Here’s a scenario that’s much more common than you might think: People who refuse to accompany their pets into the exam room for fear their pet will associate them with any adverse veterinary interaction. "But she’ll hate me if she thinks I have anything to do with those needles and things!"

I’ve got clients who step out just before the most noxious stimulus is applied or send another family member or servant to attend to the deed in their stead. "If I send my son, he [the pet] will never know it has anything to do with me."

Riiiiight ....

People can be odd that way. "You’re going to use a needle? Gotta run!" — when their pet really could care less. But when the fecal rod comes out they’re often the first to tell the pet not to "be a baby." Meanwhile, I’m the one trying to talk them into forgoing nail trimming altogether given their pet’s high stress level.

It’s odd what my clients think will most engender feelings of hatred in their pets. Here's a list of those most commonly cited (though they'll vary from pet owner to pet owner):

1. A muzzle.

2. Any procedure involving a needle.

3. Dietary restrictions (especially those that involve fewer calories).

4. A day at the vet’s for any reason...

5. ...but dentistry in particular.

6. Nail trimming.

7. Ear cleaning.

8. Bathing or grooming.

9. Tooth brushing.

10. Any trip involving a short leash or carrier.

Which begs the question: If all of the above constitute hate worthy crimes against petdom, I guess nothing says love like a thoroughly spoiled, obese dog with matted fur and teeth rotting out of its head.


Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Archie Playful" by Pat Cullen