Friday, January 04, 2008

Helping dogs, helping clients

Hooray, I was spot on with the droopy dog. Her thyroid level was undetectable by the lab.

I called the owner with the news. She is really warming up to the idea, and is looking forward to seeing the potential change in her dog. "How come no one ever caught this before?" she asked me. Uh, maybe because you never let us run the routine bloodwork we recommend for your dogs?


Anyway, also at work today I convinced a pet owner to euthanize her old decrepit dog. He's been declining for a year now, and she's in total denial. He had a neurological disorder that was making him weaker and weaker. He was in a diaper and dragging himself around her house. "He's just lazy," she told me yesterday. "He can walk if I prop him up." "He's not lazy, he's weak," I explained to her. Then I made her cry by talking about how he was near the end. "I want you to tell me he's going to get better," she said. I could not betray my patient and give her false hope.

He's been at the clinic for 2 days because his epilepsy was out of control. He was having a seizure at least every 4 hours, which left him physically exhausted and mentally gone for hours. Today he didn't even recover cognizance between events. I called her and told her like it is. She may hate me but she did consent to come in and euthanize. I was so relieved that she agreed, for a moment I felt like celebrating. Except, of course, my patient was going to die, and the client would be in grief.

After the injection was administered, his little body finally relaxed. He had been suffering, and now he was clearly at peace. I told the owner, "You did the right thing. It was hard, but you make the right decision." I hope she could hear me.

5 comments:

peevish said...

I hope so, too. At least you know you did everything you could for both of these patients.

Laura said...

You know, Jenn, you should feel really satisfied about the quality of the job you're doing. You're clearly making a difference in your patients' lives, even if their owners are dopes. It astounds me that an individual with hypothyroidism would refuse to treat a pet with the same disease.

Jennifer said...

Laura, yes, exactly! She, of all people, should see the benefit of the therapy!

Anonymous said...

Good job.
Glad she got the message.

baseballmom said...

Awesome, as the owner of a nine year old lab, I'd be interested in an update when she's on meds for awhile!