should I do?

My answer:

The key to cases like this is determining the exact cause of death. Referring patients that suffer these deaths to pathologists has proven the best approach for me. The problem is, that has to be done while the animals are still viably amenable to post mortem examination. Having one vet's say-so that death was due to the bone is not enough. Having confirmation that such was the case is crucial to any legal or regulatory case. Please understand that this is a necessary step for any situation like this. My heart goes out to this poor, innocent dog and to those that loved her. I'm so sorry and hope that anything I've written can be of help.

The response?

Sorry I bothered to contact you.


Or when I wrote about how best to handle vet expenses in this last Miami Herald installment. Here’s what I received on Sunday by way of thanks for my efforts:

I can appreciate that your financial business is taking a downturn, but you need to get in touch with reality. Almost half of all the people living in South Florida have no health insurance whatsoever, and 18% of them didn't eat yesterday. Why didn't you offer your services free to this person instead of telling her it is a mistake to take care of a pet unless they could pay you $1,500 and provide pet health care. You obviously are a wealthy person who was very cold hearted with your reply.

You know, sometimes it’s hard to keep it together. Someone come over here and help me scrub my forehead clean. I can feel my skin getting thinner by the minute.