Internet Critisism

These days you can find everything on the internet. You can find an old friend on myspace, or facebook, or any other number of websites. You can find businesses in your area, you can find recipes from your favorite chefs... anything you want is within reach a long as you have a keyboard and an internet connection. The other thing that you will find with the vast majority of these things is criticism. Whether it is your favorite teacher or professor being slammed by a student who got a bad grade, or your favorite restaurant given a poor review because of one wilted salad, it can sometimes be aggravating to see these harsh critiques from someone who likely only had one poor experience.
Where I work, we have had it emphasized that we need to give 100% to all of our clients. In other words one bad review, whether the client never says a word to any of us, or calls our office manager the next day, or writes a scathing review on the internet gets rather blown out of proportion. I understand that for that one client, we potentially made a poor impression, heck maybe we even made them have a bad day... but some people are rude, grumpy, bitter, and always have a bad day, and there isn't a thing that we can do to make them feel better. I don't think it is fair to the staff to turn their working days upside-down because of one complaint. Now, I'm not saying that the company should not work to improve, but I do think that you need to take criticism with a grain of salt. Maybe one poor phone call a day of a thousand really isn't bad. Maybe criticizing the whole company staff, in order to try to get them to work harder is a poor idea. In running a company you have to look at the whole of your business. I understand that in a perfect world we would please all of our clients, but by stressing this sort of perfection to your staff... you are stressing them out!

I look forward to when I choose what matters and what doesn't when it comes to my work... because having someone else prioritize the importance of what's going on where I work stinks, especially when they won't even listen to their own staff's criticism.


Oops part two.

Sorry it's rather late... but here are my other two stories.

Two dogs came in having eaten some blood pressure medication of the owners. Again the task was to make them vomit. This wasn't too difficult. I put them back inside after they had, and put on gloves to poke through what they had eaten. One (a little labrador, and the suspected culprit) had appeared to have vomited newspaper, the other (an older cocker) vomited some bizarre plastic shreds and something orange. The doctor went and spoke to the owners and explained what we had found, and they insisted that the pills were purple. So we kept the dogs for monitoring, and fed them activated charcoal just in case. Before we left for the day I gave them a bowl of water. The little lab drank the whole bowl, and then vomited all of the charcoal I had fed her. Darn.

The next day we have a client come in with a dog who was vomiting daily, pretty much in the mornings. The dog had recently come in for a urinary tract infection (I think) and was on antibiotics for it. She had also recently been boarded, and the throwing up started after the boarding. Some antibiotics can cause upset stomachs, so we asked the client about the medication. She happened to have it with her, and took a bottle of medication out of her purse. My doctor took a look at the medication and took a few minuites, but eventually broke it to our client (as nicely as she could) that this medication was not the dog's, but hers. It was some variation on Meloxicam. The client realized that it was this medication that she had given her dog that morning, and was unsure of if it had been given other times also. She was pretty upset by this whole thing of course. We offered to do bloodwork, and put her dog on fluids to get everything out of her system. The client went home and called us to let us know that the dog had only received one of the pills of antibiotics, and had gotten her medication the entire time the dog was boarding.


Oops. Part one.

I've been told my blog is amusing. I am going to try to post more frequently regarding work antics. I don't know how successful I will be. But here are three stories (to make up for my lack of blogging) involving oops' and animals.

Two dogs came into the clinic and were boarding with us, and happened to have tapeworms. The doctor handed me three and a half pills of de-wormer, two for the larger dog and one and a half for the smaller dog. I took the pills and hid them in some tasty soft food. I got up to the cage, and normally I just sort of hand both the dogs their treats, but this time they both looked rather eager (and I don't like being bit by an overly excited dog) so I dropped both treats right in the front of the cage. In a flash the larger dog had tipped his head toward where the other dog's treat had fallen. I didn't see him eat it but both treats were gone in under half a second. Crap. So I go let my doctor know that I'm dumb. She tells me that I should make the dog vomit. So I bring him in and we give him H2O2, and walk him outside up and down the stairs and the like. I get to a point when I think that the high 90 degree heat and the running around will be more likely to cause him to suffer heat exhaustion than to make him vomit, so I gave him a big bowl of water to drink to maybe make him vomit. No success. We give him more hydrogen peroxide and he finally vomits, all of the pills, so at least I didn't do all that work for nothing.

I'll write my other two stories tomorrow. TTFN !



Today I was working in reception and one of the male kennel staff came up and took an animal back. A bit later as I was checking a client in I herd him yell "Aaaargh!" This guy doesn't say a word if he's stabbed by a needle or scratched so I turned. I was trying to continue helping the client because I figured someone else was helping my friend. Then I hear this scurrying up the hallway towards me, I turned and saw something that looked like a squirrel coming toward the waiting room (and me). There were a number of dogs in the waiting room, and I just acted on instinct and bent down and got a hand on the little critter. It was a kitty. The owner had told us that this cat and it's companion were outdoor kitties, but she didn't say they were feral. She scratched my hand and tried to bite my other hand when I brought it near to pick the little one up. I had my hand in just the right place though on her back that she didn't seem to mind, or maybe she just couldn't reach me. Either way I wasn't moving my hand. One of the other kennel staff members approached us to get the cat, and I let him know that he would need the cat gloves. We got her back in a kennel nice and safe, scared... but safe. The other kennel staff member has a pretty decent cut on his hand, but he'll be okay. I can't believe that little bugger got out, nor can I believe I caught her skiddish butt when I can't catch my own cat.


On Disease

Something happened at work just now and rather than waiting, and eventually not even posting I decided that I would go home and post what I was thinking immediately.

I learned to intubate today. Animals, not people of course. Although I am sure that I learned in a very different way than my medical school friend did. I came in and one of the dogs was not doing well, he was having very labored breathing and seemed to be in a lot of pain, he had liquid stool that smelled very distinctly (and horribly.) I called the doctor on call, then left the room to take care of another animal. When I came back one of the other staff mentioned to me that the dog wasn't moving. I ran the dog to surgery to put it on oxygen, and after standing there for a bit I thought it would be a good idea to push on the dog's chest to get air flowing through his lungs. I knew the dog wasn't breathing, and wasn't sure if I felt a heartbeat. When the doctor got there they said it was dead already, and there really wasn't anything we could have done.

I asked for the future what would be the best to do, and in response showed me how to intubate, and told me to give a milliliter of epinephrine if I didn't feel a heartbeat. It's good to know I suppose... I just wish I had asked earlier.

This dog was an adult and most likely died of a disease called Parvovirus. This disease is horrible, disgusting and preventable. It makes me really sad when older puppies contract the disease, but it is even less common in adults because they have many more opportunities to be vaccinated. I can not understand owners not getting these vaccines for their dogs. It puts them in so much danger. Imagine if Gastroenteritis was fairly easily transmitted between people, let's say fluid transfer, and it killed around 10-25% of the people who contracted it. There would be mandatory vaccinations for all school children, just like MMR. Parvo is a disgusting disease that requires intensive treatment when contracted, and it is ludicrous that owners choose not to vaccinate against it and other deathly diseases.

More information on Parvo if you want it.


On Work

I am a bad vet tech. I just ate a burger, and my cat was bugging me so I threw the wrapper. He's what I call an invincible animal though. If you don't know what I mean, or If you just want to hear an interesting story here is one. The Prologue is the story.

Yesterday wasn't bad. Actually lately most days haven't been bad, I suppose I have just been building up my story repitore. I've been reading friends blogs about learning to intubate (people) and other cool things people are doing. I figured I would give everyone a little piece of my life lately.

At the end of the day yesterday we had a lot come in. One case that I helped with was a cat. This poor cat was not doing well, he actually was brought in inside a recycling bin. The cat had a history of being bad, and biting even people he was familiar with, so I put on the cat gloves and took her out of her box. She was so sick even though she meowed she didn't even try to fight. The cat had begun to become ill quite some time ago, and had become worse recently. The owner thought that there was a chance the cat had been in a fight, but was also concerned because there was a neurological component to her illness, some pyralisis and odd behavior and by the end the cat couldn't even walk right. Because there was some concern of rabies the owner made it clear that they wanted the cat to be put down and tested.

The last time I had to deal with potentially rabid animals they were much more active, and I was more concerned about being bit. It turned out the last case was related to the food recall. Yesterday I wasn't about to remove the gloves, but I wasn't terribly worried about the cat biting me. It is fairly unlikely that the cat has the disease considering it was vaccinated in 2005, but I suppose we will find out in a few days.

Link fixed 5/4/07


Mad Monday

Yesterday was kinda insane in part because of this...


If you have a pet you may have already seen this. But there are so many
foods on this list that it is worth another look. We have seen a
handful of cases since the recall announcement, andunfortunately we still don't know exactly what is in the food or how it got there. The food affected has been sold beginning
in December, so even if you haven't bought food recently please check
these lists. We have several suspected cases earlier in the year, that
we are now thinking may be connected to whatever went wrong with the
Look for your pets behaving differently, being lethargic, not eating, vomiting, drinking and peeing a lot.

This whole thing brought up a lot of interesting hypothetical questions for
me. Like what would happen if this did affect almost all pets, and in
fact killed all animals being fed produced pet food. Would I be out of
the job? Would all of the strayssuddenly find homes? It seemed like a
very weird situation to me. I don't think anything like this has ever
happened in the veterinary world, and it's odd that I just so happen to
be a tech at the time when it is.


Feels Like a Hospital

At some point in the last few days I heard someone say these words. I don't know what is is lately but we have been getting a lot of life or death type emergergencies. At one point we had one two animals in the back being worked on by doctors, then another animal brought in dead, another three in isolation for monitoring, and this can happen occasionally but in this situation every single one of these animals was not just something normal like vomiting. Every one was a traumatic situation.
The most interesting of all of these is an animal who's nose won't stop bleeding. There were a few things that could have contributed to it, like a fight, or maybe having a run in with some of the construction near the animal's home, or some dental trauma. But several days later we are still having trouble with it. Very strange.


Graduate School

I was looking forward to applying to graduate school for a Masters in
Teaching Physics offered at the local University. When I read that
description of the degree on their website it seemed to me that I could
apply for the program. Their prerequisites include the normal things,
like a high enough GPA, a bachelors degree, and decent GRE's. It also says that an undergraduate degree in physics is not necessary to be accepted. It also says:
Undergraduate prerequisites for the program are:
1. Introductory Physics (three semesters).
2. Introductory Chemistry (one year).

It goes on to say on the application page (which also refers to students
applying for a Masters or PhD in Physics) that they recommend taking
the subject GRE. So because I had already been thinking of calling to ask if I should take a semester of Chemistry before applying, I went ahead to and called to ask about the GRE also. I was somewhat convinced that just studying on my own I could somehow study enough to pass the GRE.

When I called the professor I spoke to crushed all the daydreams I had been having, of being able to take classes about something I was truly
interested in, and being able to teach it to students in turn. He
explained that the website must mean three semesters of "advanced
physics", because they really want people to have most physics classes
done before even coming into the program. I don't know why, but this gentleman
made me feel like I was a complete idiot. I explained that I did not
have a bachelors degree in a science at all but I had in fact taken a
lot of science classes. Maybe he just doesn't like non-science people,
because although he was trying to be helpful he also had a slight tone
of "why am I talking to this idiot."

I was really disappointed in being told that I can't even apply for the MAT program I wanted without at least two years (ish) of doing the undergrad classes part time. I know that I would technically have the time to do that, but to me it would be difficult to take classes being taught graduate students (my peers at this point)
while working my butt off to pay for it, and not even getting to work
on teaching for probably 4 or so years. I was also really upset just
because I didn't have any other ideas for what I want to do.

Today I came up with a new plan. I am going to apply to go back to school and
go for a certificate in TESOL. This way in two years I can go back to
China and get paid better, and even be capable of being in a classroom
in the United States. Who knows, maybe I can convince them that I can
teach some Mandarin too. Then after I come back from China I should be
able to teach Mandarin in the United States confidently. Then if I want
to add Physics to my repertoire I can.