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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

*It Happened in the Hospital* Part 2

What better way to start the New Year than to learn a few things you didn't already know?!

*I recently saw a Pug for its annual exam. It that had the worst generalized Malassezia dermatitis, probably in the history of the world. It was a walking, snorting little train wreck, rubbing and scratching its greasy, yeasty skin all over everything. Puggy emanated yeast vapors. On last year's record, I had diagnosed it with, wouldn't you know it, "the worst generalized Malassezia dermatitis, probably in the history of the world." I didn't actually write that. It would have been unprofessional. However, the condition had been noted and was still raging a year later. I once again begged the little old lady client and her little old man husband to bathe this creature regularly with antifungal shampoo, which she already had at home from last year. I told her the dog's condition was like having Athlete's Foot - on your feet, your ears, your face, your stomach and a whole lot of other places that aren't feet. To this she replied, "I don't want to bathe him because my daughter's dog recently passed away from having too many baths."  
What you've learned: Oral ketoconazole, despite being a heavy-duty drug that can damage the liver, is actually safer than baths.*

*I told a client that the long-term prognosis for his dog with liver disease was guarded, and that the dog could die from it. At that moment the client said he had a very important question for me. He then asked, "How much would you guys charge to stuff him?" Virology, pathology, taxidermy - I'm pretty sure we took all those classes in vet school, didn't we?  
What you've learned: Crematoriums are not necessarily sufficient, particularly if you practice in rural America.*

*A few days before Christmas, I was in the middle of telling a client that her dog had dental tartar and gingivitis. Her daughter, who was about 8 years old, interjected in a very adult-ish tone, "What should we be doing to help her with her gingerbread-itis?"  
What you've learned: Holiday foods can contribute to canine dental disease.*

*Two months after an itchy dog was treated with steroids and antibiotics, the client called to ask for a refill. Seeing in the record that a food trial had been strongly recommended, the receptionist asked him if he'd switched foods yet. To this, he replied, "I'm in the process of thinking about it."
What you've learned: a handy response to use next time your car is 4000 miles overdue for an oil change and you still don't feel like getting it changed. Mechanic: "Would you like us to change your oil?" You: "Not today, actually. I'm in the process of thinking about it."*

Until next time...please keep doing your best to discourage irresponsible dog breeders from drilling more holes in the side of the boat.

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