Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The true meaning of irony.

These two cases still make me giggle. You'll soon see why.

A client called, screaming into the phone. " I'm coming with my dog, RIGHT NOW!" Before my technician could ask her what was wrong, she hung up.

20 minutes later, a car comes tearing into our parking lot, headlights flashing, brights on, honking her horn like a crazy person. My techs are already on their way outside when the client flings open her door, screamng hysterically. In the process, she manages to scratch the bejesus out of the car next to her. "He's dying, he's dying!!!" She screams.

My tech takes a look, obviously concerned that this pet might be critically injured. While performing a brief evaluation and carrying the pet inside, my tech starts to get a patient history. "What happened? Did he get by a car, or...?"

The dog cannot walk well, is ataxic (means literally 'without axis,' or off balance), stumbling, and hypersensitive to noise and sound. He overreacts with any sort of stimulus. His mucous membranes are pink, his pulses are strong and his heart rate and body temperature are slight slowed. He's also dribbling urine.

It becomes clear that this dog is definitely not dying..... He's stoned.... and so is his owner.

We notify the owner of the other car, and I talk to the client about her pet. Shockingly, it is revealed that marijuana is in the household. I offer testing to confirm my suspicions, but also let her know that her dog is likely to be fine by the morning.

Even she laughs a little about the way she arrived, and the other car she scratched

Case number two:

A 3 year old, otherwise healthy doberman presents for suddenly being unable to walk. She was fine when the family left for work, and upon arriving home, was in this state. The dog, "Lizzy" was brought in on a stretcher. Her heart rate was slow, about 60 beats per minute, but her pulses were strong. Her body temperature was low, and she was mostly non-responsive, however if startled, would completely over-react, flail and panic, then return to her near coma state.

Lizzy had been in a kennel all day, but prior to the clients leaving for work, she had been outside, out of sight. No known toxins were available, but based upon her history, some sort of toxicity was still the most likely diagnosis. Her family authorized all testing, including antifreeze testing (negative) electrolytes, blood sugar ( normal) and urine drug screening.

Can you guess what she got into?

Yes, that's right. Marijuana. I had a suspicion from the inital symptoms, however her family swore up and down that couldn't be possible. They also didn't seem like 'the type,' but you just never know.

I saved the drug test cartridge and took it with me as proof to show the clients. This was good news, as marijuana poisoning, even severe exposures, are very treatable.

The clients looked at me and listened. When I showed them the positive drug test, they laughed incredulously.

"Do you know who I am or what I do for a living?" The female client asked.

"No, I'm sorry, I have no idea. Should I know?"

"I'm the chief of police!" She laughed, almost too hard. "And I have a stoned dog!!!!!"


  1. Good thing the first client didn't scratch the second clients car...

  2. Oh gosh the second case left me laughing (all due to the irony)! The police should have been the first patient, and then seen the stoned patient (human) come in with the "dying dog" xD