I haven't had a good rant about a client in a while, so now seems like a good time.
Today at about 15 minutes until closing one of my assistants takes a phone call and relays it to me.
Client: "How much is a c-section?"
Assistant: "I can't really say. It could vary quite a bit depending on the number of puppies and how much care is needed. What's the concern?"
Client: "My bitch has had two puppies and the third one is stuck halfway out and backwards. I can't pull it out."
Assistant: "M'am, you need to take your dog to the emergency clinic."
Client: "Well, I don't know if I want to spend that kind of money. What time do you open in the morning?"
Assistant: "M'am, this is a serious problem. We close in 15 minutes so you need to take her to the emergency clinic right away."
Client: "What about [satellite clinic of our practice that closes at the same time we do]? I'm sure they'll see me tonight. Is their number [phone number]?"
Assistant: "Yes, m'am, that's their number but I can promise you that they won't be able to help you tonight either."
Client: "Well, I'll give them a call." *click*
Really???? Your dog is in active labor with a stuck, backwards puppy, and not only do you not want to go to the emergency clinic, but you're wanting to know when we open the next day and maybe bring her in then? REALLY?????
Some pet owners are simply stupid. Yes, I said it. Some people have no business owning pets and they are blatantly stupid. Surprised to hear a vet be that blunt? Believe me, every vet has clients like that and are frustrated by interactions like I described above. Ignorance we can fix. In fact, I really enjoy it when a client has genuine questions and wants to learn. A client seeking knowledge is a joy, as they really want to learn more about keeping their pets healthy. But some people are so lost in their stupidity and carelessness that we can't pull them out of it.
And this woman was breeding? She had a pregnant dog and didn't have the concern to take it to an emergency clinic and deal with a life-threatening situation? While I'm normally against too much government regulation and involvement in personal affairs, people like this woman really make me tempted to support movements to require a license for breeding.
This is the part of veterinary medicine that clients normally don't realize. It's not just about healing pets, it's also about dealing with irresponsibility and stupidity from people. Illustrating these daily situations of being a vet is a large part of why I started this blog.