Valentine’s Day in the veterinary practice: What’s your story?

Seems everyone in the veterinary community has experienced or heard a tale of the Valentine’s Day underwear vomit.

Urban myth? How many times have dogs vomited up some fancy red lingerie in practice? While no doubt some tellings are of dubious origin, and others are embellished just a little bit too much, the story of the dog who’s brought in for possible foreign body obstruction and barfs up some fancy Valentine’s Day lingerie happens often enough to count as real. In fact, one of the veterinarians on our Nationwide team can vouch for it, as it happened to her when she was in clinical practice.

Red undies or not, seems every veterinary professional has a Valentine’s story to tell. And while some of the underwear stories seem to turn on the wife not recognizing the apparel the family dog brought up, other stories end in a good way, with a happy, healthy pet going home and no divorce proceedings in the offing.

We asked our team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses for their best (and possibly clean enough to share!) stories from Valentine’s Days in practice. One of them really stood out, perhaps because we’re all such romantics at heart. That one came from Kristen Britton, one of our veterinary technicians.

“We had a newly engaged couple come into the hospital with their 14-week-old Labrador puppy who’d been sick for three days,” she said. “After doing bloodwork and rads we found the reason for the vomiting: The puppy swallowed the engagement ring! It was clear as day on the rads and not only were the pet parents relieved that it wasn’t something more serious, but also happy that their $10,000  ring was found!”

Britton goes on to tell how the veterinary team helped with a happy ending. “The condition of the ring coming out of the puppy’s stomach wasn’t great, but we ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave for them before sending the ring and their pup home with them.

“Even better: The guy even got down on his knee in the lobby and proposed all over again. It was an awesome moment and definitely had us in tears.”

Other Nationwide veterinary professionals remember smiling at cats or dogs with natural heart-shaped markings, or coming in dressed in heart-themed costumes. And then there are the stories of creative endeavors by the veterinary teams themselves.

Veterinary teams take great pleasure in dressing up bandaging, after all. We love bandaging that come pre-adorned with hearts or other images, but some of us go above and beyond, using markers and stickers to make a loving statement for the pets we love and love caring for.

Creative fun, after all, is good in and of itself, but it’s also a wonderful stress reliever.

At Nationwide, we handle claims for the vast majority of veterinary practices in the United States, which means we’re working with veterinary professionals almost as much as with pet parents. We love doing so, because we know that without veterinary professionals doing what they do, we can’t help with the bills. We’re all in this together, helping pets and pet owners.

This Valentine’s Day, we’re sending tail-wags and nose-bumps to our colleagues in the veterinary community. What’s your story? Let us know!

And share this with your clients, in hopes of a fewer Valentine emergencies.