ESA madness invades my clinic

Home The Lounge ESA madness invades my clinic

  • ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3456
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    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?

    Avatar Panscan 
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 1018
    Joined: 03/18/2017

    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

    #237220 Reply
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2428
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    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.


    #237235 Reply
    Avatar trebizond 
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 123
    Joined: 12/31/2017

    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.

    #237236 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6084
    Joined: 01/12/2016

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

    #237245 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    q-school q-school 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2596
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    i didn’t follow, did you clean the dog’s ear or the human’s ear?


    #237255 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1666
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    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?

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #237256 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD, billy
    Zzyzx Zzyzx 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 175
    Joined: 09/24/2018

    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.

    #237291 Reply
    Avatar snowcanyon 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 511
    Joined: 10/22/2018

    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.

    #237314 Reply
    Liked by Craigy, Zaphod, jz, Anne
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3427
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    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.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #237321 Reply
    Liked by snowcanyon
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3456
    Joined: 01/14/2017

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

    #237326 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1118
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    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.

    #237333 Reply
    childay childay 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 990
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    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.

    #237376 Reply
    Liked by Craigy, snowcanyon
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2693
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    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.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #237400 Reply
    Avatar wideopenspaces 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1095
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    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.

    #237465 Reply

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