Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weird complaint

Usually if I get a client complaint, it falls along the lines of "money grubbing," or some other such rubbish. I had a new one that just floored me.

When I got to work Wednesday night, a chart was printed and in my box. It had our OM's name on it and said, "Can you call me about this patient?" I glanced through it. Everything seemed relatively straight-forward. Back in September, a small dog presented after being hit by a car. Its gums were grey, no capillary refill time could be appreciated, and the dog had severe orthopedic injuries. The owners declined to sign a class I form and provide a $500 deposit for initial ER treatment. I talked to them and they elected euthanasia. I wrote nothing in the record to indicate that the owners gave us any problems. Truth be told, I don't even remember the patient - not even vaguely.

So, the owners called their vet a couple of weeks ago (9 months AFTER the fact) and complained that we (the clinic, myself, my techs?) were resistant to euthanizing their dog. That was their complaint - we didn't want to put down the dog.

Now, like I said, I have no memory of this patient at all - but I can tell you this, if a dog comes in traumatized, in shock, with polytrauma, and the owners can't come up with the initial $500 - I give them the options as I see them (usually either treat/find a credit card/relative/apply for CareCredit or euthanasia). I don't generally argue with people - especially in cases where euthanasia is the best option. This case was clearly that from my notes.

I still have NO idea what they were talking about. Barring any strokes of sudden "A-HA! THOSE clients..." moments, I doubt I'll ever know. People are so weird. Who wants a vet that LIKES putting down an animal?


Nicki said...

I had a similar incident once. People came in with an old poodle for a second opinion (I thought). THe dog had a bunch of problems, so I recommended all the appropriate testing but with a guarded prognosis. THe owners elected euthanasia but then commented to the girls up front that "the younger doctors always want to try and save the pets." Go figure-we like to help the animals, so wierd right? I was not opposed to euthanasia but why did they act like that's not what they wanted when they came in. So odd.

The Homeless Parrot said...

Nicki - Perhaps a shifting of guilt? Owners feel guilty for not doing the recommended testing...and then try and shift it to us - the BAD doctors who want to do a bunch of painful, "needless" stuff to their pets? Just a thought...