We have passed several significant dates so far this year.
Some of you may know that last month it was announced that Members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) would be allowed to use the title “Doctor” with immediate effect. The decision was based on a consultation held by the RCVS, which included input from the veterinary profession and importantly, the public.
This consultation was the first in which I have voted, and there have been many. So why did I feel such a visceral need, without hesitation, to hit the ‘yes’ button? I have no plaque outside my consulting room, and I certainly will not be insisting that I am in future referred to only as “Dr Brinsmead MRCVS”. What does it mean to me?
To me, it gives our profession just a little more credibility, a little more status quo, a little more glamour even! Thankfully most of you will only see me once every 6 or 12 months for routine check ups and cuddles with your pets. Preventative health care is something we vets do extremely well. But plonk us in the middle of a busy day, and you would perhaps underestimate the roles we can take.
We are anaesthetists, we are dentists, we are surgeons both soft tissue and orthopaedic. We are pharmacists, oncologists, radiographers, nutritionists and paediatricians. We are the paramedics and the A&E doctor, we are that much maligned, but ultimately much loved General Practitioner. We love and care for all your pets like they were are own. We can even, when pushed, make a decent cup of tea.
So I don’t expect that next time you visit, anything will feel different. We would all much prefer you to just call us by our first names, we are your friends and confidants as well as your doctors. But I will allow myself, just a tiny moment of smugness on occasion. For being part of the hard working, loving, quirky and frankly often rather hair covered and slightly smelly group of people, that can now be classed as Doctor, MRCVS.
Cats and dogs can make such a thorough job of crunching bones into sharp splinters. Normally the stomach can safely digest and dissolve bone, but inevitably there are exceptions. Bone shards can cause vomiting and blood loss and as the gut moves such fragments along. Impaction, blockage and gut perforation can follow with the drama of painfully straining to evacuate the delightful crunchy waste. This saga leads to pain, life-threatening illness and costs.
Treating such blockages by fluid infusions, pain killers, antibiotics and especially when an operation is inevitable, is slow and expensive. The dog doesn’t enjoy it, the owner doesn’t want it and the vet doesn’t need it.
So although in the wild dogs and cats will continue to risk crunching bones, try avoiding the risk to your animals. Dispose of all the your food waste securely in a bin that even clever Houdini pets cannot break into and save yourself the hassle.
If you prefer not to be such a killjoy and are looking for safe bones to give, try only the huge uncrunchable bones like beef thigh’s.
In less than a year, Luna’s entire life, she has been quite busy. Twice already she has had a high chronic temperature and appeared so lethargic and dreamy as though she was semi comatose. She was unable to eat and drink on her own and was reluctant to move at all. After investigating various possibilities with blood tests and imaging scans while treating her we discovered that she contracted a dangerous form of meningitis, an inflammation of the brain membranes. With the help of months of antibiotics and steroids she pulled through and got her life back.
What is the life of a young adventurous and curious whippet? it is running and chasing of course! while still on treatment for meningitis Luna was brought in lame this week after merely running outside. X-rays revealed that she has broken her hock and needed urgent orthopaedic operation. With the expertise of specialist surgeons at Dick White Referrals Luna will have a chance of running again after some challenging operations and rest.
Pearl, vets, her kittens and her owners.. Phew..!
Excerpt from a letter we got after the night of high dudgeon..Caesar’s night for Pearl
“famous Lucky, the big daddy, who is over 90 cat years old has two beautiful wives, [he has] been in lots of TV commercials and advertising campaigns, plus his film appearances, so that is the ‘Big Daddy Lucky’, of which I think he is very lucky. As you know, he is a very rare breed as he is a Suke, which is unheard of in this country, but very popular in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpar and Epo where they are called killer cats because they kill mice, rats, lizards, poisons snakes and mongooses. People use them to protect their homes in Malaysia and even they attack people and cause pretty nasty and dangerous bites and scratches because they are fiercely royal to their owner, which is why Cabbie Broccoli [the legendary producer of the James Bond films] had 3, which he brought back from Malaysia. His ones were longhaired where Lucky is a shorthaired.
The new little one, Pearl who has just had her babies is also short haired and not wanting to incest in the family, we found her in Gt. Yarmouth where we saw her advertised as the family were in the army and have been stationed in Malaysia and brought two of them back and they had two kittens of which little Pearl was one, so we purchased her.
So, the kittens would be Sara bread pure Sukes. I don’t think that there are no more than 40 in the country. I know that Barbara Broccoli, Cabbie’s daughter has two of them. Their bites are highly dangerous.
Anyway, here is the family for you to print and use as you want.
Billy, Harumi & Cats
Midway through Friday evening consultations, hard at it, we get a call about a deer trapped in railings in the centre of town. Then another call and then another. Gemma, a client who is at the scene pleads with us to come at once as there is no time to wait for the RSPCA who had also been called.
Josh and Victoria arrive at the Rookery bus stop where a fire engine is already parked and a crowd of people have gathered. In the middle of the melee two fireman are grappling with a struggling Muntjack deer, part covered by tarpaulin. The deer seems to have strayed right into the busiest part of town, panicked and got itself stuck in the railings on the kerb and had been injured trying to wriggle free. Muntjacks are completely wild and attack when cornered so we administer a painkiller and a sedative and wait for those to take effect. Within minutes it is quieter so we examine its superficial wounds and decide to do the rest at the surgery. The Good Firemen bring the deer to the surgery where we keep it in a dark warm room till it comes to. Too much stress can harm them so we take precautions (More later..)
How often we pick up a stick and throw it for our dog to retrieve? very, I’d say. The dog would gratefully chase the stick and proudly bring it back for another throw. Yet there are some darker aspects to this pastime – pain, injury and costs.
The problems arise in many ways depending on the size of the stick, the sharpness of its ends, the impact of the collision between dog-at-speed and stick. The force of injury is then multiplied by the leverage of the stick against the ground. Clinical studies illustrate the horrific injuries to mouth, nose, eyes and throat (Google it). identification of wooden fragments often requires MRI scan as this does not often show on x-rays. Surgery is complex and costly; This does not even include injuries due to ingestion of sticks which requires different types of surgery.
The solution? try low impact games: at lower speed, use rubber balls or plastic rounded “bones”.
This parrot fancied a bit of bling and in the course of trying it out got its right foot
entangled in it. Being a clever bird he pecked at it and caused bleeding and further injury. Slowly the leg became swollen from the tourniquet effect of the chain above the hock. We anaesthetised the bird and used ice to reduce the swelling, disentangled the chain and treated with anti inflammatory and antibiotic cream What some birds would do for looks ...
On a cloudy, rainy August Sunday morning, battling flash floods and wind, over thirty people gathered at the Practice for the first part of the prize giving for photos won by their pets. The ceremony and champagne party was actually held in a portable cabin serving as our temporary reception until the new extension is ready in a few weeks’ time. Almost as many people could not make it on the day but will hopefully they too will join us for the final part of the prize giving to be held in the new reception
Click here to see the photos of the winners.
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