AVeterinarian, a Speciman, and the Testing of Science

My veterinarian, Chris, was calling with the results when I saw her name on caller ID. Her first question, “what kind of container did you use to collect the urine?”

I started to answer, when I realized this was not a normal question for a vet to ask.

My dog’s blood work didn’t match the urine test. My vet was smart enough to ask about the container I used to bring the specimen. Her hypothesis was that the container had once housed something with sugar. Although it had been through the dishwasher, sugar residue changed the composition of the specimen.

We have all heard the phrase that “everything is not as it seems”.

On the face of it, this phrase means when you look at the world, you make judgements about what the things you see actually are. Some of these judgements will be wrong. For instance, when you look in the rearview mirror the disclaimer reminds you that objects may be closer than they appear.

When the blood work didn’t match the specimen, a red flag went off regardless of the container fiasco. Over-all, we take a specimen and we believe the results. Thousands of people take specimens to their veterinary office every day.

It is said there are facts and there are opinions. Finding those facts can be so challenging. It was a fact that her glucose was very high. It is also a fact that it was due to the container.

We are told that being a citizen in a democracy is a pro-active role. We can’t just accept something we read, we have to question and read multiple sources. We can’t accept something we hear, we have to question and listen to multiple sources.

The next time you hear or question something, remember the container. Everything may not be as it appears.

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