From performing well over 30 ten-minute consultations a day in a charity clinic to performing 15 twenty-minute consultations a day in private practice, I cannot even begin to count how many I have carried out over the past few years!
I enjoy the opportunity that consultations bring to be able to improve the life of the pet, and often the owner, in front of you. The health, well-being and behaviour of our pets often have significant impacts on the health, well-being and behaviour of ourselves, so providing education and advice on the welfare needs of somebody’s pet can often help the owner too, a win-win situation!
You can hear me speak about this and more on the In The Zone podcast.
Performing surgery is one of my favourite parts of my day-to-day work. Although it is challenging, I love the entire process of learning how to perform a new surgery, becoming proficient at it and then teaching others how to perform it too.
Surgeries “under my belt” include:
- Dog, cat and rabbit neutering
- Caesarean section
- Exploratory laparotomy (including gastrotomy, enterotomy, enterectomy)
- Lateral suture repair of cranial cruciate ligament rupture
- Amputation (tail, limb, digit)
- Femoral head and neck excision
- And more!
Working within a charity practice brings certain restrictions to medical investigation and treatment options due to the difference in finances available compared private practice. I find this adds to the challenge of diagnosis and continuously pushes me to better utilise what is available to me for the benefit of my patients, for example, ultrasound: I am a big advocate of the ultrasound machine! It is such a valuable tool in both emergency and non-urgent diagnostic scenarios to look at the internal organs of the chest and abdomen. Great deals of information can be gained but in my experience in private practice both before graduation and after, it is not frequently used. I suspect this comes down to the charges associated – vets don’t feel confident in using it so do not want to charge owner’s large sums of money for them to use it on their pet, thus they don’t use it and don’t get practice and don’t get confident. In charity practice I use ultrasound multiple times a day every day, whether I am on a surgery or a consulting shift! It’s priceless and a great strength I have gained from charity practice.