Tuesday, 23 June 2009


My colleague excitedly recounted how she had to see a dog that had a possible 'GSW' at the weekend.  I have to admit I hadn't a clue what she meant.

For those of us non-americans a GSW is a 'Gunshot wound'.

Note the word 'possible' GSW.  

In my book you've either been shot or you haven't.  

This very agressive guard dog had been injured during a robbery but NOT shot.

How very english.

How very boring.

....still better for the dog.  

Not great for the staff who had to put up with a barage of 'ER' style commands in a poor american accent from my colleague all weekend...she never quite recovered from the disappointment.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What do I know now?

Yesterday someone posted a lovely comment that started me thinking about why I became a vet.

I wanted to help animals.

I still do.

But what else have a learned?

Training to be a vet is easy.  The best five years of my life were spent at vet school.  

But to be a vet you need stamina and courage.  Sometimes performing procedures you have only read about in books, often when you are more exhausted than you could possibly imagine.

That being a vet is about looking after people, pets come second.

There will be days when you have euthanased five animals in a row but it is the sixth that makes you cry and you realise that you will never be numb to other peoples emotions.

Sometimes you will cry with laughter because people do and say the funniest things when they are emotionally disarmed with concern for their pet.

You will be respected by your neighbours and friends, they will marvel and remark that you have the most wonderful job.

You will smile and nod but underneath it all you will be thinking 'If only you knew.'

Once in a while a patient will get better when you least expected and you will rejoice in knowing that you made a difference, because above all you will learn that the bond between patient and owner can never be underestimated.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


I'm so tired my facial muscles ache. Yesterday I worked for 16 hours. It was a saturday.

The operations board read:

Pyometra (hysterectomy) on a bitch
Stitch up large wound on a cat.
Examine throat of large labrador with stick injury under anaesthesia.
Blood test, drip and ultrasound vomiting dog.
Examine pharynx of retching cat under anaesthetic.
Blood test drip and ultrasound vomiting puppy.
Check inpatients.

The time was 5pm. There were two of us and we hadn't even started.

By the time I had seen several more clients and completed a home visit to euthanase a dog it was midnight.  

The biggest trial of all, the three very difficult clients who made unreasonable complaints or demands. These people were just not nice and I was killing myself for these ungrateful bastards. For the first time in ten years I actually wondered why I was doing this job.  Had I had another complaint I feel sure I would have walked out.

Today lovely Mrs Brown was visiting her cat Suki who I have been treating for diabetic ketoacidosis.  Suki is the sickest cat that I have ever brought back from the brink.

As Mrs Brown left the surgery I overheard her talking to another client. 
'They've done a marvellous job on my Suki, I really thought I was going to lose her.' She said.

I'm grateful for people like Mrs Brown, without them I probably wouldn't be writing this blog.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Cut short..

...I was about to write you a blog,

but I've just this minute been called into work at 9.30 pm at night to see a 'bloated guinea pig' that's been sick for three days.

What a ridiculous way to earn a living!