I was reviewing this Sheltie X's case, operated by Dr Daniel 3 days
ago, using electro-surgery to excise the large gingival mass.
surgery, intubation is compulsory as it takes a longer time to excise this lump.
Electro-cautery to seal the bleeders. Monosyn 2/0 sutures were used to close the
large wound after electro-excision. I asked Dr Daniel what was the post-op
situation 3 days after op now?
"Any stitch breakdown or complaint from
the owner?" "No news," he said. He phoned the owner but the line was
busy. "You can text to her," I advised. After 10 minutes, I phoned the
owner. The mother said: "I have not checked the mouth, but the dog is OK." She
asked the daughter to check the mouth but she would not want to do it.
will check for you," she replied. "The stitches are still there." "Give soft
food or dry food with water for the next 14 days," I advised. "My Sheltie is
eating dry food with water all the time," she said. "How long was the gum
tumour there?" "I don't know. Four months probably." "One month," the
daughter said. "If the tumour grows so fast and so large within one month,
it is likely to be cancerous and will recur," I advised.
This is an
cauliflower-type gingival lump. Could it be malignant? Since the owner did not
want histology, there is no way to know its nature.
It is good practice
to build up client loyalty in this competitive world. Getting feedback from the
owner after surgery is one excellent way to show you care.
But many of
us don't do it often esp. if the vet has 40 cases a day to handle and is
mentally exhausted at the end of the day. Too many customers/vet does not mean
it is a good thing as each case becomes a bottom-line figure rather than a
personal involvement and continued education through follow up on the clinical
or surgical outcomes. Follow ups make a vet hone his skill and become better at
the next case as no vet knows everything and every case is so much different.
In Singapore, busy owners may need repeated dialing or to phone their
residence number just to communicate with them. Some don't return calls and some
don't have time to talk! Sometimes I just text the message to them and we never
talked at all since text messages are so convenient.