Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Pigs Might Fly

The title for this post comes from when l had just completed my veterinary nurse training. One of the police dog handlers who was a sweetie and often visited us once arrived with his sergeant. JB the dog handler was trying to convince me that my boss whom l shall call Agent Orange (he was so toxic) actually appreciated what we staff did. I snorted and told JB that “Pigs might fly” a comment l often use without thinking.
JB boomed with laughter, his sergeant gave me a weird look but said nothing, l am so used to weird looks l ignored it. It took me almost a week for my comment to ding home in my brain. I had an embarrassed chuckle over it but figured oh well foot is always in mouth so nothing new there.
I thought that the comment would fit this post, whether it does or not l don’t know, but what the heck l like it.

I decided as a plain old MOP, Member of Public as opposed to being a thing to clean the floor, to give my take on the modern police force. Speaking to police l meet at work l understood a bit and I have learned a lot more reading police blogs [l have linked some of them here where l felt they fitted] about police powers and how generally pissed off they are.
What they can not do it seems to do, is to protect anyone or their property and that includes the police themselves. The "system" conspires against them. The "system" being, politicians, bleeding hearts = various groups of concerned people, think tanks, and the media.

I do not buy papers but do listen to the media (tv or radio) in the background while l do other things. The media story is funnily enough at odds with those police who have a chance, albeit under pseudo names to tell the stories from their side of life.
I may well totally misunderstand the situation but this is my take on the average street level slowly going insane and drowning under paperwork and many badly thought out rules and procedures copper, and the "system" that they operate under. I have added comments on how l feel it affects my family and l.

Not all police are good, just as not all people in anything are good. The majority are and just want to do the best they can under a deteriorating "system" with people, who are often not fit to run a crèche, being in charge of them [police].

Starting with the protests as they have been in the news so often lately…..
These major G20 type protests are known trouble areas. If people go to them then they shouldn’t be surprised that they get hurt.
Police should be allowed to use water cannons to clear problems and protect property that is being destroyed. Just because someone has a small shop that is no reason to smash it up, and/or steal from it. Someone worked hard to set it up, they may employ others and they keep people employed down the line making items, window cleaning and just supporting it. The person owning the shop is probably less well off than half the protesters on their dole and other handouts.

I am not sure on rubber bullets but it may well be worth considering (nope maybe not l can hear the mutters of not happy police having to use them)
Quite frankly, if my business was damaged or destroyed l would like anything used against the people that destroyed it. That would be an emotional rather than a realistic view though, so l guess not really valid.
Tear gas l do not like the idea of because people who live in the area and are staying locked indoors and also animals will be affected and they are innocent of any trouble making.

The fact that police are also under attack is immaterial, well not to the police, l mean to the system. The average “Joe Copper” seem to be expected to protect themselves, others and property by saying “l am the police, please do not be nasty to me, other people or the property you are destroying because that makes you a naughty person”
For some reason doesn’t seem to work, not sure why l mean calling people naughty should work, shouldn’t it?

I do not know what Ian T did do or didn’t do that day but then neither do the media, let investigations get done.
Unfortunately l doubt the police will come out well, no matter what they do it will have been wrong. It seems that the abuse, bottles and missiles thrown from the crowd are all forgotten. This is understandable we all know it is the police’s fault.

As to the other episode with the woman that was slapped. I finally saw the clip on the news last night. Quite frankly she was out of order and a total idiot. She went looking for trouble from the start. She was right up behind the copper screaming in his ear. If l was him l would feel threatened no wonder he pushed back as he turned. With the general behaviour there he probably did not know if he would get knifed or bottled in the back. And instead of getting the hint the stupid cow keeps going in on the attack. And now she is whinging that she was brutally attacked. Nope “love” you got less than you actually deserved. Go try and do that in a different country and see what happens.

I am not stupid enough to go to a major demonstration. I know that there will be trouble makers in there. The woman above is a case in point. If there is any doubt just watch the build up to these protests. After all the build up and you still want to go, then do not start screaming police brutality, especially when the police are trying to protect themselves or others property.

Many demo's do pass peacefully but are never or very rarely reported and police behaviour is never commented on, good news is not news.
I have been on one demo/protest. It was only small, a few hundred people outside the Zimbabwe embassy a few years ago. Think we had a couple of police there and another one passed by stopping to chat to his mates and us. There was dancing, singing and chanting. Strangely enough we were not corralled, hit with batons or anything untoward.
Gosh l feel cheated, l may have to send in a complaint to the IPCC and find someone in the media to represent me in my claim for unfair treatment.

Moving on from protests into general life, people have been killed or injured in high speed chases with the police and the police are blamed WTF for?
The blame should go to the scroats who have done whatever for the police to chase them. If an innocent person gets caught up in the debacle l feel terribly sorry for them but put the blame on the scroats that caused it. You never hear any blame on those who broke the law and caused the chase, it is only the police for not doing the right thing and no matter how much they do it still isn’t right.
Yes, the accident has to be investigated, ways may (again they may not) be found to avoid it happening again, however it was an accident. Banning police chases is plain stupid, all that does is allow scroats to rule the streets and has lead to unresponse cars as opposed to response cars.

When the great unwashed public, that is the likes of the average just want a quiet life and try and live within the law person need the police they do not turn up ASAP or can not for several days. The way they are sent on various jobs this doesn’t come as a particular surprise given the control rooms wiz round.
My hub and l have been a victim of control rooms, and it was not just us that were upset and angry. The police that turned up were furious with control and as they pointed out that they relied on the idiots if they were in danger. This is not to say that all control room are idiots, they probably have a ton of restrictions as well but boy that night we had the world’s collection of idiots in one room. That’s a different story for another time.

People who have a crime sheet as long as their arm are let out of jail early on “good behaviour” as soon as they are out they start on bad behaviour again. There is lots of excuses for this but at least while inside there is one less trouble maker on the street.
I do not have a problem with those inside taking lessons to improve reading or writing or trying to better themselves, but given this opportunity how many do. And if they do how many keep it up when released, not many, so is it worth them doing anything inside well apart from them learning how to be better criminals. Better, means how to get off when they are caught….l should say ‘if’ they are caught. They may not be in a target group so it is best to ignore them. Perish the thought that some upper echelons and politicians should have a muddied target sheet.

Mind you, it seems that there is more who never actually get to jail than do. They are let off on a variety of technicalities that is called the revolving door syndrome
No matter how vicious or drugged up they are, in fact, it seems the more they are drugged and vicious the less likely they will go to prison. Poor things never had a chance being poor and from a no hoper background, cut them some slack.
If l remember rightly Abraham Lincoln was dirt poor farm stock and taught himself to read and write.

It helps knowing how to play the system l guess and the worse the scroats and scum are the better they know the system and the less likely to be locked away even for a couple of months.
The above situation cost JB his job and the force a f**king good officer and dog handler the only plus side is at least he is still alive but it was close. The thing is he was a police officer, spent a long time in hospital and rehab, ended up having to retire on health grounds and the scum were let off. What chance do the rest of us have?

Paperwork is needed for good policing. Now it has become the “god of policing”. Notice l took the o out of good?
I was in a practice when an officer came to discuss a theft and have a statement signed. He had written that he entered by the left, front double doors that were inward opening on the west side of the building 5 paces from the car and proceeded 10 paces to the reception desk and on and on in that manner. I had to ask him if it was for real and he confirmed yes it was. My jaw hitting the ground made an audible “thunk” and l had a big bruise on it. Maybe l should complain for the bruise? I may get something for it after all it was police brutality.
Or as another example, the pony This was a stray pony for goodness sake, not a dead body.

Quite frankly as an MOP l am tired of scroats and "the system" ruining my and my family's perception of feeling secure. I do not need more rules and snooping from government. What l need is police that know the area, that know what’s going on and who is doing what because they walk or use a bicycle around it.
That when l call for help it will be there, fast and know that the police are not to worried to help someone because those in charge will have them on some trumped up disciplinary.
Stuff your initiative’s back in your little brains those that dream them up. Let proper police run the police, not people who are fast tracked because they are good at either boot licking or paperwork. Allow people that KNOW what the hell they are doing. Now there is a novel idea, l do not suppose it will ever take off though. Think of all those wasted initiatives if it did, those would be the first thing dumped.

I agree that there has to be standards in all walks of life. The police are in a position that the ordinary public are not and as such have strict standards and rules. They do not mind having rules and standards, sensible ones allow them to operate and know their bounds.
The problem is that rules are being put in place over other rules, common sense seems to have been flung out of the window with sensible rules. This protects the scroats, heaven forbid that they should be proved doing anything wrong, there goes the targets again.

Innocent people are often caught up in problems and are easy targets. I have learnt that it is not the police who are to blame, well not all the time, but very often the prosecution service who like easy targets. The generally "try to be honest citizen" does not know how to twist and abuse the law so it is easier to get them locked up or fined anything really to look good on the target sheets.

For those who think this is a police state you are wrong. A police state is a place like Zimbabwe. And when the police end up in the same true situations as 2 friends of mine one who writes the above blog and was a white serving policeman in Zimbabwe the other was a white farmer whose land was grabbed his workers abused and/or killed and driven off to starve while the land was also destroyed, that is a true police state being made. (On the above 2 links click on review)

The good police are relocating to other countries police forces, get other jobs or retire. At the rate the police force is being destroyed by bad leadership there will be no one left to teach the newbie’s the job as they come through the system or do the real work of policing and protecting people and property.

It is said that “the law is an ass”. Well an ass is a hard working animal that can survive in extreme conditions and is often poorly treated which shortens its life span. The problem is not that the law is an ass, it is that it is being controlled by the incompetent "system" in place today.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Unwinding and Rambling

Been at the parachute centre at Langer for the weekend. We got up at the ungoly time of 4am on Saturday as hub hates to get here late, no chance of getting there late when we are up at that time.
I had a good book to read so read on the way here by the motorway and road lights, until the sun rose, it was a bit hit and miss but l got by. In the evening l got into another book and finished that at 2am in the early hours. I wish authors would stop writing excellent books.

Wibble never sleeps on the bed at home, her choice. When in the camper she will only sleep on the bed, which isn’t huge but if not allowed on she stalks around the van. Of course she sleeps on my side so my legs have to curl up and get uncomfy, still so long as she is comfy, how can such a small dog take up so much room?

One of the jumpers was giving his opinion on marriage. He was holding up his hand and announced “I made sure that l couldn’t get married again by removing my fingers” He only has a thumb and little finger on his left hand.
2 other jumpers often there have lost their legs at the knees. Instead of using artificial legs they get by as they are. Both do work in movies that require them to be seen as blown up and legless.
Mind you falling out of planes is not hard it is mainly a head job and once that is overcome it is easy.

When l worked at Biggin Hill’s Capital City Parachuting now defunct l was doing a stint as DZ control. I heard screaming from the 2000 foot level (student exit height)that continued with sobbing noises all the way down. Rushing over l was met with a large male jumper that had not tightened his leg straps up as instructed. He had experienced a sharp “groin pain” I am afraid l was ended up incoherent and unable to stand l was laughing so hard. He did forgive me, eventually, although he did not stay in the sport long.

Agg well such is life. My Dad is in for a minor op tomorrow to remove some skin cancer lumps from his face. He is 92 and has various health problems but they will be doing it under local.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Travels of a Pellet

Jake was a big fluffy domestic long hair cat 8 years old. The other week he ended up at the emergency vets. He was found on the Friday night bleeding and collapsed. Initially it was thought that he was yet another victim of the metal monster, a car. He was placed in critical care on fluids, pain relief antibiotics other medications overnight to stabilize him.
The car theory was disproved when he was x-rayed and a pellet lay in his abdomen. Unfortunately, instead of stabilizing he was deteriorating, so the decision was made for him to go to surgery. When l got into work at 13:00 he had just gone through, in fact was in surgical prep being shaved.

An incubator was prepared for him, a heat pad placed along with a nice deep bed and we got on with our normal jobs. I was in critical care covering for lunch breaks and doing odd bits. After about an hour and a half l went through to see why they were taking so long.
Jake was in what is best described as a state of repair, his intestines were not in but out and what had been hoped to be a straightforward op was settling in to a marathon.

On its travels the pellet had started by dragging dirt and Jakes long silky hair deep into the body, this had to be removed or it would set up infection.
The pellet continued in and out of the stomach causing 2 holes that needed closure and had allowed stomach contents to leak out into the abdomen.
The pellet then hammered on and made 3 holes in the intestines. Major damage had occurred and again contents had run into the abdomen, 2 sections of damaged intestine had to be removed and the ends reattached to each other, this means that his small intestines are now shorter by a few inches.
The spleen was damaged but had stopped bleeding and the decision was made to leave it in, the option would be there to go back and take it out if the need arose.
Finally after all hair was removed, all holes found and closed and no more bleeding evident, he had to be flushed. This involved several liters of warm saline flushed through his abdomen to clean the organs and remove as much of the leaked fluid and remaining foreign material (hair and dirt) as possible so minimizing the chance of peritonitis.

Nearly 3 hours later he was brought back to critical care, placed into the incubator on his heat pad and bed and snuggled under a blanket. He came round slowly but as soon as he was conscious enough he took up what we fast learned was his favorite position. Blanket kicked off and on lying on his back, legs straightened at full stretch outwards as if he was sunbathing. He is a big cat and filled the incubator. I do not recall a position like that a recovering animal, usually they curl up and try to ignore everything, but not Jake.
He had a long way to go and was still at high risk of peritonitis, and his spleen was still not out of the woods. He had come through this far though and was treating his recovery like he was sunbathing this was one cat that was not going to feel sorry for himself.

By mid evening he was round and taking a mild interest in life but the incubator was getting to hot, it isn’t temperature regulated. I moved him to a kennel and placed an oxygen tube next to his face, and yes you guessed...straight back to sunbathing position.

Sunday he was brighter and had a little bit to eat, when he wasn’t sunbathing. Needless to say everyone fell for him. His purr made listening to his heart difficult; just as well there are pulses! Cats purr if they are scared or if they are happy, but his body language was not scared just contented.
On Monday he was subdued and there was a worry that things may be kicking off inside of him. I was not back in till Friday and one of the first things l asked was how he was. The brilliant news was that Jake had pulled through and gone home. Thankfully Monday’s quietness had not progressed. He still has a lot of recovering to do but the vets and veterinary nurses had done their job now it was down to his family to do the rest with antibiotics and outpatient trips to visit the vet and tons of TLC.

If you allow kids to use a pellet gun then teach them that animals are not sport. The pellet that hits an animal will often mean a slow lingering death and is not funny nor does it make you a big man for shooting an animal.
While l do not advocate hunting, if you have to hunt animals it must only be recognised game animals. The hunter should be an experienced marksmen, and using a killing shot on the animal. If the game animal is injured it is the hunters responsibility to track it and kill it. No real hunter would ever consider it right to leave an animal harmed and in pain they have more respect for their prey than that.

Jake post op, as he appeared in the local paper

A photo of Jakes x-ray the pellet very visible.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Swan Song

A hissing double armful of feathers and glaring eyes owned by the Mute Swan was carried in by the collections driver. “Where do you want him, isolation?” Usually we put wildlife down there as it is quiet and away from the bustle.

“Did he look injured or what” l asked.

“Dunno” was the helpful reply. “He seems happy enough he landed in a ladies garden. A group of idiots was giving me a load of mouth so l made sure that his head, hissing and glaring at them over the gate, was the first thing they saw when l went out. After that all l heard was **** **** that thing has rabies and they legged it” This last comment of his was delivered with an evil smirk.

To be fair swans can be daunting, they are big, hissy birds, especially when they stand up tall and flap their wings. They are not a bird to handle unless you are confident. If you do need to move them a short distance hold their necks, just below their heads they are generally fine, you can aim them in a direction by turning their head and push them gently on their bodies. Sometimes have to get hold of their body/wings with the other arm as they may get upset and wing you. If they do peck or clobber you with their wings then it can hurt.
For longer moves they need carrying. RSPCA and RSPB have fancy swan bags with zips and handles, us poor folks have to make do with arms only. As swans get heavier and you release their neck hold to get a double armful of slipping body and kicking feet they twist round and depending on their mood, glare into your eyes or peck you where ever they know it will hurt you most.

I gave the swan a quick once over, there was nothing obvious. And thankfully no swan feather mites, well I’m told that is what they are. Grey, about the size of peas that have been on steroids and they stalk well slide with a bolshie strut on their multiple legs in and out around the feathers, usually around where your arm would go and daring you to grab the swan.

The vet grunted from the desk where he was writing up notes “Put him on the floor here in prep we can see how he’s walking”

Once placed on the floor the swan drew himself up, flapped his wings to settle his feathers and disrupt dust and paperwork which all went flying around in the wind, then he hissed at us, shook his head at the state of the place. Never mind that he caused it with wing wind, and went for a walk.

Dog ward door was closed so he peeked into the laundry room, and withdrew fast, good move there was a tottering pile of blankets in there ready to fall on him.
Small furries ward (rabbit, ferret, guinea pigs, birds etc) and combined bedding storage had a close inspection, luckily no patients in. He was about to climb onto bedding that was being folded so I quickly shoopered him out. Swans have big gloopy faeces that splat and l did not want clean bedding messed up. The look the auxiliary gave me warned l would be in a worse state than the bedding.
Swanny hissed at me but followed the direction l was turning his head and shoving his bum and walked out the door and back towards the sink in medical prep. I was about to take him down to iso. when he settled down, stuck his head under his wing and went to sleep.

This stumped me swans never do this they stalk about, hiss, shit, and if you annoy them peck or wallop you with their wings. I looked round for some ideas and the consensus was he is quiet and well behaved leave him be, let’s see what happens. So l got him some food and water which he ignored and we carried on with work.

He was very comfy, ignored all the patients that passed him, looking in amazement at the strange headless feathery thing “thing”. We had to climb over him to get to the sink and all he did was sleep or open an eye and then snooze again, unreal. Finally after about 4 hours l had to shift him, I needed to wash a cat, it had some gunk on it and Swanny was just too much in the way.

I tried to push him backwards a bit but he got annoyed and went for a walk, back to small furries and settled down between the bedding store and kennels by the 2nd door. I stuck a warning note for no entry so he did not get squashed and we left him.
Apparently he was finally moved and placed into a walk in kennel in dog ward at about 7am just before day shift all started to trip in.

He was released at a suitable swan take off pond later in the day and flew off, quite happy after a good nights sleep.

What did you wake me up for?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Buffet's and Extreme Sheep

I was not due to work last night but was called in when the shift l was asked to cover was about to start, nothing like forewarning and forward planning.
Anyhow it was a lucky call, we had a great buffet at work last night. There had been a CPD night booked that was cancelled. For some reason best known to those that matter, rather than the mere workers the buffet was still delivered. It was like putting food out for starving locusts the way the night shift descended on it.

Lots and lots of food including, mini pizzas, sausages and pickled onions on sticks, mini samosas, mini spring rolls, tons of different sandwiches, chunky chips, quiche, mixed wraps, salad, sausage rolls (mini), pork pies.


My ytube insert is over running l have worked out how to make it smaller, but on my computer it is buffering up black. If you get a blank look when you click "run" leave it it is buffering just nothing showing. Please let me know if you have problems. Here is the URL Extreme Sheep Herding

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Designer Dogs

A bit of a rant here about people and designer bred dogs. Cats are not quite as exploited. While there is bad breeding going on with cats just as there is with dogs, there is not the amount of crosses (pedigrees)and health mutations that there is with dogs. Dogs appear to mutate easier than cats. Also the Fédération Internationale Féline d’Europe (FIFE) are, l understand, a lot stricter than the kennel club on breeding standards.

People have become obsessed with having fancier and fancier names for dog breeds, damm the temperament and health implications. They are getting bored with the well known pedigrees around. They want designer breeds with fancy names, so that they can show off. This has brought about the situation nowadays where you cross breed 2 different pedigree dogs and merge their names into one. And the beauty of it for breeders is they can invent whatever name they want and do not have any breed standards to stick to. These cross breeds regulaly change hands for upwards of £500 often more than the standard pedigrees.

While l am always quoting “a pedigree is a mongrel that breeds true”. It is also true that if you breed two pedigrees that doe’s not mean you get a healthy ‘purebred’ mongrel pup. You stand a risk of just wrapping the worst of both of those lines with each other and going from horrible inherited diseases to god-awful inherited diseases.

One of the common things that is done is to cross a poodle which doesn’t shed hair with another breed. This is sold as a non hair shedding breed, no proof that the genetics to stop hair shedding will cross over but by the time people realise it is too late.

Crossing a yorkie with another breed does not mean that the teeth will not be rotten, and still be falling out by the time the dog is 8years old.

The healthiest mongrels are generally those that have a totally unknown parentage you may guess parts but they are basically unknown. This doesn’t mean that they won’t get health problems, it is just a hell of a lot rarer. True unknown parentage mongrels are becoming rarer in the first world now where ‘pedigrees’ are gaining ground.

Insurance companies are now classing some of the designer cross breeds as ‘pedigree’ eg labradoodle. This is an insurance definition as a pedigree by kennel club standards has to have ‘bred true’ for at least 100 years.

Insurance standards of pedigree, means that they fall into various risk classes. In the labradoodle case it is hip dysplasia, they are also high in the temperament problem stakes. Many get referred to behaviourists. People don't realise they're getting a very intelligent, big, active dog and most labradoodle owners seem to be first time dog owners too.

Another behaviourist visitor is cockies or Border collie x Cocker Spaniels, pretty highly strung and very uncertain temperaments. Border collies top the behaviourist’s charts on polls. They are unsuited to town life unless they can run themselves stupid and are very intelligent as well so need lots of mental stimulation. Yet they are expected to live like a family pet. Their herder instincts to nip heels become more vicious as it is not channelled into the work they were bred for, by people that do not understand the breed.
Cocker spaniels again not to high in the good temperament stakes especially golden’s. Cocker rage is a well recognised problem but the root cause is unknown. While it can affect all the colours it seems predominant in golden’s.

Pomchi - these were all the rage a couple of years back. Pomeranian x Chihuahua were changing hands at around a £1000. Their temperament was nasty to say the least.

Rottakitas, Rottweiler’s cross Akita’s my god that is insane, l do not want to handle these thank you. Akita’s need careful owners as do Rottweiler’s. Needles to say all too often they do not get it but to mix the 2 is asking for a problem breed, and people think pitbulls are dangerous.

Springador these seem to be popular with gamekeepers. The problem’s become apparent when this active working breed, bred specifically to work ends up in a pet home without the necessary stimulation.

I have put a few here that have been sold as ‘breeds’ you can try and work out the parentage: whipbull, yorkiepoo, sprollie, springerdor, cockalier, cockapoo, yorkadale, yorhua, cockerschon, shorkiepoo, sprocker, shichon, jug, grippit.

To find out what the known inherited problems are in some of the top ‘normal’ breeds, as opposed to designer breeds this site Inherited diseases in dogs database will give you a clue. The site is being constantly updated as more inherited diseases become acknowledged. Now consider what may happen if 2 breeds are interbreed.

Finally to bring a bit of humour into a serious subject

What do you get if you cross a Leonberger with a Shih Tzu?

A shihberger

What do you get if you cross a Jack Russell terrier with a Shih Tzu?


Thursday, 16 April 2009


I decided to put some info up on those nasty little hidden problems that are often overlooked. In this case worms. Many thanks to Arlo from Guthrie Communications whom l "borrowed" the articles from.

Targeted specifically at cat ownersProfender aims to educate owners about the importance of worming their cats and visiting their vets.

Pet owners visiting the site will be able to profile their cat to determine the optimum worm treatment regime. To help improve compliance, owners can also subscribe to a free SMS or email reminder service to alert them when a worming treatment is due.

The results of a new study highlighting the prevalence of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection as seen by UK veterinary surgeons, combined with the low awareness amongst dog owners of this parasite has led Bayer Animal Health to launch a nationwide 'Be Lungworm Aware' initiative.

I have seen 2 dogs die of lung worm. Neither was pleasant. The first one was taken in collapsed and lungworm can be hard to find but x-rays of lung patterns were suggestive, although no lungworm could be found in lung samples sent for testing.

Initial treatment was started but the dog reacted badly and the dose was lessened. After several days the owners decided that the dog was suffering, he was anorexic and very depressed and had a lot of fluid on his chest the vet’s couldn’t clear as he passed on bloody fluid poured out of his lungs in a flood.
Post mortem confirmed what he had.

The other dog did not survive that long and the owners decided not to have a PM done but x-ray patterns and history suggested that again Angiostrongylus vasorum was responsible.

The new campaign will be backed by a hard-hitting national advertising, PR and radio campaign which kicks off in April, the initiative aims to highlight the prevalence of this potentially, and often fatal infection, and to drive pet owners to their veterinary practices for further information.

The initiative also sees the launch of a new educational website for dog owners on Lungworm. The site offers further information on the infection, including likely signs, how to obtain treatment and a video of the lifecycle of the parasite showing the threat posed by the lungworm's intermediate hosts - slugs and snails.

The study revealed that 16% of vets questioned had one or more confirmed cases of the disease. A further 10% had seen dogs that they suspected had the infection. However, only 6% of dog owners questioned in a UK wide survey had unprompted awareness of the parasite.

Bayer's Chris White said: "These results are no surprise following the reports last year of confirmed cases of Angiostrongylus vasorum as far north as Glasgow. The disease has seen a rapid rise in importance over the past few years highlighted by the number of vets and nurses that attended the Advocate CPD meetings held around the country at the end of last year.
"The 'Be Lungworm Aware' initiative aims to educate owners on the risks associated with infection, to encourage them to visit their vet for further information and discuss their dogs' parasite protection plan."

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Bank Holidays Night's

Had a busy 4 bank holiday nights, with a high but not uncommon good weather case load which was yet again a good example to have pet insurance for dogs cats and rabbits.

Surgically we had a mix of major and simple cases with stitch ups, x-rays and repairs for dog or cat RTA’s or attacked by dogs (quite common), bloats, splenectomys, diaphragmatic hernia repairs (abdominal contents end up in chest cavity, breathing becomes somewhat difficult), pyo-metras (get your bitches spayed and avoid this), eye removals and other surgical cases.
Eyes always turn my stomach when they are hanging out; Eye pop outs happen a lot in the smaller flat faced dogs, a bang on the head and no proper orbit to hold the eye in place…. Splat.

Recovering all the above post op and general medical cases in such as: FUS (blocked bladder cats), fitting dogs, kidney or heart failure cases, haemorrhagic gastro enteritis (bloody shits-pouring out) vomiting and a general mixed medical bag of other medical cases.
There seems to be a spell of fitting dogs going through the area at the moment. Not sure if human nurses have spells where you get a lot of a certain type of medical case in.

In the exotics section we had a head tilt duck belonging to one of the staff who was very sweet, various rabbits another common patient, rats and ferrets.
Finally isolation was occupied just to make sure that there was a long extra walk to trudge during hourly obs checks.

One stray that was uninjured but came in as emaciated was not, he was just hyperactive. Weight did not get a chance to settle on him. He spent the weekend in as none of the rescue kennels collected.
When he came in I put him into a walk in kennel, went back 5mins later to dog ward and as l opened the door this white streak shot past me, stopped for a chat to Wibble and on my “oy you git” looked at me with a catch me smirk and shot up the passage. I cornered him at the connecting door.
Needless to say climbing out of a walk in kennel earned him a place in a smaller inescapable standard hospital kennel and he treated us to the “staffie bull terrier scream” all weekend. This seems to be an inherited trait that certain SBT have, no other dogs do. Think magnified nails on a board with full lung power for hours and it gives you an idea. He wanted out, his fault he could have had space.

A lunatic cat who was a recovering surgical case from yesterday decided last night he felt better and played the game of ‘fling yourself out the door because the human will catch you before the floor’. He also grabbed me nails out (the only way!) when checking the patient next to him so l had to have one hand fending off or tickling him through his kennel door.
I was playing 'squeeze the head' last night whenever l did his stats. Hold head between hands and squeeze gently but firmly. As soon as l stopped he would hassle me for “more more squeeeeeze pleaseee” honestly you would think he was the only patient in the place, a total purr bucket.

On Sunday l was holding a cat and trying to stop him pulling out the vet's eyes as he was in a bad temper when the evening nurse standing chatting mentioned that did l know the cat was peeing. I suddenly realised what the warm wet feeling was. I was soaking my entire tunic had soaked it up like a sponge. Needless to say l went on a dry top hunt.

A splenectomy (tumour ruptures on the spleen) came in on the second night and off the table at about 03:00.
Last night, which was thankfully my last night, we had a bloat dog with splenectomy. This happens quite often as the stomach twists the spleen gets involved and also flips and is unsaveable this does not involve tumours but trauma. He came off the table at about 4am.
On change over the student VN went to triage a dog and came back with a dog who had been retching. One look and l told her to go meet me at prep table while l set up drips as he was another bloat case.
The vet came over stole him for an x-ray which was great because he lifted him onto the x-ray table for me and saved me the hassle of lifting the dog onto anything so l could do his iv lines and take bloods. Rugby playing vet’s have a use l keep telling him that.

At least l was able to avoid the op. After l got fluid lines in and sent the bloods off with the student for running l passed it over to one of the newly arrived vet nurses who gave me a jaundiced “no need to be so happy” look over her mug of tea as l went off to finish patient change over, before running away to my bed.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Doggie Smile

Teeth are an important part of animals that are neglected all to often. Dogs and cats come in with horrendous manky teeth, especially little dogs. And you just know that they have been licking “mummy and daddy’s” faces.
If people took a better look at their pets teeth l think they would think twice. I will do separate posts on teeth of animals l have known as it is so wide ranging a subject.

Animals can get damaged teeth as well in accidents or by chewing stones. With younger dogs the teeth are generally damaged by grinding or breaking by the above 2 routes, as opposed to humans who have rotted teeth and need fillings or caps.
Nowadays there is options to have your dogs teeth capped or filled. It is not cheap and is very specialised and only carried out on teeth that are healthy unlike us humans who tend to have it done due to bacterial problems and already weakened teeth.

I do a lot of work where there is consultant dentist a couple of days a week. A few months ago, knowing that l am always taking photos he asked me if l wanted to get some photos of his newest job.

He did not have to ask twice. I went off and got quite snap happy as it was the first time l have seen tooth caps for dogs. The dog had damaged teeth from a car crash and was getting a nice smile back.

Pre Fitting

Post Fitting

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Post Spay Bleed

It is not often we get in a patient that is such an emergency the vet doesn’t have time to do anything but operate straight away, with barely time to do a proper hand scrub. In fact l only remember this happening once not long ago. Going straight in as the vet was about to do was virtually unknown and was an indication of just how bad the dog was.

I was ambling up from dog ward to do the stats in cat ward when the vet, arms full of dog pouring blood came fast down the passage. Propflo, kit, spay bleed was all he said as he turned the corner and headed to theatre suite.

Sometimes a bitch spay will bleed. It may be a suture has slipped because the owner has allowed the bitch to jump on or off furniture or allowed a slightly nutty bitch to run around despite instructions. Maybe a suture slipped as it was not tight enough. The bitch may have been in season when spayed and everything is engorged this can cause problems post op. Usually a vet won’t spay in season bitched but they may have to for some reason or she could just be coming in and was not checked properly on admit or not showing much and was missed. Bleeding may be generalised ooze as she has an undiscovered clotting defect or for some unknown reason.
Usually the first line of defence is a tight belly wrap to put pressure on and keep a close eye for strike through and pray there is none.

Operating on a post op bleeding bitch is never easy. They have to find the short stump remaining from what was removed, buried somewhere in the abdomen amongst all the abdominal contents. And while yes, the vet knows roughly where it is, real life is never that simple. They also need to check all surrounding areas for any bleeding.

I pulled up 15ml propflo, a bitch spay kit and sterile gloves then headed to theatre. The vet had an et tube ready. He barely had to wave the anaesthetic under her nose (so to speak) oh well if l had not pulled 15ml he would have wanted more. I connected the gas, unrolled a kit and while the vet scrubbed up l gave her a clean and undid the skin sutures on her abdomen. We had to use surgical prep moving her to theatre would have taken to long.

Gloves on and back the vet took a deep breath then snipped out the remaining internal sutures. Blood bubbled up in a red flood that ran over the sides of the bitch in small rivers, the vet went hunting.
I put popped 6 (large) abdominal swabs onto his kit. The small normal ones were as useful as emptying a dam with a teaspoon.

“What’s her name” l asked to put it onto my op sheet.
“Don’t know, verbal consent”
“Tsk your helpful” l mumbled he flicked a grin at me.
“You want fluids in her” l asked?
I got a grunt l translated as yes and was about to yell for a hand (so l did not have to leave the patient, theatre is a bit away from the main area) when the auxiliary appeared. She had tracked the vet following the blood trail and wanted to know what to do about the owner in the waiting room.
Well l said after you have helped me with a leg you better print a consent form and we could go from verbal to written consent.

I don’t like placing catheters when the animal is on the op table. The leg is sticking into the air and so it is high, instead of bending and looking down you are looking up. You have to consider the vet operating and can not move the dog and have to worry about sterility. Once it was in l attached a bag of No11 some bolus of voluven and placed more into the bag.
Blood transfusion would wait for now. We have a limited supply unlike human hospitals. Once the bleeding was controlled then the vet would look to give blood transfused. No point putting it in if it runs out and we have no more blood. It also depended on the owner due to cost.

People have complained about vets and costing. The NHS causes a problem in that people have no idea of cost, and then start to call vets greedy for charging a market price without realising the cost of the treatment. However go to a country that has no NHS and try and get human treatment. I am not sure that they would operate let alone do fluids, drugs and assessments until they had credit card or insurance details.

The bitch was weak stats but stable and pure white under anaesthetic. I prefer stronger stats, stable and pink but at least she was alive even if she fitted the term ‘just alive’.
Mutterings were coming from the vet and he was shifting instruments about obviously struggling.
“Want another kit you look to be getting low on ‘bits’ and should l scrub up” l asked
Another grunt, this vet was usually a happy soul who would normally make a comment with a big grin and was always good natured, all l was getting was grunts. Things were not good in the innards l perceived.
I placed another kit for the vet and called for the other nurse to take over the anaesthetic while l scrubbed up and pulled on gloves.

Scrubbing in can be confusing. As a vetnurse you get so used to NOT touching anything and suddenly you have to touch instruments and op sites.
It works in reverse for vets. If they are observing they are forever being “OYED” by the vetnurse as they are about to reach in and touch something. In fact some vets will only observe if scrubbed, it saves them being told off.

I had to hold instruments in various positions to keep them out of the way. Instrument rings on various fingers, hand tilted and fingers splayed to try and follow instructions and one hand free to pass instruments or hold others.
The vet was struggling, he had found the stump but there weren’t any slipped sutures, instead it was a sort of general ooze from different areas.
Finally everything was as ooze free as he could get it. Part of the problem was there was no set vessel bleeding. When he tried to suture the tissue that was bleeding it was very friable and tore easily.

When he decided he did not need me any more holding instruments l took back the anaesthetic, the other nurse went to check the inpatients and eventually he closed the patient up.

I gave her a clean as best l could to remove as much blood as possible but did not want to wet her down to much. After that and while she was still recovering he helped me to put a tight belly wrap on her.
Not the best of dressings as she was floppy but made easier though when you have a rugby playing vet holding the patient in the air as if she was lightweight. Was he a football player he wouldn’t have been able to hold her, ok l am biased but it is true.

Normally we do not want owners to wait but in this case we made an exception because of the circumstances and the owner was still in the waiting room, the auxiliary had made her tea. The vet went out to have a word with her and get himself a cuppa, and everyone else bar me, I only like my Dr Pepper.

Post operatively the patient was placed onto another iv catheter and a bag of blood was attached to that. She was closely monitored for any more bleeding, thankfully there was none and after a couple of days she went home, making a full recovery.

All operations even routine carry a risk, the vast majority are free of post operative problems. For my mind and most others in the veterinary profession the benefits of the standard elective operations like spay and castration outweighs post operative risk.
Un-neutered males or females are at high risk from tumours, babies and pyometras, hormonal problems, species specific virus passed during sex or fighting not to mention injuries caused with others of same sex after the mate they want or accidents with cars while looking for the dog/cat in heat.

If you do suspect anything post operatively after any operation on your pet, or if you are worried about anything, contact the vet straight away. In this case it was very obvious but it is not always and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Daze Off

Saturday was a day off and even though wanting to stay in bed, having done a 17hr and 9hr shift on the thursday and friday l decided to drag myself out and head down to Derby for the site committee meeting for the big July Braai and June POTS (pig on the spit weekend) that the ZRWAF are holding for fundraising.

Beechwood Park is a lovely campsite with several large fishing lakes, a go kart track and for those that do not want to camp about 9 log cabins. It is surrounded by pretty countryside as well with Elveston Castle on the other side of the road.

Beechwood is set in about 30acres and because l knew it would strain Wibble with her heart l carried her a lot. After tramping over half the campsite the southern contingent turned up (late) and we had to retrace our steps.
Some of the group tried to beat (or kill) each other go-karting then southern contingent (again) made more work by wanting to look inside the cabins.
Back to the other end of the site as management were free only for a few minutes, then back to the other side of the site where we had been to examine the new site section and our camp overflow which will have some golf holes in by the time we arrive in July.

By the end of it all my arms were dropping off. Wibble is only now about 8kgs but she got very heavy. I am not normally a “carry the dog” person but she would have had a bad time had l not carried her. So l had the hard time instead. She doe not like being carried anyway and struggled quite a bit which didn't help. Still at least she isn't a big dog.

A yummy pub lunch just down the road from Beechwood at Harrington Arms helped to lift the spirit. Excellent food and a small pub garden with dogs on leads welcome and a big bowl of water for the dogs.

I went off to see friends in Derby back midnight then work the next day at 7am. By the end of work Sunday l was drained.

I want to get the garden sorted no time for the wicked as they say l have started to dig it over. Spuds to go in soon and my tomato seeds are coming up nicely in their little seed tray.Hub had a moan as he say's l have chosen the soggiest part of the garden, clay and boggy. My idea is to work my way across and do it on the slightly raised section just l want the garden dug over.

I bought a small hand fork to weed pre turning which l have hardly used sticking to the big fork instead. Forget the weeds and grass and some fancy small hand rotary thingy which l returned within an hour as totally useless. It won’t even work in my plant pots l had a go to see if it could get into even potting soil.

Few days off until Easter when l am doing all of it on the night shift. Trust me to say yes to a bank holiday. I know that it is going to be lovely and sunny the whole time and l will sleep through it.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Georgy Girl

Back in Tenerife at the rescue kennels, Georgy was a Berdino (Tenerife breed lightweight mastiff type) At some point she had escaped from whoever owned her and was found walking along the road by some German tourists with her choke chain grown into her neck.

We cut out the choke chain with no muzzle on her, ok a recipe for disaster but l didn’t have any muzzles and a tape would have ended up where l wanted to work. So l took a chance on her behaviour as she had been up to that point. I was not let down, she just stood there. She was so sweet tempered with people and other animals it was amazing, l don’t think she knew what nasty was.
She had those horrid cropped ears a mutilation thankfully banned in the UK

Treatment was Synulox tablets (those good old pink antibiotics, the mainstay of the veterinary world), wound washing three times a day and wound powder too help keep off flies, the wound healed perfectly.
Even if it was in UK it is unlikely that a vet would have carried out surgery as the edges were granulating and starting to heal. It was the centre of the wounds where the collar was that was still open. And in situations like hers to quote Tony when l showed him the photos, time is a better healer than a scalpel.

I named her Georgy after the 60s song “Georgy Girl” by The Seekers as l felt the outside cropped ear tough dog look was unfair and it in the words of the song..."There's another Georgy deep inside"

Georgy was rehomed in Germany as were most of our dogs.

The damage was similar on both sides of the neck

The wound under her throat looked like some one had tried to slice her throat.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Humour Pictures

As Dickiebo commented on my gruesome photos l decided to put up some non gruesome ones for a change.

And just for Hogday as he enjoys his motorcycles 2 pictures that l found in my pile.

3 more just for Bumpy Dog from Toytown