Date:   17 July, 2013  

Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pig & rabbits.

Fur mites in a guinea pig - seeing is believing  
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
First written: 5 December, 2012
17 July, 2013  
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
Chirodiscoides caviae fur mites in the guinea pig

Most Singapore owners trust their vets. However, it is always good practice to show the guinea pig the fur mites seen under a microscope. In this guinea pig, the couple was glad to see the real mites moving under the microscope. I have sketched some of them as in the image (right). I got the guinea pig clipped short and bathed to get rid of all the fur mites. The home nest must also be decontaminated. No complaints after that. It is good practice to illustrate the mites in the medical record too. Chirodiscoides caviae fur mites seldom do damage to the guinea pig and they appear as black spots in the hair. Some do cause itchiness. Some Singapore cats do have a different type of fur mites. I seldom see them on Singapore dogs and puppies.

Nowadays, there are microscopes attached to a monitor and these are more convenient and impressive. But this equipment will cause more money. Maintenance costs of gadgets and damages to equipment  are sometimes overlooked but these costs affect the bottom line.

I cannot understand why some employees and associate vets or staff seem to break the surgical equipment. I had to replace my dental machine and an electro-surgical handle. My new Shoreline stainless steel operating table from the US costing around $7,000 gets many scratches and stains on its surface. Littman's stethoscopes become malfunctioned. Ophthalmoscopes lose their lens cover. A digital clock to monitor anaesthetic times was broken recently. 
tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes) 5686 - 5692. Chirodiscoides caviae fur mites in the guinea pig  

It is good to have many gadgets to impress the owners, but at the end of the month, the Surgery needs to cover its overheads which keep rising owing to government policies and inflation. For example, every medical, surgical item and vaccine to be imported into Singapore needs a permit from the government. Each permit to import may cost $1,000 and the costs get passed down to the vets or consumers or not get imported at all. In the end, only a few companies will carry the stock, knocking off the smaller entrepreneurs who can't afford to pay for the import fees. So, costs keep rising every year as the bureaucrats think of more ways to impose and increase regulatory fees.

Unfortunately, most vet schools don't teach students the economics of practice and so when they graduate, the new employee vets order various drugs, sutures and stocks duplicating what are present in the practice and not being aware that a practice has to survive the harsh climate of competition and high salaries and overheads.  

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tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)Toa Payoh Vets
 Clinical Research

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All rights reserved. Revised: July 17, 2013

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