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Date:   29 May, 2013  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
A Vesak Day's availability and referral
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   29 May, 2013 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129

1432. Vesak Day Friday May 24, 2013 - availability and referrals

The first case on this Vesak Day, a public holiday was from a family who wanted to euthanase their thin 14-year-old Miniature Schnauzer. The young lady had phoned me the previous night to make an appointment: "It will be Vesak Day, tomorrow. Not so good to put down my dog." But she came as the dog was not eating. Her vet closed today and so she came to me. Her father said to me: "I had worked in the tyre shop 4 shops away some years ago when the industrial park was set up in 1980." It was especially sad for a little girl of around 6 years old with two side pony tails as she cried loudly when she was not permitted to view the dog after euthanasia. The old dog was on Vetmedin and frusemide medication prescribed regularly by their vet (Vet 1). Most owners don't bother to bring their dogs for reviews and just get the heart medication. Proper dosage and review will prolong the dog's life till end-stage heart failure.
"Why did you go to Vet 1 all these years when you live so far away and there are clinics nearby?" I asked.
"My relatives go there."  

In the last case, there was an emergency Caesarean section as the Chihuahua, mated to a larger Jack Russell X had the first puppy stuck and pulled out by the owner 3 hours ago. I palpated the abdomen and there was another one. No X-ray or ultrasound is necessary as palpation can confirm. This saves costs for the owner.
"Is there another alternative to C-section?" the slim young lady asked me.
"Yes," I said. "An oxytocin injection. Wait and see. However, by delaying C-section, now 3 hours later after the birth of the first pup, the 2nd pup will die if the dam can't push it out! It is up to you to decide."
She decided on the C-section which would cost her around $1,000 as compared to an oxytocin injection which costs 50X less.  Dr Daniel operated while I assisted. There was only one pup, weighing 150 g. It cried and moved vigorously when the water bag was ruptured by me. This means that it would live. "It is not as big as the first pup," the young lady said.

"The male dog was interested in her and we separated them till the end of her bleeding," she said to me. "Yet she became pregnant."
"In female dogs, the fertile period is towards the end of bleeding," I said. "Unlike in the female person whose fertile period is before menses."
So that was how the female dog got pregnant.
"Why do you come so far for Caesarean section as you are living in Bedok and there are vets nearby?" I asked her.   
"My friend whose poodle you treated recommends you," she said.



These two cases illustrate that referrals are most important in veterinary practice. So is being available when your services are required. It is difficult for vets to be available during public holidays but these are the days when owners need the services.

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All rights reserved. Revised: May 29, 2013

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