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A day in the life of a small animal vet

This morning I have been one of the operating vets so after arriving at work I change into clean surgical scrubs. I check each animal before their anaesthetic then decide on the drugs and doses we’re going to use for the calmest and safest anaesthetic experience.

Today I have a 6 month old beagle to be spayed, a feisty tomcat who lives in the shed of one of our farm clients in for castration and a maine coon cat who has a small growth on her eyelid which needs removing.  There is also a twelve-year-old yorkie who has very smelly breath so needs a scale and polish and some wobbly teeth removing. It’s a busy morning for the nurses too as they help prepare each patient, monitor the anaesthetic, and post-operative recovery.  They also manage to clean up between patients, sterilise the surgical instruments and run some blood samples on our in-house machine.

After lunch, while the mornings’ patients sleep off their anaesthetics I see a lovely new cockerpoo for her puppy check and first vaccinations. She’s a real bouncy ball of fur but after her mad five minutes of activity she actually falls asleep on the consulting room table!

I see 3 cats for vaccination - these brothers are pure black and look so similar I struggle to tell them apart as they explore the cat room. I see a limping boxer dog and find a tiny piece of glass embedded in his pad. Once he stops wriggling I’m able to take this out with tweezers and he goes prancing out of the door a happy dog.

My final appointment before owners collect their pets from the morning is a cavalier spaniel cross. I confirm he still has a heart murmur which we discovered last week at his annual vaccination, so we arrange for him to come back for a heart scan, chest x-rays and blood test to measure heart muscle enzymes.  These tests will so allow us to identify the reason for the murmur and understand if there are any physical changes to the heart which would make us suggest lifestyle changes or medications to help.

Luckily it’s not my night on call so I’m home in time to tuck my kids into bed.

About the author

Rowan Pyzer

Havefordwest Practice

Fenton Vets

21 Portfield, 
Pembrokeshire SA61 1BN


Small Animals:
(01437) 762806
Farm Animals:
(01437) 762511

Pemboke Dock Practice

Fenton Vets

Unit B,
London Road Shopping Mall,
Kingswood Trading Estate,
London Road,
Pembroke Dock,
SA72 4RS


Tel: (01646) 622010

Fenton Veterinary Practice

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