The curse of ‘they come in 3s’

July 31, 2011

Emergency Dogs, Hardships

This was my weekend on emergency call. Fortunately being on emergency call has become second nature to me. I don’t stress or sit and dread hearing the emergency phone ring anymore. I mostly do errands and have the mobile handy and my brain is wired into emergency mode!

While I have had a cruisy weekend on call in terms of the number of calls out I have had to do, it has been a very emotionally draining one.

The vet on call must also perform saturday morning consults between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

On saturday morning, I had to put down three very old and very much-loved pets. ‘Bert’ the 15-year-old labradoodle, ‘Oscar’ the 15-year-old labrador and ‘Becky’the 22-year-old cat. They all went very smoothly and it was the right time for those beautiful animals to rest in peace. However, the hardest part was watching their families weep and say their goodbyes. I personally feel privileged to do be able to help sick animals make their parting without any suffering or pain.

Back to my Saturday morning, I also treated a dog with an infected nail bed, stapled a small wound on a tiny terrier under local anaesthetic and treated another terrier puppy with severe gastroenteritis. The highlight was re-examining ‘Zara’ who looked so bright and was inhaling the liver treats I gave her! Just before we closed the doors of the clinic, a wild kookaburra was brought it as was found sitting quietly on the ground. I examined it and ruled out any major issues and put it in a cage with a heat pad under it to treat it for head trauma.

At that stage, I felt fairly confident that the Saturday morning rush meant I have guaranteed a quiet weekend.

I was also not dreading the ‘they come in 3s’ infamous vet cliché. I mean I had already put down three beautiful geriatric animals and I could not possibly be destined to do anymore. It just always seems like we get rare things happening in clusters. I have often done a c-section and then in the same week we have done two more.

To my utter disappointment, I woke up this morning with a client calling me and asking me to do a home euthanasia. This poor owner had finally taken the decision to do the right thing by his dog ‘Gus’, a 12-year-old staffy. He had been postponing this decision for a long time and I could tell if I did not show up immediately, he may have a change in heart. I went to his place and the whole family was there and thankfully I managed to facilitate a very smooth parting.

I then called the people that picked up the kookaburra to find out exactly where they got it from because it was full of life and wanted to be released.

It was such a relief to see that kookaburra fly back into its territory safe and sound.

Check out the video of its release below:

For the rest of the day, the phone only rang with owners asking for advise but no major dramas. Just before I was getting ready for dinner, I got an emergency about a lifeless puppy that the owner had accidentally stepped on. I rushed in and I found this toy poodle puppy laying on its side with heaps of blood rushing out of its nose and mouth. The owner was devastated and could not assist me and was crying his heart out. My first instinct was to start treating this puppy for shock and to assess the severity of the wounds.

I dried up the blood to see if the bleeding had stopped but it kept rushing out like a running tap.

I could hear crackles in its lungs and it was struggling to breathe and its pulse was getting weaker. At that stage, I knew that this case was beyond help. It was suffering from a ruptured/twisted lung and I could not fix that. That would require a specialist vet and they are 2 hours away and this puppy simply won’t make it. I recommended putting it out of its misery and in spite of all my efforts to help it along quickly, things did not go smoothly. I could not console this poor owner.

A beautiful puppy lay limp before us due to a silly accident and we both felt helpless and filled with sorrow. I know I did everything I could to help that puppy and have already reflected on what I could have done better. But how will that unlucky owner ever get over trampling his puppy to death. I kept telling him it was an accident. He left looking haunted.

Saddest emergency I have ever come across.

I am praying I have had enough sadness and tears for this weekend…

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About Rayya

Hi I am Dr. Rayya. I created this site to take you on a journey of my life as a vet! I hope to inspire you, teach you, learn from you. Most importantly help pet owners and animals around the world by sharing pictures, videos and posts from my everyday experiences.

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13 Comments on “The curse of ‘they come in 3s’”

  1. Erin Blackmore Says:

    Holy hell, Rayya you’ve had some weekend. The last bit about the puppy is terrible, I was just sitting with my head in my hands at the desk feeling so saddened.


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey Erin.
      It has been a hard weekend…But as they alway say: You win some and you lose some! I have chinned up and gotten into positive mind set for the rest of the week.


  2. becomingcliche Says:

    I am so very sorry for the loss of the puppy. What a tragic accident.

    I do hope the rest of your weekend is quiet.


  3. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    I’m so grateful to our vets who have been so kind when we’ve had to have our beloved pets put down, but it is a rare occasion for most pet owners and an everyday one for vets. It must be so harrowing for you. Thank you.


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Dear Rosie,
      It does get very hard when you have to do so many in one day. It is just a very emotional process. Thank you for appreciating your vets for their efforts.


  4. Jodi Stone Says:

    I couldn’t do what you do, but am grateful for people like you who can! Sad about the puppy, I know I would be heartbroken.


  5. 2browndawgs Says:

    I just don’t know how vet’s manage to do their job sometimes. I would be a gushy mess and unable to focus. Those owners were lucky to have someone like you who cares so much to help their animals pass on.


  6. zooinmyhouse Says:

    They most certainly do come in threes… During my career as a personal carer in nursing homes I’ve not met one other carer who doesn’t believe the same thing- one of our residents will pass away, and then two more will follow before the week is out. Often the deceased residents were all friends, too. It sounds like these beloved pets were in the safest of hands when you came to take away their suffering. Bless you.



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