Thursday, January 28, 2010

And a cat

Feel terribly sorry for the owner, but again it's just such a shame the cats weren't registered at our clinic. The cat's probably been hit by a car and at this time of night just the consultation fee for the 24 hour vet would be over £100 with treatment costs on top of that. I've advised her to phone them in any case in the hope that they may be willing to give some treatment and try for help from the PDSA in the morning.

The out of hours cover offered by our clinic's veterinary services provider would cost less than a third of this. At our current income there is just no way we can fund the £36,5oo p.a. which would be needed to pay for one out of hours consult at private vets every day of the year on top of running our clinic and pet rehoming.

If you live in our branch area and are on benefits (including carer's allowance, working tax credit, attendance allowance) and know you would struggle to pay a private vet PLEASE be proactive about getting your pets registered at our clinic. Provided your pet attends the clinic at least once a year (booster vaccinations should be given yearly in any case), they will be eligible for the clinic's out of hours service. This is not free, but it is much more affordable than the alternatives.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Gecko...

Again, the vets were very good and agreed they would at least take a look even though the owner claimed to have no money at all to pay them.

I don't think the no money claim bodes well for the poor little beastie as even small reptiles are high maintenance because of their absolute requirement for suitable heating and light, unlike, say, a hamster which can at least survive at room temperature so long as it has food and bedding.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And another dog

This vet was very helpful and is at least prepared to see the dog and possibly give first aid knowing that they're very probably not going to get any payment back from the owner. However they're not going to be able to commit to doing anything seriously expensive.

Dog is now collapsed after being ill for several days and isn't registered with any vet. If ONLY the owner had pulled out all the stops to get him to our clinic this morning. If the private vet's first aid can keep him alive until Thursday we can do our best for him then, but it doesn't sound good.

And another...

Feel worse about this one, as the dog's clearly in a bad way: vomiting and very dull, and it's another 6 hours until our clinic opens. However, it does illustrate why we have to press owners to take more responsibility so our funds can be used to best effect. The dog's registered at a local private vet and was previously on long term medication, but hasn't been seen there for some time. This was presumably because the owners were short of money and just let it lapse and hoped for the best.

They're on benefits, so they could have transferred their registration to our clinic before things got desperate. At this time of day (night) it would cost £150 just for the consult at the 24 hour vet, which just wouldn't be a sensible use of our limited funds.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Collar wounds again

This story does have a happy ending because the cat's microchip enabled us to trace her owners. She had been missing for nearly nine months and they had given up hope of ever seeing her again. However, they are now going to be faced with a pretty substantial bill at their own vet as the wound caused by her collar will need cleaning and stitching under anaesthetic, and possibly a skin graft because so much of the skin around the area is infected and rotting. She's otherwise well and is eating so has a good chance of surviving and not losing the damaged leg.
All cat collars are potentially dangerous because the cat can be caught up and hung, or put a leg through the collar and slice into the soft skin where the cat's leg and body join. The least dangerous kind have a fastening which is designed to click open if it is put under tension, but this may not work if the cat is small and light or if the fastening is glued together by mud or food. Flea collars are the most dangerous because the wound they make will be contaminated by the insecticide with which they have been impregnated, making it even more difficult to heal.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just refused my first request for welfare assistance

I've just had the first request for help that I've had to turn down since the suspension of welfare assistance at private vets.
This was a dog who'd been in a fight the previous evening, and his injuries were at least not life-threatening, although it is definitely not good practice for bite wounds to be left two days before treatment. Maddeningly the owner had previously been to our clinic with a different dog, and if she'd only registered this dog he could have been seen today. To her credit she realised this and was very upset and cross with herself.