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Top 10 Veterinary Practices that are Normal and May Surprise You

October 2, 2009

1. You cannot sleep over with your pet. Imagine zoning for a hotel and a pet hospital for the same business. Hard to imagine, right? Although it would be nice…

2. Drawing blood from the jugular vein in the neck is quickest, safest, least painful, and a good sample for accurate results.

3. If your pet is in an intensive care unit or emergency room, the vet may not have time to answer your calls. It is common for a doctor to oversee 20 inpatients in a local e.r. At 5 minutes per patient, that’s 100 minutes on the phone, instead of caring directly for patients. If you think you’re the only person that wants a special call anyway, rest assured, so does everyone else!

4. We do not use an alcohol pad to wipe the skin where a shot goes in. Actual studies have proven it inconsequential, especially for someone covered with fur!

5. It is required for an assistant to place a gentle finger or hand over the site where blood was drawn in order to assist in the vein closing over and not bleeding further. We do not wear gloves for this; do not be alarmed.

6. Your pet will probably be placed in a cage for cleanliness and safety reasons.

7. We take your pet’s rectal core temperature at every physical. Surprise! This information, especially when your pet is well, establishes a baseline so we can tell when your pet has a fever.

8. Blood pressure readings are tricky and difficult. Normally, we take 3-5 readings and average them. Cats are particularly touchy because their pulses are tiny, almost like working on a premie baby.

9. We often need x-rays, laboratory tests, etc. because, unlike you, your pet cannot verbalize what is wrong. Do not be surprised if your vet recommends tests.

10. Pets bite the hospital personnel. Your pet may never have bitten anyone ever, but we can read your pet’s body language, and you probably cannot hold your own pet adequately, unless you were or are a veterinary technician or animal expert. Do not be upset if we want to hold your pet for you!

Bonus 11. If you take your pet to the emergency room, a triage nurse will assess the severity of your situation and you may have to wait. I know you rushed over there, but if there were 10 doctors on shift, 11 pets would squeeze through the door 30 seconds between each one and then it takes an average of an hour per pet to clear a case from the board. Yes, 10 other pets in the waiting room when you are there means your doctor (if there is only one) is guaranteed 10 hours of work. And it is probably only 5:15 p.m.!

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