drsusan's blogBy Dr. Susan Muller Esneault on Sunday, June 20, 2010
My next client was an off-duty police officer with a brindle boxer puppy in his arms. She was all of 18 weeks old and her name was Ruth. He placed her on the exam table making the diagnosis apparent immediately, for she was carrying her left rear leg. I could see the intense pain on her face as the distal segment of the fractured leg freely swayed anytime she moved. Yet despite the pain, Ruth’s whole backend shook and shimmied as she tried to wag her nub of a tail to greet you.
Linda, the clinic’s office manager, caught me in the hallway coming into work this morning. She gave me a rundown of the patients that had been dropped off before I came into work that morning. “Jasper is back for the weekend -- but his owner wants you to check him out,” Linda explained. My heart was suddenly beginning to sink as Linda continued, “He has been vomiting the past several days again.” The day had begun on such a positive note, the sun was shining: I was at work on time, and no major catastrophes had occurred until now.
The summer was beginning to drag on further. The heat and humidity were relentless. It was the type of day that the air was so humid you could cut it with a knife. No one was moving, or should I say, they moved as little as possible. Most clients and their pets confined their activities around air conditioned areas. Unfortunately, cold air blowing directly on arthritic joints is not what a pet suffering from degenerative disease needs.
On certain days you can do no wrong, while on other days it seems you can’t do anything right. Today would be one of those days. No matter what happened I just couldn’t seem to get a break - at least where one case was concerned.
The technician motioned me over to room two telling me that Jasper was back to see me yet again. We had already run every test I could think of but had come up empty on anything being abnormal. I was convinced that Jasper was suffering from one of possibly two conditions, with the first option being quite a bit more favorable to the dog.
The day had been rather routine and uneventful, at least until the off-duty police officer walked in. I was suddenly presented with a brindle boxer puppy all of 18 weeks old named Ruth. She was carrying her left rear leg and we could see the intense pain in her face, yet her whole back end shook as she tried to shake her nub of a tail to greet you.
I have always had clients who would try to treat their animals before seeking assistance from a veterinarian. Most of these people would worm their pets with over-the-counter wormers, and sometimes a brave soul would venture out and purchase a vaccine from the local Co-op or Tractor Supply Company. Most of the wormers don’t do any harm, but they rarely do much good either. These wormers are lucky to kill a couple of roundworms and not much else.