By: Tobie Faith DVM


English bulldog puppy wearing headset talking on the phoneOn Monday, I took a call from a hysterical client. On Sunday she went to the ER because her Dachshund was having severe pain. They diagnosed cervical (neck) pain and sent her home on pain medications. According to the notes we received, the owner declined radiographs and lab work. Now she was hysterical because her dog was still in severe pain and she wanted to know what to do.


After talking with her, it turned out she wasn’t giving the medications as frequently as they are prescribed. She was giving them once a day, instead of every 8 hours.


The client wanted to be seen immediately, but her call came 5 minutes before we close. She got upset when I couldn’t prescribe anything else because we hadn’t seen her dog in 15 months.


I told her that if her dog was in severe pain she should go back to the ER where they could administer injectable pain medications and monitor her dog overnight. “No,” she said. “I will give her the pain medications like I’m supposed to and I’ll make an appointment with you. I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR MY DOG!”


As I processed that statement I told her the times I could see her Tuesday. “No,” she said again. “I can’t get work off tomorrow. How’s your Wednesday?”



Dr. Tobie Faith graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and currently works at a private practice in Carmichael, California.  When not taking care of patients she enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog.