Posts Tagged ‘stray cats and dogs’

“I`ve always felt that animals are the purest spirits in the world. They don’t fake or hide their feelings, and they are the most loyal creatures on earth. “ Pink

This is my 2nd week as a working veterinarian. Yesterday I got my name badge and my name on the consulting door with “veterinary surgeon” underneath. Such a surreal feeling. I made it, I made my dream since a little girl come true! I feel so privileged to have made it.


I started my first day with my favourite subject: surgery. I did a couple of dog and cat castrations.  The rest of my first day I was asked to consult. I jumped right into the deep end and started consulting on my own on my first day. The reception was nice and scheduled in 20 minute consultations (instead of the normal 10min per patient) and also scheduled in fairly ok patients for me. I had a lot of vaccinations; booster vaccination, primary vaccinations of puppies, microchips and puppy litter checks.  I`ve seen a lot of ear infections- showing clients how to clean dog ears and dogs needing dentals. I know dental scale and polish can be expensive, but when your dog is 3-5 years and has a lot of dental tartar- you should as an owner prioritise this treatment for your pet. Postponing it will only make it worse! Your pet can get periodontal disease: which is both unpleasant and can result in your pet having to have its teeth out at a younger age than needed. When it gets to this stage it really is too late to brush its teeth. Brushing teeth is really a preventative measure which needs to be done preferably every night or every other night for it to have any affect. Both royal canine and Hills pet food supply a dental food diet, but again only part of the treatment for your dogs dental tartar. Recent studies have demonstrated that there is an association between oral health issues and systemic general health issues affecting the kidneys, heart and metabolic system.  Have you ever wondered why your dog`s breath smells? Bad breath in  pets can be cause by many health or behavioural reasons, but more likely due to lack of oral hygiene.

dental tartar

Plaque is a clear white film that forms on the outside of the teeth. It is formed by bacteria naturally found in the mouth. Tarter or calculus is formed when plaque is allowed to sit and mix with chemicals found in the dogs saliva. This quickly form a coating (made of bacteria) developing on the teeth and also under the gumline. Once tartar is formed, it is too hard to be removed by a toothbrush and require a dental scale and polish. Gingivitis is another big concern. The inflammation of the gums is the immune systems attempt to get rid of the infection from the tartar buildup. Which is the beginning stage of peridonal disease, if this is left uyntreated it can recess into the gumline, periodontal pockets and cause oral abscessed and tooth loss. Because the bacteria from the mouth can become blood born, it can also affect other organs of the body and therefore contribute to heart disease etc and therefore shorten the pets life.

Oral health is key to a long healthy life for our furry friends, not just dogs but cats as well. Think if you had tooth ace and didn’t go to the dentist? It would only get worse, well it’s the same with your pet. Instead of giving stuffed toys and treats for Christmas, why not give your pet a dental scale and polish if its breath smells?

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This week I had to trim the tooth of a hamster. Most pet rats and pet hamsters will not have a problem with their teeth during their lifetime. If your small pet is happily chewing on toys and food during the day, he will keep his teeth healthy and you will not need to trim them. However, if your furry friend hurts a tooth or becomes sick, it’s possible that tooth overgrowth or another problem will arise that will necessitate a tooth clipping.


That’s me for now, write soon.




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Cyprus cat protection and animal welfare in paphiakos was founded in 1982. It provides shelter for stray cats and dogs and has grown in existence since then. It now provides many services including information, veterinary clinic to the public, free rescue and 24 hours emergency service, shelter, boarding, re homing, pet travel, education programs for school and the general public, a coffee shop and four charity shops. Phaphiakos also provide shelter for old/ injured donkeys. Paphiakos has  many local fundraisers to raise money for the charity and the neutering program. It really is a great organisation

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3 Glasgow students: Heather, Victoria and me went to Cyprus and worked for the spay and neuter program at Phaphiakos.  We were welcomed by their vet team: Dr George Sergio, Dr Nefelli , Dr Filipos, Dr George Shikkis.
Generally we did medications for in patients in the morning followed by surgery the rest of the day. We were supervised by the vets and nurses at phaphiakos, but given the responsibility to spay and neuter cats as well as some spays and castrations of stray dogs with the vets scrubbed in. This really was a great placement. I went for 2,5 weeks in may, and I would really recommend other 4th/final year looking for spay practice to take the trip.

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You also get days off to explore Cyprus. We joined a gym about 15 min walk from paphiakos and got to borrow their pool. Accommodation is free at Paphiakos.

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I’m back writing after a long break. Right now I’m in Marsa Malta working as a volunteer as Happy Paws charity Organisation ( http://www.happypaws.org.mt/). Happy Paws was founded in 2004, and works to help the people of Malta care for stray animals, by providing free neutering and promoting stray adoption along with other various programs. Apart from the resident Vets, the Organisation is run by volunteers, and finance the charity by charity shops, sponsorship’s, donations and fund raising events. Me  & Sydney meet in Malta on the 16th of June to work for two weeks learning how to spay and neuter at Happy Paws. Already 3 days in we have both done solo castrations under the supervision of two vets there> Victoria bondin and Louise Forrest.

Today after work we went took the Bus to Marsaxlokk, fishing village. this is a village filled with colourful boats, market and fish restaurants. After some icecream we then took the bus to Mdina, which is the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the iseland overlooking the whole of Malta. Saturday we went to Gozo to visit azure window which is a natural arch in the maltese island featuring a table like rock over the sea. This beautiful area was created thousands of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed.  We had to take the bus over an hour and then a ferry to reach Gozo, so by the time we got there, it was really really hot. We didn’t have much energy but to take the hop on and off tour of Gozo and go home. Sunday we went to Comino, this is a tiny iseland between Malta and Gozo in the mediterranean sea. Its has a permanent population of only four residents. Comino has a beautiful blue lagoon that we visited all day. just swam in the turquoise sea and relaxed. Syd managed to get sunburned even when she was sat in the shade all day under an umbrella. The 26th of june there was a huge concert. MTV Iceland Malta where artist like Nelly Furtado, Flo Rida, Will.I.am and Cassie played. We heard there were 50 000 people showed up. It was a lot of fun, with stands selling everything from food, drinks and ice creams=) The rest of the week we spent on our spot I Marsa, we also visited Valetta and had a couple of day trips to Siliema, where we took a boat trip to view Malta from the sea.  Malta has some beautiful architecture with lovely cosy streets. The last few days Stephanie and Sarah (also two Glasgow vet students) arrived. We went for dinner and tried to hit Malta’s party place paceville. Most of the people there were kinda young so we ended up back at another club in Sliema and had a great night there


Ive gotten questions if this is a good spay/ neutering practice. I got to do mostly cat castrates at Happy paws, so if this is what your looking for go there. They do do a great job with the stray animals in Malta.

Talk soon

Love Annette

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