Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Restraining order

Many of you know that a big part of a vet tech's job is restraining patients. Sounds easy right?


Case #1
One week before my wedding. Enter client with Yappy Doodle Dandy, a happy little beagle in for a simple toe nail trim. Dr. Blondie needs some help so I come to her rescue.  In a matter of seconds as I arrive into the room, Yappy has peed on the floor, wiggled out of his leash, and inhaled the treats Dr. Blondie gave him as a bribe to be a good boy. As he yacks said treats on the floor in slobbery mess, Mrs. Doodle Dandy decides it would be "best for her to wait in the lobby." Wuss. I pick up Yappy and Dr. B commences the trim. With every "snip" of the clippers, Yappy howls, rolls around in my arms, paddles his arms faster than Michael Phelps, and then hacks and coughs. This is not unusual behavior for most dogs, however, Yappy is feeling extra spunky today. He must've heard from Captain Claws the cat in the waiting room that my wedding is coming up. Now, Captain Claws and many like himself have already done a number on my arms and hands, making it impossible to have decent looking skin for my wedding. I'm over it, it's fine. At least I have my teeth...so I thought.  On the very last paw, on the very last nail, Yappy decided enough is ENOUGH! With every bit of strength in his 35 pound body he throws his head back into my chin. CRACK! Instantly tears come to my eyes and I realize that my upper right incisor feels abnormally loose. No no no no no. I can NOT look like a hilbilly at my wedding. Dr. Blondie gives me a hug to try to stop my blubbering tears, while Yappy just smiles between us. Jerk. I wipe off the snot from my face and I start praying to heaven that my tooth can be saved. Dr. Brain is already scurrying off to call the local dentist (also a guest to the wedding) to see if she can fix my tooth in return for the silverware she got us as a wedding gift.  However, all is well, the tooth is just loose and it tightens up in time for the wedding. You can bet that next time I see Yappy, I'll make sure it's also time for his anal glands to be expressed. Take that!

Case #2:
Enter cute little old couple with bedraggled sick cat who is older than the pyramids.  His skin tents about as high as the pyramids too since he's so dehyrated. The clients explain to you that their sweet old kitty has been so listless and lethargic and that he hasn't moved in days. So now you're thinking "aw, poor sick kitty. I bet it just laid there comatose as you treated it." Of course not! Kitty not only managed to scratch both my arms and the doctor's, but he also managed to have the energy to chew out his catheter, and spray the entire hospital with his evil smell.  Now everytime you walk by his cage "HISS!" and then "WHAP WHAP WHAP!" his little scrawny "listless" arms come out and smack you every time. Of course, the doctor wants to try something different with him every 5 minuts, so it's my job to retrieve him from his evil lair.  I get the Big Blanket of Terror from the kennel workers and try out my ninja skills to catch kitty. I know I'm making myself look like those crazy guys that wrestle calves to the ground at rodeos (Ok, I'll be honest. I can only hope that I'm looking that cool). When I finally get kitty into the treatment room, I realize I am covered in cat pee, I have lost clumps of my hair, and that somehow my scrub pants and top have become inversed and inside out. As I regain some composure, the doctor pops his head in the door while texting on his fancy phone to let me know that "Oh, nevermind. You can put him back. I'll have you help me later. I'm busy."

Needless to say sick kitty was put to shame forever by MY hissing.

Case #3:
This is my favorite scenario because it happens a lot.
Enter macho man with mustache, muscles, leather jacket, and big black boots with his 100 pound mutt, Harley.  The vet calls you in to restrain Harley for a bit and the big ol guy says, "Oh, she won't be able to do that Doc." Usually the vet speaks up for us at this point and reassures the client that we are capable.  However, some clients just don't accept it. "She won't be strong enough Doc. Harley here is a big ol strong boy, ain't ya Harley?!"
Harley's dad decided HE is going to restrain Harley. Ha, I will gladly stand back and enjoy. He bends down to expose a large hairy buttcrack as he wraps his big hairy arms around Harley's torso. Harley easily wiggles out. Again, he wraps his arms around him, this time telling him "hold still!" Yep, that's gonna work. Harley wins again! This time Harley's pop takes a new approach. He picks Harley up in his arms and says "Hurry Doc, give him the shots!" as his face turns redder and redder (and a hernia forms). Harley turns and gives his dad a slobbery kiss of mockery and then...you guessed it...wiggles out of his dad's arms again.  This time his dad tumbles to the floor with him and it takes a couple of us to get him back on his feet. Needless to say, the vet is impatient and annoyed at this point. I am feeling good because this guy is about to be shown up. I'm called in to restrain Harley. I do my thing, and in a matter of seconds the shots are given and I shower Harley with treats for "being such a good boy and knocking down your daddy!" Tell me what I can and can not do! I dare you!

So, there you have it. Case in point!


  1. aw lawdy lawdy, preach it sister! Tell them our pain! (And the smugness that comes from showing the 'big boys' what we can do!