Friday, 31 October 2008


'Still' is the word no vet wants to see on the waiting list when used in conjunction with the animal's presenting complaint.

Here are a few examples:

'Still vomiting.'
'Still itching.'
'Still lame.'
'Still weeing everywhere.'
'Still lethargic.'

and my favourite...

....'Still not right.'

In other words the first vet to see this animal 'still hasn't a fucking clue whats wrong with it.'

None the less it is 'still going to be your job to sort it out' and if you can't the owner is 'still going to complain about it' because their pet is 'still no better'.

Who would have thought after all this time that this one little word would 'still have me hiding in the toilet' in the vague hope my colleague will take them off the waiting list first.

As it turns out, I'm 'still a very bad girl.'

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Basil the Bassett hound's owners have just spent £3000 on spinal surgery at a specialist vets. Basil is barely able to urinate by himself, he still can't walk and it has been three weeks since the surgery.

'Do you think we can get him booked in to have his teeth cleaned under anaesthetic next week?' His owner asks me.

After I pick myself up off the floor my facial expression is enough to answer them.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Biting the hand that feeds.

Having recently finished my bathroom, I got slightly sentimental when I found this picture in a shop and decided to hang it above the toilet. It reminds me of Mavis, a dog I saved after diagnosing her with a large but operable tumour. It is the only piece of veterinary memorabilia in my home.

Exactly one week after I hung the picture Mavis also became the only dog who has ever bitten me.

In fairness she was aiming for the Jack Russell terrier across the waiting room but connected with my hand instead.

Now when I reach for the toilet role I am reminded of the large bruise which still marks my hand and not my remarkable heroism.

I am going to keep Mavis as a valuable lesson in humility.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Veterinary Vocabulary.

As one of the worlds worst at spelling I find great comfort when others (namely receptionists) make veterinary vocabulary clangers. Here are some examples, those of you involved in the profession will no doubt spot straight away.


Timmy Shaw : Annual gland evacuation.

Mungo and Milly Fisher: Lebanon Dwarf rabbits in for neutering.


Please phone Mr Smith about Billy's Cushions disease.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Pet hates.

I can tell a lot about an emergency client as I drive into work in the early hours of the morning, simply by noting the way they have parked outside the surgery.

Parking sensibly in the allocated slot means they will behave sensibly and be very grateful for my attendance in their hour of need.

Parking like a suicide bomber across the lawn and virtually in the porch with all doors open screams 'Nob'. Those driving Chelsea Tractors will be 'Complete Nobheads.' This is my number one pet hate.

Second are the clients who choose to arrive without a cat basket, carrying their wounded pet like a trophy of mangled limbs and blood, usually in a filthy, damp towel that they found in the back of the garage (in the cat basket they failed to use). Expecting me to examine their broken pet whilst it is lolling over their shoulder.

Finally the mobile phone. I don't ever want to hear it in my room. If I do I will ignore it and double your bill for wasting veterinary time.

Last night at 1.30 am I scored my first hat-trick.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


Think of the smell of the worst body odour you have ever encountered, now double it.

Add some acid and ground up smelly socks.

A sprinkling of garlic and onions.

Now turn the volume of this odour up a hundred times and add a distinct feeling of nausea.

THAT is the smell I have been walking around with ALL day on my hands after castrating a ferret this morning and unleashing the wrath of both it's anal glands during the proceedings.

In case you are wondering.....

...yes I did wear gloves,

two pairs!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Holding the baby.

A few weeks ago a young boy of about five tried drinking form a surgical spirit bottle whilst in a consulting room with his mother, dog and one of our veterinary nurses.

Last week when a nurse was about to administer a premed to an animal in a similar situation a boy of eight swiped a syringe containing methadone off the table before she could administer it to the dog.

Neither of these children came to any harm.

What this illustrates is a lack of control on behalf of the parents, a lack of experience as far as our nurses are concerned in dealing with badly behaved children but more seriously a failure of our nursing staff to realise under RCVS rules they are now just as culpable as we are in the eyes of the law.

Quite frankly because I know I am responsible for the health and welfare of every person in that room and don't wish to have my arse sued off, I don't allow that sort of situation to arise.

Nurses traditionally have accepted no responsibility for their actions. But times are changing and they need to become more savy. They cant lay responsibility at the feet of the vets any more.

When a woman came alone with her boisterous, badly behaved two year old son and requested I euthanase her dog. I asked her to leave the dog with me because I felt it inappropriate and quite frankly a liability for her son to be present whilst administering an overdose of very powerful barbiturate to the dog.

The senior nurse frowned at me with a look that said 'Hard bitch.'

'Would you have held that baby?' I asked her.

'No.' Came her reply.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Old men.

'She's scratching all the time.' Announces Mr Derbyshire. He's an elderly gentleman who speaks very loudly because he is deaf. The sort of chap with a 1940's war effort accent who still wears a cravat.

The Norfolk puppy terrier roles on her back and allows me to tickle her.

'Have you bought any flea treatment for her?' I ask.

'Yes, I've bought that very expensive frontline stuff from you. Cost me an arm and a leg!' He shouts at me.

'OK.' I pause. 'Well if it hasn't worked perhaps we will need to do a few tests.' I tell him.

'Oh, I haven't put it on yet.' He replies.