Thursday, 30 August 2007

Pet Years.

This is Phoebe, in pet years she is supposedly 110 years old. She looks pretty good.

My theory is that pet years have been invented by the petfood industry as a way of selling senior diet foods which is why I tend not to use them.

My parents are just turning sixty, the number of post it note reminders is steadily increasing on the kitchen cupboards. My father has a morbid fear of alzheimers.

I pointed out to him that it's ok to be forgetful as you get older, you really only need to worry when you can't remember who Paul is, or what a telephone is for.

Besides which in pet years he's only ten so there's plenty of time for more post-its yet.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

My Family and Other Animals.

Whilst Dad is busy constructing anti-squirrel defences by greasing the pole on the bird nut stand,

And placing ultrasonic squirrel deterrents in the walnut tree.
Mum is busy creating anti- bonking 'buffers' to prevent excessive shell damage to her female tortoises from the constant barrage from the males.
It's not difficult to see from which side of the family I inherited my natural aptitude for veterinary medicine.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Urban Veterinary Myths Continued.

Lesson Two, The Wet Nose.

A wet nose is not a diagnostic indicator of good health.

A dry nose is not a diagnostic indicator of bad health.

So please stop shoving your sweaty palms over your pet's nose (they won't appreciate it) and concentrate on something more useful, like gum colour.

Salmon pink gums = good/normal so stop panicking.

White/pale pink= shock/bleeding/badness and very big vet bill.

Yellow= Jaundice or leptospirosis (also known as viles disease, you can catch this so wash your hands now)

Cherry red= Carbon monoxide poisoning. (Do you have a headache? When was the boiler last serviced?)

Blue= Lack of oxygen, heart or lung disease, have you been ignoring your pet's coughing and general lethargy for the last three months?

Brick red= 'DIC' or Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, more commonly abbreviated by vets to 'Death Is Coming' or 'Dead In Kennel'. You get the picture, don't go buying any large bags of pet food.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Urban Veterinary Myths dispelled.

Lesson One, The Tick.

A tick is not a wart. A tick has legs a wart does not.

A wart is part of your pet therefore if you mistake the two and use a cigarette butt to 'kill' it your dog will scream and I will frown when you tell me what you have done and make you feel like a very bad pet owner. I will not phone the RSPCA unless you do it again.

In this country ticks will not paralyse your dog (that only happens in Australia)

A tick must be twisted with a tick hook to remove it, not pulled with a pair of your best tweezers or the head will be left behind and the tweezers will be ruined.

Frontline and Advantix apparently kill ticks....... no comment.

If you do leave the head in your dog will not die of septicemia, it will develop a small pea size lump that will go away in a few weeks. This is called a tick granuloma, it is not a tumour.

Most important of all, if you discover a tick on your dog or cat at 11pm at night you do not need to phone your veterinary surgery for advise. This is not a life threatening emergency. Your chat about application of Vaseline will not go down well while they are in the middle of dealing with a real emergency. So spare a thought for the owner of the pet they are trying to save and call back tomorrow.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Tie rack.

This evening a colleague of mine was called to a 'situation' involving a rabbit that had become impaled on it's own hutch. She was particularly upset because it was after hours and she was not on call. She ranted her way out the surgery doors.

One hour later I received the following text:

'Man's tie attached 2 hutch
door 2 hay rack impaled
through rabbit's mouth
and out through eye lid.
Field anaesthetic then
emergency transport of
patient with impaled rack
still in situ to base. Diploma
holding equine surgeon
required to wield 3 foot wire
cutters, patient stabilized..
.....her life saved, but where
were the TV cameras?'

I can't deny it, I wish I had been the one to go, after all it would have made a great blog!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007


I think I might be one.

Here is the evidence:

1) On Saturday whilst brushing my teeth I was contemplating a cat that I had brought back from the brink of death six months previously. He was left with partial vision and I was wondering whether the owners had followed my advice about keeping him in doors. Two hours later he was rushed into the surgery, having been run over.

That pretty much answered my question.

2) Last night I dreamt I had pushed over a giant fir tree that stood in my colleagues garden. When I told her she said it was strange because she is in fact having a fir tree cut down this weekend and she was sure she hadn't told anyone at work.

I also dreamt that a client had died and left me nine thousand four hundred and fifty seven pounds.

I know I am supposed to use my new found 'psychic predictive' powers to help man kind but I have been mentally spending the money all day, on a conservatory.

Whilst I wait for the cheque I'm going to start playing the lottery.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Pet Triangles.

Mrs Long lives next door to Mrs Brown.

Mrs Long has run over Mrs Brown's cat, Wizard. She has brought Wizard straight to the surgery for treatment.

I decide to admit Wizard for observation.

'I'll need to speak to Wizard's owner to let her know how he is doing.' I tell Mrs Long.

'She's on holiday at the moment.' She replies. 'In Poland for two weeks.'

'Are you looking after Wizard while she is away?' I ask.

'No, Mrs Slater at number thirty-three is, but she's at the hairdressers.'

'Well I will need Mrs Slater's phone number too then.'

'Fine, I'll also give you Mrs Brown's mother's number.' She adds helpfully.

'Where is she?' I ask aprehensively.

'In a home.' She pauses. 'In Poland.'

'Right.' I sigh. 'Just give me all of the numbers.'

Half an hour later the nurse comes to find me.

'I've got Mrs Brown's ex-husband on the phone, he wants to talk to you about Wizard.'

Doesn't anyone use a cattery any more when they go away?

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Survival of the fittest? Not always..

Sometimes the little guys pull through when you least expect it.

But for something truly amazing watch this footage of the survival of the baby buffalo against all odds!

Trust me, it will make your day!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Negligent Grandparents.

'Do we have to leave him?' The concerned dog sitters ask me.

'Yes he needs an X-ray, I think he has broken his toe.' I tell them.

'He wasn't going fast when I threw the ball, are you sure it is broken?' Mr dog sitter asks.

'Yes, I can feel it crunching.' I tell them to emphasise the strength of my diagnosis.

'Will he be alright?'

'Yes he will be fine, he probably won't need sedating for the X-ray.' I re-assure them.

'I just don't like the thought of leaving him here.'

'He really won't mind.' I say firmly.

'Are you sure, we could stay with him?'

'Look, he comes here every day with his mum, he really will be fine.'

My patience is starting to wear thin, after-all it is not my fault that they have broken their daughter in laws dog whilst she is away on holiday, or that she happens to be our rather frightening head nurse.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Fat Pets.

'He eats virtually nothing.' The owner tells me as she tilts the cat box and eight kilos of feline stodge exits with a thud onto the table closely followed by five large king prawns (from Tesco's finest range) and a handful of cat biscuits presumably used as bait.

'What about the prawns?' I ask.

'Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.'

'How much does he eat on a daily basis?' I ask sternly.

'Very little.' She replies.

'How much?' I persist.

'Well he has one of those tiny sachets at breakfast, one in the afternoon and one at bedtime, sometimes he gets some ham while I groom him.'

'What about biscuits?'

'They're down all the time.'

'I think you need to feed him half that amount.' I tell her.

'But it says he can have six sachets a day on the box and he's already eating half that.' She protests.

'He is not going to starve.' I say heaving him off the weighing scales. 'Besides which he is at increased risk of diabetes.'

'I've got diabetes.' She says laughing, her four chins wobbling.

'Please try.' I beg.

We squeeze the cat back into the box.

'I'd like you to book him in with a nurse in a month so he can be weighed.'

She lifts him off the table smiling.

'You've been such a good boy.' She croons at the cat as she leaves, 'When we get home mummy will cook you something really special for supper.'

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Friday, 3 August 2007

A dog's tail.

Since April the first this year it has been illegal to dock the tails of dogs that are not on an official list of working breeds. The owner also requires evidence that the parents participate in working field trials.

Rottweilers are not known for their ability to retrieve.

Today we had to examine a litter of one week old Rottweiler puppies with illegally docked tails.

Rottweilers have beautiful feathered tails.

The tails had been docked by a 'lay person'. They were infected and far too short the puppies may become incontinent when older.

The Royal College were contacted about the matter. They reported that they have seen an increasing number of these cases since the ban on docking but are unlikely to prosecute.

What was the point in the ban?