Veterinary Medicine is challenging, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of levity!
Animals are funny. There’s no way around it. If you doubt that sentiment I urge you to check out the internet sometime. The myriad of videos and posts about funny pets is almost overwhelming!
So, by default, veterinary medicine is often quite funny. Now, I can’t lie and say that every day is perfectly peachy, but when I sit down and think about it there’s a lot to smile about. So, here are three of the funniest cases that I can think of that have come through the doors to see me.
It’s a bit nippy
The clinic is firmly within the blistering grasp of late June in New Mexico. We are absolutely slammed with cases today, and a cat appears on my schedule who has developed several masses down his abdomen. I ponder the numerous differentials for what masses could be afflicting this young cat. My mind begins to stress as I wonder how serious this will be and what I’ll need to do to start treating him.
The moment arrives, and the young couple enters the exam room. They appear to be about my age as we begin to discuss their cat. The female owner starts to give me the history. She spells out how this kitty lives his daily life. It sounds like he gets quite a bit of attention and has been healthy since they first got him. We arrive at the concern, and I begin examining the patient. There are small pink masses nearly symmetrically running the length of his abdomen.
“These…” I say as I finish feeling the final growth the owners had pointed out, “Are his nipples.”
“I freaking told you!” Comes the immediate response from the female owner.
“Well, he’s a boy!” The male responds defensively.
“You have nipples don’t you?” The final response from the kitty’s ‘mom.’
They finish their discussion with me patiently waiting in the room. I help them on their way out and we can’t help but laugh as they take their leave from the room.
That’s doggone embarrassing
The surgery schedule on this particular morning was full but manageable. We had a dental procedure and then a spay and neuter. The neuter was a hyper little pug who could not get enough attention. We decided he would be a good candidate to start with.
So, we gave him a pre-anesthetic injection. This is a combination of pain relief and sedation. It helps control any pain during the procedure and facilitates the placement of an IV catheter. The drugs are usually well-tolerated, but they do make some patients a little nauseated.
Unfortunately for this little guy that ended up being the case. He started off a little queasy and a few minutes later vomited. Patients are supposed to have fasted for anesthesia so if they do vomit, it’s usually a tiny amount. However, this little pug produced quite a bit of material. On closer inspection, it became apparent that it was, in fact, a pair of women’s underwear.
“Hi there, I’m calling to let you know that Pug is doing great this morning so far, we are getting ready to start his procedure. I wanted to tell you that he did vomit a pair of underwear, however.” I say.
The line held silent for a while until laughter finally broke through and it was clear that these underwear had been missing for a few days. We ended our conversation with a plan to move forward and I advised the owner that we’d save the clothing of interest until she arrived so we could confirm its identity.
Don’t worry, Pug did just fine for his procedure.
A boy named Sue
Finally, a classic example of humor in the veterinary clinic. If you’ve ever been around cats, you know that it can be difficult to tell whether they’re male or female until they get past a certain age. Without getting too far into the anatomy, male cats tend to take several weeks to become readily distinguished from females, so it’s a mistake we sometimes run into.
My schedule on this day contained several annual checkups and a few sick patients to see. I skimmed down and landed on a new client. Princess was listed as a 7 week old intact female kitten who was coming in for her first vaccines.
Mom, dad, and two children entered the room with Princess for the appointment and after discussing a few general items we moved on with the exam. It wasn’t long before I discovered a couple of pieces of anatomy that made it unlikely he was an intact female cat. I calmly explained to the owners that Princess was actually a male, but was otherwise healthy.
Mom and dad laughed extensively as they had found the kitten and weren’t able to tell. Thinking that he was a female, they told the kids that ‘she’ could stay and went forward with their name games.
Ultimately, it’s a fairly common error, but it’s always humorous when it happens. This family opted to keep his name as Princess. I’m sure that Johnny Cash would have approved.
As you can see, veterinary medicine is not all about complicated life or death cases. There are many times during the day where the work brings a smile to our faces. Hopefully, this article helped bring one to yours. Thanks for reading!