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Joining the veterinary profession is a bad career choice for anyone who wants to deal with animals rather than people – the two come hand in hand.
It’s the owners who will ask you to see their animals, and some can prove harder to manage than any aggressive furry patient – which is why all veterinary professionals will recognise, and probably dread, the following difficult clients:
Clueless owners buy pets without any understanding of their needs or consideration of their ability to provide it, often because it was “cute” or “the kids wanted it”.
Some can be gently persuaded to do the right thing by their animal, even if that means giving them up to a more suitable home.
Others persist in trying to manage regardless, however much the vet tries to explain this will be a disaster for all concerned.
Similarly tricky, the “expert” is the owner who has thoroughly researched their pet’s illness and has, essentially, come for confirmation of their diagnosis and appropriate medication.
The best of this category are knowledgeable about their pet and open to discussions.
The least easy to handle are badly informed, yet convinced they are right, and are prepared to argue – even when their preferred course of action would be damaging to their pet’s health.
An indifferent owner can’t or won’t give their vet any information about their pet during consultations and, often, can’t even provide essential details, such as their eating and drinking habits over the previous few weeks.
Their inability to identify what is normal for their pet, particularly when it seems unwell, is deeply frustrating for the veterinary team and makes it much harder to work out what might be wrong.
Often guilty of the greatest cruelty, the overly doting spoil and indulge their pets, causing health issues, such as obesity, as well as bad behaviour.
They proclaim their love for their pet, yet they are killing them with kindness and making them miserable.
Often impossible to change, despite numerous warnings and advice, they frequently repeat the same destructive pattern with multiple pets – a desperately sad situation for the veterinary professional in question to witness.