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NOT QUITE THERE YET

Posted by My LOLVET on January 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

A client ask me for a favour.

She has a stray dog that needs to be sterilized asap. The clinic that boarded the 5 month old female puppy was apparently not feeding her enough and delaying her sterilization.

Possible reasons?

The client was paying for "economic" boarding so they are not willing to feed the pup more - just enough to keep her alive.

The vet is waiting for the pup to go into heat so that he can charge the client more.

Possible.

By the way, boarding at a vet clinic... it is not approve by AVA (so kind of illegal).

I slotted her dog in for a sterilization.

After that I discussed with the client about the care she rendered to the stray dogs she rescued - to what level does she extend her help?

Her answer: All the way if possible. So it includes: Rescue, sterilize, board, rehome and medical care.

She was appalled by other clinics that advised her to release the dogs immediately after surgery although she knows of people who do it frequently.

I pondered about what she said.

I feel that our society is still not quite there yet.

Not quite caring enough.

Not quite gracious enough.

Not quite self sacrificing enough.

Sometimes, many have too many idealistic expectations and dreams in a less than perfect world.

Some can afford the indulgence .. some are unable to.

 

 

NO LONGER WITH A HEART

Posted by My LOLVET on January 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Two days before Chinese New Year's Eve I recieved a call. 

A referral case that I did not really want to take. A cat with a bladder stone was operated on by another clinic about 1 week ago. The surgical site was infected.

 

I accepted the case because I know the referring vet.

The cat arrived with a pet transporter. I was informed by the transporter that the intestines were outside of the abdomen.

The cat did not survive the surgical repair.

MY ISSUES:

I don't really want to take the case because this is not the first time I have to "patch-up" others' lousy surgeries and get frustrated by it. It is a lot harder when it is a "second time" attempt to do surgery on a pet. Should there be any post surgical issues, the owner will expect my clinic to be responsible for it.

I accepted it in the end because the cat will probably be euthanized if she was sent to any other places.

I was very upset during the surgery because the condition of the infected surgical site suggested to me that the first vet that operated on the cat did it carelessly. And the area should have been repaired long time ago... not after the intestines had fallen out of the abdominal cavity for so long. The cat did not deserve this poor quality care.

 

Yes. My greatest concern was that it was done by a trained professional without a heart.

Live Fast. Die Young

Posted by My LOLVET on July 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I asked my students:

If you were a cat, what kind of life would you prefer? Would you prefer to be caged up for the rest of your life but with food, water and shelter provided? Or run free in the rain and sun but possibly die young due to some sicknesses or accidents?

My students answered without hesitation:

Live fast, Die young.

Our clinic is involved in some stray sterilization program. We get patients from all over Singapore ... as far as Woodlands.

Some animals are brought in by carers, trappers and even owners - under welfare arrangements with NGOs like SPCA and CWS.

From our assessments, a large number of animals that are certified authentic strays are of excellent condition...cf those that are so called "shelter" or "adopted animals".

Sad.

Thinking that by giving shelter and food, these misunderstood creatures will be cared for.                                                         

In the end, they are confined to overcrowded, dirty areas that they cannot get away from; beside sickly "house mates" with contagious dieases that are not recieving proper treatment; adopted by "fur parents" that refuse to seek medical treatment until the conditon is too severe.

A client told me that she feels responsible for the "outside" stray cats. She must look after them, rescue them and help them whenever she can. She already has 70 cats of her own.

Where do you stop?

For some - NEVER.

Recently, our clinic rescued 5 kittens. We brought them up and are planning to rehome them. We had many applicants, but most do not meet our requirements (e.g. not willing to sterilize the kittens, allow roaming etc). We felt conflicted because we want to look for good homes but yet we are worried that the kittens will not be properly taken care of.

So we provide for them as best we can.

Odd... at some point, this belief - "to provide the best we can" - may become worse than what they can find roaming in the streets.

No Money No Talk.

Posted by My LOLVET on April 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

So someone called the other day and said that their male cat cannot urinate for 2 days and they have only S$50... What does one do in this situation?

Clinically, the cat's bladder may rupture if the condition is not treated.

Ethically, the clinic should provide help to the cat.

Business wise, not viable.

Most cats don't drink enough water. They are feed unsuitable food with high amount of mineral and salt. Left on their own, they become very prone to develop bladder infection. When there is inflammation in the bladder, large amount of cells from the bladder wall starts to shed and clump together. The highly concentrated urine may precipitates crystals that also bind together with the cell debris and obstruct the urethra. Then the male cat cannot urinate.

Have you ever had an urgent need to go to the toilet... but you cannot find a decent toilet? Bladder distension is VERY painful.

Start encouraging them to like water today. You can add a few cubes of ice, a few teaspoons of soup in a large bowl of water, let the tap drip a little, add more water into the canned food... try everything to increase their water intake TODAY.

So guess what happened to the cat?

 

Copycat Vet

Posted by My LOLVET on October 23, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I found out about a copy cat vet.

 

He copied my company's opening hours and some business policies.

 

I find it amusing, irritating and just unbelieveble.

 

This person, I can conclude, has no integrity and no style.

 

What can I say? Imitation can be a compliment .. but I really can live without.... hahaha

Vicious' Cat Attacks

Posted by My LOLVET on September 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM

In my years of working in this industry I have been attacked by quite a few vicious little kitties...

I have been mutilated on the palms of my hands

I have got a scar on my ear lobe from a nasty whack.

 

I have got my fair share of injuries ... from frightened nasty cats... note: "frightened" first...

I have gotten pretty angry .... but my anger was never directed towards/ at the cats really... usually more upset because of my OWN carelessness.. or inability.

 

In my intern years, I have witnessed a certain vet grabbed a nasty Persian by the neck in one hand and the hindlimbs by the other hand ... and literally strangled and pulled the cat's body straight... I was mortified.

I promised myself I will NEVER EVER morph into this kind of person.

I know ... I have met really scary cats before... and they really need a firm, steady and strong hand...

BUT not a strangling, killer's grip.

 

So back to the question... how angry does one get when he or she gets scratched/ bittened/ mutilated???

Do you become a "cat hater"?

Do you hit the cat?

Do you avoid cats forever?

Or all of the above?

 

I hope your answer is none of the above.

Cursing and swearing .. should probably be enough.. and that should be it.

Tomorrow's cat is not the one that bit/ scratched you.

My Old Precious Ones

Posted by My LOLVET on September 4, 2010 at 4:50 AM

I do a lot of surgeries on old animals.

 

Not out of vanity... not to boast about it later "that I can do it".

 

Before I do these surgeries, I always discuss the risks involved with my clients. I make sure they know that the outcome may be bad - death can happen. They decide.

 

 

I hate it when people tell me that their pets are old and thus really do not need anymore medical attention.

 

 

I have a 14 year old cross breed dog that I love dearly. I do not think I can remain pleasant if someone dare to "advise" me that I should not bother with anymore medical protocols for him because "he is old and not many years left".

 

That's really offensive.

 

 

Imagine being told by a family doctor that your aged relative, who maybe old and sickly, does not have many years left so you should not be too bother about their health... because whatever money you spend on them will amount to nothing in the end.. or even just help them along and end their misery with a needle...

 

How well will you take this sort of advice?

 

I agree that some clinical cases are really beyond human intervention.

I agree that some of these cases should not be allowed to drag on aimlessly.

 

As a professional medical personnel, I am often asked this same question:

"He/She is so old.. do you think there is any hope in doing this?"

 

 

I practice veterinary science not to create miracles.

 

I do what I do because I know I can do it well, and if I do what I do well then there is hope.

 

Hope is what I give.

 

In my surgeries, I strive for minimum bleeding, I want my anaesthesia to be fast and clean, I want my patients to be warm and pain-free. Everytime.

 

Doing surgeries on old pets is time consuming and mentally straining, thus not many vets want to do them.

 

"The clinic does not earn enough for the trouble of it" someone once told me.

 

So how? Don't do it?

 

My dog is getting older as I write this. If he ever needs long term medication, a surgery, a costly blood test, even an MRI.. would I do it?

I cannot not do it.

 

It is not because I am a vet.. or whether I can afford it..

It is about not giving up hope.

 

As his owner, I am his only hope.

How real are "We"?

Posted by My LOLVET on July 4, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Recently, Person A called me crying - her dog suddenly lost the ability to stand up.

She wants to know what she should do. She went for a routine review this morning, the dog was fine then.

 

Dilemma 1: I am not her attending vet anymore.

Dilemma 2: I did not SEE the dog physically, I don't know how "fine" the dog really was this morning... maybe there was really some tell tale signs not picked up.

Dilemma 3: If I intervene, I will offend a lot of people.

But Person A was really upset.

 

I called up a few people and advised her to bring the dog back for a check.

 

Then I did the unthinkable: I told her that I will meet her there.

 

Now... the moment I hung up, a million negative thoughts ran through my mind.

I have one particular workmate in mind - I don't want to bulldoze my way (as I sometimes do) and dent her confidence.

 

"HANDLE WITH CARE" was flashing red through my mind.

 

 

Empathy - not always good.

 

 

A few people said: "You didn't have to do that. It's not your problem anymore. Why help them?"

A few people hinted: "You got ulterior motive right?"

A few people advised: "Let go lah... they will not appreciate you.. so much trouble.. waste petrol and time?"

 

 

So.. how real are "we", really?

 

I don't know.

I don't minister to the dog. She hates me anyway because I poked her too many times in the past (I saw her rolled her eyes at me once, sort of).

I "act" because of a deep calling.

I don't measure every action.

Yet I am most probably not as "real" as I would like to be.

 

Complicated. Thinking too much, perhaps.


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