Archive for May 16th, 2011

Emergencies

Monday, May 16th, 2011

This past week, I have been the on call doc­tor for the clinic. This has been an inter­est­ing expe­ri­ence since I had to field calls for clients that own cats and dogs. The last time I dealt exclu­sively with cat and dog ques­tions was back in vet school and amaz­ingly it was like rid­ing a bike–it all starts to come back to you as you immerse in it. Most of the ques­tions per­tained to a cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of the pet and is this is some­thing that should be seen imme­di­ately at an emer­gency clinic…or can it wait until morn­ing. My biggest chal­lenge was feel­ing like I can tell some­one that some­thing can wait until morn­ing. I tend to always run on the side of cau­tion and feel it is bet­ter to be seen sooner rather than wait. In exotic and avian med­i­cine, time is cru­cial in the treat­ment process and there is almost never a sit­u­a­tion that I would sug­gest wait­ing. So I really had to sit back and con­sider, can this cat or dog wait until morn­ing. Truth­fully there was only a cou­ple of times that I really felt this was appro­pri­ate.  Mostly, the deci­sion needed to be ER clinic, ASAP. It was intrigu­ing how most of my con­ver­staions with clients were very sim­i­lar. Pretty much every client was already pre­pared for what I would say and they just needed that reas­sur­ance that it was the right deci­sion. I think most of us have really good instincts about a situation—something is not right and we feel it in our gut. But mak­ing the leap to the next step of action can be very scary some­times and we just need some­one with objec­tiv­ity to pro­vide that nudge. I hope all of the pets that needed addi­tional care are doing well this week. Being a fel­low pet owner, I know how dif­fi­cult it is to go through an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion and have to make a bunch of tough deci­sions. My thoughts are with you all.