Nine kittens in a box and nine more veterinary hospital 'horrors'

Patty Khuly, DVM
Published: September 21, 2008
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Here’s another one of my list-style posts in which I bemoan the many ways in which my clients, colleagues and even random citizens manage to make my life more of a stress-fest than it already is. In case you need a primer, here are ten ways to drive your vet nuts (sourced from last month’s cases):

#1: The drop and run

Leave a box full of nine (!) kittens 10 feet away from your vet’s back door. Run.

#2: Last-minute organizational strategies

Fail to spay your pregnant cat and bring her in while she’s showing signs of early labor. Now beg to have her spayed “right now!” The kicker? You want her euthanized if she can’t be spayed (or some other plot twist) because you really “don’t know what to do” with the five kittens the X-ray confirms are imminently on their way out.

#3: Cruel and unusual treatment

Refuse to accept euthanasia as an alternative for your dog with end-stage lung cancer (who happens to be in severe respiratory distress). Take him home to watch him die a horrible death because you have no money to have him appropriately hospitalized for oxygen therapy and pain/stress relieving hospice care.

#4: Assuming omniscience

Threaten to sue your vet for failing to diagnose a condition—when you were the one who refused to spend the money on tests needed to determine it was there in the first place.

#5: Indecent proposal

Ask her out on a date (again)—after she’s already informed you that a) she’s dating someone else b) doesn’t date clients and c) would never be interested in you anyway.

#6: Denial is a long, sad river

Repeat after me: “No—my cat can’t possibly have diabetes.” Now watch your vet squirm.

#7: Saliva heals no wounds

Go ahead—let your dog lick her spay sutures in spite of the warnings, then accuse your vet of not having warned you STRONGLY enough. Go ahead—ask her to pay your $900 emergency bill because you felt the e-collar was “bugging her.”

#8: I know you’re on Miami time—but still…

Show up 45 minutes late for your first vet visit ever with your puppy—without calling ahead to inform anyone of your impending tardiness. Before doing so, make sure you ask for the last possible appointment on a Saturday so that you really impress your vet with your organizational skills. For the best possible impression, arrive at the exact time the hospital is scheduled to close to ensure the entire staff holds your patronage in warm regard.

#9: The vet as receptionist

Call her every time you need to have your pet seen. Demand she speak with you so she can play receptionist to your scheduling needs. Complain angrily about how inconvenient her hours are as you suck down her time mercilessly.

#10: Fee complaint fiascoes

Express yourself vigorously when it comes to the pricing of your vet’s services. Complain about $45 office call fees. (Never mind that in your business you charge more than that to wax and pluck soccer moms’ bikini lines to perfection.)

Clearly these are not intended to reflect on all veterinary clients. They are mere examples of entertaining human animal behavior I like to present here for your amusement—and, of course, to prove yet again that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction in an animal hospital setting.