Welcome to The Weird Veterinary World Blog. The purpose of this blog is to share the interesting, odd, and educational things I encounter daily as a veterinarian. It is my hope that this blog will make you think, gasp, laugh, and (most importantly) treat your pets with love and compassion. I appreciate your comments and input. If you enjoy the blog, please share it with your friends.

Some posts may contain pictures or descriptions of anatomical parts, surgical procedures, or injuries. If any of these offend you, please leave the site.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leap of Faith

I regret the long lapse of time since my last post.  Thanks to all who have waited patiently while I gathered myself and altered my path.  The changes were certainly a huge distraction over the last few months and left me with little free time to blog.  I am happy to report that I am in a much happier place in my life now and would love to share a bit of this journey with you.  Shall we?

You may recall from a previous post that I suffered from significant burn out, a common malady in my field.  After undergoing exhaustive analysis of the causes of my burnout and much discussion with my family, I decided to follow a conviction, take a big leap, and try something radical.  Midlife crisis?  You decide.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

"Hi there, how're you doing," I asked yesterday as I walked around the front desk.

The gray haired lady sat stooped over and panting in a chair by the window.  The walk into the clinic had nearly done her in.  In her good hand she held her purse and yellow grocery bag.  She caught her breath, looked up, and smiled. 

"Oh, I'll do, I guess." 

I met this lady a little over a month ago.  She had come to our clinic in need of help.  She is in her seventies and draws a meager income from the government.  She lives alone, save for her chihuahua companion.  She struggles to exist without help.  With medical bills and the costs of her medicines, she had little money left after her faded red Chevrolet broke down on the side of the road taking her savings with it. 

Then, her companion began having seizures.  She couldn't even afford her veterinarian's exam fee.

"It runs in her family, I guess," she reported to me.  "Her mammy had them too, but she's never done this on me before."  The dog was a gift from a friend who gave her one of his dog's puppies about a year ago. 

I examined her dog at that first meeting and explained the normal procedure for working up a seizing pet.  We discussed the costs, which were too prohibitive for her small budget.  We discussed the likelihood of a heritable epilepsy.  I explained to her the methods of controlling such problems and the costs of each.  Together we made a decision to try a cheap seizure medicine that she can get for four dollars a month at the local pharmacy.  I explained to her that because some people abuse this medication, I would need to do a blood test on her dog in a month to make sure it was taking the medicine.  She was concerned by the cost of the test, but said she'd be back.

"I just need something to help her.  You see, I can't get down in the floor with her to help her when she does this. I'm scared to death she'll hurt herself.  Then what will I do?"

Yesterday, she reported that her dog had only had one seizure since beginning the medicines. 

"It was much shorter and she didn't flop around as much."

She asked to leave her pet with us while she drove to the next town to get her Vitamin B12 shot. 

"My locks don't work in my truck and I'm scared somebody's going to steal her.  She's so pretty, you know.  I don't want her to be without her medicine if somebody would do that."

We obliged.

"Let me show you something," she said as she reached into her yellow grocery bag.  She pulled out a little doll with a small white paper pinned to it. 

I made these and I'm selling them so that I can afford her blood test.

I held the doll in my hand and began reading the piece of paper.

I laughed at words on the little piece of paper. 

"How much are you selling them for," I asked.

"Five dollars each.  I've sold a few already."  The expression on her face was beautiful mixture of modesty and a little pride. 

I thought in my head about the things this woman had mentioned to me on the two short visits at the clinic;  things like "I can't raise my left arm because I broke my shoulder" and "my right thumb don't work at all because of the gout."  I imagined this woman cutting fabric and sewing each doll by hand.  I envisioned her typing out those papers on her type writer.  My mind saw her trying to pin those papers on these doll with those stiffened and shaky hands. 

My heart broke as she handed over those eight five dollar bills from her wallet.  Eight wrinkled five dollar bills and two ones were all her wallet held.

"I've still got two dollars left!  Thank goodness it almost a new month."  She grinned. 

I recalled a saying heard often in my household growing up.

God helps those who help themselves. 

I think she'll make it.  I hope to see to it that she does. 

Please look around you.  Find someone trying to make it.   Do something. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stepping Up To Bat

"What do I do with this," was the text I received from my wife. 

My wife's coworker had brought in a tea pitcher with a small reddish brown bat in it.  She had found it outside her house with a broken wing. 

"You're husband is a vet right?  He'll know what to do with it." 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I am afraid the end is near.  He is going to die soon.

I said that twice today.

What terrible news to deliver. 

He is going to die.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You're Once....Twice....Three (?) Times a Lady!

Working in a high volume spay/neuter clinic has its advantages.  Not only do I get to refine my skill so that my patients are under anesthesia for the shortest possible time and my incisions are only as large as necessary, I also get to see the weird reproductive anomalies more frequently than my colleagues.  Two weeks ago, I got to see a rare reproductive abnormality and it was fascinating!  Ever heard of uterus didelphys?  Why have one uterus and vagina when you could have two? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Take Up Thy Bed and Walk

Periodically, I think of giving up my career.  I crack under the burden of cares.  I grow cynical of owners' intentions.  I feel like I am not making difference enough for the patients I touch.  I begin looking for other work to do with my degrees and ponder if it will feed my family and my soul.  But I always am sent a reminder of why I show up for work.  This week, my reminder's name was Molly.