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Friday, November 6, 2015

Yes, Clients Can Be This Insane

One of my favorite websites is, and I visit it every day.  It often makes me feel better about my own day and the sometimes crazy people that I deal with virtually daily.  Most of the stories are retail-oriented, but sometimes they have veterinary stories.  I often shake my head when I read them because as crazy as they may seem I recognize similar situations from my own experience.  Just in the last week there have been several choice interactions that I'm repeating here for people who don't go to that website daily.

(The owner brings in a little, quite adorable, mixed breed dog. After talking about everything under the sun about her pet’s healthcare we get to the topic of having her pet spayed, which the owner agrees to.)
Me: “We have to wait a couple more months but this is an estimate for how much the spay is going to cost, so you can go ahead and plan for it.”
Owner: *looks at estimate and her face gets really red and she yells* “It says here you have to put my pet under anesthesia!”
Me: “Well, yes, she is getting spayed. It is a it is a surgical procedure where we have to go into the abdomen and remove the—”
Owner: “You are trying to rip me off! There is no reason my pet should have to be asleep for that!”
Me: “Ma’am, like I said, it is a abdominal surgical procedure—”
Me: “Well, that is a very different procedure than the one we are discussing. Doing surgery on an animal is different than a human.”
(The owner goes into a rant about how she read on the Internet that vets like to rip people off and that her pet will die if she is put under anesthesia.)
Me: “Ma’am, would you want someone to hold you down, cut into your abdomen, and remove your reproductive organs while you are awake!?”
Me: “NO! We are a medical practice, not Macy’s. Your pet is our patient.”
Owner: “You clearly don’t know what you’re doing! I’m going to take my pet to a more competent vet!”

(I then gave her her pet’s records and off she went ranting and raving without even paying her office visit fee.)

(I’m a vet tech. The first appointment of the day is two ladies in their 30s bring in a young Shih Tzu puppy for its first visit. The owners tell me that this is their first puppy.)
Me: “Wow, what a cute little guy. How long have you had him?”
Owner: “Him? The breeder told us it was a girl.”
(I lift puppy up and all the male parts are there, I then turn him around and show owners. Both owners look shocked!)
Me: “Ma’am, he has a penis and testicles.”
Owner: “NO! NO, IT’S A GIRL!”
Me: “Ma’am, if you look here there is—”
Owner: “The breeder said it’s just a ambilican hernia and I believe the breeder! Why would he lie?”
Me: “Umm, I don’t know, ma’am. It’s pronounced umbilical hernia, and no, he doesn’t have one. That is his prepuce which sheathes his penis.”
Owner: “What do you know? You’re not a vet! I want to talk to a vet!”
Me: “Sure, no problem.”
(I walked out and informed my vet of the clients’ concerns. I went into the room with the vet and he told them the same thing. The owners actually continued to try to argue with my vet as to whether it was a boy!)

The last one below has happened to me many times over the years. People seem to think that we will do whatever they want, regardless of medical necessity, and aren't willing to listen to our explanations.  And they want things NOW, no matter what our schedules may be.  

Caller: “Hi, I am looking for pricing quotes for my dog.”
Me: “All right, no problem. What is going on with your dog?”
Caller: “My dog can’t walk and I want [dangerous medication], and my current vet will not sell it to me without checking her blood work first, because it is potentially hazardous to her health. So I am switching vets!”
Me: “Well, our exam cost is [amount] but that only includes the exam, no diagnostics or medications. Once the doctor does her initial exam, we can get you a more accurate estimate based on what the DOCTOR recommends for your pet in order to get her the help she needs safely.”
Caller: “No, I am the paying customer. I tell the doctor what I want and they do it. That is how this works.”
Me: *speechless*
Caller: “I want an appointment. When can I be seen?”
Me: “Our earliest appointment would be tomorrow morning. Would you like me to schedule you in for that?”
Caller: “No, I want to be seen right now. Thank you for wasting my time!” *click*


  1. I've worked at 3 animal hospitals and I've met at least 1 client at each place that thought the distemper vaccine was to prevent uncontrolled anger (a bad temper). I've also heard the Bordetella vaccine be called the Portobello vaccine. Then there was that one client that demanded their female dog be neutered and not spayed because it was cheaper.

  2. I've had at least 2 clients come in because they were concerned that their dog's penis was mysteriously becoming bigger when they touched it...
    That and multiple cases of the 'nipples'


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