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Top Ten Questions to Save for the “Human” Doctor

December 27, 2009

“Doctor, I know you don’t see humans….but…”

“…Don’t bother her, she’s very busy.” (Imagine concerned New York husband’s accent, spoken urgently and lightly. He wants me to hear, but to think that he thinks that I didn’t hear.)

“There’s this weird lumpy spot that hurts here,” (lifts her arm and massages the meaty area under the armpit next to the chest area.) She crabwalks sideways out of her assigned exam room, across the clinic hallway, and looms above me in the archway to the laboratory, where I am helplessly seated on the precarious rolly chair, trying fruitlessly to read a dog’s microscopic cytology. Mind you, the arm is still in the air, and her hand is cradling the purple cotton long sleeve shirt over the offending area as if she’s afraid she’ll suddenly loose track of it.

“Why don’t you ask your physician?”

“Well, I called and he said, if it’s a rib don’t worry about it and if it’s not maybe I should get it checked out. So can you feel — here (under her armpit) — and tell me if this is a rib or not?”

“Oh, no! Make an appointment to see your doctor!”

“I told you not to bother her; she’s very busy.”

Now, how rude do I have to be? I get these kinds of questions daily. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but in a professional capacity as a veterinarian, I am not licensed to touch you, and I’m never going to comment on your body, symptoms, or ailments. That way, you can never misunderstand me and end up hurting yourself by not calling your physician.

Top Ten “Get Thyself to a Human Doctor” Comments:

  1. What do you think this rash is on my kid?
  2. Can you feel this lump for me. Is it anything?
  3. I took the dog’s thyroid pill and he took my antidepressant. Am I gonna be okay?
  4. What shots do I need to travel to Africa?
  5. Is it true dogs can smell cancer better than doctor’s tests?
  6. Just take a look at this…(lump, rash, red spot)…does that look okay to you?
  7. Can you be our pediatrician?
  8. I wish you could be my doctor.
  9. Is it true pets get sick when their humans do? I’ve been feeling sick lately, too.
  10. “I broke up a dog fight and I’m bringing my dog to see you.” (Doc Truli notices swollen finger and haphazard tape on human.)

“Did you get bit?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. My dog’s more important to me anyway.”

“Did you go to the doctor?”

“Of course not!”

“Are you up to date on your tetanus vaccine?”

“My what?”

“Tetanus? Lockjaw? Deadly disease you get after a penetrating wound like a dog bite, easily prevented by vaccination?”

“Oh, I didn’t think of that.”

No one does.

“Please see your physician immediately.”

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