Dr Anthony Bennett and Dr James Carroll of Village Vets Australia, talk about the first episode of series 2
You could call episode one “the cycle of life” episode. As clichéd as it is, vets are in a privileged position to know a pet its entire life. In fact often we get to know generations of animals.
Having a pet die is often the first time children come into contact with the concept of death, and making that moment a caring, calm, peaceful time for both the animals and the owners is important. As a vet we provide the owner with advice and guidance to arrive at the correct decision for themselves and their pet, and to do it in the fashion, time and place that they are comfortable with, and to help them come to terms with their loss. Ultimately though, our main concern is to make sure an animal doesn’t suffer.
In episode 1, the birth of Bindi’s pups is tinged with sadness when she loses one puppy, but she came through and will be a good mum to all the other puppies. Rupert the pig is our young adolescent, ripping through life (and the garden) without a care in the world – he needs some management, so a castration and a ring in his nose will help that!
A young calf with a hernia presents as an emergency when it’s realised an abscess has tracked deep into its abdomen, and we see first-hand how strong the bond can be between mother and calf when it finally comes around from the anaesthetic. Byron and his mum have a decision to make about a very sick bearded dragon named Roxy, and Byron steps up to his responsibility as a young pet owner to make a call on Roxy’s life. It’s really heart wrenching for him, but he recognises he’s done the right thing by Roxy.
Finally, James has to make a call on his own dog Bailey’s life, and this brings into sharp focus how important it is to make the right call for an animal at the right time. It’s tough to watch putting your own dog down, and make you realise just how emotional being a pet owner and vet can be. And in case you’re wondering, yes, James does have a new dog – a young kelpie named Stevie – as in “Stevie the Wonder dog”. He’s a bit of a tearaway at the moment – but with the right training he’ll be just as good a dog as Bailey.
James & Anthony