My favorite dog EVAH woke up yesterday morning sick. She got sick on the floor three times before hitting the grass and I don’t know how many times she heaved once outside. Straightaway, I call the vet and they were so kind to get her in immediately.
Once in the examining room, I couldn’t help but notice the distinct differences between the experiences received when I go to the doctor and what it’s like for a human with 4 legs…
- On the wall I see a chart that shows weight, age, and expected life of the patient. Libby is a large dog, is 12 years-old, and was in the RED geriatric condition category. This would be like setting in the examining room of your favorite physician and in your face is a huge poster indicating you are too fat and too over the hill to get any worthwhile treatment. The bottom of the poster would read, “YOU ARE ALMOST DEAD ALREADY!“
- I didn’t see the vet until after Libby had been taken into another area. The “assistant/nurse” told me the procedures that would be performed back there, but I found it interesting that the person determining these actions was someone with a lot of hands-on experience, but not a whole lot of professional training.
- BEFORE the test results were complete (x-rays and blood work), the “vet/doctor” came in to speak with us. She indicated that she suspected a tumor on an organ that would require chemo to live or euthanasia. At Libby’s advanced age, euthanasia was something she suggested we discuss as chemo wasn’t a viable option. Then she was gone.
I admit I was
tore up like a train wreck a little anxious as we awaited the results that would determine if my best bud for the past 12 years was going to live or die. About 20 minutes passed when the “vet/doctor” came in the examining room to let us know that the x-rays were clear, the blood work came back normal for an aging girl, and Libby had Gastroenteritis (a stomach bug).
A shot to help with nausea and prescription for a bland diet, Libby’s nails were trimmed and she was released. From death row to a mani/pedi, you guys.
I’m not stupid. I know that I don’t have a long time left with Libby. Still, I have to wonder if vets shouldn’t be a little more like physicians insofar as their bedside manner with the families of patients. Below is evidence that Libby agrees.