We love your pets and we love this job. Common things occur commonly. Here are some typical phrases and why your animal health care team gets kind of annoyed by them.
1. “I read on Facebook/Google/Petfinder…”
…. While most of us will occasionally consult “Dr. Google” to find a current article or review drug therapies, usually that online magic bullet you read about is not from a reputable source or may be very outdated therapy. Don’t be surprised if we give you the Dean Winchester *massive eyeroll*
2. “You can’t expect me to pay for this? [added comment about how us vets make way too much money or should do our work for free]”
…you know what? I’m in debt. A lot. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. And I was responsible and worked ALL through school and took a full year off to help pay for school so don’t get all “you’re in debt because you weren’t responsible enough”… My degree was expensive to obtain and could easily buy a fancy house. with property. Because of my degree, I cannot afford a fancy house. Or property. I literally eat off-brand ramen noodles and cereal and the little income I make goes to my student loans and rent. I know what it means to be broke, because I spent 8 years being a broke college student and am currently still living as such to pay this debt down. But even if I were rich or something you have to understand: if you want me to be here to care for your dog at 2 AM, you’re gonna have to pay the clinic. If you don’t pay the clinic, it won’t stay in business and I won’t be here to help your dog at 2 AM. I’m sorry. It sucks. It’s just the way it is. I love your dog and wish things didn’t cost money. Consider puppy health insurance.
3. “Oh I don’t want him/her neutered. I’m going to breed him/her.”
Go to the pet shelter and tell me why your dog/cat doesn’t need to be neutered. If I’m honest: I am okay with responsible breeders, but those are so very very painfully rare. Just go to the shelter and learn how many pets are euthanized. Then, if you still think you want to bring more puppies or kitties into the world, we will discuss how to help you become one of the rare responsible breeders.
4. “She’s been [generic non-emergency symptom] for 6 weeks. I need her seen immediately!!! [Insert massively rude attitude when staff suggests scheduling an appointment for non emergent symptoms]. [Insert curt demands to speak with the manager or vet to complain about staff who are just doing their job triaging patients].”
….Okay. We get it. Everyone is busy. Everyone has stuff going on. And sometimes you truly didn’t have time to make an appointment over the last month and a half for a legitimate reason (see below*). But 99% of the time, you really could have brought your pet in sooner and at a more reasonable hour. If it’s having emergency signs, we are genuinely worried and want to see your pet ASAP. But if he’s had the sniffles for a month and you give our receptionists an attitude because they’re not willing to “fit you in right now” at 2 minutes to closing time, we’re gonna pull Amy Poehler’s famous phrase on ya: “REALLY?!” (*Legitimate Reasons I have actually heard: your house burned down. your wife just gave birth to twins and it’s friggin hecktic and the cat was hiding under the bed the whole time. you were diagnosed with cancer. your significant other died. you were out of town/state/country and your pet watcher turned out to be a moron. you are not neurotypical or have health issues that needed to be placed ahead of your pet for the moment. you died and it took your grieving family 6 weeks to get their shit together and realize someone should take the dog in to the vet and it obviously wont be dead you. you just adopted/rescued this animal yesterday from someone else and you totally have your shit together but they kinda didn’t.)
5. “I just adopted this pet and I want to bring it in for an appointment just to look over my pet and just generally talk about what sort of things I need to do for my pet.”
I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE THE BEST! Yes. We are happy to help you navigate the exciting and sometimes scary world of new-pet-ownership. We have plans and calendars and books to recommend. We know who the good pet trainers in the area are, we know where you can find a nice groomer, and we probably have a tech or two that will pet sit for you when you’re out of town. You are awesome. Please ask us anything! We love you.