Saturday, September 29, 2012

10 Misconceptions of working in a Veterinary Hospital

I thought it might be fun to share a few misconceptions that many veterinary staff members have had when entering the veterinary field. Here are 10 of my favorite.

1. If someone tells you to go grab that "feral cat" don't do it unless you are properly prepared. Using a soft voice and bare hands will land you in the emergency room.

Fractious Cat
How not to approach
Full armor with fractious cat

2. When an owner asks for a towel to clean up where their pet soiled, what they really mean is you need to come over here and clean up their pets mess while they watch.

3. My favorite line is when an owner tells me their pet has never bitten anyone before. Key word in that conservation is Before.

4. When taking a temperature on a dog do not put your face directly behind the anus, doing so can result in an unwanted perfume for the next week.

Danger zone for temp taking
Safe temp zone
5. If you went into the veterinary field so you didn't have to deal with people, then you must have forgotten that pets don't have money, drive or speak English.

6. If you think performing a nail trim on an animal is as simple as the PediPaws commercial, you are in for a rude awakening. There is a reason why owners are willing to drive their pet somewhere and pay someone to do it.

7. Getting bit by a scared animal hurts just as bad as being bit by an aggressive animal, they just look different.

So Scared

Ready for battle
8. If you thought getting your Tech licence meant not having to clean up urine or feces think again. It just means you are better trained to clean up the urine and feces.

9. Veterinary staff and owners have different perceptions of giving medications to pets.

How we do it

How owners wish it was done
How the cat feels about meds
10. We all thought that because we love animals and have dedicated our lives to making theirs better that all animals would love us back. We have all been fooled by that one.

How we see ourselves
I hope you have enjoyed the realities of our job and remember we do love animals, that is why we are all here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meet the felines

Gwen hanging out in Shen's kennel
        Well in our last blog I introduced you to our new feline resident Gwenatear. She is settling in nicely and her lab work came back normal. She has taken a liking to Shens kennel  under Dr. McAndrew's desk and decided to make it her spot during the day. Thus far, she hasn't ventured too far around the hospital and is displaying proper kitty hospital etiquette. I think she has run into Spice Girls spirit a couple times, only because I have seen her stop and hiss at something I couldn't see on two different occasions. Spice recently passed away and had been Dr. McAndrews hospital cat for the last 15 years. She basically ruled the roost, so it's no surprise that her spirit is hanging around. So far her and Mancelott don't really care about each other or even acknowledge that the other one exists. Except yesterday, Man went up to sniff where she was sleeping and gave her a paw in the air and walked away. It was almost as if he was saying "whatever" to the fact that she was taking over Shen's cage as if she owned the joint.
Mancelott wanted to prove he could fit in the storage bin
         Perhaps it's time I tell you a little bit about Man's history. He was dumped on our doorstep in the Summer of 2007. He was covered in fleas, had scabs all over his body, had stinky breath, was underweight, needed to be neutered and just wanted to hide under his blankets. Well, Amber fell in love with the grey and white cat (he reminder her of her cat Chuckie that had passed away) and was going to fix him up and take him home. Unfortunately, shortly after having him all fixed up and ready to go, events happened making it impossible for Amber to take him home, so Dr. McAndrew granted him residence at the hospital. Although he lives at the hospital, he is still considered Amber's cat, especially if he causes trouble. In early 2008 it was discovered that Man had a peritoneal-pericardial diaphragmatic hernia. Basically, this meant that he had a tare in his diaphragm causing his liver and other organs to creep into his chest cavity. He had major surgery at the VCA Animal Hospital and Referral Center in Mission Valley where they were able to put all of his parts back in the right spot. Over the years he has adjusted well and learned to come out of his shell. Dr. McAndrew thinks his eyes are too close together and that he's a weird cat, but that could be because it took him over 4 years to accept her (there's nothing like an ungrateful cat).  Amber considers him her best cat but some will argue that's only becuse he's not living at her house.
Kitty thinks no one can see her
        Now we do on occasion have some squatters that come to stay with us. Currently Kitty and Knuckles are squatting at the hospital. Kitty belongs to Amber (surprise surprise) and is with us while we try and get her diarrhea under control. Kitty is grey and white and about 14 years old. She is very demanding when it comes time for soft food. She especially pushes Liz around when it comes time to be fed. With all the special treatment that she receives at the hospital, some would argue that Kitty doesn't want to go home. Now Knuckles came to us via Brenda. Knuckles is a black and white cat with a short half tale. His story (in a nutshell) is that his owner was moving away and tried to sneak him on the bus with him in a duffel bag, unfortunately he was caught and they were both thrown off the bus. With no way to transport Knuckles and himself to their new home, Brenda offered to take Knuckles into her home. Brenda had just recently taken in another cat (with a sad story) and is currently trying to keep the peace between the cats at her home while they all adjust to each other. So in the meantime, Knuckles is hanging out at the hospital with us.
        Now that you have met our current residents and squatters I will keep you updated in the following weeks as to their crazy cat antics.
Man and Gwen declaring their spots in the office

Saturday, August 18, 2012


This week I am happy to announce a new addition our family. She is a cute little red head with big golden eyes and the sweetest temperment a 14 year old could have. This precious little feline came into our lives because her previous family decided they didn't want her anymore because she has been demonstrating inappropriate elimination behavior. Since sending her off to Heaven seemed extreme, we decided to add her to our family and are working on correcting this condition. Lab work is currently pending to see if we are dealing with a medical condition or a behavioral one. This sweet little girl also has some big skin issues going on that we will be treating with homeopathy, flea control and Love. So far lady Gwenatear is unsure of what's going on and is preferring to sulk in her condo. She does allow visitors to come in and stroke her and acknowledges you with kind eyes and a loving purr.
              She wasn't always known as Gwenatear. Since she has received a new life we have decided that she deserved a new name to accompany her. The name Gwenatear was chosen because we have a very handsome grey and white cat named Sir Mancelott. Since Sir Lancelott had a lover name Lady Guenivere we thought it only fitting our Mancelott had a Gwenatear. And the tear is for her tears of happiness for joining our family. At this time she is declining having her photo taken until she can properly present herself. I will keep you updated on her progress and on how the love affair between Gwenatear (Gwen) and Mancelott (Man) goes, at this point they have not been formerly introduced.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Welcome to South San Diego Veterinary Hospital's first Blog, We are creating this blog to be a fun and informative forum where we can share ideas and insight with everyone. Our goal is to provide a weekly update from the perspective of a different staff member each week. We hope this will keep things fresh and interesting for everyone. If you are not familiar with us I encourage you to visit our website to learn a little more about who we are and the medicine we practice We are a full service veterinary hospital offering services from Annual Wellness Exams, Small Surgery, Professional Dental Cleanings, Radiography, Laboratory Services (both in house and out house) as well as Integrative Medicine. Our integrative medicine includes Laser treatment, Acupuncture, Activated Chiropractic Treatment, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, NAET testing, Gemmotherapy, Essential Oils and more. Our hospital is lead by Dr. Jacqueline McAndrew who employs a staff of 3 RVT's, 2 Vet Assistants (one will be attaining her RVT licence soon), 2 receptionists, and 1 Animal Care Advocate. We strive to provide quality care for each and every patient. Every staff member has been here for many years which has allowed us to develop great long time relationships with pets and their owners.