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Foreign Bodies – and where to find them

It’s an odd phrase, ‘foreign body.’ It’s like something that a caricature of a 1960s Home Office worker might have found. But of course, when we use it medically, we mean something very specific: an object that has sneaked, or been put, into an inappropriate place in the body. It’s often a vet’s job to get it out.
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Animal Medicines and the Law

As vets, we regularly get stick over animal medicines. Does my dog need that vaccine? Why did you give my cat that wormer? Isn’t there an alternative treatment with fewer side effects? These are all clinical decisions, and we’re all prepared to debate the risks versus the benefits of any medicine choice. But one of the things that really hurts is where we are constrained by the law, do our best in accordance with the law, and then get slated online or in person for it. My colleague Pete has written an excellent blog about vets fees in general, but he didn't cover the medicines side. So, in this blog, I’m going to explore the UK’s medicines laws in a little more detail, and try to explain some things that people find confusing... For example, why it is that veterinary drugs are more expensive than human ones, why we can’t prescribe the cheaper human version, or why we can't accept unused drugs back into stock for a refund.
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Animal Euthanasia – not just when, but how and why

I write this with a very heavy heart. One of my professional colleagues - although I never knew him personally - has just been struck off by our regulator, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). And the biggest tragedy of all is that I think they were absolutely right to do so. It is profoundly distressing that a vet could make such a massive error and not realise that what he had done was wrong - we all make mistakes, but not accepting and learning from them is the cardinal sin in our profession. In this blog, I want to look at what he did, why he shouldn’t have done it, and what the ramifications are for us as vets and as pet owners. Just so you’re aware, this blog will go into details which some pet owners may find unpleasant, but which we know others will want to know about, so as to understand all the things that may happen.
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Pets “scared” when being put to sleep – wake up call or fake news?

There’s another viral article doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment… but this one really is hitting a tender spot. The article, most recently reported by the Evening Standard, is a heartfelt plea from a vet for owners not to “make them transition from life to death in a room full of strangers in a place they don’t like. The thing you people need to know that most of you don’t is that THEY SEARCH FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM BEHIND!!!!” So is this something we should be really guilty about, or is this Fake News? Or, perhaps, is there more going on here than meets the eye?
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What’s in a name?

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet…” - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet   We recently came across a really interesting comment on Facebook - a dog owner, who went into her practice to get her dog “neutered”, but then backed out because the vet used the word “castrated”. She thought it sounded so cruel, she never got him done - despite the fact that, of course, it’s two different words for exactly the same thing. In the US it’s sometimes called “altering”, and in Australia “desexing”... but however you dress it up, it is still surgically separating a boy dog from his testicles! So why was the owner so upset by one term but not the other?
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