Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Holiday Wish From Your Vet's Office!

This was posted on my message board by luckyducky, and I know you don't all read that so I thought I'd bring it over. It's well worth cross posting!

I have worked for a equine veterinary clinic for 7 years now. In that time I have dealt with ALOT and I would love to post my Christmas list up to see if any of my wishes come true.

1. I would like for all owners to call me and know EXACTLY what they need, or at least have a fair idea. if you are call for routine care, please have your records (that reminder we sent you last month is even better) ready.

2. I would love for people to remember that I talk to between 75 - 100 people a day, and there is more than 1 person working in our office. Please don't begin your call with "Hi, I just talked to you." Or "Hey, this is Jim" Or, my personal favorite " Hi, this is Beau's mom" Do you know how many Beaus we see? My favorite clients call and say " Hello, this is Joe Blow, and my horse Tuffy was due for his (insert info from previously mentioned Reminder) on Monday the 12." I LOVE THAT!!! (FHOTD in: Oh seriously. I HATE when people do that to me at work too. Oh, hi, blahblahblah...IDENTIFY YOURSELF! You are not my best friend and I DO NOT know your voice. While we are at it, slow down and let me get a word in edgewise and you will not have to repeat your story all over again when you find out there is nothing I can do to help you and you have the wrong department entirely.)

3. I would like clients to know when they are available to have their horses seen. Nothing is more frustrating then leafing through the appointment book 20 times trying to find a time for your horse to have a dental done between your yoga class and your child's tuba lesson. Set aside a few days for your appointment when you can cancel or move a less important appointment. Yoga can be missed 1 time without the world imploding!

4. I cannot promise that your appointment will not get bumped if my Dr. is taking emergencies that day. I wish that clients would not call and chew my ass because Precious couldn't get her Legend shot today due to the Doc being at a down and thrashing colic. If it were your horses colicking would you want him to stop for something routine? Please be patient with me. I want your horse to be taken care of as much as you do.

5. On that same note, I can't control traffic, weather, road closures, Dr. potty breaks, or anything else that would make him late to your appointment. I wish for clients who understand that and don't scream at me because they are at the barn 20 minutes longer than expected. @#%$ happens. (FHOTD in: And again, if you board, odds are your BM or BO will handle for the vet for you for a fee. If you are busy and on a schedule, JUST PAY IT. Don't sit there and be pissy because the vet is late. The vet is ALMOST ALWAYS going to be late, it's the nature of things.)

6. I wish for clients who treat the person on the phone with respect. I am an intelligent person, I know my job. Please don't talk down to me, or act like I couldn't possibly know what you mean when you say your horse is lame or has Cushings or whatever other problem you can think of. I have worked here long enough to know the ins and outs of equine vet medicine. (FHOTD in: And quite frankly, anyone who thinks they can talk down to whoever they perceive to be a "low level" employee is a royal asshat anyway. Grow up. You do not look cool yelling at some underpaid office worker, who for all you know is in grad school about to become far more successful than you will ever be.)

7. I wish for clients who can maintain a shred of composure when disaster strikes. If you have an emergency, I need facts. Don't say your horse is colicking and then not be able to tell me what is going on. I need to know, is your horse down? Has it drunk anything? How long has it been acting this way? If it's down can you get it up? If not, is it lying peacefully or is it thrashing? The same goes for lacerations, laminitis, accidents, chokes, whatever emergency situation you find yourelf in. No hysterics. I need a person on the phone who can give me directions if needed, and all the facts. If you can't do that, please put someone on the phone who can.

8. I wish for clients who understand that the advice I give comes straight from the Dr. I do not pull it out of my heiney. Yesterday, I got a call from a woman with a old horse that was down. not thrashing, laying peacefully. I told her as long as he was laying there, not rolling to let him be, but I could tell she was a "walker" so I didn't press it. I then left for the night. Well, got in this morning and found out she had gotten the horse up, and LUNGED it for 1 1/2 hours til the Dr showed up. Guess what, the horse wasn't colicy, it was laminitic. She chased that horse around for 1 1/2 hours on poor little laminitis feet!! (FHOTD in: OK, now I understand why some of you are anti-walking. The thought that someone could not identify colic properly had not occurred to me. I am 100% in favor of making them walk and/or light longing (sure as hell not 1-1/2 hours, I'm talking 10 min) when you see a gas colic start, but it seriously did not occur to me that someone could confuse symptoms of stomach pain with symptoms of foot pain. I guess you see it all when you work for a vet.)

9. Lastly, I wish for clients who will say Thank you, and good job. Not just to me on the phone, but when I'm out with the Dr. I may not have alot to say when I'm out there assisting, but I am working hard, and I always appreciate a pat on the back! (FHOTD in: Or something nice at Christmas. It is the holidays, is a good time to say thank you to those who have helped keep your horses together all year.)

Happy Holidays form your vet staff!!!

FHOTD back in: I'd like to add one more. I'm sure the OP would agree.

Know what's normal for your horse! This is SUCH a money saver as well as good for your horse. Just pay attention. If your horse who normally takes off running when he's turned out goes and stands in the corner, trust me, something is wrong. Call out the vet NOW and you will save money and possibly save the horse. Remember my story about how Lacy was picking at her feed and it turned out she had split her jugular open, right between her hairy, yak-like cheekbones? How often are you looking at the underside of your horse's cheekbones? I surely wasn't. It was the picking at her food that tipped me off and gave her ten more years of life.

And yeah, we all have "bad vet" stories so when you find a good one...treat them and their staff well and let them know you appreciate them!