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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Febreze Me

Here in the US there have been a series of commercials by Febreze air freshener.  The set-up is that they have a very dirty, gross, nasty location, such as an unclean restaurant or musty room.  They spray the location with Febreze, then bring blindfolded people into the room and ask what they smell.  In the commercials people only smell good things.  Here's one of them to show you what I'm talking about, in case you haven't seen them.

Today we had a dog with pretty severe gastroenteritis.  She had projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and was lethargic.  We did her work-up and didn't find anything really severe (no parvo, giardia, toxicity, etc.), so she's going home on some medications to help symptomatically.  While she was in the clinic she had blow-out, severely liquid diarrhea in her kennel.  This was one of the worst odors I've ever smelled, and that's saying a lot!  I've been in this profession for almost 28 years (nearing 15 as a vet) and so I'm pretty immune to most smells of pus, infection, diarrhea, vomit, and so on.  I was having a hard time being around the kennel or in the treatment area, and my stomach actually churned!  We obviously got her out right away and began cleaning it up.  It was decided that the blanket in her kennel was a lost cause, so we just threw it away without bothering to try and clean it.  But the smell permiated the clinic!  My office manager and receptionist had to stay up front to avoid the smell.  My tech had to wear a surgical mask while cleaning it up.  And I had a client walk into one of the exam rooms and begin gagging at the smell from the back.

Once everything was cleaned up we liberally sprayed Febreze around the clinic.  Which brought the thought to my mind.  In one of their commercials they should come into a small animal veterinary practice where there are a few parvo cases or other gastroenteritis.  Leave the vomit and diarrhea, spray the Febreze, then bring people in blindfolded and ask them to smell.  Now THAT would be a real test of the product!  But somehow, I don't think that commerical will ever get produced.

Thankfully, though, I have to say that the Febreze did a really good job.