2001-Sun Feb 19 09:40:21 MST 2017
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Animals are unpredictable and animal people can be
eccentric, which explains why veterinary
hospitals are places where odd things often happen. Indeed, you might be surprised at some of the
strange activities veterinarians include in a regular workday.
Seeing our appointments, treating patients, scrubbing up for
surgery and making oodles of telephone calls… these tasks you
might easily imagine us doing. But others —
some strange, some not so much (but still unexpected) —
might lend a new perspective on your
veterinarian’s daily doings.
Consider the following oddball adventures in
1. We take on kitten detail. Take, for instance, the recent appearance of a brood of kittens abandoned overnight by the back door.
Anyone else might’ve recoiled at the sight
of a damaged cardboard box rocking back and forth of its
own volition. We knew better. In our vast experience
with these things, kittens are always contained therein.
Opening these back door gifts is like unleashing a
volcanic eruption of fur and cuteness into our
lives. The next month or two is inevitably
replete with all manner of healthcare and adoption-related stress.
Bet you didn’t figure your vet for such a sucker, but
there it is. Of course, don’t let this information
give you any crazy kitten-relinquishing ideas. We have a
camera by the back door and we’ll surely recognize you if you try the same trick on us.
2. We play the role of pet police. Veterinarians are often at the center of many legal and regulatory issues, from tracking down the rightful owner of a microchipped pet, to ensuring pets receive the necessary paperwork in
advance of an international trip. Indeed, we
spend so much time filling out legal and regulatory paperwork
(rabies certificates too, of course), it's a wonder we don't hire an
3. We take our patients home with us. Yes, it’s true. For patients who aren’t so critical that round-the-clock emergency care is required, and whose owners aren’t
comfortable with remote camera surveillance or leaving their pet in the clinic alone overnight, some
veterinarians take their patients home. Not all of
us, mind you, but when I’m worried about an animal, it’s better than sleeping on the clinic floor overnight.
4. We create pet couture. Now, I’m not referring to cute muscle T-shirts and
frilly tutus. Rather, the stuff I’m talking about is
custom-snipped and designed to keep pets from
traumatizing their own wounds or licking at their
stitches. Believe it or not, there’s an art to this
endeavor. Old T-shirts, bandage fixings and stockings
are excellent materials for this uniquely veterinary
5. We act as social media mavens. Though veterinary team members are typically discouraged
from pulling out smartphones and tablets during
the course of a normal workday, many veterinary
hospitals exempt a couple of team members. These are the
individuals whose talent with a camera and/or the
world of social media makes them ideally suited to
taking and posting pics of our personnel, patients and
pet owners (with their permission, of course).
These five activities may not be what most pet owners
expect from their veterinarians but, as I said, sometimes the real world of veterinary
medicine has a way of surprising all its participants —
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