WORDS BY CATHERINE HARPER
BAROSSA VETERINARY CLINIC
Pet advice with Catherine
For many people being a vet is a childhood dream with images of rolling hills, baby animals and lots of fun with a touch of heartache on the side. As a mixed practice vet in the Barossa Valley that is a pretty good description and I am very lucky to have such a wonderful environment and wonderful clients to work with. I am always asked lots of questions about what we do day to day and how we deal with the hard times, so here is a day in the life…
Morning consults are fairly routine with mostly vaccinations, dogs and cats, a dog with a sore ear and a lame cat. It tuns out the cat has been in a fight and has abscess that is draining pus (this always makes the nurses excited as they get to clean it up!), once clean, some pain relief and antibiotics and he is on his way.
I am not on surgery today, but the girls have a dog and cat spey booked along with some radiographs and a grass seed to be removed from an ear. I head out to so some cattle pregnancy testing; we mostly use an ultrasound for this which makes the process quicker and more pleasant for our bovine friends. After an overall change and clean up I head off to check a horse with a cut leg that requires a bandage change; all is healing well and owner is happy with progress. One more large animal, a pet sheep who was unfortunately attacked by a dog but who has recovered form the initial shock and with a bit of TLC and some pain relief is going to make it through.
Heading back into the clinic there is a steady afternoon of consults booked, however as I walk through the door a dog that has just eaten snail bait is presented floppy, comatose and shaking. This is an emergency and we immediately start treatment for this dog. With my fantastic team we manage to cool the dog down, get it stable by pumping its stomach and removing the toxin and are then able to monitor it as it recovers from the procedure, slowly improving until it can sit by itself with minimal shaking. Thankfully our other
A few minutes are left in the day to write up notes, perform a few follow up phone calls and then check on our snail bait patient again before heading home, although I will be back later to check our patient again. Five species in a day is always a challenge, but we had fun and saved a dog’s life.