Pete Wedderburn

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Author Archive | Pete Wedderburn

Ginga’s story. How best to deal with the feral cat situation problem.

Are stray, feral cats a problem in your area? I’ve recently had an experience that clearly demonstrates the best way to deal with this perennial issue. I was visiting  the housing estate where I used to live,  fifteen years ago. I was talking to a former neighbour, when a large distinctive looking ginger tom cat strolled by. I recognised him: the upper half of his left ear was missing. It was Ginga, a cat who I had last seen fifteen […]

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“Parvovirus Puppy” – Lessons to Learn

Last weekend, I had to deal with a classic example of a “new puppy” crisis. Ms M had bought the pedigree Shih Tzu pup from breeder 9 days previously. The pup had collapsed the previous night, with bloody diarrhoea everywhere. When I saw the pup, his gums were white as a sheet, and he was lying totally flat-out, semi-conscious. Blood tests showed severe anaemia on top of everything else. The pup was dying & it was a Saturday morning. The […]

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No ‘snooze button’ on a howling dog!

There’s something unsettling about the sound of a howling dog. The howl is an ancient inherited mode of communication, stemming from the days when dogs roamed in packs. The high pitched, drawn out howl can be heard several miles away. In the wild, the howl was used as a way of calling the pack together. For example, if a dog found a particularly tasty piece of carrion, his howl would call his pack to the feast site. There are other […]

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The cats pajamas

The status of cats in Irish households has changed over the past thirty years. Formerly regarded as a necessary piece of equipment in the farmyard, cats were useful at keeping vermin under control, but definitely not to be allowed indoors. Nowadays many pet cats are welcomed into the family as honoured guests. However cats have not lost the strong instinct which first earned them their place amongst humans. They are keen hunters – their predatory urge is still as strong […]

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Thinking of becoming veterinary surgeon?

A career as a veterinary surgeon is one of the most popular dreams for young people nowadays. Children and teenagers have a very close affinity with animals. The idea of working with friendly, loyal creatures seems more appealing than working with bossy, bad tempered human beings. The public image of life as a vet has been generally a favourable one. James Herriot was always smiling as he strolled through muddy farmyards, and even his disasters often seemed to have a […]

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What is Parvovirus?

Two young dogs died today. Both dogs were perfect, bright, normal animals just  three days ago. They came into my surgery with mild diarrhoea and a loss of appetite. Despite intensive treatment, by this morning they had both collapsed into a coma, and by this evening, both had passed away. The dogs belonged to different owners who lived some distance apart, and the dogs had never met. They were both victims of a disease which is a constant threat to […]

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