I arrived a little before 8:30 to find both receptionists busy on the telephone. They signaled for me to wait in the reception area until Dr. Jim came out to meet me.
As I waited it quickly became clear that Janice, one of persons behind the front desk, was speaking to someone who was having to make the decision to euthanize their dog. I hadn’t bargained for how that made me feel since it was so recently that Jean and I had trodden the same path. I had to give myself a stern reminder that I was here as the quiet, unobtrusive observer and that my own feelings had to be tucked out of sight.
Shortly thereafter, with Janice still on the telephone patiently and compassionately speaking with that dog’s owner, someone came in with Daisy who was here for teeth cleaning. Jim came out to meet her and advise the owner that one of the team would be doing Daisy’s teeth not himself.
Then it was time for me to go back with Jim and start the day with him. (Jim had arrived at 8:20am.)
Jim’s first case was Ginger. Ginger, a female Golden Retriever, had been brought in earlier on because she had lost weight, was lethargic and was generally off-color.
Jim started to examine Ginger assisted by Cianna, a veterinary technician at the clinic.
It was immediately clear to Jim when he listened to Ginger’s heart that it was racing; Jim thought at something like 200 beats per minute. Jim continued to check Ginger over although, as he told me later, he had an idea that Ginger’s medical problem was a cardiac issue. Jim arranged for Ginger to be given an X-ray as well as blood work.
It would take a few minutes for the results of Ginger’s X-ray to come through so Jim showed me the primary software program used in the clinic to record all the details of each patient and all the individual medical details. The software was called AVImark.
I was impressed, very much so, but then again not surprised. For the veterinary business is big business in many countries. For instance, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that in 2016 there were 107,995 veterinarians in the USA. Of course, there would be a wide range of software tools for the industry.
Back to Ginger’s status.
Her X-ray having been taken, the digital image of her heart was transferred electronically to Dr. Jim’s computer. It showed an extremely enlarged heart. Jim said that the owners of Ginger would be facing a potentially complex analysis but in the interim Ginger should be put on one of the ‘pril’ drugs to reduce the very high stress on Ginger’s heart: Lisinopril; Enalapril; Benazepril. That was arranged then and there. (I didn’t make a note of which drug was given to Ginger.)
Time to call Ginger’s owners and report the findings.
The owners said that they would be in to collect Ginger at 12:30.
I looked at my watch. It was 8:58!
Already the next patient is ready to be seen by the good Doctor.
To be continued:
(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)