Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ya know, if you work in a veterinary clinic and have just started in the last few months, it behooves you to not go rushing around messing with any animal that comes in.

As in, rushing to pet and reassure that animal.

Because then you get bit. A lot. As in three times in the last four months, two of which needed an ER visit. That's three more times than I've been bit in the last six years. I've NEVER (knock on wood) had to go to the ER for a bite. Only once has something gotten me and even broken skin.

Now, I admit, since moving out of the technical field into the doctor field, I am usually the do-er, not the holder. In my opinion, the holder is much more at risk than the do-er to get nailed. In addition, my reflexes are honed to a fine edge.

Also, cats have five sets of weapons, dogs only one. You control a dog's head, you have the dog. A cat is a little more complicated.

And a muzzle is our friend. Both with cats and dogs, although the previous caveat applies to cats. Towels and leashes are also appropriate, as well as the rabies pole on occasion. And chemical restraint/sedation. Better living through modern chemistry.

Don't just try to pet any old strange dog. Watch for your visual cues. And don't get bit.


Evil Lunch Lady said...

The owners should also understand, that "Fluffy" can/will turn into a beast when frightend. We are always prepared for that outcome. A nice calm animal can go from 0 to evil in 10seconds flat. We usualy prefer to be the ones holding, tho we sometimes need help.

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

I wish more people understood this, although it's actually better if the owner DOESN'T hold their own pet. It's amazing how the most bad acting pooch calms down when mom or dad isn't in the room with them. I take a lot of bad ones to the back for this reason.

Anonymous said...

Because cats have five sets of weapons, I nearly always take mine to the vet in a Klaw Kontrol bag. Easier to get the cats into than a carrier, and evens the odds a little when we get to the vet. Only problem with Klaw-Kontrol-as-carrier is that about one time in four the cat pees the bag. Good thing about them is that when you get a chance, you can just draw a bath and immerse the whole stinking mess.

As a pet owner (both cats and dogs), I have no problem with the vet taking one of my babies to the back. The animals DO act different with someone else -- vet, groomer, petsitter -- than they do with me.