Paws for thought

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 11 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1392
  1. Alan Johnstone, higher professional training fellow in general practice
  1. University of Edinburgh

    Ellie, our family's 2 year old Labrador bitch, jumped into the boot of the car, avulsed a claw, and let out an uncharacteristic wail. An anxious and rather sleepless night was had by all. I put her on a course of dog biscuits (two every four hours) to try to cheer her up. The next morning, after some discussion, I telephoned our local veterinary practice and was soon sitting in the waiting room with time to reflect on the experience.

    I had telephoned at 8 40 am and was waiting to be seen at 8 55 am. The receptionist was also the veterinary nurse and was therefore able to triage the problem. She correctly anticipated that an operation might be necessary and, far better, that this should take place as early as possible in the day. The practice is paperless, and …

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