Many pet owners absolutely persist in harbouring some terrible misconceptions. This is not acceptable and must be remedied forthwith or, failing that, at least immediately. The first is simple. It has caused me to be woken from a deep and peaceful slumber on many occasions and this fact alone places it high up on my most hated list. 

It is this: Retching dogs do not have something stuck in their throat. If they can eat and drink, if they are coughing up white or clear froth but they are otherwise well they do not (yes I repeat) do not have something stuck in their throat. It is not an emergency. You do not need to phone me. Go to sleep.

And hey, lest you cat owners are feeling a little superior, I've lost count of the number of calls from shrieking feline friends who are convinced their 6 month old kitten has broken their back, damaged their tail or become suddenly deranged, crying and screaming all night long (yes I can hear them in the background, you don't need to put the phone next to them). They, my dear friend, are in season. This is normal. You should have had them spayed. You do not need to phone me. Go to sleep. 

The second misconception should also be obvious. It has cost me many hours of gentle persuasion, days of arguing and the loss of some very dear friends. It is this: If your pet is fat, you are feeding it too much. No excuses (well, except for hypothyroidism in dogs, which has caught me out a few times). Don’t tell me they only get one little meal a day. Don’t tell me you hardly feed them anything. Don’t tell me they are big boned. Fat pet equals too much food. Fat dog equals coffee table. Fat cat equals diabetes. Stop it.

Misconception number three is a personal favourite. It first came to my attention some two days, four hours and sixteen minutes into my veterinary career and the physical scars are still visible, over twenty-one years later. I hide the mental torment well. It is this: Veterinary surgeons bleed, veterinary surgeons find it painful to be bitten and veterinary surgeons generally need functioning digits to be able to work efficiently. So don’t tell me just after your wee sweety-pie has sunk his teeth deep into my hand that he always does that when people go to pat him. For goodness sake, tell me before! I’ll love you for it. Really.

My last misconception cuts right to the heart of the client/vet relationship. I accept it is based upon the trust you place in us and the high esteem in which you hold us. I am aware that revealing it will cause shock, surprise, even dismay amongst some of you but reveal it I must. It is this: We can’t give tablets to really nasty cats either. I know. I’ve hurt you haven’t I? Oh, don’t get me wrong. Most cats are fine. It’s just that the ones you bring to the surgery because you can’t give them tablets tend to bite us too. (See misconception 3 above).

Which is why I am delighted to inform you of a revolution in veterinary medicine. Wait for it. It is this: For the first time a complete wormer that will safely and successfully kill roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms is available for cats in a spot-on preparation. It’s called Profender. And I love it. Seriously.

© Neil the Vet BVM&S MRCVS

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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