Dr Anthony Bennett and Dr James Carroll of Village Vets Australia, talk about the seventh episode of Series 2.
If you were ever under some sort of delusion that vet work is glamorous, then this episode should soon dispel that! Vets have to deal with all sorts of nasty, smelly, gory situations that animals get themselves into – our intense training and the solid science we put into our work ensures we can cope with all sorts of situations that may turn a non-vets stomach.
It’s worth remembering when we’re digging gluggy pus out of a rabbit’s chin, or removing the entire eye of a horse – like we do in this episode – that although it can look pretty horrific, we are potentially saving the animal’s life and giving it years of pain-free, healthy living. Of course, the animal doesn’t realise this and will often fight and struggle – but that’s where our care and understanding of how to work with an animal and its owner kicks in.
Tonight, Fiesta the horse had a terrible run in with a barbed wire fence, and although her wounds are healing well, she has a nasty infection in her eye that won’t go away no matter how aggressive the treatment. The decision is made to remove the eye – and this can be confronting for an animal owner. We like to bond with our animals by looking deep in to their eyes (and who knows what an animal is thinking when it gazes back into ours!) – so many owners struggle with the notion that removing an eye would be good for their pet. In Fiesta’s case, it’s a necessary operation – and she’ll be fine running around her paddock and eventually breeding.
Anthony also confronts one of the smelliest jobs on the vet ‘to do’ list – removing a 3 day old placenta from a cow. Sometimes the placenta gets stuck, and becomes infected, and it needs to be removed by a vet before the cow becomes very sick with infection. It truly has to be smelled to be believed –and it’s the type of smell that permeates your skin and clothes for days. If you ever get the chance to shake Anthony’s hand – check with him first if he’s been removing a cow placenta!!
Anthony & James