Dec 25, 2011
Some travellers have dogs and so this is always an interesting topic when they meet a vet to share their stories.
STORY 1. An inexperienced or unscrupulous vet in Singapore?
"I feel that I had been taken for a ride," the 39-year-old man recently married said. "I paid $500 for 5 X-rays. After the X-rays, my dog no longer suffers from pain in his lower chest (sternum)."
"X-rays are costly," I said. "Why was there a need for 5 X-rays?"
"2 x-rays of the neck, 2 of the chest and one of the front legs."
"Why did you consult the vet?"
"The Golden Retriever cried when I carried him," he said. We brought him to X (an old practice which seems to be the first choice of first-timer dog owners).
"Where's the pain and how old is the Golden Retriever?" I asked.
"I don't know. He is one year old."
Later I asked Daniel. He said that the vet could be inexperienced rather than being unscrupulous in trying to maximise profits, this being a young vet. It is very difficult for vets. However, deep palpation and manipulation of the joints would have located the source of pain. In most cases, it would be traumatic injury on the sternal area (dog cries when lifted up by the 'chest'". The anti-inflam worked as the dog was no more painful "after the X-rays".
To this dog owner, $500 was too much to pay. All depends on communications. I had one paralysed Shih Tzu with the left eye pupils dilated and right eye pupil constricted when bright light was shone, treated by two vets (stories written earlier). "Did the vet advise X-ray of the neck and brain?" I asked the owner. "This could be a case involving the brain and neck causing the dog to be paralysed on 2 back legs and one front leg." The owners said: "The vets asked whether we wanted X-rays and MRI. How do we know as we are not vets!" In this case, X-rays of the brain and neck needed to be done. The back spinal X-rays were done too. CSF fluid could be tapped to check for meningitis but since the dog had been on painkillers and treatment by the previous 2 vets, including acupuncture and herbal drugs, I did not do it. The dog recovered by not being recumbent and was able to stand up while it was given a steroid injection. "Pug encephalitis?" or the GME? More reviews needed.
"My son is the real owner," the slim man in his 50s told me when he asked me where my practice was located and why his Golden Retriever had a bad smell. Marcos called him "uncle". Marcos is 45 years old and "uncle" means somebody older than him. "Don't call me uncle," he told Marcos who tended to call another woman "auntie."
"OK," he said. "Brother", he said to the man with the Golden Retriever.
"Just call her little sister (in Chinese) instead of auntie," I tried to joke. The older woman did not like to be called little sister. "Big sister (in Chinese, there is a different name for the two group" was OK with her.
"How old is the Golden Retriever and has it ever been treated for dental or ear infections?" I asked. "Not in his 7 years of living," the management consultant said to me. I asked him to make an appointment. Once I saw him writing on a pad. "Write my good ideas as they come," he said. "Good idea," I said. "Some wrirting books advise putting a writing pad and pen beside the bed when you sleep, and write down the ideas when they come forth during your sleep. I don't know if your wife will approve?"