Friday, January 25, 2008

How Do You Chart That?

If I have learned nothing in my few short months out "in the real world" of practicing veterinary medicine, it is that there is something new around every corner. The vets I work with have seen a lot of strange things in their years of practice, but this was a new one for all of them.

I walked into the office the other day to see one of my colleagues sitting slightly baffled as she looked over a chart. I asked her what she had going on, and she replied that she honestly didn't know.

A dog had been dropped off for a work-up at the clinic. The complaint: the dog growls and snarls at night. Yep, that was it. When the dog was in bed with the owners, every once in awhile it would look up at the bedroom door and growl.

So, we doggedly proceeded with a physical examination that, naturally, came up with nothing out of the ordinary. The dog was a mixed breed, scruffy terrier-type dog with a sweet personality.

Well, my colleague wasn't able to get a hold of the owner via the phone to get a more detailed history, so we eagerly awaited for them to arrive at the afternoon pick-up time they had set up when they had dropped the dog off.

Fortunately, the owners had discovered what the problem was....they had done some research and found that someone had died in the house several decades ago. Clearly the dog was reacting to the ghost of that person who was apparently prowling the halls at night.

Well, problem solved, I suppose. Now the problem becomes how to write that up in the chart. I was just disappointed the dog's name wasn't "Buster."

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