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ESA madness invades my clinic

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  • ESA madness invades my clinic

    Middle of afternoon clinic today I see a guy walking into the room out of the corner of my eye with a dog.  I think, no problem - probably a seeing eye dog or service dog.  No.  I was told by our roomer that he has an Emotional Support Animal and just to "be aware".  So I walk in the room and I see the biggest pitbull I've ever seen.  I was basically looking at this:

    So after swallowing my stomach and confirming his ESA wasn't going to end my life I proceed to clean his ear out under the microscope.  While doing so, his gigantic beast sniffs my leg up and down (as I think about where the nearest scalpel is) and then it proceeds to walk around to the other side of the chair, lie down and fart.

    Come on, folks.  This is just nuts.  Do your hospitals/clinics have some policy on this sort of thing?

  • #2
    Should have kicked the dog out. Never know how dog is going to react to you cleaning guys ear out. What if guy grimaced and dog perceived that as you harming the guy, why put yourself and patients at risk


    • #3
      Completely agree with Panscan. I would not have put my hands on a patient with a pit in the room unless it was clearly secured.



      • #4
        Apparently my mother's former primary care doctor has changed up his practice into a pseudo-concierge type model where every new pre-patient is first live interviewed before being accepted as a patient.

        Not only does it help weed out those who won't pay, and who are crazies of a different sort, it would also allow you to weed out pitbulls who could rip your face or hand off, thereby depriving you of your livelihood.

        Enough is enough. You should fire this crazy idiot of a patient and then he can mourn his fate (and ear problems) with the emotional support of his pitbull.


        • #5
          Agree with the above, you were getting up close with the boss, no way.


          • #6
            i didn't follow, did you clean the dog's ear or the human's ear?


            • #7
              Yeah I would refuse to work in a room with a giant unfamiliar dog.

              Glad all he did was offend your nostrils.

              Was he names Zuul by chance?


              • #8

                Come on, folks.  This is just nuts.  Do your hospitals/clinics have some policy on this sort of thing?
                Click to expand...

                hospital admin wants you to not question patients on their animals or deny their entry due to fear of a discrimination lawsuit.  full stop.

                FDA won't allow animals in certain food service areas, it's gonna take either state or federal intervention to save us

                It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy, I'll get a saw.


                • #9
                  Do these animals go to the operating and recovery room with patients? I don't get it; people have died of capnocytophagia. That would be a big worker's comp payout.

                  I encounter this all the time. I politely tell the patient I'm allergic, and that they are welcome to have their animal, but that I will have to minimize my time in the room. Or, if they are scary, I tell the patient I feel unsafe and I can't help them. Animal goes.

                  You are playing too nice.


                  • #10
                    We saw a patient earlier this week with two dogs, one service and one emotional support. And a medically complex problem, an incompletely respected breast cancer from St. Elsewhere. Thankfully, I did not have to deal with her.


                    • #11
                      Yeah I did NOT clean the dog’s ears out. I have to see this guy back in 2 weeks.


                      • #12
                        If the dog is at all threatening or protective of its master and the patient is there for a procedure and they didn't bring a friend/relative who can watch the dog outside, they must reschedule. Not safe for anyone to do a procedure with a potentially uncontrolled dog in the room.


                        • #13
                          I am not aware of any policy here but wow.  No way I'm letting an unrestrained pit-bull wander around as I'm doing a procedure.

                          The issue for me is these "support" animals are mostly just pets.  And mostly badly trained and behaved.  At least if it's an actual service dog (not a fake one) one can reasonably assume it will follow commands, not jump on or attack you etc etc.  Farting, eh probably gonna happen.


                          • #14
                            The last emotional support animal I saw in the ER wouldn’t stop barking and pissed in the corner. Granted, the dog clearly got its behavior from the patient...but still.


                            • #15
                              Hmmm. The letters I write specify an ESA for airplane or home. No where else. I always enjoyed the dogs brought in to clinic but they weren't scary. I don't think legally you have to allow them in clinic unless they have a letter that discusses that specifically? Even then I would assume patient could understand if I said I was afraid of larger dogs and could not see them with the pet.