I plucked a new WHITE hair from the top of my head this morning at 5:55 am, after having gotten up to feed the baby at 5:40, and just before heading off to work. I would chalk this one up to the Almighty Baby, except for the fact that the last two weeks at work have sucked. There is no other word for it.
No offense to my February birthday pals, but February is the worst month. Feb and I have never gotten along, and I know plenty of people who have broken up with significant others, lost jobs, slipped on the ice, ate a bad donut or worse in February. Back when I lived on the east coast, I thought it was because Winter was dragging on and it was still dark and cold and yet again the groundhog saw his shadow and when is it gonna be Spring already?!?!? But now that I live on the West Coast, where February still sucks, I can say, without a doubt, it's just the month itself.
Last week, nearly every case I saw seemed to have a bad prognosis. I don't recall a week where I saw so many sick or dying pets, although so far this week isn't shaping up to be any better. When you hear a veterinarian say, "It isn't all puppies and kittens," we aren't lying. In fact, when we do see a puppy or kitten it makes our hearts soar, because 9 times out of 10, that puppy or kitten is healthy.
First there was the cat whose vomiting had progressed from a few times per week to 2-3 times per day. FYI, that is bad. Cancer! Then a new diabetic (that one actually turned out okay but it is always a difficult conversation because diabetics require a significant time and financial commitment. If the owner can't commit, I recommend euthanasia). Next was a cat with a fluid filled abdomen, cancer. A cat with a fever of unknown origin, who is now doing better but it was touch and go for a few days. Then, a dog who came in for a skin tag and had a giant mass in the abdomen. The owner chose to ignore this piece of information and took her home after discussing the skin tag was the least of her worries. When I called a few days later, he was still blissfully thinking his dog was fine.
Then there was the dog who had lost 30% of its body weight in the previous 2 weeks. This one was an undiagnosed diabetic in ketoacidosis, which is a state of severe disarray that precedes diabetic coma and death. Oh and she had a liver mass and a raging new heart murmur. That was followed immediately by a cat whose jaw was hanging open and had a firm swelling on the chin which was cancer.
Add to the list a bird with hepatic lipidosis, ascites and pneumonia, a cat with a mass in its abdomen and likely peritonitis, a FIP kitten, which I can't even talk about because I HATE that disease, and a couple more cats with likely cancer, two dogs in congestive heart failure, and kidney failure cats destabilizing, I have had enough.
The absolute worst is giving the horrible news when people came in expecting only something minor to be going on with their pet. Hearing that their pet has a terminal illness is devastating, and it's no picnic for me either. :(
By the way, it's Friday, February 13th. I am skipping the rest of February.