Why did you do that?

Welcome back!

I thought is would be fun to do a series of blog posts entitled “Why did you do that?”, meaning we sit down, have a nice relaxing catnip, and have a chat about why we do some of what we do here in the hospital.

Today is the inaugural post: Why did you take my pet away from me?

We’ve all been there. You come to the clinic for an appointment, have a nice chat with the doctor while your pet runs around the room. You discuss a possible procedure or other items that are needed (the DREADED ANAL GLAND EXPRESSION!), and then the doctor drops a bomb. “I’d like to take ______ to the back for a minute to perform this”. Panic sets in. Your pet is really best when you are around. You are not sure what might happen to your pet in the back if you aren’t there to help.

Would it surprise you to learn that this is not always the case? It is not even mostly the case, actually. Especially if you are worried for you pet. One thing (among many) that our pets are VERY good at is reading body language. And if you, their pack leader, are clearly having some major anxiety about something, this tells them that they should be worried too. There must be some sort of significant danger around the corner. It’s time to be vigilant. Cue fight or flight response.

When we take them to the back, we separate them from that worried energy, and they quite often respond by settling down. In the presence of people who are trained to be calm and to handle pets safely and properly (have you heard the term FEAR FREE yet? If not, you will – we practice it as much as possible), the energy changes and they relax their guard a micron or two.

Now this is not always the case – sometimes they really are better with you around. If we have learned this in the past, we try to make notes on your file to remember these things. But we are human and sometimes we forget, or this is the first time and we don’t know the best way for you yet.

Ultimately, things like this should always be a two-way discussion with your veterinarian. If you have some concerns about anything we have recommended, please don’t hesitate to SPEAK UP! At the end of the day we are only hear to help you and your pet. Please help us to do that by keeping an open discussion with us.

Now I’m going to go beg for some extra dinners. We’ll see how many people I can scam.

– Stanley