Tuesday, 29 September 2009


After having a peak at John the poultry enthusiasts wonderful blog I feel a little guilty about my ignorance on this subject matter.

You see there is nothing that evokes more passion than the word 'chicken' on a vet's waiting list... unless it is the word 'chick'.

As the unsuspecting poultry rearer takes their seat in the waiting room, behind the scenes there will be a hysterical scramble to avoid this patient at all costs in the hope that your colleague will see them instead. An unnecessary trip to the toilet, laboratory or a phone call. Draw the short straw there will be a panic about the whereabouts of the BVA poultry poster.

The BVA poultry poster contains a list of symptoms and their treatment. For example 'Green diarrhoea = Tylan for five days'. It is in short a life saver for both ignorant vet and chicken.

If you have brought a chicken to the vets and your vet excuses themselves from the room halfway through the consult I can absolutely guarantee that they have gone to consult the BVA poultry poster.

It's not that we don't like chickens, I personally think they are great and one day I'd like to have a few. 

I just don't know anything about them.

But there is one thing I do know and that's how to stitch one back together.  I am after all familiar with the anatomy of a sunday roast -it's just hard not to get hungry....

Monday, 28 September 2009

Close Observation

I decided to keep Amber the insect sting victim in for observation.

Being five weeks old and a German Shepherd this proved to be a stressful and therefore incredibly noisy experience with much screaming.

We came to a compromise.

I surfed the internet while she slept soundly on my lap.

Who would have thought such a small puppy could fart so much?

This was very close observation indeed.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


It was on the fifth visit that I started to suspect that Mr Russell might have a crush on me.

'Good weekend?' He asked with a bit too much nonchalance.

I had my finger up his dogs arse so the weekend was very far from my mind.

'Didn't he come in three days ago?' I started to wonder 'Didn't I tell him I wouldn't need to check his dog for a further week?'

The penny dropped.

Sadly for his dog this particular crush was at a heavy cost.  A rectal examination every 3-4 days.

I looked up from the dogs anus and started to wonder whether I could fancy Mr Russell.

Sadly, the answer was probably not.

However having taken advice from my Mother on this matter I will google his home address tomorrow.

After-all it's all about 'location, location, location' and beggars can't be choosers.

Just call me 'shallow'- vet.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Negative Prognostic Indicators

Are indicators that alter prognosis for the worse.

For example these might include a lack of deep pain sensation in a dog that is unable to walk or spread of a cancer to the lungs or liver.

But what about the ones they don't teach you at vet school?

I'm talking about 'owner related' negative prognostic indicators, these include:

1) 'He's been sick for four weeks now and we are going on holiday tomorrow morning.'

2) The notes say that the animal is twelve, the owner knows the animal is twelve but what they actually tell you is 'He's very old now, he's seventeen.' 
Over the years I have discovered that the risk of euthanasia is directly proportional to the number of spurious years added by the owner.

3) Any mention of the words 'urine', 'faeces' and 'carpet' in the same sentence = bad news for the pet.

4) 'He doesn't get on with our new puppy.'

5) 'My husband thinks this treatment is getting too expensive.'

Followed by:

6) 'It's my husband or the dog.'

Sometimes the owner just has that look in their eye that suggests this is going to be the last trip their pet makes to the vets. 

'It's not the money.'  They insist. 'I just don't want him to suffer.'

Do they think I was born yesterday?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


About ten years ago when I was fresh out of vet school I would see an obese pet and tell the owner to feed it 25 % less and that would be the end of it.  A year later it would be 25 % heavier and I would scratch my head.

Now I am older and wiser.

I ask them 'Exactly what do you feed your pet?'

'Three sachets of cat food a day.' They say.

'Mine get one.' I tell them curtly.

Then.... and this is the important bit. I wait.

I wait about a minute in silence.  Slowly the flood gates open.

'....and some biscuits.' They start slowly.

Working up to ' the prawns count?'

and '...a tescos value rich tea biscuit before bedtime'

...'a pigs ear in the afternoon.'

Followed by what I call the deal breakers, including (amongst my favourites.)

....'brown bread.' To a cat (as recommended by a local vet - thankfully now retired)

and my favourite 'Flumps....for his pills.'

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Anger management.

When you are running at full pelt, animals coming out of your ears and no time to sit down, drink a glass of water or have a wee it is easy to take your frustrations out on those nearest to hand i.e. the support staff.

Yep, those long suffering receptionists and nurses are bound to get an ear full when they least deserve it.

In an effort to modify my behaviour I have started with my mobile phone.

Instead of 'Work' flashing up when they call me out of hours it now says 'Be Nice to the nurse'.

So far it's actually working and about time too because there is only one thing worse than a stressed vet and that's a stressed vet that everybody hates.