To completely appreciate my issues with these people- both occurred in the middle of a huge rush of patients (with clients who actually do care about them!) and both conversations took me several minutes to end. I’m usually pretty good at cutting to the chase but I just couldn’t today…
Ok… I understand you “love” your little Maltese dog. You love her so much that she hasn’t seen us (her veterinary hospital) for over 3 years. Today you were worried enough about her to call us and report that she was “lethargic and not eating”. Otherwise known as AN EMERGENCY! :smack: . Unfortunately, we were completely booked today so I advised that you take her to the ER Clinic. Our conversation went a little like this…
CPO (clueless pet owner)- Do you think I should go? She’s shaking and panting really hard.
Me: Well, it’s up to you, but if she were my dog and she wasn’t eating (granted none of my dogs have voluntarily missed a meal) and was just laying around, I’d have a vet look at her ASAP. Plus, shaking and panting indicate she’s painful or uncomfortable.
CPO- But… I don’t know… how old do Malteses usually get?
Me: Small dogs live longer- about 13-14 years or so.
CPO- In human years?
Me: In real years.
CPO: So, she’s 9 so how old does that make her.
Me: 9 :smack:
CPO: Well… she’s just laying around.
Me: Then she should go to the ER clinic.
CPO: She’s a Maltese though, they aren’t very playful anyways.
Me: Only you can judge if she is not acting normal. I can’t help you with that over the phone.
CPO: Can I come in Monday? How much will it cost?
Me: Yes, but you should know that you have a previous balance for missing your last two appointments. Your vet will probably want to do bloodwork & X-rays, starting at about $200. Plus, if she is painful, not eating and lethargic, she may not be able to wait till Monday.
CPO: REEEAAAALLLLYY??? I cancelled those appointments. And I don’t have any money.
Me: No, you didn’t (I remembered because we asked everyone to pay attention to it on the second missed appointment because we were hoping you’d get mad and go somewhere else!) and check out Care Credit.
CPO: Do you think I should wait till Monday?
Me: ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!! Not to be short with you but its a very busy Saturday and your choices are this. Go to the ER Clinic or come to us on Monday. End of story.
CPO: Can I bring my other dog on Monday?
CPO #2- I have an old Bichon… she’s peeing all over the house and tries to dig out of the yard. Is she going senile?
Me: How old is she?
CPO #2- I don’t know… about six.
Me: That’s not very old, sounds like she could have a urinary infection or something. Would you like to make an appointment?
CPO #2: I don’t know… I talked to my friends who had Bichons and they all had to get rid of them eventually because of the peeing. She’s very stubborn. She’s just staring out me from outside and won’t come in.
Me: Well, Bichons are known for having a predisposition to bladder stones, that could explain the peeing in the house. Would you like to make an appointment?
CPO #2: She spent time at my ex-husband’s house last week. I don’t know “what” kind of things go on there.
Me: Can’t help you with that (except I didn’t say that- I did get the impression she may have been abused).
CPO#2: I think he spoils her.
Me: Oh dear God. I really can’t help you with that.
CPO#2: I don’t want to spend any money on this old dog. How much will the exam cost?
Me: $39 for the exam, at least $55 for the urinanalysis. If there is more the doctor will have to quote you.
CPO #2: Can’t you just tell me what’s wrong with her- she was just there!
Me: She was here 3 months ago for problems with her skin. This is a new problem and will require the doctor to look at her.
CPO #2: Well…are you sure I have to bring her in???