Friday, May 05, 2006


Article from Scotlands Daily Record
By Neil Mcintosh
LIFE is full of contrasts, but my first two patients one morning seemed, at face value at least, to be almost identical.
Harry is a two-year-old crossbreed, mainly white in colour, with a brown patch on one side of his face that makes him look like he has rolled in mud. Which he often does.
He's a happy-go-lucky wee chap, who cavorts with his owner and almost everyone else he meets. He is the apple of his owner's eye and she loves him to the core.
Weighing in at 13kg, Harry is only slightly heavier than Henry.
This fellow looks like he was designed by a dysfunctional committee. His legs are those of a Corgi, but the fact they are attached to a whippet-type body with a collie head, means they fail to impart a regal tone.
Henry shares Harry's lively, outgoing personality and, seen side by side, Harry and Henry could be brothers. Except they are not. Their stories could not be more different.

Harry was purchased from a puppy farm by a naive owner who thought she was helping animal welfare by saving this scrawny wee pup from abject misery.
In reality, she just made a space for another farmed puppy to fill.
She paid £350 for what was supposed to be a pedigree dog. Unfortunately, his Dog Lover's Pedigree wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Neither, as it turned out, were his certificates of vaccination and worming. We were in the process of dealing with his massive roundworm burden when Harry started to have diarrhoea.
Ten days later, and after considerable expenditure by his owner, Harry had survived parvovirus, but he was a shadow of his former self.
He required a considerable period of recuperation before we could operate on him.
Harry had undescended testicles and needed surgery to remove them from his abdomen so as to avoid them becoming cancerous.
Even though the condition is hereditary, it seems that puppy farmers aren't too worried about who mates who. Henry, on the other hand, was lucky. Abandoned as a week-old puppy in a cardboard box, he was taken to the Scottish SPCA Dog and Cat home in Cardonald, Glasgow, where he was bottle-fed and reared by experienced hands.
He socialised with humans and with other dogs. He was well nourished, vaccinated by a vet and de-wormed, de-fleaed and delightful.
When he was old enough, Henry was re-homed to an appropriate owner with a promise that they could return if any medical or behavioural problems occurred.

Henry's owner really did help animal welfare...

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