Most of my working life as a vet is spent answering questions. Most often, pet owners ask me questions in the consulting room. “Why has my dog stopped eating?” “What is the lump on my cat’s head?” “What is wrong with my pet rabbit?”
At our vet clinic, people often ask me questions on the telephone. “Why has my dog has started howling at night?” “Why is my cat messing in the house?” Often it is not possible to answer such questions without examining the animal. Dogs may howl because of pain from arthritis and cats may mess in the house because of a urinary tract infection. But one way or another, the questions are eventually answered.
At the meeting last month organised by the Kennel Club to discuss the issue of brachycephalic dog health, the signatories of the vet/vet nurse petition were asked to write a list of actions that they, themselves, could take to improve the situation for these animals. In a recent blog, I asked for suggestions, and I have now put these together into a list, which you can read below.
I have sent this list on to the Kennel Club, who are having another meeting today to discuss more details of what actions will be taken.
There's a story in the news today that more British people are choosing “staycations”. There are a number of reasons for this, but one factor is the increasing cost of holidays abroad with the weaker pound since Brexit.
Pet-sitting overseas: an enjoyable experience for animal lovers
I've just experienced a new concept that makes overseas holidays affordable once again. TrustedHouseSitters has a simple premise. If you agree to live in somebody else's house, care for their pets, and carry out basic general maintenance of their home, they will allow you to stay there for free.
There have been a lot of scare stories in the media recently about the new L4 leptospirosis (lepto) vaccine. Sadly, some of these have been very misleading, and some owners are even talking about stopping using the lepto vaccine, or reverting to an older and less effective version (the L2 vaccine).
In this blog, we’ll have a look at the disease leptospirosis, and the various risks that you need to be aware of. It’s important to remember that not vaccinating doesn’t necessarily put your dog at lower risk of severe illness, just at risk of different diseases!
It always makes me laugh when I catch myself internally chastising itchy animals which are hurting themselves by constantly scratching .“Why doesn’t it just stop scratching?!” I ask myself. Then I think of my recent situation, where, as a keen but incompetent vet student, I was excited to get to scrub into surgery – which means having sterile hands. Hands scrubbed and gloved, I developed a rather inconvenient nose-itch. When facial contortions offered no relief, I sheepishly asked an ungloved vet nurse to scratch my nose for me. A bonding experience, some would say…
… is something I hear all the time. People are, of course, talking about euthanasia. They imagine it must be really hard putting pets to sleep. Well, it isn’t. I see it as a kindness, a gift, the final act of love for our pets.
Only very occasionally is euthanasia hard for me and that is usually when I am forced to put an otherwise healthy animal (almost exclusively dogs) down because of behavioural problems.