Owner Profile: The Do I Need a Vet Dunce

9 Sep

Description:  The polar opposite of the “Hounding Hypochondriac”,  the “Do I Need a Vet Dunce” rarely, if ever, gets their dog vet care, at least without desperate poking and prodding from friends, family, and internet strangers.   The DINAVD is unlikely to recognize a true emergency even if it literally hits them in the face in the form of pus.


Common Locations:  NOT at the vet, sitting on the couch eating bonbons while their dog hacks up an internal organ,  on Yahoo answers and breed specific Facebook groups asking “How much blood is too much?”

Hey, post on Facebook and see if there is a holistic cure, ok?


Breeds Owned:  Labs, Boxers and other accident prone dogs.  Dogs with protruding eyes like Pugs and Bostons.

And over there...on the floor.

And over there…on the floor.


Skill Level:  Skill level definitely follows a bimodal distribution.  Many are completely inexperienced and don’t realize what a true emergency is, while others are experienced dog owners who think they can take on any malady themselves even when they shouldn’t.


Duct tape: Not just for resetting broken legs and cropping ears.


Catch Phrases:   “It’s just a flesh wound”, “He’ll get over it”, “Do you have any aspirin?”



Anecdotal Evidence:

Potnoodle:  The person that first comes to mind with this Owner profile is not someone I know in my every day life, but rather someone I once saw in an American Bully group I joined, not because I am a fan of the breed but more because I have an anthropological interest in people that measure their dog’s toughness by how large his head is. Anyway, the DINAVD in this situation was a “breeder” and had a bitch that had recently given birth. The bitch had since prolapsed and the Dumbass was asking if he could “shove it back in and hold it with a stitch” himself and avoid a vet visit. I nearly died. Needless to say, I’m no longer in that group.

Better ask other people who don't know what they're doing either.

Better ask other people who don’t know what they’re doing either.


BusyBee:  Among my other vices (mmm…cheese), I admit to having spent an inordinate amount of time on the “Answers” section of a popular dog-centric website.   Despite knowing better, I often find myself stuck in a spiral of stupidity brought on by the slew of DINAVD who routinely post there.  Whether it was asking if a broken leg would heal itself, if it was a bad sign that mama dog had started labor 3 days ago and no puppies had been birthed, or how to best pop a Pug’s popped out eye back into it’s socket , the answer is pretty much always the same… GO TO THE DAMN VET.   And yet, you’ll see people try to justify NOT going to the vet as hoards of internet strangers are pleading for them to seek professional help.   While it’s a good thing to have a working knowledge of canine first aid, it’s even more important that you recognize what is beyond your skill level…and getting off the damn internet to get it taken care of.

Because...the internet.

Because…the internet.

15 Responses to “Owner Profile: The Do I Need a Vet Dunce”

  1. paigeandspaniels September 9, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    I frequent /r/dogs on Reddit and you’d be surprised how many people ask similar questions, and then refuse to see a vet…

    My personal favorite one to cringe at was a woman who bred her “teacup” Yorkie to something else and had a puppy born with a nub tail… oh and she was pooping out of it’s vagina and had been since birth. Was this an OK dog to sell or should it see a vet?

  2. Shearaha September 9, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    As a vet tech (former, current dog trainer), I have far too many of these in my life. I was at a fundraiser for a rescue I work with this past weekend. I had 6 people ask me how to take care of medical issues at home. 6! Every single one of them needed to go to the vet. Yet none wanted to hear that. Luckily none of them were fosters.

  3. casdog1 September 9, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    YES YES YES. There are a LOT of small issues I can treat myself, & having working dogs they gets nicks & cuts & such now & then. But I know what I can handle & what I cannot! And as for the knowledge base of the average pet owner, I cannot for the life of me comprehend why SO FEW of them can identify the signs of bloat! I teach an entire class on it to my students, just so I don’t have to hear “We thought he had gas but he was dead the next morning.” & then picture their dog who I may have known & loved since puppyhood dying in agony alone in his crate downstairs anymore. X-(

  4. aDorkable September 9, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    I work at a dog daycare. One dog had been having progressively worse diarrhea. I let her out one morning and she was covered in blood and her stool was straight blood. My manager asked me if I thought she could wait until 2 or did she need to go to the vet then. I said, “If I’m right, it’s hemorrhagic gastroentoritis.” My manager said, “So… Does she need to go to the vet?” I replied, “I don’t screw around with anything involving the word ‘hemorrhagic’.”

  5. wkmtca September 9, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    all of yours are way worse than anything i see. i think i would have to kill people like this. most of mine are the same people asking over and over about diets for the yeasty eared dogs and those recommending science diet. i have enough trouble not bitch slapping those people.

  6. Mel September 9, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I have seen many of these types of postings and questions, and more. They make me cringe and want to scream and shake them to wake them up from their denial. For some however, I suspect this may be a matter of money. Maybe they have fallen on hard times and they need to validate that they really do need to take their dog to the vet. Sad and as insane as it may be, I think there is some of that out there too. In the end, I always feel sad for the pet.

    • dirtartful September 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      As somebody who lost my job and could barely afford to feed myself and my dogs, I have asked the question a time or two. I know they needed the vet, but I couldn’t afford to bring them, so I wanted to know the likelihood of them keeling over before I could find a way to take care of them. I have a job now, things are better… Some people are stupid, others are just pleading that it isn’t as severe as it seems.

      • Fuzzy September 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        I agree. Sometimes you have no money for rent…trying to keep the dog healthy if possible without spending more.

        Also, if you live on a farm, you get inordinately used to fixing many large animal problems without help. I recall one vet who kept telling me to give my dog more time to birth—hey, I wanted to bring her in, they said not yet!—freaking out when I told them I could feel a stick puppy at the cervix but not grasp it well. Not like I hadn’t gone fishing for a dozen lambs/kids/calves at that point…..

  7. Kelley Moss September 9, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    I am a vet tech. Some of them actually get as far as calling us, but then try to get us to tell them how to fix it at home!

  8. Marcia September 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    When my neighbor had dogs she was constantly trying to save money by treating them herself of trying to con others into doing it. She is not short of money, they have plenty, but the dogs were not worth spending money on. The end of my relationship with them came when I found out she was bargain hunting among vets to find out who would euthanize her dog the cheapest.

  9. Liminal September 10, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    I’m getting flashbacks of the evening I had to explain to a well-meaning but feckless relative that no, one time popping her Pug’s eyeball back into its socket manually was one time too many.

    But “it seemed to work fine,” right? And she remembered to wash her hands, so…

  10. Suzanne Geer September 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    “Bimodal.” Just another reason I love you.

  11. AD December 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    after spending a crazy amount of money on “emergency surgery” after vet convinced me my cat swallowed a sewing needle when in fact she did not.. nope not a fan of vets and will try to treat it myself before going to vet and vet trying to convince me to spend thousands of dollars when I can pop the animal some Pepcid.

  12. ron wood January 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    There’s a company (hannah the pet society) in our area that leases dogs, the deal includes lifetime veterinary care.

    They provide guidelines to the leasee outlining reasons to seek spendy emergency care

    Hit by a Car:

    “Some pets experience a glancing blow that is painful, but they recover quickly.
    If there is a solid blow, or if the tire runs over the pet and it survives but is clearly hurt, then an immediate trip to the emergency hospital is indicated.”

    Click to access emergency_pet_care.pdf

  13. a May 24, 2015 at 4:05 am #

    I had this conversation at work. Okay, sort of, but this is what it sounded like to me.
    Her(The building’s psychologist btw): You know about dogs, My dog pulled boiling water down on her head over the weekend and her skin is all red and painful, what should I do?
    Me: I would have already brought her to the vet.
    Her: You know about dogs, what should I do?
    Me: I don’t know anything about dogs, I bring my dogs to the vet.
    Her: So what should I do?
    Me: Never talk to me ever again.

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