A busy time for vets, and their systems

Spring and early summer is always a very busy time in a mixed veterinary practice.

Lambing, now all but finished, and the calving period keeps our farm vets very busy. Many animals are now out enjoying the grass and our work is more focussed on health planning for the future — a shame because this mostly entails being indoors, and farm vets tend to cope badly with this.

Horses and their riders are also more active from spring and inevitably this means injuries. There is also the ever present risk of laminitis, a potentially severe condition affecting horses’ feet, to contend with when the grass grows quickly. So our equine vets rarely stand still.

On the companion animal side, work can be equally seasonal. Like many dog owners, I find that walks at this time of year are more pleasurable and so are longer and more athletic. Our theatres are busy with various wounds to suture, many sustained on walks. We also see more traumatic limb fractures, frequently sustained when a dog gets a leg caught in a rabbit hole.

We continue to see more pet rabbits. They can make a great family pet, but its vital to ensure they are vaccinated against myxomatosis. Following a mild winter and relatively early spring, we expect to see huge numbers of wild rabbits out and about, bringing an increased risk to pets. We are offering reduced price rabbit vaccinations, including a free heath check, until the end of June.

It isn’t just our vets and nurses that have had a busy few months. After five years’ service our computer server has been pensioned off and a new one installed. I had assumed that this would be a straightforward matter of unplugging the old and plugging in the new. Silly really because this one box is responsible for running a computer system that enables us to access patient records across nine branches.

The upgrade was a 24-hour process, which saw several of our team working through the night – we’re enormously grateful. What we now have is a phenomenally clever system that allows our laboratory blood machines to update patient records with results automatically. Even digital images from the microscope, digital x-ray pictures and ultrasound scans can be attached, enabling us to access them from any branch.

A sadder departure from the office is Jill Anderson, our practice secretary, who is leaving for pastures new. She will be greatly missed and we wish her all the very best.