Pet Peeves: Nine Ways to Drive Your Vet Nuts

Chihuahua at a veterinary appointment with vets chatting in the background

Unfortunately, veterinarians like me are often in a position to bemoan the many ways in which my clients, colleagues and even random citizens manage to make our lives more of a stress-fest than it already is. Hence, the cheeky title of this post.

Now, if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you don’t tend to commit any such sins against your veterinarian. But in case you need a primer on what others do to test our sanity, here are nine ways to drive your vet nuts:

1. “Dine and dash.” Leave a box full of nine kittens 10 feet away from your vet’s back door. Run!

2. Talk bad about all the other veterinarians you’ve seen before. When we hear our colleagues excoriated (usually on the very first visit), can you help us for thinking you’ll be saying the same things about us when you move on to the next “mean-spirited, money-grubbing” veterinarian in your vicinity?

3. Blame us for your pet’s illness. It happens more often than you’d expect. People can be hurtful to others when they’re in pain. We know this. Nonetheless, it’s hard to muster the necessary compassion at the exact moment we’re being yelled at for a cancer we clearly had no hand in creating.

4. Create high drama (when it could have been avoided). Fail to spay your cat and bring her in while she’s pregnant and showing signs of early labor. Then beg to have her spayed right now!

But here’s the plot twist: You want her euthanized if she can’t be spayed, because you really “don’t know what to do” with the five kittens the X-ray confirms are on their way out right now!

5. Elect cruel and unusual treatment in lieu of euthanasia. When you decline euthanasia as a humane alternative for your cat with end-stage lung cancer (who happens to be in severe respiratory distress), many of us find it difficult to watch any animal go home to suffer.


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