Saturday, 13 December 2008

Vet schools.

Lord help me.

'Wednesday Addams' is seeing practice at the moment. She is super bright but with very poor communication skills. She scares the living shit out of me because every time I turn round she is stood silently behind me.


Those students amongst you will have little trouble deducting which vet school she is attending.

I hear on the grapevine however that the students entering their clinical rotations at Nottingham are quite exceptional.

In part due to the standard of teaching but also because when the school opened it was uncertain whether they would be accredited by the RCVS. Therefore Nottingham has naturally selected a crop of risk takers, likely to be more extroverted and motivated.

Each vet school is perhaps unknowingly fingerprinting their own students through the selection and education process. Vet schools must learn to compete with the new wave of private referral clinics that have set up in the last ten years and some are failing miserably. Students do not need to know about referral procedures, basic veterinary skills are far more important but often overlooked...unless you are at Nottingham.

I can't wait to meet the risk takers.

Who knows, perhaps they will change the face of veterinary medicine and give us all a well timed kick up the *rse!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Pincer movement.

'My friends have one of those Birman kittens. Amazing blue eyes. Almost as blue as yours.' Daniel Craig tells me in his deep soft voice as he looks into my eyes across my consulting room table.

Meanwhile his charming dog rests his head gently on my knee, brown eyes also connecting with mine.

Suddenly I realise what a fool I have been.

Daniel Craig is not naieve.

He knows that the way to a vet's heart is through his dog.....

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Sophie, the pug is dangerously ill with a nasty infection in her uterus which requires an urgent hysterectomy but Mrs Frobisher thinks her mother who lives in a nursing home, cannot afford the operation.

A real shame because I know that Mrs Frobisher would easily be able to afford it.

'I have to make lots of phone calls to find out what is best.' She tells me.

I leave her to get on with this while I examine my next patient.

I overhear Mrs Frobisher inflating the quote I have given for the operation and I know Sophie's days are numbered.

Then she phones a friend. 'I'll be leaving in ten minutes, I promise I wont be late for lunch.'

Meanwhile I am still busy with a longstanding patient of mine.

Immediately she has ended the phone call Mrs Frobisher lets out a wail. 'Help me! She's dying.' She lies.

I am forced to stop what I am doing and attend. The crocodile tears role and Mrs Frobisher leaves on time. Sadly Sophie is euthanased.

I hope I never see Mrs Frobisher again.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

White Lies.

When Billy the terrier was sick with diabetic ketoacidosis (very bad diabetes) Mr Homes sat by his kennel every day for one week. Ten years previously Billy had belonged to Mr Homes' daughter. When she was killed in a car accident Billy became his last remaining link to her.

We got to know a lot about Mr Homes. About his wife, his own diabetes, about what his daughter was like. Everyday he returned without fail, limping in through the surgery doors on his walking stick.

'What are his chances today?' He would ask me in his west country accent.

On the first day I told him 50/50.

On the second day 60/30.

'Is he 80/20 yet?' He asked me on the fourth day.

After a week Billy went home. Two years later he is still doing well.

Yesterday Mr Homes picked up Billy's insulin. As he waited in reception he was privy to a conversation the receptionist was having on the phone.

'No I am afraid LittleVet isn't at the surgery at the moment, she's out on a visit.'

The receptionist replaced the receiver.

'That's not strictly true is it?' Mr Homes said raising his eyebrows. 'Because I've just seen her shopping in Sainsbury's.'

Well... we can't all be as virtuous as Mr Homes.