Wednesday, November 23, 2011

6 am this morning...

Yet another call from the purchaser of a new puppy that's now very ill. At six weeks old the pup is too young to leave the mother and the seller very obviously did not tell the truth when he said it had been wormed as pup is passing huge quantities of them as well as bloody diarrhoea.

The RSPCA has an online guide with useful tips about getting a puppy to help prospective adopters avoid some of the pitfalls.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Veterinary treatment again

Maddeningly it appears that people are still not paying attention to our plea that they get their animals registered at our clinic so that they will be eligible for low cost treatment outside normal clinic hours in an emergency. Combine this with the fact that others are still allowing animals to breed without considering what will happen if something goes wrong, and yet another group are buying young animals, and you have a nightmare situation.

To give some idea of what this means: on Monday we had a frantic call from someone whose new puppy was now vomiting repeatedly and becoming unresponsive. Nearly all her spare cash seems to have been spent buying the puppy and she had no idea that intravenous fluids at a private vet would cost around £200. On Sunday night we had a call from someone with a litter of kittens who'd accidentally knocked over a video-player on one of their siblings. Last Thursday evening someone who did know about the clinic called us as an emergency because his dog was very ill but he hadn't taken him to the normal clinic session because he didn't have any money. The previous week we had another instance of a person with a  giant dog so ill that she could not stand simply demanding that we should pay to get a vet out to her because she couldn't be got to the vet.

If we don't help, animals like these will go without any treatment, and it's not their fault their owners are so thoughtless.

If we do help, it risks simply perpetuating the problem of people with not enough to do acquiring animals they can't afford.

There's a separate problem that's almost a mirror-image of it. When we rehome animals, we do careful checks of the suitability of the home. In fact it's comparatively rare for us to turn homes down; it's more about trying to steer people towards suitable animals. However we do sometimes tell people they simply don't have suitable facilities and/or arrangements for what they'd do if the animal was ill or injured, and it's highly probable that some of those we refuse do go out and buy instead. When they do, we may well end up providing veterinary treatment for the purchased animal or, indeed, end up rehoming the animal if the purchasers really cannot cope.

In many ways, what we ought to be doing is trying to draw in more of the people who desperately want animal companionship, but don't have enough money or skills and involve them in working to provide a comprehensive support service.

Sadly the puppy died two days later.