Dec 032013

Sometimes, I wish vets would stick to the facts, to the black and white, rather than delve into the grey area of speculation, which can be both upsetting and alarmist.

I took Poppy to the vet because she was lacking in energy. I left twenty minutes later with my head swirling with speculation from a very pleasant new vet who looked young enough to be one of Santa’s helpers. Pleasant and talented she surely is, but her bedside manner was, in my opinion, inappropriate. She had used phrases like “brain tumour”, “life-threatening”, “30% mortality rate”, “cyst on the adrenal gland”, “liver and or kidney failure”, “infectious to other dogs” etc when running through the list of possible explanations for Poppy’s symptoms. All this before the blood and urine samples had been analysed. I was genuinely distraught and alarmed on my way home, picturing in my mind Poppy’s imminent passing.

Three very worrying days later and the blood and urine test results are back: no tumour, no infection, no cysts, no kidney failure and no need to plan any funerals. What she has is a form of hepatitis that can be treated and should be cured within two weeks.

So, what lessons can we learn from all this? Perhaps the humility to say “I don’t know what’s wrong” and “best not to speculate before we receive the results of the tests”. For speculation can lead to unnecessary upset.

Rant over.

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