2001-Sun Dec 17 20:09:46 EST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Being a small animal veterinarian may seem like a fairly cushy proposition compared to working with the big ’uns: Horses can kill you with a kick. Llamas can upend you with a flick. Some birds will bite your finger clean off. And a well-motivated monkey can leave you with disfiguring lacerations. So, by comparison, working with dogs and cats would seem like a breeze, right?
Normally, I’d have to agree. Indeed, until October of this year, the last decade had proved fairly uneventful in the injury department: A few deep claw marks, one uncomplicated puncture, and a couple of wayward fang-bangs are pretty much what I expect from this profession on an annual basis. (Sure, it’s tough on the knees and back too, but who’s counting?) In any case, I consider myself lucky to do what I do and remain relatively unscathed.
But these past two months haven’t been so humdrum. (And I’m not just talking about the ringworm lesions I still bear on three separate anatomical locations.)
Here’s what happened: Not only did Paco the overly protective Dachshund bite my finger, leaving a deep fang mark and a fingernail-disfiguring bruise, Grotto the 140-pound Rottweiler head-butted me with the kind of force only a half-sedated, scared-out-of-his-skull dog his size can muster, flattening my nose in the process.
Both scenarios were bad enough for me. Attempting to keep my composure as best I could, I backed out of the room in silence. (OK, so I think I might’ve muttered something about having to go to the hospital in one of the two instances, but it’s all a bit muddled by my pain-addled memory.)
As much pain as I might’ve felt, however, there’s no doubt my clients were feeling an equivalent degree of mortification. Both owners held their heads in their hands as I tried my best to console them: “Don’t worry,” I explained, "this is all part of my job.”
And it’s true! Sure, it sucks to get clawed, bitten, head-butted, toppled, or injured in any sort of way by your patients, but here’s the thing: It’s never their fault!
In an animal hospital setting pets will act out. Not all of them, of course, but a sizable-enough percentage to make any aggressive behavior directed at the veterinarian or staff members an expected part of almost every human-animal interaction that occurs in a vet office. And since most aggressive behavior in vet settings is fear-based, that makes it even easier to forgive. I mean, what pet wouldn’t be scared?
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.