Top 3 Weirdest Veterinarian Cases

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A Black Lab with dog insurance fetches a stick.

As a veterinarian, I am constantly faced with challenges that require creative thinking and adaptability. And I know better than most that bizarre accidents and illnesses can strike at anytime– which is why I’m a huge proponent of pet insurance. I’ve often been faced with circumstances that just can’t be made up… Here is my top 3 list of the most unexpected cases I’ve encountered to date:

1) Howling House Call
As a very recent graduate, I received a call from a very frantic elderly owner claiming that her 3-year -old Jack Russell Terrier was unable to move and was screaming in pain in her backyard. Ms. Barton requested a house call visit to assess her beloved pet and provide pain relief. Needless to say, as a new graduate, my mind was racing with a list of at least twenty different possibilities ranging from dog spinal injuries to dog seizures. To be prepared, I packed medications and supplies for all 20 possibilities. When I arrived at her home, the first thing I heard upon exiting my vehicle was a horrendous shrieking sound. It was unlike anything I’d heard before, high pitched and constant, it almost gave me the chills. Ms. Barton came rushing out of her home, panicked, and led me to the backyard. Sure enough, her pet was head down on her back deck, wailing. Upon examination I was able to not only quickly diagnose, but treat her companion as well.

Cost of a house call = $125
Cost of an examination = $49
Removing the rabies tag stuck in a deck slat for an instant cure = Priceless

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2) A Sticky Situation
Bubba is a young Black Lab full of energy and enthusiasm about life. He had always been a very healthy dog until one day he had a nose bleed. Initially Mr. Jones (Bubba’s dad) wasn’t too concerned. Bubba was acting himself, eating well and seemed totally normal with the exception of the bloody nose. The bleeding, however, continued on and off for several days so Mr. Jones decided to bring him in to the vet.

Upon examination, no obvious abnormalities were noted with the exception of the bloody nose. To try and determine the source of the bleeding, bloodwork and x-rays were performed. These tests all came back normal. Next, I decided to sedate Bubba to better visualize up the nostrils themselves. At the very end of my vision line, I could see what looked like a little piece of wood. Using forceps, I grabbed the foreign body. It kept coming, and coming, and coming. In fact the piece of wood measured almost 6 inches long! I’m not sure what speeds Bubba must have been traveling to directly implant a 6-inch-stick in his nose… or even how the piece of wood wasn’t poking his brain. But once removed, Bubba made a full recovery and is doing great today.

Cost of exam, bloodwork, and xrays = $350
Cost of sedation and foreign body removal = $175
Removing a stick large enough to play fetch with with no permanent damage = Priceless

3) Vent Your Discomfort When John Smith arrived home from work one afternoon, he was surprised that his cat Princess wasn’t there to greet him in her normal fashion. John surveyed the area and heard tiny cries coming from his garage. Soon after, he found poor Princess. She was stuck in a circular vent-like structure that connected his garage to his yard. Her head was on the outside of the house while her back legs were in the garage.

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John tried to gently push and pull Princess through the vent to free his distressed pet, but without success. Not knowing what to do, John began removing the vent from the garage itself. First he cut a large square in the sheet rock that housed the vent, he found the vent anchoring source and was able to detach it from the garage. He then brought the entire vent, with Princess stuck inside into our veterinary clinic. When I walked into the exam room, I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing just a little. Picture a cat, only the head and back end visible with the remainder of the body stuck in a 3 inch thick hard plastic vent (about 4 inches in diameter). We decided to sedate Princess to try and free her from the vent. The plastic was very thick and too difficult to cut through safely with our equipment. But we decided since she got her head in, it must be able to come out. 2 full tubes of lube later, Princess was a free and healthy cat.

Cost of pet health exam, sedation, and two tubes of lube = $189
Cost of bath to remove two tubes of lube from pets face = $25
Having an unplanned pet door where your vent used to be = Priceless

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