2003 Judge’s Selection

Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2003

 

Organised by Pfizer Animal Health in association with the

Irish Veterinary Journal

 

Judge’s Selection

 

Pet owners throughout Ireland put pen to paper ( or clicked on-line ) to write about their vets for the 2003 Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards.    In 2003 the pet owners who submitted nominating stories collectively own 461 dogs, 353 cats and a variety of other pets ranging from guinea pigs, rabbits and budgies; to ponies, goats and fancy rats.  Nominations were also received from animal rescue centres and other organisations representing wide varieties of animals.

 

The results of the 2003 Awards are likely to be announced towards the end of November and will be posted on this web site when available.

 

The following is a selection of nominations for 2003 which the judges feel give a flavour for the awards and the very real stories behind them.   These are presented in alphabetical order (grouped by county) and in no way relate to the results of the 2003 Awards.

 

The names and personal details of the pet owners who wrote these stories are deliberately not included here.  Media enquiries to Progress Communications tel 056-7771895  or  email info@progresspr.ie

 

CLARE

 

Vet: Nicki Harvey, Harvey’s Veterinary, Vandeleur St, Kilrush, Co. Clare.   Tel: 065-9051193

….”Recently Brandy (aged 16) had to be put to sleep. She was deaf, almost blind with severe arthritis in her back legs and in pain. We had to make the decision and called Nicki on a Saturday morning. She arrived within 30 minutes, even though it was her first weekend off in 6 weeks….. Nicki managed to console him through this extremely difficult period and remained with him for over an hour….”

 

Vet: Nicki Harvey, Harvey’s Veterinary, Vandeleur St, Kilrush, Co. Clare.   Tel: 065-9051193

..”One day when everything possible was going bad, my cat Whiskers got badly injured in a car accident…”

 

Vet:  P.J. O’ Driscoll, Summerhill Veterinary Clinic, Summerhill, Market Street, Ennis, Co. Clare.    Tel: 065-6828215

..”He is one in a million. His qualities include his courtesy, efficiency and the compassion and concern for every animal, both large and small, which he shows to the animals on behalf of our Society….

PJ is involved with the Clare society for the prevention of  Cruelty to Animals for the last 20 / 25 years and we cannot thank him enough. …”

 

CORK

 

Vet: John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,  14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork

Tel :021 4893033
 …” I found it very hard to write this letter as I am still very lonely without Buddy, but knowing the care that John took of Buddy & my Family in our crises I could not let this time pass without making a special effort to thank him publicly….”

Vet: John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,  14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork

…”As for his veterinary nurses, I presume John and Barbara’s caring attitude must rub off on them as they always have time to listen, sympathise, laugh, dispense medicines and advise. The practice is spotlessly clean and welcoming, the sort of place where you can have a nice chat with other people while you wait….”

 

Vet: John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,  14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork

…”A sunny, natural, happy, confident, caring and compassionate professional vet…Annabelle is a 70 kg, 3r old St. Bernard. On her 63rd day of pregnancy she was very heavy in pup…She seemed to be showing signs of shock….…John’s professional and unflappable handling of the event was outstanding. The task was gigantic. Michael and I assisted as best we could, cleaning and drying puppies that seemed to be coming faster than we could cope with….. Although she had no milk in the beginning she is now a virtual ‘Milk Bar’…”

 

Vet Barbara Fleming, Animal Care Hospital 14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East, Cork  Tel:021 4893033
…”she agreed to see him even though it was Sunday…he was very surprised to see Elvis alive Monday morning – minus one of his nine lives. She asked me to bring one of my other cats over so she could give Elvis a blood transfusion…”

 

Vet Info: Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

…”for more than three decades, he has played a vital role for me by way of superb care and attention to my various dogs and for always being available whenever required….”

 

Vet Info: Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

..”In 1995 the Cork SPCA had many problems…..Liam Guerin contacted me and offered help in any way possible. ..Recently we renovated the premises and Liam advised us on kennelling and segregating of sick animals. He takes great pride in his work and the Society is very grateful to him and his compassionate care of stray and unwanted animals…”

 

Vet Info: Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

“Without his dedication, professionalism and understanding of animal health and welfare over the past 20 years, the animals of the Wildlife Park would have sorely missed his outstanding standards of veterinary care and compassion…..(he) ensures that the special needs of all species are recognised….

Liam is undiminished in his ability in the difficult business of safely immobilising a giraffe, treating it, and getting it safely back on to its feet… The veterinary care of individual species of wild animals is not always well known and expertise is often dispersed in different countries…He has attended conferences …and he consumes a great deal of technical literature in his pursuit of understanding and the ideal treatment… He is a tremendous leader of people…”

 

Vet Info: Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

“It is not one particular issue or deed that would that would prompt me to nominate my vet but indeed the absolute commitment he has given our dairy farm for 40 years….”

 

Vet Info: Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

“In the 40 years that Liam has been coming to Lisduff, I always felt that each animal was treated as if it was unique and that it was very important to him for that animal to make a full recovery….”

 

Vet:  Shane Guerin,  Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital  38 Gilabbey Street,  Cork Tel: 021 4962799

..Our smallest dog came to us about 4 months ago via The Animals Home….she is a scally wag but is truly beautiful from the inside out….we whisked her off to the vet at the earliest opportunity…she could have the dreaded Parvo Virus and gave us instructions as how best to help her but cautioning us that she was very ill….I am happy to relate the old Scallywag is now tearing around the house..”

 

Vet:  Shane Guerin,  Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital  38 Gilabbey Street,  Cork Tel: 021 4962799

..”Petal has made a wonderful recovery – as a direct result of Shane’s skill and dedication, she can look forward to a racing career which otherwise would have been impossible…”

 

Vet:  Shane Guerin,  Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital  38 Gilabbey Street,  Cork Tel: 021 4962799

..”Our beloved family pet, a beautiful Golden Retriever, ran out as a car was backing out, rolling over his back paw, Jake pulled back straight away pulling skin from bone….our 2 sons who are 9 and 6 now were distraught. I was no better, my husband pretended not to be….. I often wondered looking back did Shane ever wonder which one was his patient..!!!”

 

Vet: Pat O’ Doherty, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital,  38 Gilabbey Street, Cork.     Tel: 021-4962799

..”After the untimely death of my husband, early 1993 and approx. 11 months later of Rusty, I got a gift of my new pet “Spot” and you know the old story about transferring grief of a family death to your pet…”

 

Vet:Tom Conway, Gilabbey Veterinary Clinic, Gilabbey Street, Cork Tel:021 4962799
..”The initial stages of treatment were very difficult emotionally and physically but knowing that Tom and his colleagues were at the end of a phone night and day made it not easy, but possible….In our time as dog owners our dogs have presented the vets at Gilabbey with one hastily swallowed stone, hormone- induced baldness, repeated ear infections, strange black lumps, diabetes and cataracts. Always greeted with a cheery ‘Hello’…”

 

Vet: Vincent Lynch, Hawthorn Veterinary Clinic,  Western Road, Cork.  Tel: 021-4271230

…”He allowed us all the human emotion we needed and at no time made us feel that we were over the top or in any way stupid, because of the way we felt…Every member of the staff could relate to the loss this beautiful dog would be to us…”

 

Vet :  Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary Hospital  Unit 9, Westside Centre, Model Farm Road Cork Telephone:021-4343503
 ..”He has been especially good to her this past year and a half since my father died suddenly….he has a wonderful ‘basket-side’ manner for cats….Dad had one special cat, who is herself quite elderly. Richard has performed miracles to keep this last link with dad alive for mum….As mum says “there has been a lot of paw holding and some hand holding too”….

DUBLIN

 

Vet Michael Hatton, Anicare Veterinary/ Botanic Veterinary Hospital, 183 Botanic Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.  Tel: 01-8375543

“I have seen Rottweilers become like pussy cats under his care… quick detection of the condition by Michael Hatton made all the difference….”
Vet:  Malcolm Argyle  Argyle & Bainbridge  Overton Upper Kilmacud Rd Dublin 14 and
Glanalbyn Rd Stillorgan Co. Dublin Tel:012987510 01 2888486

“He has seen us through so many traumas; poisoned animals, cats hurt by cars or savaged by dogs, dogs with chronic illnesses and the inevitable awful decisions to put a much loved pet to sleep….”

 

Vet:  Malcolm Argyle  Argyle & Bainbridge  Overton Upper Kilmacud Rd Dublin 14 and
Glanalbyn Rd Stillorgan Co. Dublin Tel:012987510 01 2888486

“He has always been available day or night, Christmas time…and always has greeted us with a smile…”

 

Vet Info: Sydney Nagle, Phoenix Park Gate/Animal Clinic/ Ashton House,  River Rd, Castleknock, Dublin 15.  Tel: 01-8383003

“We got our little Monti… from an animal rescue pound. Sid, our vet got us plenty of valuable information and tips, advice on how to care for her….We were first time dog owners…”

 

Vet Info: Sydney Nagle, Phoenix Park Gate/Animal Clinic/ Ashton House,  River Rd, Castleknock, Dublin 15.  Tel: 01-8383003

“He was almost at death’s door, because of Mr. Nagle’s care and compassion he saved his life for us….”

 

Vet: Ciara Feeney, The Animal Clinic, Pheonix Park gate, 1A N.C.R., Dublin 7.  Tel: 01-8388338 / 01-8383303

..”Knowing how loved our dog was, Ciara offered to have him put down in the comfort of his own back garden and reassured me that the right decision was being made…”

 

Vet: Pat Finnegan, 153 Walkinstown Road Walkinstown DUBLIN 12 Tel:450 1305
“My introduction to Pat Finnegan was by way of my partner who had to find an emergency vet at 3.00 a.m. on a Sunday morning last December when I was away, my dogs were in his care and Blackie, my 10 year old Springer, was suffering repeated epileptic fits….”

 

GALWAY
Vet:Seamus Fitzgerald Ark Veterinary Clinic  46 St. Mary’s Road, Galway  Tel: 091 584185
..”My cat was hit by a car at Christmas and Seamus kept the cat in all over the xmas holidays, he also had to go to extra lengths shopping around for a suitable metal pin to insert into my cat’s pelvis….”

 

Vet: Aidan Miller  Ark Veterinary Clinic 46 St Mary’s Road, Galway  Tel: 091 581472
“He is always available to give advice and encouragement in times of stress when my animals are ill.   His care, consideration and kindness to my animals and myself has gone far beyond the call of duty….

Lassie was very ill….He never let me give up hope….He advised me during this crucial time and gave me the encouragement to help her pull through….”

 

Vet: Thomas Rennick, Thomas Rennick Veterinary Tirboy, Market House, Tuam, Co. Galway.

Tel: 093-24546

“Mi-Mi went missing for 3 days, we searched everywhere for him, eventually he made his way home dragging his two back legs behind him. Obviously he was hit by a vehicle. I cried to see the state he was in. I said to myself, his back is broken …I was preparing myself and my two children for the worst…We were so distraught…”

 

Vet: Thomas Rennick, Thomas Rennick Veterinary Tirboy, Market House, Tuam, Co. Galway.

Tel: 093-24546

“We arrived in County Galway some years ago with our two Pedigree Persian ‘Show’ cats…No request is too minor, he is always available 24hrs a day by phone or visits to his Surgery….”
KERRY

 

Vet: Tadhg Horan, Horan’s Veterinary,  3 The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry.      Tel: 068-22335

…”He is very approachable at any time and never thinks any “problem” is too small for his attention”

 

Vet: Richard Hurley, Hurley’s Veterinary Hospital,  Brewery Rd, Tralee, Co. Kerry.   Tel: 066-7129760

“(16 years ago) We got Max as a 4 week old puppy from the dog’s home and loved him as much as it is possible to love another…..Max was ailing for quite a while last year….On the 26th September, Max suffered a seizure at about 9pm. We were all panicked, the children were all very upset and we rang Richard….”

 

KILDARE

 

Vet:  Finbar Heslin Beaufield Veterinary Centre Dublin road, Celbridge, C. Kildare Tel: 01 6270402
 “His concern for Tess was always evident, with his follow up phone calls and constant reassurance after the operations…His practice is a warm caring environment,with excellent staff to give the best service possible to the animals he cares for….”
Vet:Rachel Gordan, Grey Abbey Veterinary Hospital, Grey Abbey, Nurney Road, Kildare

…”Rachel follows his progress unstintingly and even answered text messages about him from her holidays in Canada recently….I cannot look at him without experiencing the joy of a friend restored to me…she has shown that diabetes is not simply a death sentence for a much loved dog but a disease that can be tackled, challenged and stabilised….”

 

Vet: Adrienne Carroll, Moss Veterinary Clinic, Unit 2, IDA Industrial Estate, Monread Rd, Naas, Co. Kildare.   Tel: 045-876187

..”We quite literally have known them birth. We considered them our babies and they gave us as much joy and probably more affection, as any child would have…they diagnosed a congenital heart condition that was so severe they gave her three months to live….we were devastated..We know she died fighting as she always did, with those around fighting for her…”

 

KILKENNY

 

Vet: Richard Brennan, Dublin Road, Thomastown, Kilkenny.   Tel: 056-24534

“(The) injured swan….The beautiful bird had a large hole in her lower bill, preventing her from feeding. Richie spent a lot of time trying to patch-up this hole. He would not give up on the swan and eventually rebuilt her bill…”

 

Vet: Richard Brennan, Dublin Road, Thomastown, Kilkenny.   Tel: 056-24534

..”One of my earliest memories is of waking up one morning to find a sick dog in my little brother’s playpen by the fire!..Day or night, hail, rain, sleet or snow I have never once heard him complain about visiting an animal.   Getting out of bed to check on hospitalised animals numerous times every night is routine for him…this man has been my inspiration….if I can be half the vet he is in another few years time, I’ll still consider myself to be a cut above the rest !..”

 

LIMERICK

 

Vet: Hugh O’ Callaghan and Mike Canty, Crescent Veterinary, Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick. Tel: 061-301841

…”From Houdini the pig, now gone to heaven…From the goats sent to Bothair, total 27…

From my little dog Tiny, now also gone…From us all here at Eden, still living on…”

 

Vet: Michael Canty, Crescent Veterinary Clinic, Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick.  Tel: 061-301841

…”My daughter, Niamh, has a three-year-old Yorkshire Terrier called Holly. …While she is not 100%, she is holding her own for now. Her prognosis is guarded for the future and we can only hope for the best…”
Vet:Hugh O’ Callaghan, Crescent Veterinary Clinic, Dooradoyle Rd, Dooradoyle, Limerick,

Tel: 061-3001841

“My precious little Juno…had a massive heart attack in June of this year, and because Hugh has always given us his mobile number, I called him at 3.30 a.m…he told my sister and I not to worry he would be with us within ten minutes….Over the past seventeen years we have always relied on Hugh for all our dog’s illnesses, and a more kinder Veterinary Surgeon we have never come across in all our lives…”

 

Vet: Hugh O’ Callaghan, Crescent Veterinary Clinic, Dooradoyle Rd, Dooradoyle, Limerick,

Tel: 061-3001841

“Hugh O’ Callaghan,…provides an excellent veterinary service to the L.S.P.C.A. …Our story involves a tale of a little puppy caught in the crossfire of recent hard times in Limerick…As a result of the unfortunate feuding in the city a few months ago, a house was set alight. During the course of putting out the fire, members of the Limerick Fire Brigade noticed an unfortunate little puppy trapped in the burning rubble….”

 

Vet: V.J. Ireton, (MVB MRCVS), Clare Street Veterinary Clinic, 66 Clare Street, Dublin Road,  Limerick Tel: 061-415104,  also Airport Veterinary Clinic, Drumgeely Hill, Shannon, Co Clare

…”I brought Seamus to Dr. Ireton for the full work up – a thorough physical. Application of Frontline, a microchip, was implanted and all the required shots…

P.S. The Irish ‘boyo’ is doing wonderful here in New York – hasn’t lost his Clare ‘woof’ yet!”

 

Vet: John O’ Dwyer, Carrolll and O’ Dwyer Veterinary Clinic, 22 Henry Street, Limerick.

Tel: 061-314203

“At the moment, I am in hospital.  I have two very nice ladies looking after Heidi, and I am looking forward to going home to her. I have her picture long side my bed. She is very much admired. I love her and she loves me….”

 

LONGFORD

 

Vet: James Victory, Crandaragh Veterinary Clinic, Market Square, Longford Tel: 043-46270

…”He is a vet who is very easy to talk to and is very approachable.  I have learnt that he understands the emotional attachment people have with their pets….James allowed myself and my sister to listen to Ziggle’s lungs through the stetoscope to hear the accordian-like (wheezing) sound of his lungs….”

 

MAYO

 

Vet: Killian O’ Morain, Fabby and Associates Veterinary, Church Lane, Westport, Mayo.

Tel: 098-25618

“Living on a small island, as we do, our vet…has been a vital lifeline…Killian travels out to the island for emergencies in good weather but he has also had to come out in vile weather and at night as well…

I don’t know if Killian is aware of the great comfort he gave us that day, a day I was dreading for perhaps two years…I sat in the grass at Gypsy’s head, cradling him and stroking those impossibly soft ears, looking into his eyes which, as always, were full of love….My dear friend went very quietly – the breeze continued to ruffle his fur and we covered him with his blankie.   Then it was time for the wake…”

 

Vet: Killian O’ Morain, Fabby and Associates Veterinary, Church Lane, Westport, Mayo.

Tel: 098-25618

“..As a new pet owner, Killian instructed me on the best care and environment, diet, grooming and exercise I could give my dog. He listens carefully and is always available outside normal business hours, if necessary…”

 

MEATH

 

Vet:  Frances Harvey, Slane Veterinary Clinic,Unit 2,  Churchlands, Slane, Co. Meath.

Tel: 087-2392432
 “..We contacted Frances when some stray cats had kittens in our garden shed. She checked them out and even went as far as getting a home for one of the mothers….On December 24th, 2002, Christmas Eve, we had an emergency with Chester…. Frances even missed out on collecting a Christmas present she had to get because her only thought was for Chester and his wellbeing….”

 

OFFALY
Vet: Etain O’Connor Reddan,  Birr Animal Hospital, Birr, Co. Offaly  Tel: 0509-23891
 ..”We found a lump on her tummy….We set a date for the surgery and spent a very sad and worrying few days wondering how extensive her cancer was, if she would survive, and what we would do if we lost her…. When the day of her surgery came we both took the day off work…We went away in bits….”

 

TIPPERARY

 

Vet:  Folke Rohrssen, Cahir Veterinary Clinic, Mill Building, Church St, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

Tel: 052-42395

“I am now the owner of a stray cat called “Bones” (when found she was skin and “Bones”). Bones appears to have mental telepathy, she hates vets with a passion….”

 

Vet: Martin Kavanagh, The Glen Veterinary Clinic, Blind Street, Tipperary Town. Tel: 062-52992

..”Because we have eleven animals, Martin is practically treating a football team…”

 

WATERFORD
Vet: Bart McKenna  Barrack St.Vet clinic  38 Barrack Street Waterford Tel:051-370776
…My beautiful Cavalier King Charles Basil was very ill and this was on a bank holiday weekend at 3am on a Sunday morning…I rang this man who I had not yet met and got an answering machine I was frantic. Five minutes later he rang back…. All night he worked on Basil who had somehow got hold of some rat poison….”

Vet: Patrick Morrissey  Riverside Veterinary Hospital Davitts Quay Dungarvan Co.Waterford

Tel:058 44476

…”One of his nurses told us that if there was only a glimmer of hope Pat would never give up…..Pat decided to go back to his practice at eleven o clock that same night to check on Sam….If the operation had not been preformed at that late hour Sam would have been unlikely to survive much longer…Today Sam is back to his old self, full of energy, terrifying the postman and once more part of the family…”

 

WESTMEATH

 

Vet: Enda Finnerty, Auburn Road Veterinary Hospital,  Auburn Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.   Tel: 044-48776

..”After losing my father the previous November, ‘Ben’ became the life-line in our family…So when Ben was run over, our world began to slowly crumble…”

 

WEXFORD

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

…”her kindness and help she gives to all stray and unwanted animals that SPCA New Ross pick up….”

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

..”Sooty had an extremely bad accident last February where she broke her tail, dislocated her hip, tore all the skin off her back leg along with all the flesh off that leg as well. She also damaged her bladder and was unable to go to the toilet by herself and had to have her bladder expressed…”

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

..”She was a very nervous dog and no vet could do anything with her without using a muzzle. Annette…gradually won her trust and confidence….”

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

..”2 years ago I got 3 other Fancy Rats – Bramble, Willow and Daisy. They were an instant hit with Annette, and if she was wearing a hooded top, they liked nothing better than to climb up her arm, over her shoulder, and then sit in the hood hanging down the back!..”

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

..”Annette had the awful task of coming to tell me that my little pet was not going to make it….despite being a busy mother and as well as a vet, was able to spend a couple of hours with me and was so compassionate and helpful in every way – arranging for cremation and making further calls to make sure I was all right. ..”

 

Vet: Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross,

Co. Wexford.                           Tel: 051-425400

..”Annette’s early diagnosis and her continuing excellent care are the major contributors to his longevity and good health….Annette is always available when there is a crisis such as a midnight consultation..This is great reassurance to us as pet owners…”

 

Vet: Dan Gubbins The Veterinary Centre Distillery Rd Wexford Town Tel:053- 45755
“I first met Dan Gubbins under very upsetting circumstances. We had just returned home to find our beloved 3-year-old Great Dane, had just passed away in the kennels- cause unknown…. This is only the beginning of the story…We are a family that loves big dogs…None of these family members had lived beyond the age of six due in the most part to heart problems and we had ultimately come to live with this fact………Life with Alanna was glorious. She was a true family dog who was a big part of our world. She was just two months short of her tenth birthday when she died….”

 

WICKLOW

 

Vet:  Declan Ryan, Avondale Veterinary Clinic,  Ferrbank, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

..”He stayed with me and let me think about it, he didn’t pressure me at all. He even made coffee for me. I needn’t tell you I was sobbing bitter tears as I had Teddy from the time she was 8 weeks old. She was my  friend and companion. Declan comforted and consoled me….”

 

Vet:  Andrew Byrne, Bray Veterinary Animal Hospital,

Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow.  Tel: 01-2821909 E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

…”He extended Muffi’s life by many years and when the time came that there was no alternative, he put Muffi to sleep gently and compassionately and showed us the same gentleness and compassion…helped us in our grief…”
Vet: Dr. Nicola Neumann    Bray Veterinary Animal Hospital Old Conna Avenue Bray Co. Wicklow
Tel:01-2821909 Practise/Surgery E-mail:info@brayvet.com
 …”A life-threatening complication which could require drastic surgery…Nicola operated immediately on Minou even though at 7 p.m….she called us that night to tell us that all was well….encouraged us to visit him …Five days later – another emergency!…”

 

Vet:  Pete Wedderburn, Bray Veterinary Animal Hospital,  Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co.Wicklow.  Tel: 01-2821909          E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

…”Flash… has a history of being accident prone, so needs lots of visits – and deserves the de-lux care he is given. On one occasion, we had to be seen at 1 am and the emergency team were so kind and caring…”

 

Vet:  Pete Wedderburn, Bray Veterinary Animal Hospital,  Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co.Wicklow.  Tel: 01-2821909          E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

…”Pete came to the house to put her to sleep, which he did so kindly…..He then came back into the house for a cup of coffee and to make sure my daughter and I were OK…”

 

Vet: Garry Fortune, Harbour Veterinary Clinic,  2 Triton House, The Harbour, Greystones,

Co. Wicklow.  Tel:  01-2872099

“He is full of compassion, comforts you if you are upset – even giving glasses of water and tissues!… another James Herriot! …one is never sent home still worrying about the pet still not being well….”
 

 

 

 

CLARE

 

Pet Info: Dogs- Tara, Rocky, Purdy and Harley. Cats – Dennis, Zola, Domino and Owen. Aged 1 – 3 years.

 

Vet Info:

Nicki Harvey, Harvey’s Veterinary, Vandeleur St, Kilrush, Co. Clare.   Tel: 065-9051193

 

Reason for nomination:

My husband, Keith, and I returned home to the West of Ireland four years ago bringing with us our (then) 12 year old Cross Collie (Brandy). We found it difficult to find a vet who would deal with small animals. We approached Nicki who was sympathetic towards our needs. Since then we have increased our animal population to four dogs and four cats with a further two dogs and two cats owned by neighbours that regularly feed with us. Nicki cares for these animals with the utmost sincerity and dedication, is always available when called and willing to give free advice where she can.

 

Recently Brandy (aged 16) had to be put to sleep. She was deaf, almost blind with severe arthritis in her back legs and in pain. We had to make the decision and called Nicki on a Saturday morning. She arrived within 30 minutes, even though it was her first weekend off in 6 weeks.

 

I was unable to stay while Nicki administered the drug; she sat with Keith while he held Brandy. He found it a very traumatic experience even to the point of tears. Nicki managed to console him through this extremely difficult period and remained with him for over an hour, she then, later, refused to present a bill, giving up her well earned time off without taking anything for it. To us this was above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Nicki gives the utmost care and dedication to her patients and treats their owners with the same considerations.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Pet Info:   Whiskers, cat aged 6 years

 

Vet Info:

Nicki Harvey, Harvey’s Veterinary,  Vandeleur St, Kilrush, Co. Clare.   Tel:   9051193

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Nicki Harvey, for her dedication, consideration, kindness and professionalism.

 

Nicki has been my pet’s vet for a few years. She has always treated them with care and has never been rude or inconsiderate to me or my family.

 

My pets haven’t ever had an serious injuries or illnesses – just infections, neutering.   But one day when everything possible was going bad, my cat Whiskers got badly injured in a car accident.

 

When I eventually found her, she couldn’t walk properly on her back legs.  I was sure both hind legs and tail were broken.  I rang Nicki immediately and she told me to bring her in straight away even though she was busy.   I was pretty pessimistic about Whisker’s future as she seemed weak and in pain.   When Nicki saw her she handled her carefully and thoroughly checked her before making any presumptions.

 

The first thing she told me was that her legs weren’t broken, which was a relief.   But her tail or her spine may have been damaged and she may have internal bleeding, but she didn’t think that likely.   Only time would tell.   However she kept optomistic which helped me too.  She gave me some tablets and tips on how to keep her comfortable for the next few days.  She also told me what to look out for.

 

The next day there were no signs of internal bleeding.   She was eating good, seemed comfortable.  But later on in the day she started to bleed.   I decided to leave her for a while rather than rushing to the phone.   She stopped after a while.

 

Over the next few days she was pretty much the same.  She bled a bit, she was eating OK, she was able to go to the toilet and she was still happy.   I brought her in for a check up never the less, the next day.  I  told her Whisker’s condition.  She then knew that there was blood in her bladder and that there was at one time, or still is, damage to her bladder.   She kept her in for a while.   Then she sedated her so she wouldn’t feel anything and she emptied her bladder and sure enough, it was full of blood.   She told me what she feared and what she hoped and how to watch for the signs.    She showed me how her bladder had filled as I was interested and concerned on what was going on inside my cat.

 

She let me bring her home because she would feel more comfortable there and gave me a liquid to help her digestion.   She told me to call in or ring in the next few days to let her know how everything was going.   The liquid definitely helped with her digestion but there was another problem.    She wasn’t eating only drinking.

 

She had gotten weak and her stomach was sore when I touched it.  She was also very down in herself.   So I brought her in again.  Nicki wasn’t at all happy with her.   She kept her with her for a few hours and when I collected her she had more tablets and she told me that she was worried about her and that she wanted to see her in the next few days.

 

She improved a bit with the tablets.   She was still very dead, as if the life had been lived and it was time to pass on.   She was fed up and exhausted.   I brought her in again and Nicki was still not entirely satisfied with her.  Everything we had tried didn’t work.   We decided that she didn’t deserve any more pain.

 

So I made the tough decision of letting her go.  I stayed with her.   She felt no pain as she was getting her injection, she went so peacefully.   I brought her home and buried her in my back yard.

 

She was a great cat with a happy life but a sad end but Nicki was brilliant in trying to help my cat.  Sadly there was nothing that could help her.   I would like to thank Nicki for looking after Whiskers and I look forward to happier visits to come.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: All animals and pets.

 

Vet:

P.J. O’ Driscoll, Summerhill Veterinary Clinic, Summerhill, Market Street, Ennis, Co. Clare.    Tel: 065-6828215

 

Reason for nomination:

We in the Clare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would like to nominate our vet, PJ O’ Driscoll of Summerhill Veterinary Clinic, Ennis, Co. Clare because he is one in a million. His qualities include his courtesy, efficiency and the compassion and concern for every animal, both large and small, which he shows to the animals on behalf of our Society. Our Society would be lost without him.

 

He is one of the best vets we know for his care and attention he gives to animals. His kindness and understanding cannot be measured. We have found PJ to be the very best and is a credit to his profession. PJ is involved with the Clare society for the prevention of  Cruelty to Animals for the last 20 / 25 years and we cannot thank him enough.

 

He neuters animals introduced to him throughout our Society at a special rate. After they have been neutered, he will keep them for the day and when you go collect your dog/cat etc, you are advised about your cat/dog’s general health. When we take animals to him, his kindness and courtesy shown is first class. He will also help out in trying to find homes for unwanted puppies, kittens etc. He is genuinely concerned about what is best for the animal. Not only attending all of the animals put by him and the occasional veterinary treatment which can be very costly and can all add up, PJ is very aware of our financial situation and is and has been very good to us and I am sure had been out of pocket on many occasion in the past.

 

PJ is such a good person, we strongly believe that he deserves recognition for this work. We would be really pleased if you would consider giving PJ the deserved prize, as he really deserves the break. This is an opportunity that our Society can give to repay PJ for his kindness and so we hope that you will give PJ O’ Driscoll a good chance of winning the Award for 2003.

Caroline Quinlivian.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

CORK
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s):Buddy & Rusty Type of pet: Dogs   Age of pet(s):Five years & Three Years

Vet
John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,  14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork

Telephone:021 4893033

Reason for Nomination:

For his attention, and caring way. In this nomination I hope I will be able to convey through my writing how good John made us feel at a very sad time.  I haven’t had to go to John much over the 5 years I had Buddy, it was just once a year for boosters and maybe about three visits with our other dog Rusty.

One morning in July we got up to find our dog Buddy (aged five) unable to walk. We called John’s surgery and John saw him immediately (8.30 am). John said he thought it was a prolapsed disc and said he needed some x-rays to be sure. He gave Buddy an injection and waited until Buddy fell asleep in my arms and then he took him into the hospital to do further examinations. Sure enough when we collected Buddy that afternoon, John confirmed Buddy had a disc problem.

John spent a lot of time explaining how we would have to care for Buddy in the coming weeks. But a few days later we had to take Buddy back as he was in pain even with the prescribed medication. John changed his medication and Buddy held his own for a few days until once again he was in great pain. We had to put Buddy to sleep after ten days.  During this time John always kept in touch with us about Buddy’s progress.

During Buddy’s illness John actually went to the trouble of consulting a friend of his who was on holiday in Cork and is a specialist in this field – bringing him to his surgery to show him the x-rays of Buddy.

John even took the time to answer my letter of thanks to him. (Please see below) John is so compassionate, caring and kindness itself, not just to the animal he is caring for but for the owners as well. My Family and I will always think very highly of John.

I found it very hard to write this letter as I am still very lonely without Buddy, but knowing the care that John took of Buddy & my Family in our crises I could not let this time pass without making a special effort to thank him publicly.

Dear Mr. O’ Mahony,
I am writing on behalf of my Family, to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness during Buddy’s illness and myself. There was nothing too much trouble for you and we felt completely confident at all times. The amount of time you spent with us and the encouragement and advice you gave us were second to none. I would like to thank you in person but I still feel pretty sensitive.
Yours sincerely,

I take great consolation in John’s letter and shall keep it always.
John’s reply.
Thank you for your very thoughtful letter. It was very kind of you.
I wish we could have done more for Buddy. It’s always sad to see a young dog developing such a debilitating illness. One feels somewhat helpless in the circumstances.  I can assure you that, given his deterioration, you made the correct decision. It is always difficult to have to make such a choice, but the best interests of the pet have to be paramount.

I hope that the passage of time helps in getting over such a loss. You did all you could for him and that too should help – many patients don’t get the same care showered on them that you gave Buddy
PS Hopefully someday you can call to say hello.
John.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
 

Pet Info: Dog and cat – Poppy and Smudge. Aged 9 and 7 years.

 

Vet

John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,

14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork  Tel: 021-4893033

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet because of the standard of care, courtesy and concern they show no matter how large or trivial my problem. I have attended the practice for many years with various pets in need of care.

 

When my old dog had to be put down, the question asked ‘was I ready?’ and the day after the event John rang to ask how I was and to assure me I had done the ‘right thing’ as the dog was ‘ready’.

That is the kind of man he is – he looks after the owners as well as their pets and fully understands our feelings and concerns. Barbara has now joined the practice and is equally caring and always ready to listen.

 

As for his veterinary nurses, I presume John and Barbara’s caring attitude must rub off on them as they always have time to listen, sympathise, laugh, dispense medicines and advise. The practice is spotlessly clean and welcoming, the sort of place where you can have a nice chat with other people while you wait. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Cat and dogs – too many to name. Aged 0 – 15 years.

 

Vet

John O’ Mahony, The Animal Care Hospital,  14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East. Cork

Tel: 021-4893033

 

Reason for nomination:

RE: Vet of the Year Award

 

My name is Geraldine Barry of Barry’s Barnahely Bernards. We, Michael, Kevin and I wish to nominate John O’ Mahony (Vet.), Douglas, for ‘Vet of the Year’ 2003. As you will note from the enclosed, we have been involved in the dog world for 23 years. Consequently, we have experience of many veterinary practices. We have experienced 6 years of professional vet care from John O’ Mahony.

 

I first met John O’ Mahony in 1996 – my own vet was not available and I had heard about John from a friend and my St. Bernard needed vet help. I went to John’s surgery. My first and lasting impression of John was that of a sunny, natural, happy, confident, caring and compassionate professional vet.

 

The next time I met John was in 1997. On this occasion, I was there with a friend who needed a second opinion on her Shihtzu’s health. The dog’s name was Gismo. Gismo was in a very sorry state. Gismo and his brother had received their ‘7 in 1’ injection the previous evening (from another vet). Gismo reacted badly to his injection so the following morning, my friend informed the vet that Gismo was far from well as he had a high temperature and seemed to have asthma, but the vet said he’d be okay.

 

At this juncture I wish to point out to you that Gismo’s owner had told the vet the previous evening that the dog seemed to have the ‘sniffles’ and asked him would it be advisable to postpone the injection, but he said no problem, and gave Gismo the injection.  As Gismo’s condition deteriorated, we were looking for help. John hospitalised Gismo and stabilised him and when he appeared to be well, he went home.

 

However, he was soon in trouble again. Indeed, he spent the next couple of weeks ‘coming and going’  In the end my friend couldn’t cope with the distress her young children were experiencing because of Gismo’s health. As Gismo needed constant monitoring, it was decided that Gismo should come here to live “with visiting  rights”.

 

After about a year, Gismo finally stabilised. He now is a very happy fellow living with our gentle giants. John has always been on hand to give advice on Gismo’s health.

 

As I believe in loyalty, I did not require John’s professional services for a while. However, one day my own Shihtzu named Larry Murphy, got himself into a spot of bother – I had gone to a wedding and arranged, as would be usual, for someone else to feed Larry. The following morning, I found Larry very depressed.

 

Now, Larry had a full length Shihtzu coat and, upon examining him, I found that circulation of blood to his penis had been cut off and the member was black and looked like it had progressed to gangrene. Seemingly Larry had tried to mate a bitch and a long hair had caused a stricture around his penis.

 

I rang my regular vet but he was not available.  In desperation, I thought of Gismo’s vet, John. Actually the sight of poor Larry’s condition was making me physically sick. I rang John and arranged an immediate visit. John told me the prognosis. I had feared the worst, but John said to give Larry a chance and he would keep me posted. So when the phone rang, I obviously thought it would be bad news. However, John told me that he has operated on Larry and had managed to rearrange the water works and expected a good recovery.

 

Larry made an excellent recovery and loved doing his party-piece – now Larry’s reconstruction made him look like any other male dog. However, the difference was when Larry urinated it came from behind, catching a person unaware when he cocked his leg. Larry died last year aged 11.

 

Over the last 6 six years, John has looked after many animals for us but he surpassed himself last Tuesday week, 16th September 2003, making it impossible not to relate these 3 instances of Gismo, Larry and Annabelle. Now Annabelle is a 70 kg, 3r old St. Bernard. On her 63rd day of pregnancy she was very heavy in pup but still very healthy.

 

On September 16th the following day she appeared to go into labour, early in the day. By 6pm she had produced nothing, so I decided to take her in to see John. By the time John examined her, it was 7 pm. She seemed to be showing signs of shock. It was decided to intervene as leaving it to nature was not an option. Because of Annabelle’s size and condition it was agreed that John would need a team of six people if we were to save the lady and her puppies – there was John, his assistant Barbara Fleming, his two vet nurses, Gillian Whyte and Theresa Riordan and Michael and myself.

 

John’s professional and unflappable handling of the event was outstanding. He led his team with resolve and assurance. The task was gigantic. Michael and I assisted as best we could, cleaning and drying puppies that seemed to be coming faster than we could cope with. Nine puppies are now doing very well.

I must also tell you that this all happened between 8 pm and 10.30 pm, a lot of work after a normal day’s toil. Annabelle has fully recovered and is happily feeding her large family, all thanks to John’s expertise. Although she had no milk in the beginning she is now a virtual ‘Milk Bar’.

 

Having related these case histories, and there are many more, I really do believe that John O’ Mahony has consistently stood the test of time and continues to do so in a professional way. The consistently good intelligent use of his training truly merits this Award being conveyed to John O’ Mahony. After all, on September 16th, we saw it with our own eyes!

 

Slainte to John and all his practice.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet
Name of pet(s):Elvis      Type of pet: Cat      Age of pet(s):4

Vet:
Barbara Fleming, Animal Care Hospital
Address of Practise/Surgery:14 The Fingerpost, Douglas East, Cork

Telephone:021 4893033

Reason for Nomination: I would like to nominate Barbara Fleming because of the exceptional care and dedication shown to my cat Elvis who was very sick this summer.
I noticed he was very lethargic and not his usual self so I phoned the surgery, Barbara did not know me but I explained his symptoms to her to her on the phone. He did not sound too sick but she agreed to see him even though it was Sunday. After examining him she told me he was extremely unwell -she took a blood sample which proved he was very anaemic. He was put on a drip of plasma immediately and Barbara explained he did not have much chance of survival, as his blood was so poor.

 

Because Barbara was very worried about him she called John, a more experienced vet, who came into the surgery to examine Elvis too. He agreed with Barbara so he was very surprised to see Elvis alive Monday morning – minus one of his nine lives. She asked me to bring one of my other cats over so she could give Elvis a blood transfusion. I brought Pudstir as I thought she would handle it all the best. I was wrong.

 

A needle in the jugular did not go down well, however after a sedative she managed to get 15ml of blood from her and transfused Elvis. I have no doubt it saved his life. He was in hospital for a week and the care he received from Barbara and all the nurses was second to non. Barbara had still no idea what had caused this illness but spent a lot of time on the phone consulting experts in the College Of Surgeon in Dublin.

 

He recovered well but relapsed after he was taken off the medication. I thought she might want to call it a day at this stage but her dedication shone through and blood was taken from all four of my other cats and sent to Dublin to be cross matched but he was responding very well to the treatment this time and a transfusion was not needed. Both Barbara and John had holidays planned and a relief vet was on duty but because he did not know Elvis’s history Barbara was on the phone to him and myself over the weekend. His recovery is slow but he is getting better, he’s still on medication and will be for a long time.

 

I’m over and back to the practice regularly so Barbara can keep an eye on him and all the staff over there treat him like their one of their own. I am so grateful to Barbara and I feel a lot of other vets would not have given Elvis the time he needed to get through it.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
 

Vet:

Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, 38 Gilabbey Street, Cork  Tel: 021-4962799

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Liam A. Guerin on the grounds that for more than three decades, he has played a vital role for me by way of superb care and attention to my various dogs and for always being available whenever required.

 

I have had Liam Guerin as my vet since the late 1960’s when he operated his practice from a surgery at his family home on the Mallow road in Cork. My dog at that time was a Cocker Spaniel named “Rose” and Liam took great care of her to the ripe old age of 15 years. When her health suddenly deteriorated on a Sunday morning in1977, Liam “put her to sleep” with great sensitivity at his family home in Blarney.

 

His advice to me was to immediately look for a replacement dog as he knew that I had to fill the terrible void left by her death. Her replacement turned out to be a sweet Golden Cocker named “Kizzy” who joined our household in June 1977. In her latter years she developed lung cancer but due to Liam’s expertise she had a good quality of life until 1992 when Liam advised me that the time had come to let her go. With his usual compassion he “put her to sleep” in March 1992 at the Gilabbey Veterinary Clinic, just short of her 15th birthday. Liam again encouraged me to get a replacement and I have no doubt that, without this encouragement, “Buttons” would never have become a family member!

 

“Buttons” was a cavalier King Charles Spaniel with impeccable manners and he bonded completely with Liam. During a routine check-up when “Buttons” was a year old- Liam suspected that “Buttons”  had a heart problem. This diagnosis was based on Liam’s years of experience and the subsequent ECG confirmed that there was a faulty valve in the heart. From then on “Buttons” was put on medication and was monitored on a regular basis. Such was the trust between dog and vet that “Buttons” used to sit motionless on the surgery table while Liam listened to the heartbeat.

 

This incredible co-operation was often a source of amazement to student vets attending the Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital! Because of the early diagnosis and treatment his heart condition was controlled and “Buttons” had a very good quality of life until May 2001 when he developed diabetes.

 

Liam then put “Buttons” under the care of another vet in the practice – Pat O’ Doherty who specialised in the treatment of diabetes. (The other vets in the Gilabbey Clinic – Shane Guiran and Tom Conway were also so patient when training me on how to administer the daily insulin injections and without their great encouragement I would certainly not have been able to perform this difficult task).

 

Unfortunately, because of his health problems “Buttons” had to be put down in January 2002. I am however, very grateful that, because of the excellent medical attention, we were able to enjoy this delicate little dog for almost 10 years.

 

My story must be echoed by countless other clients of the Gilabbey Hospital and now that Liam Guerin is in his “Golden years” I wish to nominate him for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2003 in recognition of the wonderful care and professionalism he has given during his many years in practice.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Dogs and cats.

 

Vet

Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Practice,

38 Gilabbey Street, Cork                    Tel: 021-4962799 E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Reason for nomination:

I, being manager of the CSPCA would like to nominate Liam Guerin of Gilabbey for “Vet of the Year”. In 1995, we the society had many problems particularly with regard to the euthanasia of dogs. Liam Guerin contacted me and offered help in any way possible. From then on we can call on Liam and his colleagues at a moments notice to seek advice or treat an animal at the shelter.

 

I nominate him also for his professionalism and the compassion he shows when dealing with the animals and particularly the owners. If he treats a dog or animal from the shelter he will follow up with queries on its condition. We deal with many elderly people and send them to visit Liam Guerin in his surgery. Always they are very impressed with his lovely caring manner, his sympathy in their plight and great compassion for their beloved pet.

 

He encourages people to neuter/spray their pets and was very much to the fore in helping to launch the National Spray Week, which started last year. Recently we renovated the premises and Liam advised us on kennelling and segregating of sick animals. He takes great pride in his work and the Society is very grateful to him and his compassionate care of stray and unwanted animals.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: 90 Species of mammals and birds, mostly wild and various up to 25 years (Sea Eagle).

 

Vet

Mr. Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary hospital,

38 Gilabbey Street, Cork City.     Tel:  021-4962799            E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Nomination for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards: Liam Guerin, MRCVS

 

Liam Guerin has been an essential element in the success of Fota Wildlife Park, as the Wildlife Park’s consultant veterinarian. Without his dedication, professionalism and understanding of animal health and welfare over the past 20 years, the animals of the Wildlife Park would have sorely missed his outstanding standards of veterinary care and compassion. Although our animals are not truly pets, many of our regular visitors identify strongly with individual animals, for example the ring-tailed lemurs or our common seal Elvis.

 

Liam Guerin brings to veterinary care in Fota Wildlife Park the high standards he applies to domestic animals of all sizes. At the same time, his enthusiastic, yet cautious, approach to the variety of wild animals he has to treat and advise on ensures that the special needs of all species are recognised. In this way, all animals in Fota Wildlife Park receive his equal attention, from the smallest monkey to the largest giraffe or bison. Indeed, Liam is Europe’s outstanding veterinarian in the care of giraffes and he has few peers world-wide in the handling and treatment of cheetahs. Despite his mature years, Liam is undiminished in his ability in the difficult business if safely immobilising a giraffe, treating it, and getting it safely back on to its feet.

 

The veterinary care of individual species of wild animals is not always well known and expertise if often dispersed in different countries. We have always benefited from Liam’s enthusiastic and conscientious communication with colleagues in many countries, in order to be sure he has the best advice on an aspect that he is unsure of. He has attended conferences with wildlife veterinarians in order to add to and consolidate his network of colleagues, and he consumes a great deal of technical literature in his pursuit of understanding and the ideal treatment.

 

In the case of most people, it would be sufficient to stop here. However, Liam’s contribution as a veterinarian also extends into his very positive relationships with clients and colleagues. He is a tremendous leader of people, in which leadership by example is his rule. He applies an iron discipline and boundless energy to his own work, and to the involvement of his colleagues. At all times he relays his advice in the interests of the animals in his care, never shirking the unpleasant or unpopular details, but always compassionate to both animal and man.

 

At Fota Wildlife Park we have benefited enormously from Liam’s advice and encouragement on all aspects of animal husbandry and I feel privileged to be able to acknowledge his contribution in this way.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Vet

Mr. Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary hospital,

38 Gilabbey Street, Cork City.     Tel:  021-4962799                                                E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Reason for nomination:

Our vet has been attending sick animals on our dairy farm for over 40 years. Whilst I appreciate this award may have to do with vets in the care of pets, I too would like to put on records that the care and professionalism of our vet towards our Dairy herd is important to me and my father who dealt with Mr. Guerin before I.

 

It is not one particular issue or deed that would that would prompt me to nominate my vet but indeed the absolute commitment he has given our dairy farm for 40 years. If there is a problem and he can’t find the answer, he will research the issue and try to get to the root of the problem. He is always willing to be informative about any procedure or treatment he would be administrating. Bad humour never featured in over 40 years service.

 

Courtesy to my mother in years gone by and my wife in more recent years is the hallmark of this gentleman. Whether it was dealing with an outbreak of TB in the herd in the 70’s or dealing with pneumonia in the 90’s,he always had our best interests at heart. If nobody else nominates our vet,. that’s ok, but at least I feel happy that I have acknowledged the care, professionalism and enthusiasm of our vet in his long association with our Dairy Farm.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Vet

Mr. Liam Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital,

38 Gilabbey Street, Cork City.      Tel:  021-4962799           E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Reason for nomination:

I have been inspired to write this nomination after seeing the “NATIONWIDE” programme covering the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards on RTE  recently.

 

I would like to show my appreciation of a lifetime of dedication to his work and practice by nominating Liam for this award. Our family owns and managed a dairy farm near Cork City and Liam and his colleagues have provided our Veterinary Service for 40 years.

 

All of our animals are pets to us and each one of them bears a sentimental as well as a commercial value. In the 40 years that Liam has been coming to Lisduff, I always felt that each animal was treated as if it was unique and that it was very important to him for that animal to make a full recovery. Over those years, many emergency calls have been made in the dead of the night and every one was responded to immediately and without complaint. There were occasional worrying situations over the years where the health of the whole herd was under threat but Liam always did what he could to allay fears and offered the best advice in every situation.

 

I bought SASHA, now a huge 10 year old Holstein Cow, in Canada in 1995. She has produced a lot of very valuable offspring and is regarded as a member of the family. In October of 1997, Sasha contracted pneumonia and was very ill. Thanks to Liam’s twice daily visits and his excellent care, she made a full recovery and has continued to give us great enjoyment and satisfaction since.

 

I believe that his partners in the practice and the staff in the Clinic are a reflection on the man also. The tradition of excellence that he started is very ably maintained by his partners. I would like to mention the Staff members: Marie, Mairead, Sinead and Gus, whose helpful and courteous manner coupled with the efficient manner with which everything is dealt with makes everything easier for me. I am very fortunate to have known and worked with Liam and am delighted to nominate him for this award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info:   Name of pet(s):PUTTY    Type of pet:Dog         Age of pet(s):4/5 Months

Vet
Shane Guerin,  Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital
38 Gilabbey Street,  Cork                   Telephone: 021 4962799        E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie
Reason for Nomination:

The Vets at Gilabbey veterinary surgery have always looked after our pets with the utmost of patience, kindness and the best of veterinary care. We have had numerous dogs ranging from St. Bernard’s to smaller breeds.  The story I want to share with you is about our smallest dog, who came to us about 4 months ago via The Animals Home. Her name is Putty, she is a scally wag but is truly beautiful from the inside out, and the incredible care she received from Shane Guerin of the above mentioned clinic.
On Friday last, 12/9/2003, my son noticed that Putty was poorly in the afternoon, so we whisked her off to the vet at the earliest opportunity, early evening. She had been vomiting and was really, really ill. The vet informed us that she could have the dreaded Parvo Virus and gave us instructions as how best to help her but cautioning us that she was very ill. The vet scheduled a further appointment for us the following morning and suggested that if we needed him during the night all we had to do was call.

 

We went back the following morning for more treatement (Saturday morning) and although the surgery was closed on Saturday evening, he opened up specially for us so as she could received further monitoring and treatment. During the day Shane also called my mobile to see how she was doing, he still was not sure how things would go. Following on from Saturday evening’s appointment, he scheduled a further one for Sunday morning, again opening specially for us.

 

With the expert veterniary care and monitoring she received, by Sunday she had turned the corner and was slightly on the mend. Shane was in constant telephone contact with us in case that she would get any bad turns etc and was willing to open again for us on Sunday evening of the need arose. Thankfully during Sunday, there was a great improvement in her and we did not need to re-visit the surgery. Today, is only Tuesday, and I am happy to relate the old Scallywag is now tearing around the house, almost back to normal, still on her medication and is due a further visit to Shane on Tuesday.
I really think that Shane Guerin and his team deserve recognition for their incredible work on Putty….. Shane mentioned that when he saw her first she only had a one in ten chance of survival…. you would not think that today, but if it had not been for his diligance in guiding me through what was to be done and his tireless opening of the surgery outside of the regular hours, my story would not have had such a happy ending.
Shane and the team deserve an award for their immense compassion and thorough professionalism in dealing with my old scallywag “Putty”.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Dogs – Petal, Shadow, Flake, Dilinger and Charlie. Aged 5 months – 2 years.

 

Vet

Shane Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital
38 Gilabbey Street, Cork                    Telephone: 021 4962799                    E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Shane Guerin for a number of reasons:

1.        His outstanding ability as an orthopaedic surgeon. Since last April I have taken five greyhounds to Shane suffering from various fractures and injuries. To give just one example – ‘Petal’ a then five month old greyhound puppy sustained a fracture to her tibia while playing with her litter comrades. Shave inserted a plate and 12 inch screws in her bone, which he later removed. Petal has made a wonderful recovery – as a direct result of Shane’s skill and dedication, she can look forward to a racing career which otherwise would have been impossible.

 

2.        His professionalism. This is evidenced by the thorough briefings he gives both before and after performing a procedure on my dogs. He explains in detail both the x-rays and what he perceived the problem to be, he outlines the various options available including the merits and otherwise of each course of action and finally he gives his opinion on the best way to proceed in each situation, while leaving the final decision to myself. Likewise following a procedure he gives a thorough account of how the surgery went often using the before and after x-rays for comparison purposes.

 

3.        His dedication. Each visit to Shane involves a 250 mile round trip on my part and over the past 5 months I have attended Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital on 11 occasions. One would be forgiven for thinking that the distance between the patient and vet would have a negative impact on the after-care of the dogs. However, this is certainly not the case, because Shane devises a minute after-care schedule for each dog including weekly phone calls with progress up-dates. His delight when things are progressing well is obvious, as is his genuine concern whenever something may be amiss. His enthusiasm is an inspiration to give each dog the best possible after-care. He has provided his mobile phone number for contact outside normal hours if I have any concerns about any of the dogs. I have phoned him over the bank holidays and late in the evenings and he has always responded in a positive and friendly manner with excellent advice.

 

4.        His caring approach. Shane is a very open and approachable person, his consultation sessions are generally happy up-beat occasions, however, when he has to impart bad news which has happened to me recently with my dog ‘Shadow’, he did it in a most kind and considerate manner which helped to reduce the pain. Most greyhounds are a little shy with strangers because they generally do not get an opportunity to mix  freely with many people. So when my dogs visit Shane I expect them to be wary and a little frightened as they generally are with strangers. However, following the initial consultation I am always amazed to see them walk off happily with Shane, showing that they instinctively trust him and sense his kind and caring personality.

 

5.        These are just a sample of the reasons why I wish to nominate Shane Guerin for this award, he may not be my “local” vet but he is certainly my vet and thoroughly deserves recognition.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Golden Retrievers – Jake (RIP) and Cody (10 months).

 

Vet

Shane Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital
38 Gilabbey Street, Cork                    Telephone: 021 4962799                    E-Mail: gilabvet@iol.ie

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Mr. Shane Guerin. WHY?, because of your leaflet, Care…, Professionalism…, Humour…, COMPASSION…, especially compassion (I’m not saying he doesn’t have the other qualities!!!)

 

My family’s second encounter with Shane was almost 3 years ago, our beloved family pet, a beautiful Golden Retriever, Jake, ran out as a car was backing out, rolling over his back paw, Jake pulled back straight away pulling skin from bone. Shane was the vet we saw, our 2 sons who are 9 and 6 now were distraught. I was no better, my husband pretended not to be. I often wondered looking back did Shane ever wonder which one was his patient!!! The paw was treatable, the problem was Jake was 10 and a problem with anaesthetic. No matter how much we rambled, how much silly questions we asked, how many times we asked the same question, Shane never once failed to reassure us and never did we once feel he didn’t have the time for us. COMPASSION. Jake came through with flying colours, we the family for the first time ever, realised he was getting old.

 

My family’s second encounter with Shane (by now you think he would have said he had changed profession when he heard our name)!!! COMPASSION, was when we found a stray or rather it found us, a lovely German Shepherd, a big dog and a She, making things very lively at home with Jake!!! Even though I’m scared of this breed, after she followed us you could see she had a lovely nature and had been abandoned. She was given the name Sammy by my boys. After, trying all the usual avenues, we could not locate the owner, or a new owner . We called on Shane – just dropped in and straight away he told us to bring the dog down to him. COMPASSION, in between saying hello to us the lads and Jake!!! – checked the dog Sammy out and said he would try and look out for a new owner for us. He did, a widow on a 300 acre farm who had to put down her own German Shepherd of 15 years.

 

 

Shane met us on a Sunday, took the dog from us and delivered her to her new owner, with details about us. This lady has been in contact with us on a regular basis to let us know how the dog is getting on. This was done on Shane’s own time, because he really has COMPASSION, for animals and I suppose after encountering us COMPASSION for people as well!!!

 

My family’s next encounter with Shane was when I noticed I though Jake was acting as if he was drunk!!! But he wasn’t, 3 weeks after we brought him to Shane, he was gone after all the tests, etc. – brain tumour. I will never forget Shane and the Gilabbey staff for their kindness, in all our upset, and the dignity and COMPASSION that was shown, and the lovely card that was sent after, it was such a COMPASSIONATE gesture and it hangs on the fridge door. I have rang Shane since about Jake and he showed so much that he knew how it felt to lose a family pet – COMPASSION—My husband got Jake for our first wedding anniversary, our 13th is on the 19th of this month and guess what we got?

 

My family’s next encounter with Shane was this morning, when I brought our 10 week old Golden Retriever named Cody in to surgery for his shots, as before, Shane was the caring, professional, and compassionate vet, oh I left out humour which he definitely has to deal with our family encounters!!!

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Jack Russell- Spot. Aged 9 years.

 

Vet

Mr. Pat O’ Doherty, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital,

38 Gilabbey Street, Cork.     Tel: 021-4962799

 

Reason for nomination:

Over the past 15 years or so, Pat Doherty has cared for my pets. Both Jack Russell (dogs). First of all my first pet, “Rusty” and now my new pet “Spot”. He has always been very kind and considerate to my family and any time my pets have been confined overnight for treatment.

 

After the untimely death of my husband, early 1993 and approx. 11 months later of Rusty, I got a gift of my new pet “Spot” and you know the old story about transferring grief of a family death to your pet. When I took my then new pet puppy (Spot) to Pat, he kindly explained to my son John, the psychological aspect of grief transference to pets. John did not say to me at the time of Pat’s advice, but later when John told me, it made me understand completely what he meant.

 

Now, there are few vets that would take the trouble to advise his clients on the situation as he saw it at the time. We only had Spot about 4 months when he developed lumps on his belly and one of his paws, which had to be surgically removed by Pat and I have nothing but the highest praise in the way he kept me informed of Spot’s post-operation condition, even going so far as giving me his home telephone number, which I used frequently. I was sixty at the time and you know the worry you go through after serious surgery, and I must say he was very reassuring at the time.

 

Since this, when anything has been wrong with Spot, he is always available for advice, actually on one occasion, on the eve of his vacation, he came into his surgery on a Sunday morning to check Spot who had a bad infection. Not only did he treat him, he told my son John it was more to assure me than having me worry about Spot, when he was on vacation.

 

It is always nice to see a vet showing sympathy, not only to your pet, but contacting you by telephone late at night, being a widow, to reassure you your pet is getting the best care available.

 

I would like to nominate Pat O’ Doherty for a Veterinary Pet Care Award which I think he richly deserves, not only for his professional care for my pets, but also for his care, courtesy and kind consideration for his clients and going that extra mile beyond the call of duty. As a postscript I would like to add that I have, on at least five occasions, referred other pet owners who only confirmed my confidence in him.

Yours faithfully…

 

PS Please excuse condition of writing, but for a seventy-four year old, it was not a bad effort.

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s):Deefer  Type of pet:Dog       Age of pet(s):10 years

Vet
Tom Conway, Gilabbey Veterinary Clinic

Gilabbey Street, Cork  Practise/Surgery Telephone:021 4962799  Practise/Surgery E-mail:gilabvet@iol.ie

Reason for Nomination:

 

Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear; wise words indeed if it were not for the men and women of the veterinary profession and TOM CONWAY of the Gilabbey Veterinary Clinic in particular.

Knowing the distress and pain of already losing a pet to cancer we should have had more sense but, when we saw the foxy hairball that was to become Deefer Amberson, all reason failed us and we were his devoted fans within minutes!

One of Deefer’s earliest contacts with the human world was in Gilabbey; little did we know how friendly they were to become! Deefer’s life was largely trouble free apart from the usual ear infections and itchy skin to which a sea loving dog is prone; until last year. All of a sudden, Deefer became very ill and distant and, to his great shame, started wetting indoors. We knew something was wrong but not what. After a speedy battalion of tests Deefer was diagnosed as diabetic and we were sent home with reassurance and advice to consider our options. The family discussion didn’t last that long. We wouldn’t part with him.

The initial stages of treatment were very difficult emotionally and physically but knowing that Tom and his colleagues were at the end of a phone night and day made it not easy, but possible. We received tremendous care, practical advice and considered calmness at the worst moments. We were guided from complete ignorance to quiet confidence through patiently repeated tutorials in measuring and injecting insulin. Our family oranges and lemons suffered for several days! At times it’s not clear whether Tom is treating Deefer or his humans, for example, forgetting one morning to inject before feeding, and remembering at work about two hours later – a panicked call to Tom sorted that out also!
Despite the outstanding levels of care, it wasn’t to end there! Over the summer Deefer suddenly lost his sight due to cataracts in both eyes and we needed help yet again! Tom put us on the right path and Deefer is again up to his usual antics! He now enjoys a regular routine, good health and a degree of fame in Gilabbey. What more could a fella want?

In our time as dog owners our dogs have presented the vets at Gilabbey with one hastily swallowed stone, hormone- induced baldness, repeated ear infections, strange black lumps, diabetes and cataracts. Always greeted with a cheery ‘Hello’,  Deefer is welcomed and rubbed no matter how grimy, reluctant or grumpy, Deefer has certainly had his fair share of excellent vets at Gilabbey but it seems, to us at least, that Tom always emerges on top!

We would like to nominate Tom as, given the extremes of what we have gone through with Deefer, it isn’t always easy to talk openly and honestly about how great Tom has been, as we anticipate laughter at the steps we have taken – and the amounts paid – to keep Deefer in our family.

This award system allows us to express our feelings of gratitude and admiration for a job compassionately, cheerfully and above all excellently done.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
Pet Info:  Mulligan, dog aged 8 or 9 years

 

Vet

Vincent Lynch, Hawthorn Veterinary Clinic,

Western Road, Cork.                          Tel: 021-4271230

 

Reason for nomination:

For 25 years I have used Vincent Lynch, for all my pets, which includes dogs and cats.  He has always shown himself as a true professional with the care, compassion and very obvious love for animals in every aspect of “the job”.

 

However one particular occasion I feel needs to be highlighted, when every skill as a surgeon had to be used, his professional care and attention to detail was put to the test.  And if that wasn’t enough, his compassion towards us and “Mulligan” was stretched to the maximum.

 

No words of mine could ever express my heartfelt thanks for all that Vincent did for me and Mulligan, the dog I love so much.  A love that was so strong between a dog and his entire family, a love that will never die.

 

Mulligan was a black and white long haired collie I found as a stray about 8 or 9 years ago.  I tried so hard to find a home for him, then I fell in love with him and kept him.

 

On the discovery of a large lump I brought Mulligan to the vet.  Vincent explained to us the problem in length – it was an inguinal  hernia, also what could be done for Mulligan. He also told us how much the surgery would cost should we decide on that option.  We went home to consider everything.  When we decided to go for the surgery we made an appointment for same.

 

Within a matter of days things changed and the course of treatment meant Mulligan had to be operated on as a matter of urgency.  The large inguinal hernia repair operation that would normally take an hour I believe, turned into a 4 hour operation.

 

When Vincent opened into the hernia it was found that the hernia was partially incarcerated.  There was also a vast amount of fibrosis and adhesions so a lot more work to be done.   For four solid hours Vincent worked on the dog and we all hoped and prayed for the best.

 

Post surgery, Mulligan developed urinary incontinence which subsequently required urinary catherisation.  The care from Vincent Lynch, the other vets Joseph and Dermot and the nursing staff given to Mulligan and the compassion to us I will never forget.  While Mulligan stayed with them they nursed him and cared for him as though he was their own pet of many years.

 

When we did bring Mulligan home, we had to bring him to and from the vet every day to have the dog relieved of urine.  This was never any trouble to them and they were always “there for us.”   If we had any questions or worries they would always treat us with sincere compassion and professionalism that was outstanding.

 

When it became very obvious Mulligan was not going to recover and we had to decide what to do, Vincent’s kindness I will never forget.  He allowed us all the human emotion we needed and at no time made us feel that we were over the top or in any way stupid, because of the way we felt.

 

Every member of the staff could relate to the loss this beautiful dog would be to us. It also “showed” how they felt to lose him. They had got to know him for the lovely pet that he was.  They had got quite fond of him in the time Mulligan stayed with them.

 

For all the nursing care and all the visits I was not charged.  Only for the surgery and the drugs that were used. This meant a lot to us as we were dreading the “bill.”

 

It is a great thing to know that in this age of “greed” and “business” that there are some people that “do care” about others and animal welfare, not just themselves and what they can “gain.”

 

Thank you Vincent Lynch also your wonderful staff.

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:  Name of pet(s):Milly Type of pet:Cat   Age of pet(s):14 years

Vet

Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary Hospital

Unit 9, Westside Centre, Model Farm Road Cork     Practise/Surgery Telephone:021-4343503

Reason for Nomination:I wish to nominate Richard Healy for the Veterinary Pet Care Award 2003, on behalf of my mother, Eileen O’Keeffe.

Richard has been a wonderful vet to my mum’s pets for many years and has always been outstanding in his patience and kindness. However he has been especially good to her this past year and a half since my father died suddenly. Not only has he a wonderful ‘basket-side’ manner for cats but he has also been truely kind and compassionate to my mum.

Dad had one special cat, who is herself quite elderly. Richard has performed miracles to keep this last link with dad alive for mum. He understands that mum will be devasted when this last connection is lost. Richard has done a wonderful job, not just treating the pet but understanding the owner too and what their needs are. As mum says “there has been a lot of paw holding and some hand holding too”.

As dad did all the driving, mum worried about how she would get a sick cat to the surgery, but Richard has promised to visit when it is necessary. Nothing has ever been too-much trouble for him over the years and he has proved yet again what a dedicated vet he is.

=== END OF ENTRY ===

 

DUBLIN

 

Pet Info: Yorkshire Terrier- Roger. Aged 13 ½ years.

Vet

Mr. Michael Hatton, Anicare Veterinary/ Botanic Veterinary Hospital,

183 Botanic Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.  Tel: 01-8375543

 

Reason for nomination:

Michael Hatton has been such a good friend to Roger during his long association with him. He is a friendly and cheerful man and his surgery has a lovely atmosphere, and his confident, capable manner communicates itself to the animals. I have seen Rottweilers become like pussy cats under his care, and regardless of how intimidating  they can be, everyone is shown the same respect.

 

Five years ago my little fellow had to have surgery to remove a cataract with Mr. Woods, the eye specialist in Monkstown. His quick detection of the condition by Michael Hatton made all the difference. Also Yorkshire Terriers have plenty of spirit and Roger’s has never been broken, so when it came to giving him tablets, we found ourselves ourselves in trouble, and this is another example of how Michael Hatton proved himself to be such a caring vet. He allowed us to call down everyday for a month and had one of his staff administer the medication.

 

Now in the past year, Michael Hatton has discovered that Roger has an enlarged heart and throat condition, which involves him having coughing spasms. Michael has put him on a successful tablet which has given him back his quality of life. I would just like to give you a feeling of how good a vet he is and how dedicated and passionate by repeating something he said to me, and I quote; “ you know Roger is now an elderly gentleman and we must look after him”. I think that says it all about the man, and on behalf of all the patients of Michael Hatton, I hope I am successful in my nomination.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Yarwood.

 

END OF NOMINATIO

 

Pet Info:  Name of pet(s): Raisin and Treacle Type of pet: Cats Age of pet(s):3 years

Vet

Malcolm Argyle  Argyle & Bainbridge  Overton Upper Kilmacud Rd D.14
And
Glanalbyn Rd Stillorgan Co. Dublin Practise/Surgery Telephone:012987510 01 2888486

Reason for Nomination:

Malcolm Argyle has been vet to my various animals for about 25 years, maybe more. He has seen us through so many traumas; poisoned animals, cats hurt by cars or savaged by dogs, dogs with chronic illnesses and the inevitable awful decisions to put a much loved pet to sleep.

 

He is an exceptionally kind, thoughtful and professional vet. He goes to great lengths to cure animals with the animal’s welfare as his primary concern. He also shows immense kindness and consideration to his patients’ owners. His quiet competence and compassion for both animals and humans make him an exceptional vet.

=== END OF ENTRY ===

 

Pet Info: Jack Russell (dogs) –Bertie (11) – father and Biggles (7) – son.

 

Vet Info:

Malcolm Argyle, Argyle and Bainbridge,

Stillorgan Veteirnary Centre, Glanalbyn Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin.  Tel: 01-2888486

 

Reason for nomination:

He has always been available day or night, Christmas time etc. and always has greeted us with a smile. He has never made us feel that we were bothering him even if we called at odd hours with trivial questions. Service like this is hard to find nowadays and for all his hard work and dedication over the years, we really feel he deserves this.

 

Thank you for taking so good care of us. Bertie and Biggles.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Yorkie Cross Terrier Dog – Monti. Aged 5 ½ years.

 

Vet

Sydney Nagle, Phoenix Park Gate/Animal Clinic/Ashton House,

River Rd, Castleknock, Dublin 15.                             Tel: 01-8383003

 

Reason for nomination:

Unlike humans who can tell their doctor where the pain is or what is sore, animals are completely dependent on us. We got out little Monti 5 years ago from an animal rescue pound. Sid, our vet got us plenty of valuable information and tips, advice on how to care for her.

 

We were first time dog owners. He seemed so happy that this little dog had found a home and wanted to ensure she’d be well cared for. Today, after different ‘scrapes’ and minor illnesses that Monti got, Sid is still there for us with advice and a kind word. His practice is efficiently run and we need not worry as to “when is the dog’s vaccine due?” – Sid sends Monti a little postcard reminder!

 

As an excitable Terrier breed – Monti is inclined to cause a lot of noise and ‘havoc’ when waiting in Sid’s waiting room! As soon as she sees him and he tells her to behave herself – all good manners return! She senses his kindness, his soft voice and his gentle, constant rubbing of her coat while treating her,

 

I wish some medical doctors were as patient and as interested in their clients as Sid exhibits too his – and I’m a nurse!!!

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info: Jack Russell – Toby. Aged 13.

 

Vet

Sydney Nagle, Phoenix Park Gate/Animal Clinic,

1A NCR, Dublin 7.                 Tel: 01-8383003

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Sydney Nagle because I have a Jack Russell dog aged 13 years old. His name is Toby and he was really ill 3 weeks ago. He was almost at death’s door, because of Mr. Nagle’s care and compassion he saved his life for us.

 

When we brought Toby to see him he took great care and time to explain to us what was wrong with him. We were upset about Toby. Mr. Nagle rang us at home several times to assure us that Toby would be OK.

 

He has a great sense of humour and he has great manners. We had every confidence in him, he is truthful and straight to the point. He put us at ease. We feel we owe him a lot. He is a proper gentleman and a credit to his profession, also his staff. If there was an Olympic Medal awarded to vet, my wife and I would give it to Mr. Nagle. He is 100% at his job in every way.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Pet Info: Black Labrador – Dubh Byrne (13).

 

Vet

Ciara Feeney, The Animal Clinic, Pheonix Park gate, 1A N.C.R., Dublin 7.  Tel: 01-8388338 / 01-8383303

 

Reason for nomination:

4th September – Words cannot describe how grateful I am personally for Ciara’s care of our beloved family dog, Dubh.

 

As well as being 100% professional in her work, Ciara has genuine love and compassion for animals in her care and this shines through. Unfortunately, Dubh had to be put to sleep two weeks ago.

 

Knowing how loved our dog was, Ciara offered to have him put down in the comfort of his own back garden and reassured me that the right decision was being made. I couldn’t face being there that day and Ciara very kindly called into my workplace soon after whilst off, to let me know how it went. I found this so comforting and will be forever grateful.

 

I am delighted to be nominating Ciara not only as a token of my appreciation for her fantastic care of Dubh but also because I feel she genuinely deserves to win. She is a lovely girl and has a lovely sense of humour, and is also a fantastic vet.

 

I am currently moving into a house of my own and it will be through Ciara I will adopt a dog and it will be Ciara who will look after him. I not only consider Ciara to be my vet but also my friend.

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s):BLACKIE & NINJA Type of pet:SPRINGER SPANIELS Age of pet(s):10 and 15

Vet
Pat FINNEGAN

153 Walkinstown Road Walkinstown DUBLIN 12 Practise/Surgery Telephone:450 1305

Reason for Nomination:

Because of the outstanding care and compassion in caring for my pets and the genuine interest in their welfare.

My introduction to Pat Finnegan was by way of my partner who had to find an emergency vet at 3.00 a.m. on a Sunday morning last December when I was away, my dogs were in his care and Blackie, my 10 year old Springer, was suffering repeated epileptic fits. I am told that, on that occasion, there was no mention of the lateness of the hour or interrupted sleep, just a total commitment to assisting a dog in distress. Blackie was sedated and kept in for observation until my return the next day.

I have visited Pat Finnegan’s practice many times since (having changed my vet, not through dissatisfaction with my former one, but due to the genuine interest and care of Pat and his staff), both for monitoring of Blackie’s condition and, lately, for arthritic injections for his ageing mother, Ninja, and have found the same warm, caring attitude throughout, both from Pat and his partner, Michael Cahill. It should also be noted that, on a professional basis, records on each animal are kept up to date by the vet who keys information into the computer as it is discussed in the surgery.

I have already recommended their practice to an acquaintance who was looking for a vet and would have no hesitation in ‘singing their praises’ not only for this award, but to any pet owner who seeks the best professional and compassionate care for their pet.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
GALWAY
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Rua, Casper, Spookey  Type of pet: dogs & cats  Age of pet(s): 4 mths – 12 yrs

Vet
Seamus McManus

46 St. Mary’s Road, Galway                          Practise/Surgery Telephone: 091 584185

Reason for Nomination:

Seamus  is very approachable and doesn’t make you feel silly or stupid when you may be being over anxious about a pet. Seamus was wonderful with my previous dog who he put to sleep there a while back. He really was very understanding and considerate.

 

My cat also was hit by a car at Christmas and Seamus kept the cat in all over the xmas holidays, he also had to go to extra lengths shopping around for a suitable metal pin to insert into my cat’s pelvis. Seamus explains everything very clearly and concisely and you feel very confident with him about the treatment he is giving to your pets.
The entire veterinary practice is extremely well run, all the staff are very polite, understanding and approachable even under extreme and/or distressing circumstances.

Since I moved here from England, I have had some bad experiences with vets prior to meeting Seamus. If you live in rural Ireland it is very hard to find a vet that is used to treating and has the knowledge to treat companion animals instead of the usual large farming animals.

I nominate.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
Pet Info: Lassie and Rover – dogs – Lassie was 12 when last seen, Rover is now 15

 

Vet

Mr Aidan Miller  Ark Veterinary Clinic
46 St Mary’s Road, Galway                           Telephone: 091 581472
Reason for nomination:

He is always available to give advice and encouragement in times of stress when my animals are ill.   His care, consideration and kindness to my animals and myself has gone far beyond the call of duty.

 

A few years ago my dog Lassie was very ill.  She was passing blood and tar-like motions and was in great pain.   My local vet, Mr Ger Kelly of Kilkee, referred her to Aidan.

 

He arranged to see her the following day.   As she was very sick overnight, I thought she would not make the journey to Galway, but on the encouragement of Ger, I brought her in.

 

Aidan saw us on arrival, did every test that was possible, also took x ray and scans.  Lassie was very sick and sore but due to Aidan’s kindness and gentleness with her, she relaxed during the tests.  I was allowed to stay with her where possible.

 

Later I came back for the results – Aidan showed me the x rays, explained everything in detail and told me that it was not cancer as as originally thought and said she would recover with the medication prescribed.  He never let me give up hope.

 

On arriving home late that evening, Lassie suddenly became worse and as I was worried, I rang the surgery.  Aidan had left as it was his week off.  His partner gave me some advice and said he would contact Aidan.   As I had no phone at home, I did not leave a number.  The following morning (Sat) my local vet’s office in Kilkee rang a friend to tell me Aidan had contacted them, he had left his home number for I to contact him any time of the day or night during the following days.  He advised me during this crucial time and gave me the encouragement to help her pull through.

 

Two year’s later, I also brought my other dog Rover to him who had an ulcer. We both received the same encouragement and thoroughness with which he deals with the examination of the animals, sets one’s mind at ease knowing that they are getting the best treatment and care possible.  From time to time Rover gets a bowel problem and I have only to ring Aidan and he will let me know over the phone what medication to give him (he has already seen him with this problem).  He has also faxed a prescription to my local chemist for Rover.

 

All this advice over the phone is given completely free of charge.  It is due to Aidan’s care and accurate diagnosis that I have my dogs well into their old age. Rover will be 15 in December.

 

Aidan will never know the huge debt I owe him for his encouragement to me during very difficult times.

 

He is a dedicated and compassionate vet and deserves an award for his commitment, dedication and love of all animals and for his patience with the owners and his availability at all times to give advice when needed.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Sassie, a Golden Retriever, aged 3. Mi-Mi- a Marmalade cat, aged 3.

 

Vet

Thomas Rennick, Thomas Rennick Veterinary

Tirboy, Market House, Tuam, Co. Galway.   Tel: 093-24546

 

Reason for nomination:

He is such a natural and has a great love of all animals and he takes great pride in his work. I  bring  my dog Sassie, a Golden Retriever for her booster every year. He knows her straight away and she loves him. He’s so gentle with her.

 

As for my cat, Mi-Mi, what can I say “Only for Tom Rennick he wouldn’t be here with us today”.

Mi-Mi who I thought was a ‘she’ turned out to be a ‘he’. Well, Mi-Mi went missing for 3 days, we searched everywhere for him, eventually he made his way home dragging his two back legs behind him. Obviously he was hit by a vehicle. I cried to see the state he was in. I said to myself, his back is broken and to bring him in to Tom straight away. So I did just that, the poor thing wrapped in a blanket shaking so much and in so much pain I was preparing myself and my two children for the worst.

 

Tom Rennick looked at ‘her’ – which I thought at the time – and told me Mi-Mi is a he and is in a dreadful state. He told me that his back was not broken but his two back legs were and maybe his hips, so he prepared me for the worst and asked me to leave Mi-Mi with him so he could x-ray him and give him pain relief as well.

 

We said our goodbyes to Mi-Mi – we were so distraught. Tom  reassured us he’d do all he could to save Mi-Mi’s life as long as he felt she’d have a quality of life afterwards. He asked me to come in that evening – so I did by myself this time. He told  me he x-rayed him. His left knee was shattered, a hairline thread was holding the knee socket together. His left hip was broken and her right leg was broken as well. (She or) He needed to be operated on straight away and he needed my consent and warned me that because he was so weak, he may not survive the operation.

 

Four hours later, I got a phone call from Tom to let me know Mi-Mi had his op and he survived so far and went into great detail over the procedure. He asked me to come in the next morning so I was hopeful. I was in first thing the following morning. Mi-Mi was sleeping and very much ‘alive’. That day he mended her right leg. In her left, he put in pins and plates into knee and hip-joints.

 

Tom Rennick saw him off home two days later. We came back for after-care and medicine for Mi-Mi. I was so very grateful to him and Mi-Mi’s operation and care was so very reasonable for all that he had done, I got him a big box of Roses and a Thank You card.

 

Today Mi-Mi has a slight limp but he manages to get around and is still stuck in so much mischief – I can’t thank that man enough. I feel Tuam and surrounding areas are blessed to have a great man caring for all their animals in such a meaningful way.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Truffles, Teasel, Lucky  Type of pet: Cats  Age of pet(s): 13yrs,1yr, & 5yrs.

Vet
Thomas Rennick, Thomas Rennick Veterinary, Tirboy, Markethouse, Tuam, Galway

 

Reason for Nomination:
We arrived in County Galway some years ago with our two Pedigree Persian ‘Show’ cats and registered with Tom Rennick who was recommended to us as ‘a good small animal vet’ by several friends and family members.

 

Tom has proved to be highly professional, caring and conscientious whilst administering health care; together with compassion following the sad demise of our eldest male persian (12 yrs. – terminal kidney malfunction), despite Tom’s best efforts!
Tom continues to care for our female Persian plus several rescued ‘Waifs & Strays’. His dedication, skills and advice on Stronghold products, together with recommending and performing spaying/neutering, greatly improves the cats health and chance of life, prior to our re-homing.
Our collection of cats increases (Teasel & Lucky) along with those of our family (5 +), all cared for by Tom Rennick. No request is too minor, he is always available 24hrs a day by phone or visits to his Surgery.
Both my husband and I have maintained cats and dogs throughout our respective lives and required the services of several Veterinary Practices in the UK. However, none have been to the high standard of care, attention to detail and sympathetic approach to the owners as Tom has displayed.
Tom’s previous nominations and achievements throughout the years are testimony to his continued dedication.

 

Therefore, we, along with several friends and family in Tuam, highly recommend that Tom Rennick be considered for the 2003 prestigious award.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
KERRY

 

Pet Info:  Fifi and Tyson, dog (aged 14) and cat (aged 2 ½ )

 

Vet

Tadhg Horan, Horan’s Veterinary,

3 The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry.      Tel: 068-22335

 

Reason for nomination:

1.        He is very approachable at any time and never thinks any “problem” is too small for his attention

2.        He has a very good “bedside manner” with my pets on any occasion he has to examine them

3.        He is reasonably priced in a time when there are spiralling prices

4.        He has a very reasonable attitude (eg. spaying is recommended)

5.        Advice is always freely given

6.        Overall I have been more than happy with the service I have received from Mr. Horan and I know my pets are also !

7.        His diagnostic skills and equipment are up to date and extremely efficient

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Pet Info: Dogs- Max (16 yrs, 8 months), Luan (4 ½ ) and Molly (8 months) . Cheeky (8) the cat.

 

Vet

Richard Hurley, Hurley’s Veterinary Hospital,

Brewery Rd, Tralee, Co. Kerry.  Tel: 066-7129760

 

Reason for nomination:

I should have done this last year but we were going through a very traumatic time with our dog Max and I didn’t get to do it before the deadline. We got Max as a 4 week old puppy from the dog’s home and loved him as much as it is possible to love another. He was a brilliant dog and tolerated human and animal additions to our family without fuss.

 

At the age of 9, Max was diagnosed with heart trouble by a vet in another part of the county. We asked for a 2nd opinion and started our relationship with Richard who correctly identified hookworm and treated Max for it. From that moment on, he treated Max for various problems as well as routine work and was never other than kind and gentle with him. We trusted him implicitly.

 

Max was ailing for quite a while last year so I have no doubt that Richard prolonged his life with care and medication and gave him a quality of life he could not otherwise have enjoyed. However, old age caught up with him and he lost the use of his back legs in his final week.

 

On the 26th September, Max suffered a seizure at about 9pm. We were all panicked, the children were all very upset and we rang Richard who talked us through what was happening and helped calm us down. We had to call him out next day as Max was really suffering and needed help to ease his passing. Richard came promptly and we were so relived to have his calm, professional presence as a friendly, familiar figure to Max. He waited with us until Max was gone and then slipped quietly away to let us grieve privately.

 

We received a lovely card from Richard and the staff at the veterinary hospital, who had all known and cared for Max over the years. It meant such a lot.

 

Richard takes care of all our pets. He is a terrific vet and more then deserves this nomination.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

KILDARE
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Tess  Type of pet: Dog Age of pet(s): 9 months

Vet

Finbar Heslin Beaufield Veterinary Centre
Dublin road, Celbridge, C. Kildare                  Practise/Surgery Telephone: 01 6270402

Reason for Nomination:

Before we brought Tess home from the litter, I popped into Finbar for some advice on caring for a Great Dane puppy and from that day Finbar has been so supportive both to me and to Tess as she went through two procedures in her first few months.

 

His concern for Tess was always evident, with his follow up phone calls and constant reassurance after the operations. His professionalism and genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of Tess made our trips to see him no longer a stressful situation for Tess, his genuine love of all animals is very evident, taking time to answer all my questions and give advice where he saw fit.

 

His practice is a warm caring environment,with excellent staff to give the best service possible to the animals he cares for. We have moved recently, and I feel it will take some time to find another vet who will fill Finbar’s shoes, if at all! His dedication to his patients is heartwarming in todays climate and I wish him well in the years ahead.

=== END OF ENTRY ===

Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Turlough  Type of pet: Dog  Age of pet(s): 9

Vet
Rachael Gordan, Grey Abbey Veterinary Hospital,

Grey Abbey, Nurney Road, Kildare
Reason for Nomination:

I have had the privilege of being Turlough’s owner since he was born. His father, Trumps was my best friend and died last January aged 13.

 

Turlough, always a healthy dog and never sick, developed diabetes last November. Trumps was suffering from increasingly debilitating arthritis but was still top dog. When Turlough became really ill, I was heart broken. I knew Trumps wasn’t going to be in his bed here much longer, yet poor Turlough never got ‘his day’, he always deferred to Trumps. So the thought of him having a death sentence hanging over him was altogether too much for me.

 

But that’s what his vet told me. “He’ll never last more than 2 years” and that was that. I  tried everything followed all the instructions given to  me, asked for second opinions to no avail until finally he was just skin and bone and I really believed he was going blind and I couldn’t stand by and watch anymore. I confided in a friend who gave me Rachael Gordon’s phone number.

 

She saw Turlough that evening. She immediately became engaged in his case and began to talk about getting him stabilised. Took him off the foods he was on and explained to me that his tissues were starving and in need of specialist feeding. I changed him gradually so as not to upset his stomach.

 

She then sent me to an eye specialist because in spite of my former vet’s assurances, my beloved Turlough had gone completely blind and his sons were beginning to relegate him to a lower pecking order. This was breaking my heart and so I brought him to Dublin to see a specialist. I gambled on Raechel’s advice and had Turlough operated. The operation was successful and Turlough began to see again. His self confidence returned and we also with trial and error managed to stabilise his diabetes. I now have a bouncy dog full of vitality who races against his year old pups and mate to retreive the ball and chases rabbits on the Curragh Plains.

 

I sorely miss Trumps, as I say he was my best friend and a gift to me from my since deceased father, so to lose Turlough too would have been more than this brave soul could have borne. Rachel follows his progress unstintingly and even answered text messages about him from her holidays in Canada recently. I have to follow a pretty strict exercise and dietary regime with Turlough to keep him healthy this means falling out of bed every morning to walk him at 07.00 am and coming home from work to give him an afternoon feed and an evening walk. I inject him twice a day but for all that I cannot look at him without experiencing the joy of a friend restored to me and I have Raechel Gordon to thank for that!

 

Turlough is in wonderful form, friends and family cannot believe the transformation! I would love Raechel to get this award because she deserves it but I would also love her to get it because she has shown that diabetes is not simply a death sentence for a much loved dog but a disease that can be tackled, challenged and stabilised. I rejoice that there are many, many animals that will benefit from her professional care and devotion and from her way above and beyond the call of duty engagement with her patients.
Please give all dog owners facing diabetes and the heart ache a boost and give Raechel the award!

=== END OF ENTRY ===
Pet Info: Dogs- Holly and Becky – aged 3.

 

Vet

Adrienne Carroll, Moss Veterinary Clinic,

Unit 2, IDA Industrial Estate, Monread Rd, Naas, Co. Kildare.   Tel: 045-876187

 

Reason for nomination:

HOLLY

This is a short story about Holly, which is written to convey how much she meant to us and hence highlight the importance of the support we received from everyone in the Moss Veterinary Clinic.

 

We have one, wonderful dog called Becky, but up until last February we had two wonderful dogs. Holly and Becky were the result of a naughty night out between my sister’s Golden Labrador Vicky and their neighbour’s sheepdog, Blake. So we quite literally have known them birth. We considered them our babies and they gave us as much joy and probably more affection, as any child would have.

 

Holly had more of the sheepdog traits. She was extremely intelligent, patient and independent, whereas Becky is a typical Labrador, lazy, loving and greedy. However, they complemented each other with Becky acting as the dominant dog and Holly more submissive. Holly seemed to understand her role and always let Becky go first while looking at you as if to say, “it’s ok. I know you will come to me next”. She had that knowing look in her beautiful eyes.

 

You can see how much our dogs mean to us, so you will understand the shock we felt when Holly went to the vet with a cough and after a chest x-ray showing a very enlarged heart, was immediately sent up to the veterinary hospital in UCD. There they diagnosed a congenital heart condition that was so severe they gave her three months to live. Obviously, we were devastated, however the support we received from all the vets and nurses in the practice helped us to cope with the situation.

 

Holly was incredibly brave. She had to go to the vet practically every three weeks as she developed more symptoms. During this time there were many phone calls to the vets both within working hours and at on call times for advice and support. The vets always treated her with as much love and kindness as they would have their own. They gave us as much time as we needed during busy clinics to discuss her condition and treatment.

 

As time went on we had to discuss the subject of putting her to sleep, if it was required. This was discussed compassionately and sensitively. One particularly bad weekend when we thought the time was coming when we would have to make that decision, the vet told me that they were sharing call with another practice at that time. We had decided that if it was required it should be done at home so that Becky would understand her sister died. The vet knew this and said that even though he wasn’t on call he would come to the house for this purpose. He had even offered to bury her if we wanted, as he knew how difficult it was for us. To me, this dedication is beyond words.

 

Holly’s condition rapidly deteriorated on 7th February 2003, a full six months after her prognosis of three months. She was kept in the vets that morning in an oxygen tent. At 1 pm the vet rang me to say that she had collapsed suddenly and died. I was devastated driving to collect her for the last time to bring her home. They had wrapped her in towels, and placed her with great care in my car. I was comforted and offered tea and tissues. We buried her in our garden beside a holly tree with her sister understanding that she was gone, one week before her third birthday.

 

Of course we had wanted Holly to die naturally at home, but in the end this might have caused Becky and us more distress. We know she died fighting as she always did, with those around fighting for her. She was with people who knew her and cared for her and for that we will be eternally grateful. We cannot express the thanks that all those involved in Holly’s care deserve.

 

The dedication beyond the call of duty, the time and support given to us and the continued expert care provided for Becky, from receptionists, to nurses, to vets. They helped to make a desperate time more manageable. In my opinion, there is no practice more deserving of the vet pet care award than Moss Veterinary Clinic.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

KILKENNY

 

Pet Info: Dogs – Duke, Tiggy, Toddy, Tuck, Tim, Totty, Sparky, Gizzy, Gremlin, Little Old Lady from Pasadenazak and Bimbo. Aged 1 year to OAP.

 

Vet

Richard Brennan,

Dublin Road, Thomastown, Kilkenny.   Tel: 056-24534

 

Reason for nomination:

Apart from treating my own pets, Richie also treats all the puppies or dogs that come into the Puppy Rescue (along with any other animals that may come in).

 

Richie always has time to listen and talk to owners as well as heal the animals. He has brought back so many sick animals from death’s door that I would need to write a book to relate them all.

 

One example I will give is of an injured swan. The beautiful bird had a large hole in her lower bill, preventing her from feeding. Richie spent a lot of time trying to patch-up this hole. He would not give up on the swan and eventually rebuilt her bill with something used to repair horses hooves. After a couple of weeks the swan was released back to her home ground to live out a happy, healthy life.

 

Richie is a truly dedicated vet and devotes most of his life to saving sick animals. In my opinion, he is the best vet in the whole country and deserves recognition.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info:    Hippy (dog aged 6 years), Mick (pony aged 7 years), and 4 cats (Podge, Tom, Dick and Harry aged from 3 months to 5 years)

 

Vet

Richard Brennan,

Dublin Road, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny  Tel: 056-7724534

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate Richard Brennan for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award 2003.

 

Dedication, kindness and a passion to care for animals are the first words that come to mind when I think of Richie. For the last 20 years he has been my vet, as well as my Dad, and over that time I have seen him in what I believe to be the true definition of a vet with a special gift to care for animals.  Not a vet who works soley for money, not a vet who hangs up his white coat at 6.30 every evening and certainly not a vet who forgets about his patients when he goes home.

 

As long as I can remember animals have been the focus, not only of his livelyhood, but of his life. One of my earliest memories is of waking up one morning to find a sick dog in my little brother’s playpen by the fire!  Needless to say my Mum wasn’t too impressed but this was a very sick dog and Richie decided it needed some extra TLC to recover. And recover it did, after many days of drips and handfeeding by Richie!

 

This is only one example of the level of care animals get under Richie’s wing.  Our most recent “ICU” patient was a corgi bitch who had pancreatitis. She eventually recovered after spending almost 3 weeks being cared for in the comfortable surroundings of Richie’s office, fully equipped with Dimplex heater and blankets!  Her owners were encouraged by Richie to visit her every day and even on Sunday when he was “off duty” he arranged a visiting time.

 

There was never a dull moment in our home and there still isn’t as a constant stream of animals make our fireside their hospital bed !

 

Day or night, hail, rain, sleet or snow I have never once heard him complain about visiting an animal.   Getting out of bed to check on hospitalised animals numerous times every night is routine for him – whether he is on duty or not!  He is always ready to help no matter how big or small the problem.

 

He deals with animals and their owners in such a kind and respectful way, regardless of their circumstances or financial situation. Stray mongrel or pampered poodle, paws or hoofs – all creatures are equal in Richie’s eyes.

 

This is especially evident in his work with the ISPCA and Inistiogue Puppy Rescue. Richie is the vet for both these organisations and for years he has provided an invaluable, dedicated and caring service to these unfortunate animals. His concern is not who is going to pay the bill but how he is going to do his best to take care of the animal. Even when animals have to be euthanised he is so kind to them and their owners, always giving time for final goodbyes and often making house calls for this procedure.  He makes the whole thing so untraumatic and peaceful.

 

I could write a small encyclopedia of individual cases where Richie has gone above and beyond the call of duty and which demonstrate his unimaginable dedication and high level of care and professionalism.    I think it is much easier to simply tell you that this man has been my inspiration.

 

The energy and happiness that radiate from him when he is around animals is quite spectacular.  He is the reason that I have chosen to study veterinary medicine and if I can be half the vet he is in another few years time, I’ll still consider myself to be a cut above the rest !

 

Helen Brennan,

3rd Year Vet. Medicine, UCD

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

LIMERICK

 

Pet Info: Dogs – Missy, Ebony, Foxy and Nellie – aged 3, 14, 7 and 11 years. Goats- Moses, Charity, Misty, Gracie and Clothes Basket – aged 2, 11, 4, 1 and 6 years. Chickens and ducks.

 

Vet

Hugh O’ Callaghan and Mike Canty, Crescent Veterinary,

Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick.                                          Tel: 061-301841

 

Reason for nomination:

My nomination goes to the Crescent Vet. Centre who are the very best team that the country has and who work so closely with Limerick Animal Welfare. They are very caring, kind dedicated and efficient and a great band of people.

 

I can’t choose one above the other and here’s why in the following verse:

 

To Hugh and to Mike – a wonderful TEAM.

For all of their care throughout the years,

They all are the best  and it wouldn’t be fair,

To choose one o’er the other, for me they’re always there.

From the one legged chicken and Gracie the goat,

Freddie the ferret, who’ve all been re-homed.

Mollie the Yorkie and Little Missy, all of them came from Crescent Veterinary.

Many thanks to the nurses, Helen, Ciara and Mandy.

To the young vets, Charlie and Jim,

They are all there for me, no matter what,

Don’t know what I’d do without them.

From Houdini the pig, now gone to heaven,

From the goats sent to Bothair, total 27,

From my little dog Tiny, now also gone,

From us all here at Eden, still living on.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Yorkshire Terrier – Holly. Aged 3.

 

Vet

Michael Canty, Crescent Veterinary Clinic,

Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick.  Tel: 061-301841

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate Michael Canty of Crescent Veterinary Clinic, Dooradoyle, Limerick, for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards.

 

My daughter, Niamh, has a three-year-old Yorkshire Terrier called Holly. Holly’s illness began in August when she fell down the stairs. We brought her to Crescent Veterinary Clinic and we were seen by Michael Canty. Mike diagnosed an inner ear infection, which caused Holly to lose her balance resulting in her fall down the stairs.

 

Mike treated her with antibiotics and steroids. Holly’s head also tilted to one side. We continued on the medication and went to Kilkee on our holidays.

 

While in Kilkee, Holly’s condition deteriorated. We phoned Mike from Kilkee, Mike said he would like to see her again. We drove up to Limerick – no appointment necessary – just come whenever. He increased her medication. We returned to Kilkee.

 

Holly deteriorated further that night. Our little dog could not even stand up. She had to be carried everywhere. We phoned Mike again that Wednesday morning. He said that he would have to take an x-ray at this stage. He thought it would be better for Holly if the x-ray could be taken in Kilkee – another trip to Limerick just might be too much for our little dog. I phoned the vet in Kilkee and explained how sick our dog was and they said they would call back with an appointment. No call came up to 1 o’ clock. I phoned Mike again and he said to bring Holly to Limerick. We couldn’t wait around any longer – not knowing whether the vet would eventually see her or not. Mike would see Holly whenever we would arrive in Limerick.

 

After the x-ray and examination, Mike said he would keep Holly in the Clinic and give her antibiotics and steroids intravenously. By this stage, he felt that Holly had a more serious problem, Central Vestibular Disease.

 

We didn’t want to leave Holly – she is such a pet, and he had never been left with anyone outside the family. Mike reassured us and said he would take her home for two nights. We were really impressed with his compassion for our little dog. Mike was so concerned and caring for Holly in both a professional and personal manner. Mike gave us his mobile number and said to feel free to call him at any time. Every time we phoned (and there were quite a lot), Mike always had time to talk to us in detail about Holly’s progress.

 

At our request for more information to try and understand what was happening to Holly, he explained all about CVD.  He even got a second opinion from a neurosurgeon for us – just to reassure us on the diagnosis. It only confirmed everything Mike had previously told us.  Holly did improve somewhat after her stay in the Clinic.

 

Two weeks later, the tilt in her head had disappeared and Holly was up and about again. However, she relapsed again. Mike has increased her medication again and Holly has responded once more to the change in medication.

 

While she is not 100%, she is holding her own for now. Her prognosis is guarded for the future and we can only hope for the best and make her life as comfortable as possible, with the wonderful assistance we are getting from Mike Canty.

 

We would like to say how pleased we were with all Mike’s caring attention to Holly, particularly during her stay at the Clinic.

 

We would also like to praise Hugh O’ Callaghan, who also saw Holly during our visits to the Clinic. He was just as thorough and caring as Mike. We also praise the nursing staff who were also very kind and caring to Holly during her stay.

 

We will have more difficult times ahead with Holly, but are reassured with the service we have received from Mike Canty and all at the CVC in Dooradoyle as a very caring and professional Veterinary team.

 

We are very pleased to nominate Michael Canty and all at the CVC for this award. Totally caring, professional compassionate and always trying to keep us in good form – even with such a guarded prognosis.

 

Yours truly…

 

PS        Since writing the above, Holly has relapsed again and, once again, Mike saw her immediately this evening. He gave Holly another intravenous injection to bring her around again. Mike phoned us at 10.30 tonight. He is now investigating some further more aggressive drug treatment for Holly and has also recommended dietary changes, which should bring further relief for our little dog. What more can I say about the man – he is truly outstanding.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Juno   Type of pet: Toy Yorkshire Terrier Age of pet(s): 10 years

Vet
Hugh O’ Callaghan, Crescent Veterinary Clinic,

Dooradoyle Rd, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Co. Limerick                        Tel: 061-3001841
Reason for Nomination:

My precious little Juno, originally from the Animal Welfare Centre, had a massive heart attack in June of this year, and because Hugh has always given us his mobile number, I called him at 3.30 a.m. and having given him details of Juno’s condition, he told my sister and I not to worry he would be with us within ten minutes.

 

He gave Juno wonderful treatment and asked us to call him again around 8 a.m. which I did. As Hugh sounded disappointed as to Juno’s condition at 8 a.m. He asked if my sister and I could bring her to the surgery around 10.00 a.m. When we arrived in to see Hugh, he was so concerned about my sister and myself and gave us such consolation and explained what medication he had given Juno, but that he wanted to try an older medication to see if that would help Juno, rather than the newer ones. I reluctantly allowed him to administer the medication and he asked me to telephone him at 12 noon, because if there wasn’t a good improvement in her condition, he agreed that he would definitely put her to sleep, as he or us couldn’t let Juno continue on in her distressed state.

 

Low and behold at 11.45a.m. Juno suddenly got up from behind my chair and jumped onto the stool beside me and as the window was opened on Hugh recommendation, she turned her head towards the window and fell asleep. I telephoned Hugh at 12 noon as requested and he was naturally delighted and stated that he wanted to check her out for himself that evening and would be with us around 8.45 p.m. when surgery was finished.

 

When Hugh came to the door, Juno bounded out to meet him like a long lost friend and got up on the back of my sister’s chair and Hugh’s remark was “doesn’t that face tell say it all”, as she was smiling at him and is known in the surgery as “smiler”. Over the past seventeen years we have always relied on Hugh for all our dog’s illnesses, and a more kinder Veterinary Surgeon we have never come across in all our lives.

 

He is never in a hurry, he always explains in easy language what is wrong with your pet, and when we go away on holidays here in Ireland and our pet or pets have a complaint, Hugh always contacts the local vet in the area and gives them a complete run down of our animals as in this case when we were in West Cork he forwarded all details to a Pat O’ Sullivan the Veterinary Surgeon in Ballyinlicky, just in case Juno took a turn. My own Doctor wouldn’t be as thorough with myself or my sister.

There is nobody like Hugh O’Callaghan and I hope there are enough people who will nominate him for Vet of the Year Award.

=== END OF ENTRY ===

 

 

Vet

Hugh O’ Callaghan, Crescent Veterinary Clinic,

Dooradoyle Rd, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Co. Limerick                        Tel: 061-3001841

 

Reason for nomination:

Being a vet today, involves running a hectic lifestyle, being one hundred per cent committed, and most importantly, having a great love for animals. Such qualities and many more besides can be seen in the work of Hugh O’ Callaghan, who provides an excellent veterinary service to the L.S.P.C.A.

 

To describe all of the great work carried out by Hugh would be very easy to do; however we would find ourselves writing an entire novel. Instead we have isolated one particular incident in which he came to our rescue, and I hope you will agree that it makes a very enlightening story.

 

It is no secret that Limerick has been going through some difficult times over the last few months and it is only a matter of turning on the news to be made aware of this. Our story involves a tale of a little puppy caught in the crossfire of recent hard times in Limerick.

 

As a result of the unfortunate feuding in the city a few months ago, a house was set alight. During the course of putting out the fire, members of the Limerick Fire Brigade noticed an unfortunate little puppy trapped in the burning rubble. So serious were the injuries he sustained, that the only way to keep our little friend alive was to feed him oxygen though a mask.

 

After quenching the fire, the puppy was brought to the attention of our vet, Hugh O’ Callaghan, who at the time held out very little hope for the survival of the pup.

 

However, despite the high risk of death, and the uncertainty of ever finding the pup a home, Hugh devoted all his time and efforts over the following weeks, by fostering and eventually nursing our very sick friend back to health. As far as Hugh was concerned, putting him to sleep was not even an option.

 

The pup has since been homed and our story finished with a happy ending, thanks to the efforts of our vet. It would certainly lead us to think that if everyone regarded life so well and put as much time and effort into helping each other as much as Hugh, then maybe our little puppy wouldn’t have found himself in such a predicament in the first place.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Labrador- Seamus. Aged 4 years (Born August 26th 1999)

 

Vet

V.J. Ireton, (MVB MRCVS), Clare Street Veterinary Clinic,

66 Clare Street, Dublin Road,  Limerick.                                Tel: 061-415104,  also

Airport Veterinary Clinic, Drumgeely Hill, Shannon, Co Clare

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet because I consider him to be a superb vet (based on my experience in the U.S.), as well as a compassionate and considerate individual. Elderly friends could no longer keep the dog. I became the new owner of Seamus (with the intention of bringing him back to N.Y. with me in January 2003). I brought Seamus to Dr. Ireton for the full work up – a thorough physical…a microchip, was implanted and all the required shots (including Rabisin) over a three-week period.

 

A couple of days before our departure, Dr. Ireton examined Seamus and considered him healthy and fit for the journey. He wrote a letter to certify his finding. I asked the doctor many questions regarding rules of law in bringing a dog into Ireland from the U.S. (Should I every have the opportunity to spend a few months in Ireland and possible bring Seamus with me). He answered all my questions fully and indeed patiently. He also provided me with brochures regarding Pet Travel Scheme Information.

 

I can only “rave” about my experience with V.J. Ireton and will continue to refer him to family and friends in Ireland.

 

P.S. The Irish ‘boyo’ is doing wonderful here in N.Y. – hasn’t lost his Clare ‘woof’ yet!

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: A Terrier – Heidi. Aged 3.

 

Vet

John O’ Dwyer, Carrolll and O’ Dwyer Veterinary Clinic,

22 Henry Street, Limerick.   Tel: 061-314203

 

Reason for nomination:

I am an old person and have always loved dogs since I was a child. If there was anything wrong with the dogs, I would always take them to the vet. The last dog I had lived to be 16 ½ years due to Mr. Carroll, whom Mr. John O’ Dwyer worked with. They both kept the dog alive. They were so kind to myself.

The dog I have presently was a gift from the Dog MOMB. She was in a bad way when I got her first. But now she would win a prize at the dog show.

 

At the moment, I am in hospital.  I have two very nice ladies looking after Heidi, and I am looking forward to going home to her. I have her picture long side my bed. She is very much admired. I love her and she loves me.

 

While I am in hospital, John O’ Dwyer has been looking after Heidi. My friend takes her to John for her check-ups. John loves her and Heidi loves John.  That is why I would like to nominate John Dwyer. John has always been very kind to my-self as well.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

LONGFORD

 

Pet Info: 3 cats and 2 dogs – Blackie, Pepsi, Ziggles, Darkie, Sally – 2 cats aged 12 years, 1 aged 2 years; dogs 13 and 4 years

 

Vet

James Victory, Crandaragh Veterinary Clinic,

Market Square, Longford.                                           Tel: 043-46270

 

Reason for nomination:

He is lovely to all animals who are taken to him to be cared for.  He talks to them to comfort them and tries to put them at ease in his surgery.  He is a vet who is very easy to talk to and is very approachable.  I have learnt that he understands the emotional attachment people have with their pets.  He does all he can to save animal’s lives and avoid having to put them asleep.  If it happens that it is better for the animal to have him/her put asleep, James Victory shows great compassion for the family.

 

He is really nice to everyone.  When he is explaining a condition or enquiring about an animal,  he talks to both young and old people present and ensures everyone understands.  Friendly and humourous are two other words which describe our vet, James Victory.

 

Once we had our cat, Blackie, over with him and we told him that Blackie likes to puck chairs and table legs.  So then he started pucking Blackie and called him “the pucking cat”.  James is very knowledgeable about animal health and performs operations very well.  He can inject animals without them feeling it.  He is highly professional at his job as a vet.

 

Over the years, a lot of our cats suffered from influenza.   James treated them and when we finally got rid of the virus around the house, he vaccinated our cats which we had thereafter.  The cat flu has not returned since.

 

Jamaes Victory also neutered all our cats.  One of our cats, Blackie, had an infected eye which became enlarged and blood filled.   The only option James had was to remove the eye and stitch it up.  He did a great job on this operation and Blackie is doing great today with his one eye.  James has often asked how Blackie and our pets are doing when we need to visit him.    It is nice to see that he remembers the cats and dogs that he has treated and that he still cares for their well being.

 

Another of our cats, Pepsi,  needed to have a toe removed which was also brilliantly done by James.  Ziggles, our third cat, had a cold and went off to die, according to James.   James treated him and he recovered greatly.  Since that, he had an absys on his gum and his jaw burst open and was bleeding.  James removed the tooth and treated him and again he recovered well.

 

Just recently, Ziggles needed to visit Crandara Veterinary Clinic again.  James examined him and diagnosed him with feline asthma.  He treated him for this condition.   James allowed myself and my sister to listen to Ziggle’s lungs through the stetoscope to hear the accordian-like (wheezing) sound of his lungs.  I thought this was very nice of him to make us understand better the symptoms of his condition.  He said that he’d allow us to listen to the sound of his lungs again when he returns for his booster to hear the difference in the sound of his lungs after his treatment for feline asthma.

 

James Victory is great at making you understand the problem that your pet has and why they need certain medication or preventative measures.

 

Our two cats, Ziggles and Blackie, are twelve years old due to the tremendous care James Victory has given them.  We had a dog named Rory who lived to the ripe old age of 18 years.  This was, in part, due to the professionalism and caring nature of our vet.  We have two dogs now – Darkie and Sally – who have been treated for worms and earmites.  They have also been neutered and vaccinated by James.  Both are healthy dogs.

 

James Victory is an excellent veterinary surgeon.  We travel over twenty miles to have him care for our pets because he is so good at his job.  We would not bring them to anyone else.   James Victory is the best vet in Co. Longford and indeed, I would have no doubt in saying, that he is the best vet in all of Ireland.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

MAYO

 

Pet Info: Sheepdog – Jessie (7) and 2 cats – Krinkle (10) and Baby (3).

 

Vet

Killian O Morain, Fabby and Associates Veterinary,

Church Lane, Westport, Mayo.                                             Tel: 098-25618

 

Reason for nomination:

Living on a small island, as we do, our vet, Killian O’ Morain, has been a vital lifeline for us and our animals, large and small. It is commendable that Killian travels out to the island (as well as the other small islands near us in Clew Bay) for emergencies in good weather but he has also had to come out in vile weather and at night as well. He does this with great charm and good nature, and always manages to put our pets and ourselves at ease. As well as cheerfully travelling out to us, Killian is always willing to discuss in detail any veterinary difficulties we may have, any queries, over the phone.

 

A few months ago,  my twelve year old cat, Bugsy, began having serious difficulties. These started with gingivitis, which as you know is a chronic condition. I did some research on the Internet and Killian was happy to discuss all of my findings with me. We were able to treat her successfully upon each outbreak of infection and while Bugsy didn’t quite have the quality of life she once had, she was not in pain, and was able to eat specially prepared food ( and yes, she was a small bit spoiled!) and was her usual affectionate self.

 

Unfortunately, she then developed more serious problems. Although he suspected heart problems, Killian took great pains to check her over and test for Thyroid problems. When he found that it was indeed her heart, Killian was very careful to explain everything to me, her prognosis and possible treatment. He put her on beta-blockers but she faded to the extent, Killian had to put her to sleep. But throughout, he was so kind, with such a caring nature towards my little cat and myself, that the process was a little bit less painful than it might have been.

 

Killian’s kindness on that occasion was greatly appreciated but even more so a few weeks ago. Every time Killian would visit the island, or call to my brother-in-law’s cattle or to my sister-in-law’s cats, he made sure he paid a visit to our very special friend – or should I say member of our family – Gypsy, an elderly black Labrador retriever.

 

Killian made sure to explain all the geriatric problems and made sure he was given the proper medication for his arthritis. He always treated Gypsy with great gentleness and kindness – even respect for his great age – and it got so that Gypsy knew Killian when he came and was happy to see him.

 

I have enclosed a piece I wrote about the day we had to have Killian out for Gypsy’s last visit. He was nearly 18 and could hardly move on his own. He developed sores on his hips because of his immobility. As horrible as this was at least it forced me to accept that my old friend’s time had come. I rang Killian, who immediately said he would come out to us the next day, a Saturday. The piece that follows concerns that day.

 

I don’t know if Killian is aware of the great comfort he gave us that day, a day I was dreading for perhaps two years. He took the time to sit with Gypsy before, talking to him as he always did. Afterwards he took even more time to sit with us and encouraged us to talk about our great days and memories of a dear friend. He made Gypsy’s passing easier for him and us.

 

A short while after each of these deaths, we received lovely sympathy cards and notes from Killian, which was incredibly thoughtful of him. And after Gypsy’s death Killian sent me a copy of Louis de Bernieres “Red Dog”. I didn’t tell him but reading this book helped me to remember the many happy years we had with Gypsy, to concentrate on his life and not his sad passing. For this, and all Killian’s other kindness I will always be grateful.

 

I don’t want to concentrate solely on Killian’s handling if the sadder parts of his job. Any other time we have had questions or problems with our pets (we also have another dog and two cats, my sister-in-law has eight cats and a small  herd of cattle) Killian has always been available to answer questions over the phone or travel out when need be.

 

We live on a very small island with a very small population (6) so this contact is so very important to us. It is a great comfort to know that there is someone that cares enough to give so freely of his time.

 

My sister-in-law, Sheila Keeley, summed it up best: “Sure, he has great nature!”

 

The Last Day

Our ancient Labrador Gypsy, just loved these days – balmy and breezy – warm enough to be pleasant but not so warm that he would miss the swims he loved so in younger years. In the years before old age took his freedom, Gypsy would love nothing better than retrieving a stick thrown into the tide. It didn’t matter what type of stick – anything from an old two by four to a bit of drift wood would do – and it didn’t matter what route he had to take to get to the water.

 

While living in Kilronan, Inish Mor, he would terrify me with his wild leaps off the high pier. Here on Inishlyre there would be a great scramble of pebbles before a huge splash! As his extra-large body would hit the tide. Either way he would always bring back his trophy, firmly wedged between his teeth. He was never very good at the “drop it” part! I cried the first time he refused to go for a dead piece of Sycamore. I knew his decline had begun.

 

Our decision had been made the day before that bright summer’s day, shortly before Gypsy’s eighteenth birthday. Gypsy always preferred the outdoors and so, when he woke that morning, my partner Joe helped him out onto the front lawn where he could watch the world go by. The pressure sore I had spotted the previous evening had gotten a lot worse; I was amazed at just how fast these things will eat into the flesh. While the vet assured me that Gyp didn’t feel it as his circulation was so bad, I was very glad we had finally made the decision to let him go. I couldn’t bear to see him with such a disgusting wound, in such a helpless position.

 

So he lay in the lawn, head up, ears flapping in the wind, looking out over the island and bay. He smiled that still toothy smile of his which, in turn, made me smile. I tried to keep everything as normal as possible so as not to frighten him. I brought him his treats and petted him and talked to him then got out the rake and weeded and smoothed the wood chip areas, all so he could watch me as he always did. Joe’s sister Sheila came to say goodbye and fed Gyp his favourite sausages, which he ate – but not with his usual gusto. Neither Tom or George, Joe’s brother and brother-in-law, could bear to say goodbye.

 

I gave him his dinner, feeling his soft muzzle slobbering against my palm one last time. The call came from our vet Killian, to come and collect him at the pier. Joe had been puttering about in his shed,  really just having a think for himself, and I asked him did he want to be with Gyp for a few minutes. I wanted to leave them with themselves for a few minutes but saw Joe’s face as he walked across to his old buddy and the grief was threatening to melt his composure. I saw Tom coming across the bay, bringing in the vet. I lit yet another cigarette – so much for cutting down – at least for one day. I had set out scones (which I baked early in the morning as a means of distraction), sandwiches and whisky. I caught the bottle of Glenmorangie, pulled the cork and took two swallows by the neck. First time I have done that for a hell of a long time, but I really wanted to stay calm for Gypsy’s sake – hysterics and sobs just would not do.

 

Standing by Gyps, I watched the road. Three heads came bobbing over the rise – Joe, Sheila and Killian. Joe’s face set in plaster, Sheila about to sob and Killian, a gentle giant with kind blue eyes and greying beard, with a small almost smile peeping through his whiskers. Sheila could only manage a last pat before the tears started and she had to flee. I sat in the grass at Gypsy’s head, cradling him and stroking those impossibly soft ears, looking into his eyes which, as always, were full of love. Sobs threatened but I would not let him down. Killian explained exactly what would happen. My dear friend went very quietly – the breeze continued to ruffle his fur and we covered him with his blankie.

 

Then it was time for the wake. We sat at our big kitchen table and drank, toasting a great dog and friend. I will always be grateful to Killian, his gentleness and kind nature. He took the time to sit and drink with us, and talk about Gypsy and his antics of yore. It really helped – course, the bottle of scotch didn’t hurt either. Not till the next day, anyway!

 

I nursed my hangover in the front garden. A warm wind blew, the flowerpots were all dry and if the hay had been cut, we’d have a great day if turning. But that will be for another day. I sat that day and watched, in my mind’s eye, Gypsy running over the hill in pursuit of the illusive hare.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Jasper the dog, aged 3 years, 5 months.

 

Vet

Killian O’Moran, Fabby and Associates Veterinay,

Church Lane, Westport, Co. Mayo.  Tel: 098-25618

 

Reason for nomination:

Killian has been my dog Jasper’s vet since I got him as a six week old pup. During that time, Killian has treated Jasper for numerous ailments, one of which was life threatening.

 

At all times, Killian has demonstrated superb care and commitment to the welfare and well-being of the dog, in diagnosis, treatment and after care. He is always friendly and eager to listen to concerns, and offers the best advice to ensure the problem does not recur.

 

In addition, as a new pet owner, Killian instructed me on the best care and environment, diet, grooming and exercise I could give my dog. He listens carefully and is always available outside normal business hours, if necessary. I believe that the compassionate and caring qualities Killian possesses as a Veterinary Surgeon make him an exceptional vet. His interest and concern over the well-being of the animals in his care, coupled with his approachable and friendly disposition towards their owners, single him out as a vet with a vocation – not just a job.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

MEATH

 

Pet Info:  Name of pet(s): Chester and Spike Type of pet: Dog and cat Age of pet(s): 4 and 2
Vet

Frances Harvey, Slane Veterinary Clinic,
Unit 2,  Churchlands, Slane, Co. Meath.                    Practise/Surgery Telephone: 087-2392432

Reason for Nomination:

We must nominate our Vet, FRANCES HARVEY, Unit 2,
Churchlands, Slane, for Vet of the Year 2003.
In March 1999 we bought our first dog, a Bichon Frise puppy. Two days later our puppy became very ill.

 

Frances Harvey was so caring and professional that I left that surgery with the knowledge that I could contact her at any time on her mobile phone. The following day, a Sunday, I was back at the practice as our puppy had only slightly improved and she had warned me get back to her immediately if there was any deterioration or little improvement.

 

Following her close care and attention our Chester’s life was saved and he became a wonderful playful
puppy. We started to enjoy our new member of the family knowing we had the best care available if it was needed. We continued with the usual yearly vaccinations and the odd ailment in this practice until Frances started up on her own.

In 2002 we again contacted Frances when some stray cats had kittens in our garden shed. She checked them out and even went as far as getting a home for one of the mothers. She also put us in contact with an animal sanctuary so that we could bring the other strays there to be re-homed. She also came to our home and took away a very sick kitten and put it to sleep so that we would not have to see it die. By her actions Frances stopped the cats from becoming wild and causing a feral cat problem in our area. We also kept one of the kittens and my mother another and both have had the best treatment from Frances when required.

As our Dog was the son of a Kruffs group winner we started to show him in the dog shows where he was made a Champion in 2002. As you can imagine he is a very important part of our family’s life and his loss would be inconceivable.

 

On December 24th, 2002, Christmas Eve, we had an emergency with Chester. At first I thought he had just eaten something and had diarrhoea as a result. When I was cleaning his bottom out popped a cord,
which is used to tie up meat and it had a knot on the end. Chester seemed delighted to be free of this cord and danced around for a few minutes. This was 2.00 p.m. approximately. After about half an hour I noticed that he was very quiet and not moving around like his normal hyperactive self.

 

I was very worried so I had no hesitation in telephoning Frances. She asked me some questions, e.g. had I still got the cord, etc. and then told me to bring both Chester and the cord to her practice in Slane immediately. We arrived in Slane at about 3.00 p.m. and Frances started to immediately tend to Chester. She examined the cord and was a bit worried about the large knot that was on the end of the cord. She then gave Chester an Anaesthetic so that she could X-ray him to ensure that he had not ruptured his intestines.

 

I was allowed stay with Chester until he was asleep so that he would not get stressed. Frances tended to Chester for approximately 4 hours and thankfully there was no rupture. Frances even missed out on collecting a Christmas present she had to get because her only thought was for Chester and his wellbeing. Yet again I left her practice with the words, “Do not hesitate to phone me if you are not happy with Chester and it doesn’t matter what time it is”.
Chester did get sick later that evening so I had to ring her and following asking some questions she reassured me that this was only a result of the anaesthetic. On Christmas morning I received a phone call from Frances asking how Chester was.

 

At that time he was much better and had even eaten a little food but unfortunately at about 3.00 p.m. he started to get sick again. Another phone call to Frances and assurance that he would be ok followed. Sure
enough that evening he was much better and even moving about a little and eating a little.

On St. Stephen’s Day at about 10.00 a.m. I received a phone call from Frances to see if I would mind if she came to the house just to check on Chester. True to her word Frances arrived at the house about half an hour later. She checked him out and confirmed that he was on the mend but would  take a little while to get back to his normal active self.

As you can see from the above story, Frances Harvey has become a very important friend of the family. She not only cares for the Animals but she also cares for the entire family by giving of her valuable time to both.

I hope that by nominating Frances for this award it would show how much we have come to depend on her and to express our gratitude for saving our Chester’s life not once but twice and for all the care she has given to our
family.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
OFFALY
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Meg, Grouse & Judy Type of pet: Dogs Age of pet(s) :8, 5 and 6 months

Vet
Etain O’Connor Reddan,  Birr Animal Hospital
Birr Animal Hospital Birr Co. Offaly
Practise/Surgery Telephone:0509-23891

Reason for Nomination:

Meg is one of two Black Labradors owned by my fiancee Dave and I. (I was allowed to adopt them when I passed the ‘dog-lovers’ test when we began going out together three years ago!). Meg (8) has a son Grouse (5) and they are the best of buddies.

 

Meg is self-centred, jealous and loves her comfort. She is however, an excellent hunting dog and spends every winter retrieving snipe, duck and pheasant from the icy waters of Lough Derg and the heavy cover on the bogs and woodlands of East Galway. Grouse, who was named when great hope was held out for him as a pup, is a stubborn ‘horse’ of a dog, who is more excitable and less reliable than Meg, and prefers to try his luck chasing Fallow Deer whenever he can! Both are totally devoted to their Master, and sometimes to me, if their real Master is not around!
Last summer we noticed Meg was a bit down and sluggish. Then we found a lump on her tummy.A fellow animal-lover recommended we bring her to Etain in Birr Animal Hospital. We did, and Etain told us the bad news that Meg had at least one tumour and needed surgery. We set a date for the surgery and spent a very sad and worrying few days wondering how extensive her cancer was, if she would survive, and what we and Grouse would do if we lost her.
When the day of her surgery came we both took the day off work and brought Meg and Grouse to Birr Animal Hospital. We brought Meg into her cage in the surgery. She clung on to Dave’s trousers with her teeth as he left – as she always does to convince him not to leave her! Etain told us what she hoped to do and promised to ring us during the day to let us know how things were going. We went away in bits.

 

Etain phoned us later to let us know that the surgey was over and we could call back for Meg. When we did, she was still groggy from the anaesthetic but she was alive! Etain showed us the tumour she had removed which was the size of a fist and explained that it had its own blood supply but she had removed all of it and had not found any others. We took Meg home and continued to worry about her as she staggered and whined her way out of her anaesthetic and got back to herself again.

 

Both dogs were allowed to sleep in the house for a while during Meg’s recouperation but Grouse kept his distance from her while she wore bandages and smelled of disinfectant! As well as her antibiotics, the bandages had to be changed every day, which required two pairs of hands and caused endless arguments over best technique!
After about a week of steady progress, we took her back to have her stitches taken out and Etain recommended that she would have a hysterectomy, as this would reduce the chances of any hormone-influenced tumours in the future. So after about a two months we all went through the surgery trauma again. We felt desperately sorry for Meg who had to endure all the fuss and bandages again but we trusted Etain’s judgement.
After another successful recovery period of about a month, Dave found another lump on Meg’s neck during a now routine daily check. Again we were plunged into sadness and were convinced that she had another tumour after all or preventative measures. We rang Etain who was genuinely concerned and asked us to bring her for a check up. Etain felt that Meg may have had a swollen gland and prescribed antibiotics for a week and asked us to observe her. We kept a close eye on her doses and in just under a week the lump began to go down. Needless to say we were absolutely thrilled.
Meg is now in perfect health again. She had a challenging and successful winter and she is still the boss of the house and the Master’s favourite!
We have recently acquired a third dog who we have named Judy. She is a Golden Labrador, about 6 months old and she wandered in to us from the road. We tried to find her owner but failed. We tried to find her a good home but failed, so we have decided to add her to the family. Judy has a patchy coat so straight away, we took her to Birr Animal Hospital for a full check up. She is now fully settled in and her coat is recovering. She is a big hit with Meg and they have become great playmates. Grouse would still rather chase deer!
We are delighted to have 3 healthy dogs again, and we are delighted to have such wonderful care at hand with Etain and her staff in Birr Animal Hospital. We know that they have as much care, respect and concern for our dogs as we have ourselves and Etain deserves the Veterinary Pet Care Award in 2003!
P.S. We get married at Christmas and she’ll be on the invitation list!

=== END OF ENTRY ===
TIPPERARY

 

Pet Info: Bones the cat (8).

 

Vet

Folke Rohrssen, Cahir Veterinary Clinic,

Mill Building, Church St, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.  Tel: 052-42395

 

Reason for nomination:

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I returned to Ireland twelve years ago from Saudi Arabia with four cats in tow, they were all elderly and simple “moggies”. Over the course of six years, each one developed kidney failure. Dr. Rohrssen attended to the needs of each cat with kindness and sensitivity, on occasions making home visits at night, he supported me when the first three cats had to be put to sleep.

 

He provided excellent medical care for Tu Tu, the remaining cat and despite chronic kidney failure, she reached the great age of 21 years. When we could do no more for Tu Tu, he came to house to put her to sleep, to save her the trauma of a visit to the surgery, spending a lot of time reassuring me that I was making the right decision.

 

I am now the owner of a stray cat called “Bones” (when found she was skin and “Bones”). Bones appears to have mental telepathy, she hates vets with a passion. When I have an appointment for her at the surgery, she appears to know in advance and legs it up a tree and refuses to come down until long after the surgery is closed, consequently my vet frequently gets last minute calls saying “she is up the tree again”. His usual kind  response is “no problem”, keep her in tonight and I’ll pass by the surgery at 9 am on my way to factory duties.

 

I have on occasion taken in injured wild birds or rabbits found on the roadside, if nothing can be done for them he will put them to sleep to ease their suffering, with no monetary gain.

 

Dr. Rohrssen has infinite patience and compassion for sick animals and their owners, no matter how busy the surgery is, you’re made feel that your pet is as equally important as the most valuable racehorse.

While waiting in the surgery a few weeks ago, I overheard the following conversation between Dr. Rohrssen and an elderly farmer.

 

The farmer was arguing about the cost of a recent successful caesarean section on his cow, with infinite patience Dr. Rohrrsen explained each item on the account, after 25 minutes of discussion, the farmer finally says – “Jaysus after all that it was a very small calf you got me”. After that statement Dr. Rohrssen finally admitted defeat, laughed and reduced the amount of the bill, he has obviously settled in well to Irish ways.

 

There are now 3 – 6 vets working in this practice and clerical staff and I’m happy to say they are all stamped with the kind, caring attitude of Dr. Rohrrsen.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Dogs – Nuno (11), Monsy (8) and Strider (2). 8 cats including the ages of 8, 6, 4, 3 and 1.

 

Vet

Martin Kavanagh, The Glen Veterinary Clinic,

Blind Street, Tipperary Town. Tel: 062-52992

 

Reason for nomination:

Martin deals with each animal on an individual basis. The owner does not feel that their pet is just another cat or dog. Martin recognises that each animal has it’s own individual character, and the owner appreciates that recognition, which puts the owner at ease. This is a very important element since a nervous owner will invariably result in a nervous animal.

 

Martin also recognises that people need information with regard to their pet’s condition when they visit the vet. Sometimes people can come away from a clinic utterly confused. One particular reason why I wish to nominate Martin is because of the time he takes to explain the ailment to the owner and to illustrate the effect it will have on the animal in both the short and long-term.

 

Because we have eleven animals, Martin is practically treating a football team. Each time we take any of the “team” to Martin he gives that animal quality time and we do not feel that we are being rushed in any way. Martin takes time to talk with each individual that takes a pet to the clinic and the owner knows that they are not just another number.

 

One of our dogs called “Nuno” is eleven years and we have had him for 10 ½ of those years. As you can imagine then, Nuno forms a central part of our lives. Two years ago Nuno became ill and tests had to be carried out to ascertain whether the illness was life-threatening or not. It was a trying time for us, but when we took Nuno to Martin, the skill, patience and understanding with which Martin dealt with the situation helped to alleviate our fears and two years later Nuno continues to be a ‘pup’ at eleven years.

 

Another dog, Monsy, had dermatitis which had pestered him intermittently over a long period of time. Following a series of visits to Martin and some careful  treatments, Monsy’s condition has vanished, a fact for which Monsy would like to nominate Martin.

 

The latest addition to our “family” is a little stray called “Dusty”. Unfortunately we recently discovered that she is very sick. Every week we have to take Dusty to the Clinic for her injection. Even when Martin is not on duty, he has made it his business to come in to the Clinic to deal with her.

 

In short Martin Kavanagh is a very caring, understanding and approachable vet. He recognises that for every person that attends his Clinic, their animal is a vital part of their lives whether that animal happens to be a Great Dane or a hamster. Martin is committed to his vocation and that commitment is evident to all who attend the Clinic. In this day and age when we are all in such a hurry, it is nice to meet someone who cares.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WATERFORD
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Rembrandt, Penny, Ema,Rubins, Miley    Type of pet: 3 dogs-2cats
Age of pet(s): between 12yrs-2years

Vet

Bart McKenna  Barrack St.Vet clinic
38 Barrack Street Waterford  Practise/Surgery Telephone:051-370776

Reason for Nomination:

 

I honestly believe that my vet Bart is the kindest most caring person that I know and for me it is a great honour to be able to sit down at my computer and tell someone about him.
Bart took over the practice from another great vet Donal Tully. I was one of Bart’s first customers and a very upset one at that because my beautiful Cavalier King Charles Basil was very ill and this was on a bank holiday weekend at 3am on a Sunday morning…

 

I rang this man who I had not yet met and got an answering machine I was frantic. Five minutes later he rang back and 25 minutes later I was in his surgery. All night he worked on Basil who had somehow got hold of some rat poison.
Basil lived another 5 years. Basil died of liver cancer 3 years ago and the love I had for this dog I cannot put into words but it was Bart who helped me through it, seeing my dog at any hour day or night until finally it was time to put him to sleep, I will never forget his kindness.
With Sally a little jack Russell I had who also died of cancer it was the same, he was always at the other end of the phone and when he had to put her asleep on Patrick’s day, he didn’t even charge.
I got 2 dogs from the pound Ema and Penny and for very little money he worked on these dogs who are now beautiful healthy animals.
I know lots of good vets but it is not only the way he treats my animals and those of my sister (2 cats) and those of my fathers also 2 cats that makes me write this it is the way he always takes his time so that I understand what has to be done at home ringing up to check that I am alright and reminding me about boosters etc. and that is only half the story!

=== END OF ENTRY ===

Pet Info:
Name of pet(s): Sam    Type of pet: dog  Age of pet(s): 10 years 5 months

Vet
Patrick Morrissey  Riverside Veterinary Hospital
Davitts Quay Dungarvan Co.Waterford Practise/Surgery Telephone:058 44476

Reason for Nomination:

 

I would like to nominate Patrick Morrissey, because of the dedication and professionalism he showed in saving the life of our family pet, Sam, a ten year old Lhasa Apso.

 

One Friday in August my wife took him to the local beach, a place where he had been many times before. Because she has M.S. she lets him run off on his own, as she is unable to keep up with the bursts of energy he displays. After around ten minutes or so of exercise he comes back to her and walks with her. This occasion seemed to be no different. What she did not know was that while he was some distance from her he had been eating sand, which we think must have had some flavour of fish.

 

Throughout that night Sam became ill repeatedly vomiting and shaking.

 

The following morning we took him to the vets where he was assessed by Pat and kept there for observation. At that time nobody knew what he had eaten. Pat decided on a scan and as a result of the findings told us he needed to operate on him to remove the blockage.

 

After a long operation Pat informed us that he had eaten an extremely large amount of sand and that it had been blocking his appendix and would need to be monitored at his practice until he showed signs of improvement. Initially following the operation, Sam appeared to recover more quickly than expected. Unfortunately the recovery did not continue and Sam began to show symptoms of further problems.

 

Pat told us that he was continuing to vomit and was not showing any positive signs of recovery. He told us that although he was very ill if he had any chance of surviving he would need to undertake a second laparoptomy. Sam survived the operation. It was discovered that some sand had not worked its way into his bowl by the time the first operation had taken place, so the procedure needed to be repeated to remove the remaining obstruction. By this time Sam had developed torsion to part of his intestine and bowel, additionally some of the sand that apparently was very glassy had perforated his bowel. Additionally some infection had started to develop which necessitated the removal of the infected areas.

 

After the operation Pat placed Sam on a course of antibiotics and hydrated him intravenously with saline in the hope that it would successfully fight the infection. In spite of the fact that Pat’s partner was away on holiday Pat showed exceptional care and dedication by visiting Sam frequently outside normal practice hours to check his condition.

 

He also allowed us to visit Sam outside opening hours. On the Thursday we met Pat at his practice at eight in the evening. As Pat was still working on his own due to his partner being way he looked very tired. Sam was still very ill, but one of his nurses told us that if there was only a glimmer of hope Pat would never give up.

 

This turned out to be very true. Pat decided to go back to his practice at eleven o clock that same night to check on Sam. Apparently Sam had deteriorated considerably within a short space of time. His pulse and temperature had increased. Pat decided the only chance of saving him was an immediate and third laperoptomy. On diagnoses it was discovered that Sam had acute peritonitis, kidney failure and food poisoning.

 

The food poisoning was most likely due to the dead shellfish in the sand. At the very least it was salmonella with a query of botulism. If the operation had not been preformed at that late hour Sam would have been unlikely to survive much longer.

 

After the operation, Pat placed Sam back on a drain, administered diuretics for his kidney failure and ordered in a more powerful antibiotic to fight the peritonitis.

 

By this time Sam was obviously very ill and bearing in mind the dogs age, things looked very grim. In spite of this due to the dedicated care and attention Sam received, not just from Pat but from all his team, he responded positively to the treatment and he began to improve. Within a few days he was strong enough to go home.

 

Today Sam is back to his old self, full of energy, terrifying the postman and once more part of the family. Some of recovery against all odds was due to a little dog that in the words of Pat was a “tough little nut”. Certainly even today he belies his age with the way he runs and plays and his love for life. Most of it however, is due to a very kind man who demonstrated an exceptional level of determination and professionalism that we feel should not go unrecognised.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WESTMEATH

 

Pet Info: Golden Labrador – Ben, aged 2 ½.

 

Vet

Enda Finnerty, Auburn Road Veterinary Hospital,

Auburn Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.                             Tel: 044-48776

 

Reason for nomination:

After losing my father the previous November, ‘Ben’ became the life-line in our family – quite naturally and without much transition. It was easier to gravitate towards Ben than to confront (comfort ?)  other family members over our loss – he seemed to empathise – nothing a brief lick of your face or heavy leaning on you, couldn’t cure!

 

So when Ben was run over, our world began to slowly crumble-the proximity to ‘Auburn Vets’ and presence of Enda, were the only two rational aspects that signalled any glimmer of hope. His condition was critical and the first 24 hours brought with it the fear of internal bleeding. Enda promised and assured us that he would do his all to save our Ben. That first night, Enda returned to the surgery numerous times to check-in on Ben. Of course, we bombarded the Clinic with relentless visiting, but again Enda – the most empathetic, charismatic and professional vet  – agreed with us (as he does in his own special way) that Ben could only benefit from the familiarity of our voices.

 

As the days passed, Enda kept each of us individually – friends of the family also – informed of his progress – no time was ever inconvenient, despite our bombardment and infinite questioning. In fact, we were in so often, that his fellow colleagues jokingly said “the ‘e-ward’ is never closed”.

 

Enda knew how much Ben meant to us and how devastating impending death would be. In addition, Ben had snapped at Enda during previous check-ups, a threat he rendered invalid when his life was at stake.

Ben was released eight days later, but each morning, afternoon, evening prior to this, Enda permitted us to bring Ben for a walk. This unknownst to other family members – therefore making us feel an integral part in the recovery.

 

A gentleman, outstanding veterinary surgeon with a humanistic approach – without whom, we would have lost our life-line!

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WEXFORD

 

Pet Info: SPCA New Ross – RE: Stray cats and dogs and injured animals.

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate Annette O’ Connor for her kindness and help she gives to all stray and unwanted animals that SPCA New Ross pick up. Dogs are given a second chance and with Annette’s help find new homes for them. Also cats and kittens get a second chance and wildlife that’s injured and brought into the Practice. Annette is very kind and caring.

 

First and foremost I nominate Annette O’ Connor, but I would like to say “Thank you Annette” from all the animals – strays and unwanted who have new homes with the help of all the staff behind the scenes and I would like to say THANK YOU from Ann Roche SPCA on behalf of all the animals. “Woof-woof”, “Mieow”.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Pet Info: Cats – Oskar and Sooty. Aged 1 year and 3 months.

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet because she was absolutely brilliant with my two cats, especially Sooty. Sooty had an extremely bad accident last February where she broke her tail, dislocated her hip, tore all the skin off her back leg along with all the flesh off that leg as well. She also damaged her bladder and was unable to go to the toilet by herself and had to have her bladder expressed.

 

Annette nursed her back to health and really took the time out to get to know all her likes and dislikes and her temperament. I was most distraught when Sooty had her accident and Annette put my mind at rest because I could see how much she cared for Sooty and seemed to know her. I reckon she cared for Sooty as if she was her own pet.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Annette Quegan because she has given outstanding service to both our dogs, Mitzi and Bonnie. But Mitzi in particular needed more veterinary attention. She was a very nervous dog and no vet could do anything with her without using a muzzle. Annette however, on becoming her vet about 4 years ago, gradually won her trust and confidence. Mitzi let herself be examined and treated by Annette without any problem, something unheard of till then.

 

Mitzi developed a kidney complaint and Annette managed to treat her effectively with a special diet and antibiotics. Then she had a tumour, which eventually needed to be removed. With her history, it was a very delicate operation and Annette warned me it could be fatal. I trusted Annette and knew she would do her best and I wasn’t surprised when Mitzi made a full recovery. Within a day she walked back into the Monastery delighted with herself and so were we all! She has had a wonderful few months of renewed health.

 

I couldn’t speak highly enough of Annette. Not only is she sensitive to the dogs needs but also was very aware of how we felt. She was available on her mobile phone even when not on duty to answer any query or problem and didn’t hesitate to visit if necessary. She is always most gracious, good humoured and professional. I can’t imagine anyone giving better service than Annette gives.

 

Sr. Brenda and Community.

 

Pet Info: Fancy rats- Bramble, Willow and Daisy. Aged 2 years old.

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

I have never come across a more dedicated, committed and hard working vet as Annette and I truly believe she is deserving of first place in these awards.

 

I originally met Annette 3 years ago with my first 2 Fancy Rats. Over this initial period, Annette and I learnt a lot about these fascinating animals. 2 years ago I got 3 other Fancy Rats – Bramble, Willow and Daisy. They were an instant hit with Annette, and if she was wearing a hooded top, they liked nothing better than to climb up her arm, over her shoulder, and then sit in the hood hanging down the back! Most visits were usually concerned with minor ailments here and there. However, at the start of this year, Daisy started to develop a mammary tumour, which was inoperable. After reading articles from ‘The Rat Lady’ in America. Annette and I put Daisy on chemotherapy (Tablets), without these drugs, Daisy would only have lived for 6 weeks as the tumour was fast growing.

 

However, Daisy was still having fun and enjoying life 6 months later – as the drugs caused the tumour to grow at a slower rate.

 

Unfortunately, just before her 2nd birthday, the cancer finally started to get a firm hold. By this time we had made numerous trips to Annette, many out of hours, at Bank Holidays, weekends, etc. –nothing was ever too much trouble. By August, it was time say goodbye, and again Annette was on hand with her kind and caring ways and of course compassion.

 

Bramble and Willow are still around and I am sure they will be visiting their favourite vet some time over the coming months. I truly cannot recommend Annette highly enough – definitely one of a kind!

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: Jack Russell – Noinin (RIP) –was aged 15 years.

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet because she is only the best. After caring for my much loved and faithful Jack Russell Terrier for the past 8 years, Annette had the awful task of coming to tell me that my little pet was not going to make it, after having spent 3 days on an intravenous drip. Noinin died peacefully on Sunday morning 11 am on the 9th of March and it broke my heart.

 

However, there was great support from Annette who, despite being a busy mother and as well as a vet, was able to spend a couple of hours with me and was so compassionate and helpful in every way – arranging for cremation and making further calls to make sure I was all right. She is now on the lookout for a new dog for me and I’m sure her choice will only be the best.

I nominate Annette Quegan as the Best Vet in Ireland.

 

Last March the 9th, our little Noinin died,

Unsullied soul retiring to its source,

Through whom all creatures great and small abide,

Some loaned to us as sharers in life’s course,

She guessed our sorrows and our joys she shared,

Until she heard the Masters voices one morn,

 

Whoever claims there is no dog above,

Might also claim there is no God of love.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info:  Panther (Puss) cat, aged 6 ½ years

 

Vet

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital,

Millbanks, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford.                   Tel: 051-425400

 

Reason for nomination:

As we nominate Annette for the 2nd time for this award her dedication to the care of our cat Puss is well documented.  We are delighted to relate that another year on despite his feline AIDS, Puss is doing remarkably well. Annette’s early diagnosis and her continuing excellent care are the major contributors to his longevity and good health.

 

Annette is always available when there is a crisis such as a midnight consultation when Puss developed cystitis (even though she was off duty) .  This is great reassurance to us as pet owners and this was much appreciated.

 

As time goes on we must compliment Annette on her ongoing  professionalism as a vet.   She keeps abreast of research into feline aids and is in constant contact with the veterinary college.  As well as his usual steroid and vitamin treatment, Annette has recently used vaccinations on Puss to which he has responded well.

 

In competitions like this we acknowledge the acute condition, the crisis and the emergency response by our vet.  Annette has done all of that in relation to our cat, but in our opinion what makes her even more deserving of the pet care award is her consistant kindness and gentleness to Puss who is now in her care for almost 5 years.    Puss still visits the clinic about every 3 weeks and Annette always has time for a cuddle and words of reassurance for him.

 

Just as Puss’ illness is chronic, Annette’s compassion and excellent care of him has now also become chronic.  So this is a plea from Puss and his owners to acknowledge Annette’s prowess as a vet and reward her with the veterinary pet care award 2003.

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s):Reuben.Alanna, Roo, George, Hector
Type of pet:All Dogs except George the cat    Age of pet(s):n/a, n/a, 1yr, 2yrs, 3 months

Vet
Dan Gubbins The Veterinary Centre

Distillery Rd Wexford Town Practise/Surgery Telephone:053- 45755

Reason for Nomination:To Whom It May Concern,

I first met Dan Gubbins under very upsetting circumstances. We had just returned home to find our beloved 3-year-old Great Dane, Reuben had just passed away in the kennels- cause unknown.

 

Our 7-year-old Irish Wolfhound, Alanna was very distressed. Good Friday – I’ll never forget it. The two dogs had been housed in kennels while the family had taken a once in a lifetime trip to America.
Alanna was on medication for her heart so despite our despair over Reuben, our immediate concern was for her. We contacted our vet at the time who visited her and despite her distressed state insisted all was well. The next morning our concerns heightened further as she was getting more and more dehydrated- her eyes were sinking into her head and she started to bleed from her nose.

 

After many phone calls in which we demanded that something be done for her such as a drip, our vet contacted us to say he would not be willing to undertake this and that perhaps we should go to Gubbins & O’ Shea Veterinary Centre. We rang the Veterinary Centre and drove Alanna in straight away. There was no way we were going to lose Alanna too!

It was Dan that saw us that day. He had three distressed patients in front of him- Alanna, myself and my sister and he did a good job of calming all of us. He explained that Alanna was very ill, that she might possibly have the Corona Virus, and that she would need 24- hour intensive care immediately. We walked her straight through to a stall behind the Centre, which would be her home for the next week.

 

It was touch and go for that Easter weekend to see if she’d pull through, with Dan Gubbins and his colleagues being in regular contact throughout the weekend to give us updates despite the fact it was a bank holiday weekend. Eventually on Monday evening we received positive news that it looked like she was pulling through. When we picked Alanna up later that week we were told how sick she had been- needing over 5 pints of intravenous fluid one particular evening but that her temperament made it easy to administer care to her.

This is only the beginning of the story. We are a family that loves big dogs,  having been blessed enough to have owned five Irish Wolfhounds and two Great Danes over the years. None of these family members had lived beyond the age of six due in the most part to heart problems and we had ultimately come to live with this fact.
When we called in to Dan with Alanna a few days later, Dan discussed the options that were available for Alanna’s heart condition. He prescribed new medication, which he said was far more advanced that the Dejoxin that she had been on. We asked him what the prognosis would be for the future. This is where he really surprised us. He explained that with good care Alanna could live for a number of years. To be honest we didn’t believe him to begin with. For those first few weeks we treated Alanna like a frail old lady, even following her outside at night to make sure she was o.k. Alanna was back as good as ever- you’d swear she had been rebuilt. Most mornings it was difficult to stop her running around the yard like a rabbit. But of course she did have her off days.
A few months later I started to experience difficulty in obtaining the medication needed for Alanna, which began to get supplied in only very small weights. Alanna was on two to three 25 mg tablets a day and now this medication could only be purchased in 5mg form. This created two problems- getting Alanna to take approximately ten tablets a day and the price per pack of 25 x 5mg pack was approximately the same as the 25 x 25mg pack- very expensive. Dan to the rescue! There was a human drug on the market with the same ingredients as the original medication he had supplied.

 

He wrote a repeat prescription for Alanna and we never looked back in terms of the medication.
As I said she had her good days and her bad days- and nights. One particular night- her liver area started to swell up. We called the Veterinary Centre immediately and despite the fact it was 2am another of the vets from the Veterinary Centre, John Roche was with us in minutes. He gave her medication, calmed her and spent an hour or so making sure she was coming through whatever episode she was having. And he was back early the next morning to check on her progress.

Life with Alanna was glorious. She was a true family dog who was a big part of our world. She was just two months short of her tenth birthday when she died and, as you’ll find out from asking any Irish Wolfhound Lover that is a ripe old age. Even at the end Dan was on hand to make sure she was as comfortable as possible, as well as counselling his two – legged patients.

So in conclusion I’ve taken the effort to nominate Dan Gubbins and his colleagues for this award as I have found Dan to always be straight in terms of information and expectations, while distinctly kind- hearted in his dealings. He remains up to date with the latest advances to the benefit of his four- legged and two- legged customers.

 

Having had a less than desirable experience with our one previous vet I understand the level of trust that an owner places in a vet and Dan Gubbins has always been deserving of this. The Veterinary Centre is well organised. It’s easy to get information you need whether its about putting a micro- chip in your dog or the best worming medication available. I’ve tried to make sure the staff in the Centre are aware of the gratitude we feel- having sent cards & chocolates over the years however I would be delighted to see their professionalism and their humanity acknowledged nationally and among their peers.

As I type this, I’m preparing to take our new three- month puppy, Hector for his first check up along with Roo, our 1 year old Irish Wolfhound who’s due for her annual vaccination and then tommorrow it will be George the cats turn. I do this safe in the knowledge we’re in the care of a dedicated compassionate professional who is above all things a keen animal lover.

Sincerely

=== END OF ENTRY ===
WICKLOW

 

Pet Info: Teddy RIP, dog – was 16 years.

 

Vet

Declan Ryan, Avondale Veterinary Clinic,  Ferrbank, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my  vet because:

 

Teddy was suffering with a heart murmer on both sides of her heart and Declan cared for her with such love, professionalism and care. He kept her alive for four years with medication. She lived on borrowed time for 4 years thanks to Declan.

 

On Monday, 19th May 2003,  poor Teddy got very sick and I immediately took her to the vet. surgery. Declan came as soon as possible, after the vet nurse rang him. They treated me with such care, it was unbelievable. They left me in a room with Teddy, a nurse stayed with us at all times. Declan came and with such kindness,  he took my poor darling Teddy, he said he could try to keep her alive for another while, but he explained that she had suffered a heart attack and a stroke and that the humane thing would be to put her to sleep.

 

He stayed with me and let me think about it, he didn’t pressure me at all. He even made coffee for me. I needn’t tell you I was sobbing bitter tears as I had Teddy from the time she was 8 weeks old. She was my  friend and companion. Declan comforted and consoled me.

 

When the time came for me to let Teddy go, Declan put her to sleep with such dignity and care. I just can’t thank him enough, he even had the vet. nurse comfort me while he put my best friend to sleep.

I really would like to see Declan Ryan receive your prestigious award because in the 16 years, I had my poor dog, Declan was the kindest vet I  have come across and he really does deserve this award.

 

When he put my best friend to sleep, he lovingly wrapped her in a blanket and asked did I want to bring her home, this I did. He even asked could he ring someone to collect me or he could get someone to bring me home.

Please excuse this long-winded nomination, but it still hurts to relive the memory but believe me, thanks to Declan Ryan, it is easier to come to terms with. I really do wish  him well.

Many thanks,

 

PS Care, humour, compassion and professionalism,   Declan Ryan has all the above qualities.

 

=== END OF ENTRY ===
Pet Info: Non-Pedigree rescued dog – Holly (4 ½ years).

 

Vet

Andrew Byrne, Brayvet Animal Hospital,

Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Tel: 01-2821909                                 E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet because he has all the following qualities: –

  • Compassion
  • He is completely professional and sensible of the treatment of animals and he is aware of when kindness can become cruelty.
  • He has principle and integrity.
  • He has an important role in the community and participates in the community.
  • He is a model and gives tremendous example for other people in the treatment of animals.
  • He has superb patience, is gentle with animals and gentle with people – emotions are very raw for people when a beloved pet has to be put to sleep.
  • He is fully up to date with modern veterinary practices.
  • He is extremely good at dealing with the different impressions people have of animals and the role they play.
  • He stands fast against cruelty to animals.
  • He is fully aware of how animals are treated in the world today and what changes need to be made.

 

He treated our last dog “Muffi” over a number of years. Muffi had a number of very serious ailments and Andrew was unfailingly thoughtful and good in looking after him. When he had to have serious dental work, Andrew got an expert to deal with him. He extended Muffi’s life by many years and when the time came that there was no alternative, he put Muffi to sleep gently and compassionately and showed us the same gentleness and compassion and helped us in our grief.

 

We now have a rescued dog “Holly” – we do not know what she went through before we got her but she is terrified of men. She had to have major surgery a few months ago but she is always happy to let Andrew treat her and wags her tail non-stop for him.

 

She responded marvellously to the surgery he performed on her and is now one very happy dog.

His commitment to his job is far and above what one would expect and we feel very privileged to have such a wonderful vet.

 

END OF NOMINATION
Pet Info:
Name of pet(s):Minou   Type of pet:Cat  Age of pet(s):6+ 1/2

Vet
Dr. Nicola Neumann    Brayvet Animal Hospital
Old Conna Avenue Bray Co. Wicklow
Practise/Surgery Telephone:01-2821909 Practise/Surgery E-mail:info@brayvet.com

Reason for Nomination:

Minou (pronounced “mee-nooh”) is a very special cat, an all-white short-hair that my partner, Pascale, spotted by the roadside near Skibbereen six years ago. Being French, she insisted on a French name for him, which roughly means “cute pussy cat”. He is an intelligent and sociable cat and has had a few scrapes, which resulted in visits to the vet, but in June 2003 he appeared to be straining on the litter tray and was in obvious pain.

 

Our local vet Dr. Ralf Siedewitz examined him on Sunday afternoon and gave Minou anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic injections to see if this would ease the painful cystitis. However, that night the situation became critical and it was back to the vet next morning for an emergency operation. He removed the bladder stones which had completely “blocked”  Minou preventing him from urinating but could not clear the urethral passage, a life-threatening complication which could require drastic surgery. Without delay he took Minou to Brayvet Pet Hospital where Dr. Nicola Neumann had the facilities and expertise to deal with this eventuality.

Nicola operated immediately on Minou even though at 7 p.m. it was well past her normal working hours and she called us that night to tell us that all was well, although the prognosis was poor owing to the condition of Minou’s bladder, the effects of two major operations and the double dose of anaesthesia.

 

During the following days Minou seemed stable and Nicola encouraged us to visit him in the surgical ward and cheer him up. We found the Brayvet team very kind and understanding and they took everything as seriously as if Minou and their other charges were human patients. The urinalysis and blood potassium results were explained to us as we watched poor Minou hooked up to a drip, a urinary catheter in place and wearing an “Elizabethan” collar around his neck to stop him from any mischief.

Five days later – another emergency! Minou’s bladder, weakened from the stones and the surgery had sprung a leak, releasing urine into his abdominal cavity. His blood potassium soared to danger levels and his kidneys and heart were endangered. Nicola gravely explained this latest setback and prepared us for the decision we had feared most, the choice of another major operation or euthanasia.

 

She discussed the cost of the treatment so far (we did not have pet insurance at the time) and the high risk of the operation which would have to be performed immediately as otherwise Minou would die within hours. She even promised to significantly reduce the cost of this operation as she was aware of all the expense we had already incurred. In fact, there really was no decision as we had already decided to give Minou every chance at life, even if slim. A few hours later, Nicola rang again to say that Minou had survived surgery and was already waking up!

The following Tuesday we went to collect Minou for his post-operative recuperation, catheter and collar in place, marching stiffly like a little wind-up toy. What did we see but little red and blue socks on his front paws where the drips had been, making the French colours with his white fur – a little joke of Nicola’s who had obviously taken a shine to him!

 

There followed ten days of home nursing until, seeing his opportunity while his collar was off, he pulled out the catheter tube, leaving the cannula still sutured in place! Back to Brayvet where Nicola kept him in for observation, and two days later he got the all-clear as he was urinating normally at last. He seemed reluctant to leave Nicola and her team of wonderful veterinary nurses who had made such a fuss of him. Home was almost boring by comparison!

When we returned to Brayvet for the final check-up, Nicola was delighted to see him so well after what he had been through. Like a true professional, she insisted in bringing in her nurses to see him and share in the pleasure of a difficult job well done and with such a happy ending. Minou seemed among friends, tail up, and not making strange at all, a powerful endorsement of the professionalism and care which he had experienced.

We highly commend Nicola and her colleagues and nursing team at Brayvet for their care, compassion and thorough professionalism as they restored our Minou back to health, not to mention her good humour when the dangers were past, like the red and blue socks….!

 

We are also grateful to Ralf for his prompt action in referring Minou to Brayvet when complications developed, thereby avoiding kidney damage which would have sealed his fate.

=== END OF ENTRY ===
 

Pet Info: Golden Retreiver – Flash. Aged 3.

 

Vet

Pete Wedderburn, Brayvet Animal Hospital,

Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co.Wicklow.  Tel: 01-2821909                E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

 

Reason for nomination:

Flash has had numerous problems (he is a bit accident prone). And the care he has had has been fantastic, also it is so pleasant at the hospital. He looks forward to his visits.

 

He has a history of being accident prone, so needs lots of visits – and deserves the de-lux care he is given. On one occasion, we had to be seen at 1 am and the emergency team were so kind and caring it was a pleasure to do business with them.

 

I can only say that I have never had such good pet care and personal attention. Definitely, Pete should have the weekend away himself!

 

=== END OF ENTRY ===
Pet Info: Zak and Picassa, dog and cat. Aged 7 and 12.

 

Vet

Pete Wedderburn, Brayvet Animal Hospital,

Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co.Wicklow.  Tel: 01-2821909                E-Mail: info@brayvet.com

 

Reason for nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet, because he is always kind and considerate.

There was a particular time when I had to have another dog (Tony) put down as she got very sick, very quickly with cancer. Pete came to the house to put her to sleep, which he did so kindly  then he carried her out to his van. He then came back into the house for a cup of coffee and to make sure my daughter and I were OK. My husband had died the previous year, so it was a very traumatic time for us. A few weeks later he sent me a lovely card.   I hope he wins.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Pet Info: 1 dog 6 cats- Sasha (Bickon Frise); Constance, Tara, Guinness, Evie, Niamh and PJ. Aged 7, 6, 5 down to 2 years.

 

Vet

Garry Fortune, Harbour Veterinary Clinic,

2 Triton House, The Harbour, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.                Tel:  01-2872099

 

Reason for nomination:

Garry makes you feel as though your pets are as important to him as they are to you. He is full of compassion, comforts you if you are upset – even giving glasses of water and tissues! – and has a great sense of humour- putting you at ease with tales of his past funny experiences- another James Herriot!

 

He takes the smallest illness or injury very seriously, and will never discharge the patient until he is very sure of full recovery, thus one is never sent home still worrying about the pet still not being well. My Bichon Frise had to have a series of blood tests and hated every one of them with a passion. In the midst of a busy surgery, Garry carried her round for about 15 minutes, stroking her and calming her.

I have much experience of this vet, having 7 pets, and would challenge anyone to find better.

 

END OF NOMINATION