2004 Judge’s Selection

Stronghold™ Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2004

 

Organised by Pfizer Animal Health

in association with the Irish Veterinary Journal

Judge’s Selection

 

The National Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards invites pet owners and members of the public to submit nominations by writing about the care and work of their vet.

 

This year nominations were received from the owners of over 507 dogs, 360 cats and various other pets and animals (ranging from horses and hamsters, to an Australian Bearded Dragon);  as well as numerous rescue centres and animal welfare organisations.

 

The following is a selection of nominations received from members of the public for 2004,  which the judges feel give a flavour for the very real stories behind the Awards.  These are presented in alphabetical order (by county) with an index preceeding the full stories.  The order of presentation in no way relates to the results of the 2004 Awards.

 

The names and personal details of the pet owners who submitted the nominations have deliberately not been included here.  Media enquiries to Progress Communications tel 01-2766117 or  email info@progresspr.ie

Index to Judge’s Selection

 

CLARE

Veterinarian Nominated:

PJ O’Driscoll, Summerhill Veterinary Centre, Summerhill, Ennis, Co Clare  tel 065-6828215

“Our Society would be lost without him………PJ is involved with the Clare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the last 25 years or so and we cannot thank him enough……” 

 

CORK

Veterinarian Nominated:

Barbara Fleming, Animal Care Hospital, 14 The Fingerpost, Douglas, Cork  tel 021-4893033

“Barbara Fleming cared genuinely for my dog Max when he was near death’s door.   Max…means the world to me and my concern before I ever took him to see a vet was that they would not genuinely understand how much he means to me – but Barbara did….”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

John O’Mahony, Animal Care Hospital, Douglas  tel 021-4893033

“…when that worst moment in my life came, Ronnie 2 had to be put to sleep, John and his staff were on hand to guide me safely through the sheer heartbreak of letting go of a much loved friend, but not wanting to see him go through so much discomfort….”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

John O’Mahony, Animal Care Hospital, 14 The Fingerpost, Douglas, Cork  tel 021-4893033

“….on return late one Sunday night from our holidays in Kerry, while unpacking the car, our Jet was knocked down by a neighbour…..”

 

Veterinarians Nominated:
Animal Care Centre, The Finger Post, Douglas East, Cork
Telephone:021 4893033
 ”I cannot forget John, Cork’s own St. Francis, who has stood patiently beside me many a time as I sobbed my way through bundles of tissues.  He understands the loss that is suffered when a devoted
companion dies…”

Veterinarian Nominated:

PJ O Driscoll, Cashman & O Driscoll, Riverstown Cross, Glanmire, Co Cork  tel 021-4821248

“He also helped me to bury Bumble, as he said, in a sunny spot in the garden,  since he brought such sunshine into my life.”
Veterinarian Nominated:
Shane Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital, Vicars Road,  Cork.Telephone:0214962799

“How can I best convey the skill, commitment, good-humour, compassion, professionalism and excellent care which Shane Guerin effortlessly dispenses on a daily basis…?…Shane had performed surgical magic on Petal and she is now beginning what I hope will be a long and happy career as a racing greyhound….”
Veterinarian Nominated:
Gavin Russell, Riverview Veterinary Clinic, Distillery Road, Bandon, Co Cork

Telephone:023 41503

“My cat, Sweeney, was in an accident…..He had a serious spinal fracture and a very bad eye injury. His bladder, bowel and tail were paralysed and he was bleeding from his eye socket…”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary, Abbeyville, Model Farm Road, Cork

Tel 021-4343503

…..”Elaine was doing her Leaving Cert.  Adam would be waiting for her to come home at the front door.  She knew he was very ill and it was breaking her heart that he was not responding to treatment…..I phoned Richard…..explaining about Elaine’s love for the dog and the exams…”

 

DUBLIN
Veterinarian Nominated:
Michael McCahill, Allcare Veterinary Practice, Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12

Telephone:01401305
…”I would hold up my paw to tell him I need a drip, or I would go to the press where he kept the magic stuff.  I didn’t like the needle thing but Michael was very gentle, then we would play.  I could lick his face and he would laugh and say I was his special dog…….Please excuse typing and spelling as it is hard on the paws.”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, The Animal Clinic,  Ashton House, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

tel 01-8383003

…”there was “froth” coming from (the dog’s)  mouth…..We called her into the house and she staggered in the door and collapsed as if she was dead…..(Ciara)  said by any chance has she had any contact with slug pellets….” 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, Animal Clinic, Ashton House, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

tel 01-8383003

Reason for Nomination:

“On Christmas eve….my puppy Coco of just 3 months was hit by a car and was in a very bad way….”
Veterinarian Nominated;
Michael Woods, Primrose Hill Veterinary hospital, Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Telephone: 01-2803303
…”She had been born in our house ten years previously and was the four-legged boss of our family….”

We thought that her recovery was like magic. So we christened Michael Woods, “Magic Mike”, and the name stuck…”
Veterinarian Nominated:

Paddy Treanor,  Treanor, Glynn and Walsh, 33A Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

…”Our pets are very precious to my son who is an only child and whose father does not live with us.  It was, and is, very reassuring to have such confidence in our vet….”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:
Patrick  J Pollock, BVMS, CertES, MRCVS, UCD, Dept. of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Surgery, University Collage Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4
Telephone: 01-7166001

…” Patrick is a noble vet who has alliviated suffering in seals and consoled overworked volunteers who feel helpless in the face of this suffering….”

 

GALWAY

 

Veterinarian Nominated:
Aidan Miller, Ark Veterinary Clinic, 46 St. Mary’s Road, Galway.
Telephone: 091-584185
….”one week after Hamish’s untimely death….our seventeen year old cat, Fluff also died….Aidan’s compassion and care have made a huge difference to our coming to terms with the sudden deaths of these little family members within the one week…..
Veterinarian Nominated:
Tom Rennick, Tom Rennick Veterinary, Bishop Street, Tuam,  Co. Galway Tel: 093-24546
….”we got Archie, who we reckoned smiled, laughed and generally gave us someone to talk to when we felt the whole world was against us….His kindness, gentleness, ability and skills as a vet I’m sure are the reason that Archie lived for so long, and if by sending in this, I can convey some of the joy that Archie brought to us to Tom and the rest of the country, I’ve done a good thing….”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tom Rennick, Tom Rennick Veterinary, Church View, Tuam, Co. Galway  tel 093-24546

…”here he is, his schedule way behind, more “patients” to see, more farm calls to make, and another “small animal” surgery in the evening….Yet, he has all the time in the world for me and my cat….I know, in his kindness, he is also trying to ease my own distress at the news of the grim prognosis for Oisin…” 

 

KERRY

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tadhg Horan, The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry  tel 068-22335

…”I go home happy and contented and there, waiting patiently will be Max, eager as ever to get his teeth into Mr Horan’s nuts…”

 

KILDARE

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Rachael Gordon, Grey Abbey, Kildare Town, Co Kildare   tel 045-522390

..”My dog was attacked by two dogs who broke into our garden…..I rang the vets in awful distress.   They drove straight to my home and took Minnie to the surgery.  She died while they were operating on her…”

 

LIMERICK
Veterinarian Nominated:
Leanne Evertsen,  Castletroy Veterinary Clinic, Kilmurry Roundabout, Castletroy, Limerick
Tel: 061-330966

…”Luckily Molly hadn’t had breakfast yet, and was able to have surgery that day….She also has an excellent sense of humour – even during an after midnight Saturday night callout….”

Veterinarian Nominated:
Vincent Ireton, Clare Street Pet Clinic, 66 Clare Street Limerick    Telephone:(061) 415104

” In the last year, both my parents have been ill, one with septicemia, one with Alzheimers, all encompassing, serious stuff.  Our cats are working cats, they care for both parents….Silver, monitors my mother and follows her around, He’ll call for help if she is at the stairs or the door…..”

 

LONGFORD
Veterinarian Nominated:
James Victory, Crandara Veterinary, Longford Town, County Longford.
Tel: 043-46270
…” In the year after Ozzy’s passing my wife and I joined the ISPCA as associate members and lately, I have started to do animal photography for the ISPCA. I suppose it’s my simple way of remembering Ozzy and giving something back to those who continue to care for animals….”

 

LOUTH

 

Veterinarians Nominated:
David & John MacGuinness, Avenue Road Veterinary Hospital , Avenue Rd, Dundalk. Co. Louth                                   Telephone: 042-9339648

…”both David and John have given her one more lease of life and certainly helped her avail of some of her “Nine Lives”.  Long may this continue….”

 

MAYO

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ronan Curran, Animal Hospital, Moneen, Castlebar, Co. Mayo  tel 094-9021586

“The first time I met Ronan was 8am one Sunday when I had found a very sick dog on the road and the rest is history…   …I watched as he took a cotton bud and cut off the two ends, split the plastic shaft down one side and opened it to form a splint for the bat’s wing…….His alltime favourites are otters.”  

 

MEATH

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Noel Foley,  Animal Hospital/ Smith & Foley,  Ivy Cottage, New Lane, Abbeylands, Navan,

Co Meath  tel 046-9023854

…”He has always shown such professionalism, diagnostic expertise, care, compassion and understanding, that it is difficult to find the right words to show the respect and gratitude both myself and my husband have for him…”

 

SLIGO
Veterinarian Nominated:
Niamh Lee,  Mc Dermotts/St Benedicts Veterinary Clinic, Pearse Road , Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
Telephone: 071 9142435
…”My dogs are not just show dogs to me, they are also my family…..In mid October 2003 began a harrowing 4 weeks for me…..She rapidly got worse……A visit to the vet at midnight, a virus….I knew that this was going to rapidly spread and it did…….12 dogs and every 2 to 3 days another dog would come down with this virus…..There were times when I felt like giving up…”

 

WATERFORD
Veterinarian Nominated:
George Kinsella, City Vets, Matties Hill, Waterford      Telephone:051 371155
 “I would like to posthumously nominate George Kinsella of City Vets ….He has left a gap in all our lives. …”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Pat Morrissey, Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co.Waterford

Tel: 058-44476

..”Hooch is very special to us – as our son brought him for us in 1996.  Alas my son passed away in 1997.  So therefore Hooch is extra special, as he is our only link…. “

 

WEXFORD

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbank, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford  tel 051-425400 & The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Rosslare Road,Wexford

 “Pwsan, my cat was hit by a car ! ….I did not think that she would survive…” 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Mr. Peter Comerford , Veterinary Surgeon, The Mill , Knockduff, Ballycanew Road, Gorey

Tel 055-21877

..”At some stage Penny must have suffered trauma…. she was especially terrified of men folk….she must have understood he meant her well…”

 

Veterinarians Nominated:

Dan Gubbins & Brian O’Shea,  The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Road, Wexford Town

tel 053-45755

…”they care for Bijou, a 14 year old Yorkshire terrier who is my 82 year old mother’s sole companion…”

 

WICKLOW

 

Veterinarians Nominated:

Entire Practice of Brayvet Animal Hospital Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Tel: 01-2821909

…”BrayVet has taught me how to manage Shelley’s chronic illnesses.  It took a while but now life is easier for all of us.   With various remedies at hand at home, I can now administer to Shelley with confidence when any minor hiccups arise and, more often than not, succeed in nipping her chronic illnesses in the bud…”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Andrew Byrne, BrayVet Animal Hospital, Old Conna Ave, Bray, Co. Wicklow

tel 01-2821909

“His commitment to animals is far and above what is expected….he is truly a wonderful vet…”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Gillian Hick, Cloverhill Veterinary Service, Ballymanus Lower, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow

tel 087-2868792

“At one of the clinics, a person brought a monitor lizard they didn’t want.  They were just going to let it go on the streets because no one would take it in.  She took it home…”

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Bairbre O’ Malley, Veterinary Hospital, Kilmantan Place, Bray, Co. Wicklow  tel 01-2723857

“I noticed that Zeusy was not eating and lying on the cold floor looking poorly…She would have to operate straight away …..The kittens had lost a lot of weight despite our efforts.  Unfortunately the smaller of the two died and left Zeusy with one.  Zeusy has since not left the kitten out of her sight and so we called her Shadow as she was never out of Zeusy’s….”

 

The Judge’s Selection

 

CLARE

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

PJ O’Driscoll, Summerhill Veterinary Centre, Summerhill, 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 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 in a million.  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 a credit to his profession.

 

PJ is involved with the Clare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the last 25 years or so and we cannot thank him enough.  He neuters animals introduced to him through our Society as a special rate.  He always fits these operations into his busy schedule without question, outside of his own work in his Veterinary Practice.  After neutered operations, he will look after them for the day and when you go to collect your dog/cat etc you are advised about your cat/dog’s general health.

 

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.  A lot of the animals put by him are often very bad cruelty cases and the animals are in a lot of pain.  PJ will go out of his way to restore the animal to his/her full health.  He will do his best to avoid pain and discomfort for the animal by the way he handles them, which immediately puts the animal at ease.

 

Many of the animals which have been treated go on to live a couple of more years of enjoyment of their life with new owners, thanks to the treatment of PJ.  Not only attending all of the animals put by him and the occasional veterinary treatment which can be 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 has been out of pocket on many occasions in the past.

 

PJ is such a good person, we strongly believe that he deserves recognition for his work.  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 the Award as we feel that PJ would be a very worthy recipient of a Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award for 2004.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

CORK

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Barbara Fleming, Animal Care Hospital, 14 The Fingerpost, Douglas, Cork  tel 021-4893033

 

Reason for Nomination:

Barbara Fleming cared genuinely for my dog Max when he was near death’s door.   Max is a king charles cavalier and is my first dog.   He means the world to me and my concern before I ever took him to see a vet was that they would not genuinely understand how much he means to me – but Barbara did – thank God !! for me.

 

Max swallowed a stone and it became stuck in his bowel.   His surgery was serious due to the risk of the bowel leaking when he would pass a stool again.  For 4 days I lived on tender hooks and everytime I rang I was comforted and kept up to date by all the nurses and Barbara.   To make a long story short, he came through it after a lot of TLC from Barbara and nurses.

 

Barbara did all her veterinary duties to an excellent standard but what I will always remember her for was when I  took Max home on a Sunday morning (after his recovery) from his hospital stay @ 11am ….Barbara telephoned me at home Sunday evening to see how we were doing and was I coping OK with his aftercare.   She also gave me her mobile number to ring her if I had any questions or if I was worried about anything.   This was a Sunday evening and she was off duty (NOT ON CALL) , surely, this tells me how much she really cares for the animals and their owners.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

John O’Mahony, Animal Care Hospital, Douglas  tel 021-4893033

 

Reason for Nomination:

My much adored and lamented “brother” was a customer of John O’Mahony and his wonderful staff since he was a puppy.   Whenever he needed a check up or nail cutting or whatever illness came upon him, there was always only one place to bring him and that was to “Uncle” John (no relation).

 

Expert care was given and expert advice to me.  I always relied on John to let me know “what next to do”. John was never found wanting in that department and when that worst moment in my life came, Ronnie 2 had to be put to sleep, John and his staff were on hand to guide me safely through the sheer heartbreak of letting go of a much loved friend, but not wanting to see him go through so much discomfort.

 

My heart broke that night and still is, because I haven’t replaced him.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

John O’Mahony, Animal Care Hospital, 14 The Fingerpost, Douglas, Cork  tel 021-4893033

 

Reason for Nomination:

Our dog Jet joined our family in August 2002.  With lots of research and family discussion we decided a “westie” would suit our family and lifestyles best.  We named him after our children – Jane, Eva, Tom – and fell in love with him immediately.

 

He’s cheeky, fun loving and playful – yet very possessive about his home and family.  Shortly after his first birthday  and on return late one Sunday night from our holidays in Kerry, while unpacking the car, our Jet was knocked down by a neighbour.  The poor guy – Jet – staggered back to us dragging a totally lifeless bloody paw behind him.   Bring a nurse myself I felt this paw was unrepairable.

 

Following a frantic call to our local Animal Care Hospital , we were told a vet would see us immediately.  Tom, Jane and Eva were prepared for Jet to be put to sleep – you can only imaging the tears !  The vet told us Jet was “degloved” – all the flesh was missing from his paw.  He was examined under anaesthetic and special dressings applied to promote healing – skin grafts were queried.

 

John was patient, kind and understanding and practical.  We did not want Jet to suffer.    We had two months of TLC in the Animal Care Hospital – weekly dressings under anaesthetic so our little Jet wasn’t traumatised.  Eventually he had his dressings changed awake, he became so trusting of John, Barbara and staff .  He’s a total success story.

 

He’s bounced back, it’s now a year later and we still feel so lucky to have our little dog – back to normal – bold as ever !  Attending a practice so often one can really see the dedication and sincerity of all the nursing staff and vets John and Barbara – in what must be the best practice in the country.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarians Nominated:
John O’Mahony & Barbara Fleming, Animal Care Centre, The Finger Post, Douglas East, Cork
Telephone:021 4893033

Reason for Nomination:

I MUST nominate the Animal Care Centre at The Fingerpost Douglas, Cork.  Many others and I know of the unending kindness shown to ALL animals that come under their care.  No matter the problem, be it severe or routine, you are always greeted with a smile and the animal with a kind word and a soothing pat.

Having gone through the devastating loss of my beloved 16-year-old Springer Spaniel Zara, I can only touch upon the compassion given to her through her last months.  If she could have spoken only words of praise would ring loud and clear for the Animal Care Centre, especially Barbara Fleming.

Barbara has an angelic aura, which seems to radiate to the animals.  Zara was always pleased to see her, even knowing that she may be at the receiving end of another injection she would contently go with Barbara and I into the surgery. At times, when Zara was feeling her age, Barbara would literally get down on the floor beside her to save Zara’s old legs.  I really do know that she cared greatly about Zara and have no doubt that she feels for every animal she has treated.

On 30th January Zara died naturally in my arms. No words can express the loss I felt and still feel. Even now my heart experiences heaviness and my eyes brim over.  The respect given to Zara when I took her in that morning, even although she had past on, was regal. They took care of her and me with a great gentleness. Zara was cremated as then I only had a rented house and could not bury her. John took care of all the arrangements and I thank him for taking the distress of that from me.

Therefore I cannot forget John, Cork’s own St. Francis, who has stood patiently beside me many a time as I sobbed my way through bundles of tissues.  He understands the loss that is suffered when a devoted
companion dies and can bring upon a brief feeling of calm whilst you greave.

Both Barbara and John are true vets and animal lovers: kind hearted, dedicated, devoted, thoughtful, sympathetic, considerate and full of true affection for all creatures great and small.  If the world were full of people like them animals would be in Heaven every day.

On behalf of Zara, Angus, Sammy and Callie I wish pay tribute to Barbara, John and the girls of The Animal Care Centre and cannot recommend them highly enough for the 5th Veterinary Pet Care Awards.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

PJ O Driscoll, Cashman & O Driscoll, Riverstown Cross, Glanmire, Co Cork  tel 021-4821248

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

[I hope you can read since I am in my 70 now]

 

Because of his compassion for stray and unwanted dogs.

 

PJ O Driscoll is a wonderful vet for all my animals over the years.  He is loved by every dog and cat and he has a wonderful way with them.  One incident was I had an old cat that I loved dearly.  His name was Bumble, he had been ill for some time and PJ would always tell you it was time to put him to sleep a few weeks before, because it would give time to think.  Anyway, I couldn’t get myself to bring Bumble to the vet, so this day PJ arrived at my home came unasked to put Bumble to sleep.

 

I will always remember what he said which was he couldn’t be looking at the animal suffering anymore – such compassion for the animals.

 

He never puts money first.  We had another cat that had a road accident .  He lost one leg but PJ saved the animal , worked tirelessly back at the surgery at night, even though he had work the next day.

 

PS.

He also helped me to bury Bumble, as he said, in a sunny spot in the garden since he brought such sunshine into my life.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 
Veterinarian Nominated:
Shane Guerin, Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital, Vicars Road,  Cork.Telephone:0214962799

Reason for Nomination:

How can I best convey the skill, commitment, good-humour, compassion, professionalism and excellent care which Shane Guerin effortlessly dispenses on a daily basis? Each time I call on Shane for assistance he meets the particular challenge.

My latest dog to visit Shane is Ozzie, last June, at 4.5 months old he fractured his Tibia. At the time I thought oh no lightening cannot strike in the same place twice – last year my puppy Petal had suffered a similiar injury – however, this time I did not panic, I knew that Shane had performed surgical magic on Petal and she is now beginning what I hope will be a long and happy career as a racing greyhound. Ozzie has enjoyed a similiar successful outcome.

 

I was confident that Ozzie’s best chance of fulfilling his destiny to be a champion race dog lay in Shane’s hands.  The plate and screws which he inserted in Ozzie’s leg have completed their job and are removed. He is now 7 months old and has made a brilliant recovery.

It is not just Shane’s outstanding surgical expertise which has prompted me to send this nomination – it is his concern for all my dogs’ welfare, his caring and gentle way with the dogs, his understanding that although they have a racing career which they enjoy – they are also my pets and friends, his willingness to make himself available at all hours to offer assistance and advice, and his constant good humour and patience.

Shane is also committed to educating owners on animal welfare issues. For example, last July he helped to organise and chaired an educational seminar on greyhound injuries and welfare. His motive was to make the public aware of the new information which is available to vets: of the likelihood of a better outcome for many injuries due to new surgery techniques. He gave up his weekend and many working hours putting it together, and the very large attendance enjoyed the benefit of his and his colleagues knowledge and expertise.

Finally, my 12 year old bitch, Florence, Ozzie’s grandmother, recently developed a tumour. Shane gently reminded me that despite my feelings for her I must put her welfare and quality of life first. I knew this deep down, but I did need to be reminded, which Shane did in a most compassionate and caring way. As always, whether the news is good or bad Shane is there to help and support – I rely totally on his judgment.

What can I say about Shane Guerin? He is quite simply the Guardian Angel of all my dogs.

=== END OF ENTRY ===

 

 
Veterinarian Nominated:
Gavin Russell, Riverview Veterinary Clinic, Distillery Road, Bandon, Co Cork

Telephone:023 41503

Reason for Nomination:

My cat, Sweeney, was in an accident on 23rd October 2003. He had a serious spinal fracture and a very bad eye injury. His bladder, bowel and tail were paralysed and he was bleeding from his eye socket.

 

He was hospitalised for four days, put on drip and had a catheter inserted. His vet was Gavin Russell of Riverview Veterinary Clinic, Bandon, Co Cork.

As he progressed things were not looking too good for him. We brought him home on the catheter and kept our fingers crossed. Gavin rang us every morning and every lunchtime to check on his progress. He also sent his x-rays to a consultant vet to get a second opinion.

After seven days, Gavin said that the catheter had to come out as he was worried that it could lead to a deep-seated infection. Bladder and bowel function were not returning and he was very weak. The normal procedure would also be to amputate the tail as it was to all intents and purposes dead, but Gavin did not want to do this as he felt it was too early and could affect the healing process by adding more trauma to an already traumatised cat.

 

His bladder had to be manually expressed three times a day and Gavin did this, but after another week there was still no sign of the paralysis reversing. He also had to have his bowel emptied. Gavin said that he knew of a drug he had used in the UK which helped stimulate bladder function so we researched sources for that drug on the internet and Riverview imported the drug.

 

The drug arrived and we were on a regime of medication four times a day up to 11.30pm at night.
Sweeney was still not doing very well and I became very upset as the bladder expressing was really painful to watch, especially when there seemed to be absolutely no improvement. One day, when Sweeney was particularly bad and had fainted in my arms that morning I said that I felt that it was as much as he (and I) could take and that maybe I was keeping him alive for selfish reasons and that we should consider euthanasia.

 

Gavin said that though the outlook was poor he felt that there was still hope as Sweeney was strong and young and he wanted to give him every chance. He works in a very busy practice and the easy way out would have been to agree with me. Instead he took a tough line with me and told me that I’d have to pull myself together and be strong for Sweeney. He also saw that I was exhausted from the round the clock treatment and said that it would be best for me to get a break and so he would take over for a while.

 

He took Sweeney back into hospital for five days and expressed him several times a day, gave him his medication and came back every night at 11pm to give him his night tablets.  I should add that he
didn’t charge for any of this. I felt so bad that Gavin was having to come back every night that I did pull myself together and took Sweeney back home and brought him to be expressed by Gavin three times a day.

Gavin made himself available on Saturdays and Sundays also to facilitate this.  This continued for about five weeks. In the meantime I also consulted a homeopathic vet to get as much help as I could for Sweeney. Instead of being in any way resentful Gavin was very open to this and very supportive
of any possible treatment that could help Sweeney.

 

We persisted and after seven weeks Sweeney’s bladder kicked into action and he passed urine on his own at 2am one morning. It took another six months before his tail regained its full function and now, other than a damaged left eye, he is recovered and is a very spoilt and happy cat. He owes his life to the

dedication of Gavin and the team at Riverview as he had what they came to nickname ‘the bladder from hell’.

 

It was so hard to express him that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do it and even the Veterinary Nurses couldn’t do it. If Gavin had not been willing to give his nights and weekends to Sweeney he would definitely be dead.  In fact I researched Sweeny’s injury on the internet and it is very rare to recover from the type of injury he had.

The other very positive thing is that Gavin applied all we learnt from dealing with Sweeney and now he gives the same drug regime to cats and dogs with similar injuries and discourages tail amputation until he is 100% sure that the tail will not recover with time.

I cannot praise Gavin Russell and the staff at Riverview Veterinary Clinic highly enough. They were all excellent, but by giving so much of his free time, support and encouragement and without payment for all the additional expressing and out of hours care Gavin Russell went far beyond the call of duty.

 

He more than deserves to be vet of the year.   Sweeney and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary, Abbeyville, Model Farm Road, Cork

Tel 021-4343503

 

Reason for Nomination:

Richard is a born vet.   Not only does he care for our pets but he cares for the owners.

 

Adam, who came to our home as a little pup and who down through the years developed illness after illness which was very stressful for Adam and for us who loved him unconditionally and he us.

 

Richard was there to heal and to calm as well.  Adam developed heart, prostrate and a growth.  Inspite of mediciation, our little man was a very ill dog.  Elaine was doing her Leaving Cert.  Adam would be waiting for her to come home at the front door.  She knew he was very ill and it was breaking her heart that he was not responding to treatment.

 

I phoned Richard to talk to him about Adam, explaining about Elaine’s love for the dog and the exams.   I asked him to talk to Elaine about Adam’s illness.  He invited us over and we went with Adam.  He gave us 1  ½ hours of what was wrong and what he could do.  He gave us options.   In the end, after his talk, he made it so easy for us to do the most humane thing and put our darling little man out of his misery.

 

There were many tears shed.  After all, when someone gives so much love, affection and enjoyment for 11 years we were grieving.  It was a death in the family.  Richard understood perfectly the trauma we were going through.

 

We had Francie but he was not Adam.  We missed his presence for a long time and still do, but Richard made it easy for us to do the right thing in the end.

 

Pippin is now our new arrival from Animal Welfare.  I broke my promise to Elaine when I heard about him.  He had been abused and would have been put down.  I said I would take him and had a real dilemma on my hands how to tell Elaine a pom was joining us after making a promise to her we would never have another Pom because no one could ever replace Adam.  I prayed he would not resemble Adam.

 

My prayers were answered.  He is a real Pip, his own man, quite the opposite to Adam.  No barking, sits on Daddy’s knee to keep him company as he is disabled, gets on very well with Francie – they sleep together.  Pooh is respected like never before.

 

Richard has been busy with Pip already, four teeth extracts, several examinations as he was mis treated to date, samples of urine are just gone to be analysed to see if he has a problem with bladder or hormone.   Richard, we keep you so busy yet you smile and have time for all your other pets and owners.

 

Thank you, you sure are a one in a million and great carer.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

DUBLIN
Veterinarian Nominated:
Michael McCahill, Allcare Veterinary Practice, Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12

Telephone:01401305

Reason for Nomination:

The last year has been a very difficult one for our family.

 

We are an ageing family.  My sisters Rusty and Pen are 17 and 12, my brothers 10, 12 and 9 (doggie years of course).  Oh yes, the others, can’t forget them.    We lost Lucky and Mitise this year so now we have 3 cat cousins and of course our human owners.

 

My name is Holly.  I have liver failure for the last two years.  I have been very sick but my friend Michael the vet has got some magic stuff that makes me better for a long time.  I love to visit Michael.  He is very clever, but so am I.  I would hold up my paw to tell him I need a drip, or I would go to the press where he kept the magic stuff.  I didn’t like the needle thing but Michael was very gentle, then we would play.  I could lick his face and he would laugh and say I was his special dog.

 

He would never put me in one of those wire beds.  I didn’t like them.  We had so much fun.  I loved to go to the vets.  I got to go much more than the others.  I was so lucky after Christmas.  I didn’t feel so good, the magic stuff didn’t seem to be working and Michael looked worried.  I didn’t want to play anymore.  My human, Audrey, asked Michael if we would have one more go at the drip.  It was very sore.  I got into the wire bed, I didn’t want that drip.  My humans were very upset.

 

My human Grandad Matt died very quickly and Audrey couldn’t nurse me cause I need a lot of care when I’m sick, it takes lots of time to feed me.  Michael told Audrey he would mind me.  He came to work every early and went home very late and Audrey would take me home to my own bed at night.

 

I got a lot better but I was very tired.  But I got stronger during the next few weeks.  One day Audrey brought me up to see Michael.  I was missing him.  I ran into the vets and ran all around the place.  Michael said he never saw me so good and happy.

 

The following week I got a terrible pain.  It was so bad.  I put my head on Audrey’s lap and told her it was time for me to go with Lucky and Mitise.  She was crying but I told her it was all right, that Michael would be there and he promised me I would love the journey and I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  We got the phone and rang.

 

Michael was very sick and out of work.  After a while the phone rang.  Michael was on his way over.  I knew he would be there.  We were in the vets before Michael and how my tail wagged when I saw him.  He looked a bit funny and I told him to try the magic stuff.  The humans all had tea and I got this lovely needle and went to sleep.         Well I think I was asleep.  I had no pain and I was running around, jumping and playing.  But the humans didn’t seem to see me.  They were looking at this old dog on the table.  I guess it was my time to go.  I gave them all a kiss.

 

There was just one thing left, to find a dog for Audrey and Michael so they won’t be so said.  I know Audrey said she would not get another, but the old dogs need a young one around.  Got one bit of a Mutt, but I’ll train him.  Home a week from the pound and already he has nearly died twice.  He has to go into the wire bed.  I told him “lick Michael” but will he listen ?  But then again I will always be Michael’s special dog and he is a very special vet.  I will always be with him.

 

Thank you Michael for making my sickness such a happy time and being there for me at any time, day or night.

 

Please excuse typing and spelling as it is hard on the paws.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, The Animal Clinic,  Ashton House, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

tel 01-8383003

 

Reason for Nomination:

She savid my dog’s life.   One evening 19th June 2003, we arrived home from a computer class and went out back to get Dolly’s bowl to give her food.  She was in her house and unusually for her wouldn’t come out.  We looked in and there was “froth” coming from her mouth.

 

We lifted her out and noticed she was unable to walk.  We called her into the house and she staggered in the door and collapsed as if she was dead.   My husband, daughter and her boyfriend were present and we all got such a terrible fright and needless to say all started crying as we couldn’t understand what happened as Dolly was in great form earlier in the evening.

 

In a panic, I rang the Animal Clinic.  I didn’t know then they provided a 24 hour service.  I gave my message to some man and he said he would get the vet to ring me back.  Dolly was still lying on the ground and gave a few “jerking” movements.   Vet – Ciara – rang almost immediately and I told her what happened.

 

She calmly asked me some questions on her symptoms and at first she thought it might be an epileptic seizure.  She advised us turn out lights and talk gently to Dolly.  Then she said by any chance has she had any contact with slug pellets.  I came in and asked my husband had he put down pellets that day and he had put a little powder in bottom of  a tin.  Ciara then said can you bring her in right away – this was about 12 midnight.  She also said bring in the container.

 

I asked Ciara was this bad and she said yes, but I will do the best I can.  We took the lifeless little bundle in to the surgery and woke up a lot of the residents in the process !  Ciara calmly assessed Dolly and started to work on her right away – she put in a line for a drip, gave her some antidote to the particular ingredient in the pellets and gave her charcoal directly into her stomach which she explained was to bind the poison to the charcoal and keep it from spreading.  I think she also gave her valium.

 

All this time Dolly still appeared dead to us but Ciara was cool and calm and talked to Dolly.   My husband and I were still extremely upset especially when we thought it was our own fault.  We didn’t think slug pellets are so dangerous to animals and never envisaged Dolly eating them.

 

Anyway, Ciara said she would admit Dolly for the night and made her a lovely sheepskin bed.  She gently placed her in the bed and told us to go home and she would look after her.  We went home – never slept a wink and waited for the call from Ciara.

 

At 9am as promised phone rang and I nervously picked up the phone to hear Ciara say there’s a little girl here that wants to go home.  We were so relieved and thankful to Ciara and I am delighted to have the opportunity to tell Pfizer Animal Health my story and nominate the best vet in the world –Ciara Feeney.

 

Dolly is hale and hearty since T.G. and needless to say we will never again put down slug pellets and would urge your organisation to warn other people on the dangers of same.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, Animal Clinic, Ashton House, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

tel 01-8383003

 

Reason for Nomination:

On Christmas eve 2003, my puppy Coco of just 3 months was hit by a car and was in a very bad way.  I picked him up from the road as the driver was getting out of his car.  He was an elderly man and we were both distressed together.

 

We phoned Ciara at the Animal Clinic and she said to come straight away (14.00 hours on Christmas eve).  Coco’s rear leg was pumping blood and his tail had been severed by the tyre of the car.  Ciara was waiting at the door of the clinic for us and examined Coco immediately….

 

Through my tears of anguish, Ciara told me she could not save his leg and would amputate from the hip in order to save his life.  She had tears in her eyes also but assured me that as he was so young, he would live a very normal life and would never remember his fourth leg !  I left Coco there with the promise and assurance that Coco would be fine and Ciara would keep me well informed.

 

Two hours later, Ciara phoned me to say Coco was coming out of the anaesthetic and the operation was a complete success.  She said she would keep him until St. Stephens’ Day and I could collect him at 10 o clock that day.  But Ciara didn’t leave Coco in the surgery for those two days, she took him home to her house for Christmas !  At 9.00 o clock that night she phoned me again to say Coco was wide awake and looking for his dinner !   But he didn’t get his dinner that night, he went to Ciara’s mother’s house the next day and had his Christmas dinner there.

 

I collected Coco on St Stephen’s morning from the Animal Clinic.  He was well and happy to see me.  Ciara was fantastic and the level of care and love shown by her was beyond belief.  This is why I am nominating Ciara.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 
Veterinarian Nominated;
Michael Woods, Primrose Hill Veterinary hospital, Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Practise/Surgery Telephone:2803303

Reason for Nomination:

Our first visit to Michael Woods was in the summer of the 2001. Our pet dog Blackie was really sick. She was a black and tan Jack Russell, normally full of life and energy. She had been born in our house ten years previously and was the four-legged boss of our family. She was loved dearly by us and nearly always got her way, when it came to things that she wanted, like treats and walks.

 

But now Blackie was in trouble and our family was very worried about her. She couldn’t really stand up and was sleeping a lot. She was also crying a lot in her bed and wasn’t eating. We decided that she needed some help fast. The thing was that she has never really been to the vet before, as she was normally a very healthy dog. We had a look through the golden pages and decided to bring her to Michaels Woods practice in Dun Laoghaire.

After a short wait, we were shown in to see the vet. He gave her a through examination. He had a very reassuring manner and seemed very competent. He explained everything that he did and seemed just as concerned for Blackie’s well being as we were. After doing some tests and keeping Blackie overnight he found out that she was suffering from a blood disorder, involving her white blood cells. Sadly at this point he informed us that Blackie was a very sick dog and that it would be touch and go for the next few days.

 

We were very worried and Michael did as much as he could to support and reassure us. We thought that we were going to lose our dog at this stage. I would be sorry myself but I really didn’t want to tell my younger brother who would be inconsolable.

Well surprise, surprise. After a couple of week’s drug therapy, our old friend was running around the kitchen floor as usual. Growling for scraps and barking for her walk. She was back to her old self. We were delighted, we though that we were going to lose her. We thought that her recovery was like magic. So we christened Michael Woods, “Magic Mike”, and the name stuck, as least in our family.

Blackie has had few problems since our first visit to Magic Mike. She was an old dog. She had problems with her back, heart and liver. Mike dealt with all of which with greatest of care and attention.

 

Sadly she passed away this year after getting to a ripe old age. I have to say that I believe, that her life would have been a lot shorter had she not benefited from Magic Mike’s Help. We are all very grateful to him for his help and I know that he shared our sorrow when Blackie passed away. Thank you Magic

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Paddy Treanor,  Treanor, Glynn and Walsh, 33A Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I wish to nominate Paddy Treanor of Treanor, Glynn and Walsh, 33 Patrick St, Dun Laoghaire as vet of the year.

 

This nomination is not just for his treatment of my pets this year, but for the fourteen years of outstanding service he has given to my animals – three cats and a dog – now reduced to just the dog.  It is also for the level of consideration he has always shown to me as the owner.

 

Several years ago when I was very short of money I was allowed to pay by instalments.  This meant that I never had to leave the animals untreated because of lack of money.   At the same time I did not have this kind of arrangement with my then family doctor for my son (who got sick often) or for me.

 

I have been able to trust him completely when leaving pets in for operation – emotional times for me and for my son – but he made them as gentle as possible.  He always sedated the dog and allowed me to stay with him until he became calm.  It is so comforting to feel that a much-loved pet is safe emotionally as well as medically when receiving treatment.

 

During visits to the clinic I was able to stay with the pets and comfort them while they were being examined.

 

When I had to have a cat put to sleep he sedated her first and left me to sit on my own with her in my arms to say goodbye and then gently put her to sleep.   A long time ago I had a cat put ot sleep by another vet who just put him to sleep instantly after bringing him out from the clinic where he had been kept sick for a few days;  this was very shocking as the death was so instant and there was no time to say a proper good bye.  Mr. Treanor’s method is the most humane one I have heard about.

 

As someone who believes in combining natural treatments and prevention with traditional medicine, I was delighted that Mr. Treanor was open to other treatments which might help the dog.   I appreciate very much his openness to chiropractic treatment by giving me the x rays to show to the chiropractor.   Because I have experienced the benefits of chiropractic treatment for many years I knew that it would help to lessen the effects of his developing back stiffness.  He has also advised about dosage for chondroitin and glucosamine and about homeopathic remedy for the stress at Halloween.

 

Our pets are very precious to my son who is an only child and whose father does not live with us.  It was, and is, very reassuring to have such confidence in our vet.

 

This year he has continued to give excellent and very kind service to our pets and has always been sensitive to my worry about them when they are not well.

 

A month ago when our fourteen year old cat who had minded my son since he was three and half died, Mr. Treanor rang me to sympathize.   I do not have to explain how important this telephone call was.

 

I recommend Mr. Treanor highly for this award, for the outstanding professional service he has given to pets and their owners.  I am including other owners in this; because I have heard – while sitting in the waiting room – other owners praise him highly.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Entrant Contact Info:
Irish Seal Sanctuary, Tobergregan, Garristown, Co Dublin Phone Number:01 8354370

Veterinarian Nominated:
Patrick  J Pollock, BVMS, CertES, MRCVS, UCD, Dept. of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Surgery, University Collage Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4
Practise/Surgery Telephone:7166001
Reason for Nomination:

Patrick has willingly attended seals, without charge for the I.S.S. for the past few years, while at the same time working full time at UCD and studying for his exams. To be a good vet and be well paid for it is expected an appreciated, but to give without reward is noble.

 

Patrick is a noble vet who has alliviated suffering in seals and consoled overworked volunteers who feel helpless in the face of this suffering. The Irish Seal Sanctuary struggles to provide a rescue and rehabilitation response to Irelands neglected wildlife, Patrick makes that response more efficient and humane.

END OF NOMINATION

 

GALWAY

 

Veterinarian Nominated:
Aidan Miller, Ark Veterinary Clinic, 46 St. Mary’s Road, Galway.
Telephone:091-584185

Reason for Nomination:
On 15th June 2004 our beautiful little rescued cat Hamish suddenly died, most probably from a heart attack, as she was a cat who had endured terrible hardships in her early life.

 

When Maureen brought Hamish’s little body to the Clinic, it was Aidan Miller who was able to provide
compassionate and calm counselling, and who was also able to confirm Hamish’s unprobable death at just six years of age. Aidan has looked after Hamish since we first got her (yes, despite the name, mistake at birth!) as a rescue kitten, and in 2001 he actually saved her life when she had been brutally savaged by three hounds, and left for dead.

 

However, one week after Hamish’s untimely death, on 23rd June 2004 our seventeen year old cat, Fluff (a cat always in direct communication with his inner kitten) also died – this time because I had to bring him to Aidan for his (Fluff’s) final journey into a cat Otherworld.

 

As I gently laid Fluff to rest I was deeply touched and grateful for Aidan’s care and gentleness – he respected my grief at this not only sorrowful but incredible event – where our two cats died within one week of each other – and where we were asking for their little bodies to be cremated so that we could
bury their ashes together in their favourite garden by the sea.

 

And it was Aidan over all the years who had nursed that same Fluffy mischievous cat, and who had brought great quality of life to Fluff’s final years through his perseverance and through his direct surgical interventions in saving Fluff’s hearing.

So I must nominate Aidan Miller, not just for the fact that he is in every way an outstanding Vet, and has dedicated himself with passion and love to working with animals, but also because he has such a gift of sharing and communicating on a human level with those of us humans who care about our animals, and take our responsibilities to these little creatures seriously.

 

His is a lifetime of love, and we can only say, that over this last month, Aidan’s compassion and care have made a huge difference to our coming to terms with the sudden deaths of these little family members within the one week –  our two long-haired cats, who, though different in age, were great friends and who now, hopefully, sleep in some cat heaven, or perhaps, return to visit us as cat angels!

 

So, on behalf of Hamish and Fluff, as well as on our own behalf, we request recognition for Aidan
Miller’s ongoing labour of love with animals in Galway.

END OF NOMINATION

 
Veterinarian Nominated:
Tom Rennick, Tom Rennick Veterinary, Bishop Street, Tuam,  Co. Galway Tel: 093-24546

Reason for Nomination:

While we had Archie, who was the love of the whole family, and the staff who worked for us, Tom did a wonderful job fixing, dosing, operating and generally helping us and Archie to have the best memories of any pet we’ve ever had.

 

I first came into contact with Tom as a kid when we found a Leveret, I think that’s how you spell it, a young Hare with a broken leg. As kids and being upset by this poor stricken creature we cared for him, bringing the young hare up to Tom, who was amazed to see him. If memory serve’s me right, he showed the greatest of care to the poor creature and us. Didn’t charge us any thing for all the care he gave, and set us on our way. The hare died shortly after as does happen with a broken leg.

 

Anyway years later we got Archie, who we reckoned smiled, laughed and generally gave us someone to talk to when we felt the whole world was against us. Tom did 5 operations on Archie for us, each time he was distressed in having to tell us that Archie may not survive this operation.

 

Archie knew what a visit to Tom’s surgery was about and would fight, struggle, howl and generally not want to be there, but each time, with care, love and I’m sure time that would have been better spend caring to his ever busier practice, Tom would make friends with Archie again, allowing him the time to come to grips with the fact that this was for his own good. Archie, through Tom’s care and attention survived an operation to remove a cancerous lump on his leg, 3 operations on his eyelids, and one operation on his eye. He survived for a longer than normal time on this earth, and we put it down to Tom.

 

His smile as he saw Archie being walked into his surgery, or even on the street during his off duty time, to me showed his care and attention to all the animals in the care of people around the Tuam area. When Archie passed away, he died of a heart attack while out walking with my parents. When he stopped and keeled over another person rang Tom’s house and asked him to come down that McGlynn dog was really ill and that they were both very distressed.

 

Tom appeared within 5 minutes. Unfortunately this was too late, but he had lived for at least 4 years more than he should have. To say we have the best vet in the country available to us is possibly one of the greatest understatements I know right now. His kindness, gentleness, ability and skills as a vet I’m sure are the reason that Archie lived for so long, and if by sending in this, I can convey some of the joy that Archie brought to us to Tom and the rest of the country, I’ve done a good thing. He’s a great vet, he’s a great person, but best of all, he loves them all.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tom Rennick, Tom Rennick Veterinary, Church View, Tuam, Co. Galway  tel 093-24546

 

Reason for Nomination:

It’s 2.30 on a May afternoon.  I’m sitting in the waiting room of a “small animal” surgery.  Oisin, my cat, burrows his head under my arm, as he slips away from the other cats and dogs and their respective owners.

 

A smiling receptionist apologies that Tom (the vet) got delayed on a farm, but would be here shortly.  No one seems to mind that things are running half an hour late.  The waiting room is clean, not posh, but animal friendly with various posters offering remedies for minor pet problems.

 

A young girl cradles a Labrador pup, who is there for its first inoculation.  A youth tries to control a boisterous shihtzu who has a nasty wound on his neck.  An old man beams at his cocker spaniel who is causing quite a racket.  “What ails your cat” he asks me, and I tell him he’s been ill, and won’t eat.  “Tom’ll fix him up for you,” he says, “ and if he doesn’t, it won’t be short of trying.”

 

He proceeds to tell me how Tom brought his beloved cocker spaniel back to life.  “He couldn’t even stand, after getting a belt of a car,” says he, “but Tom wouldn’t give up on him, kept coaxing him back to life – and look at him now !”

 

“Tom has a heart of gold,” the woman next to me added.  “Marmaduke here, had a shattered jaw, I thought he would have to be put down.”  She shows me the intricate wiring that holds together the jaws of her ginger cat.  “Tom spent hours fixing that jaw,” she explains.   “Another vet would have put him down, but if there’s a glimmer of hope at all for an animal, Tom will go to the world’s end for it.”

 

4pm arrives, and finally a tall, bronzed, tousled hair Tom beckons me into his surgery.  Oisin clings to me, but Tom gently prises him from me, and immediately Oisin relaxes.  As I explain his symptoms during his examination, I can see concern growing on Tom’s face.  He asks his age and with a sigh, says he thinks it might be hepatitis.  He gently explains that it is hard to cure once it gets a grip, and Oisin had an advanced state of it, but that antibiotics and painkillers would give him a fair bit of ease.

 

He proceeds to ask me about Oisin and calls him a “cartoon cat” (presumably because of his huge frame, markings and four white socks) and I can’t help but feel that I must be delaying this busy man.  I mean, here he is, his schedule way behind, more “patients” to see, more farm calls to make, and another “small animal” surgery in the evening (the sign says 7pm-8pm, but I’m quite sure darkness will be falling when Tom has his supper).  Yet, he has all the time in the world for me and my cat.

 

I know, in his kindness, he is also trying to ease my own distress at the news of the grim prognosis for Oisin.  Consultants and doctors in many areas could learn a lesson from Tom.

 

He asks me to come back again in three days for a further injection and explains how to administer the tablets, and to ensure that Oisin is kept warm.   I leave that surgery in awe that a vet could be so compassionate.  Tom not only sympathises, he empathises.  I’ve never known anyone like him.  He really deserves recognition.  He is an inspiration.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

KERRY

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tadhg Horan, The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry  tel 068-22335

 

Reason for Nomination:

Because he is the most kind and caring person I know.  I am an elderly man living alone.  I love dogs, but as I could not look after it properly or afford to keep one, I don’t have any.

 

My neighbour who lives 300 yards away has a lovely sheepdog (Max).   When I return to my house in my van he follows me and I used to give him whatever leftovers I had.  Mr. Horan heard of this and offered to give me a 15 kg bag of dog nuts whenever I needed it at ½ price.   Max just loves them.  So much in fact, that he can now open the front door with his paw and straight into the kitchen.  Everyone is amazed at his cuteness.

 

So about every 3 weeks I go to Mr Horan’s clinic where his pretty petite little assistant loads the bag of nutes into the van for me; God love her.  Then , without fail, his beautiful wife will make a cup of coffee for all.   There is an atmosphere of friendship and understanding in that clinic, that hits you at the door; a true reflection of the man’s character and personality.

 

I go home happy and contented and there, waiting patiently will be Max, eager as ever to get his teeth into Mr Horan’s nuts.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

KILDARE

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Rachael Gordon, Grey Abbey, Kildare Town, Co Kildare   tel 045-522390

 

Reason for Nomination:

My dog was attacked by two dogs who broke into our garden.  She was too badly hurt to move.  I rang the vets in awful distress.   They drove straight to my home and took Minnie to the surgery.  She died while they were operating on her.

 

I went into the surgery the day after and I was still very upset.  They were so kind and understanding, giving me access to a private room and handling the whole thing so well.  I was so impressed with how quickly they got to my house.  They could not have been quicker.   They also handled telling me the bad news really well.  They stressed how she did not suffer, and how they tried everything to save her.

 

Lastly the nurse, Jan, was as good as any counsellor in helping me handle my grief.  She knew what I was thinking and was able to tell me things that made me feel better.  She also provided me with a poem that really helped handle the loss of my pet.

 

I understand a vet’s main job is the welfare of our pets but I was so surprised by the sensitive way they helped me.  I think Grey Abbey provide an excellent all round service for animals and their owners and I feel they deserve to win this award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

LIMERICK

 
Veterinarian Nominated:
Leanne Evertsen,  Castletroy Veterinary Clinic, Kilmurry Roundabout, Castletroy, Limerick
Tel: 061-330966

Reason for Nomination:

Leanne Evertsen is a part of a practice that has been nominated many times in the past – her collegues (Hugh O’Callaghan and Michael Canty) have justifiably won high praise over the years.

However, I feel Leanne deserves special mention. She is very gentle with Molly and Bobby (my cats) as well as the various kittens I’ve fostered for the animal welfare.  She always remembers what they’ve been seen for last, offers excellent advice, and returns calls when I ring with some bizarre query or other (like if you don’t know if the cat is ‘go to the vet’ sick or just simple home care sick).

When I brought Molly and Bobby in to have their vaccines, Leanne carefully gave them a check up first – thereby discovering the lump on Molly’s breast.  Luckily Molly hadn’t had breakfast yet, and was able to have surgery that day.  Leanne handled the situation with tact and her professionalism was very reassuring.  She answered all of my questions honestly and without squimishness, and she was very gentle with Molly after the surgery.  She phoned me as soon as the results came back, keeping me appraised of the situation and thereby reducing our worries (mine, and my partner’s).

Months later, when I brought a pair of kittens I was fostering for the animal welfare to her, she asked about Molly, and offered further sensible advice.

She is very through – without the checkup she might not have noticed the lump, and the day of the surgery Molly also had her teeth and her ears cleaned, all under anastheic, so she didn’t have to undergo mutliple trips to the vet.  She also has an excellent sense of humour – even during an after midnight Saturday night callout.

For all of these reasons – the gentleness, the professionalism, the humour, the courtesy, I want to nominate her, and I hope she wins.

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:
Vincent Ireton, Clare Street Pet Clinic, 66 Clare Street Limerick    Telephone:(061) 415104
Reason for Nomination:

He’s a super person, not just professional in his veterinary care but careful of the owners too.   He has really worked out in his head what pet companionship means to people and has endless patience.

 

In the last year, both my parents have been ill, one with septicemia, one with Alzheimers, all encompassing, serious stuff.  Our cats are working cats, they care for both parents, actual care, not just by being,  and Vincent, in vaccinating, mending falls from trees, looking after eyes and all the general veterinary work has cared for all.

 

My mother, in all her early dementia, will say ‘As Vincent says…you only get 2 eyes’ and we avoid rows about spectacles etc.  The Bengal, Silver, monitors my mother and follows her around, He’ll call for help if she is at the stairs or the door.  Kofi, the asian, would not leave her side when the consultant called, consultant thought it weird but Vincent has a great understanding of pet therapy!

 

Even in explaining cat feeding, he bonded with both parents and gave them a better understanding of minerals and vitamins.   Would that our various doctors were more like him!  All our cats are trained to walk on leashes and might be therapy cats when they are older and he understands how possible it is.

His opening hours are super, days, evenings and saturdays and he’s come in early and at midnight for other cats found injured on the road.  He is simply a super verterinary and a gentleman!

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

LONGFORD
Veterinarian Nominated:
James Victory, Crandara Veterinary, Longford Town, County Longford.
Tel: 043-46270

Reason for Nomination:

Ozzy passed on, on August 28th 2003 at Crandara Clinic, Longford. He had been a client of James Victory for most of his 16 years. We were very upset at his passing and as a result forgot to nominate James in the 2003 competition. Back then, we decided that we would nominate him for the 2004 competition instead. I hope this is acceptable to you.

Over the years as well as getting to know Ozzy, James got to know my parents and me, and between one thing and another we ‘all’ built up a good relationship with him. The early years of care for Ozzy were quite routine with boosters, nail clips and regular health checks. In a way they are the easy years, yet James advice and care certainly was a major contributing factor to Ozzy’s long and wonderful life with us.

 

James possesses a unique ability to tune in to the needs of an animal and the owner at the same time, which is what we ultimately relied on and needed at the end.

My short ‘nomination-note’ to you is based solely on the lifetime of fantastic care Ozzy received at Crandara, which is too comprehensive to describe, yet impossible to forget. In the year after Ozzy’s passing my wife and I joined the ISPCA as associate members and lately, I have started to do animal photography for the ISPCA. I suppose it’s my simple way of remembering Ozzy and giving something back to those who continue to care for animals.
END OF NOMINATION

 

LOUTH

Veterinarians Nominated:
David & John MacGuinness, Avenue Road Veterinary Hospital , Avenue Rd, Dundalk. Co. Louth                                   Telephone: 042-9339648

Reason for nomination:

I wish to nominate our family vet(s) David & John MacGuinness from the Avenue Road Veterinary Hospital in Dundalk because they treat ALL our pets and big animals as Very Important Creatures (which of course they are).

I am not selecting ONE individual reason for this nomination as to this family it is much more important to have a continuous professional and caring service provided when it comes to our pets.  This is exactly what we get from the MacGuinness brothers and indeed all their staff at the clinic on an on-going basis.

Some examples for this nomination are as follows:

Suzi our 10 year old dog whom all our family love dearly is getting really bad with arthritis and we are so worried about her.  John MacGuinness (vet) recommended we try two particular products to help her and keeps checking in with us to see how she is getting on.  He has been superb in helping and guiding us and with Suzi herself, he treats her like she was a his own.

Beanie and Barnie our two beloved Tortoise Shell (sisters) cats have had many little escapades that have caused them to visit the veterinary practice.  The latest being that Barnie has had to visit as she was not well and again she was treated with great care.  When she enters the clinic her file was brought to the fore and without even a second glance John could call her out of her name.  He prescribed tablets for her and in no time she was as right as rain again.

Last year we had our beloved 12 year old cat called “Lord Henry” put to sleep (sadly) as he was not well and we did not want him to suffer.  The gentle approach from David MacGuinness towards our poor pet was memorable for all the right reasons and his kindness to ourselves who were just devastated was incredible.

Finally, in recent times we have had to visit the Avenue Road Veterinary Hospital on a number of occasions with our (now) twelve year old stray cat called Jamie.  Jamie has been very ill and both David and John have given her one more lease of life and certainly helped her avail of some of her “Nine Lives”.  Long may this continue.

Both David and John also visit our family farm as frequently as needed to take care of our Dairy herd, calves and dry stock. There is never a time when either one or the other is not available.

They never fail to amaze how they can treat all animals so effectively and most of the time with a good end story.

We wish to nominate David and John MacGuinness for their continuous, long-standing professional expertise and kind approach both to pet and owner.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

MAYO

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ronan Curran, Animal Hospital, Moneen, Castlebar, Co. Mayo  tel 094-9021586

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

There are so many reasons that I don’t know where to start.

 

The first time I met Ronan was 8am one Sunday when I had found a very sick dog on the road and the rest is history.  I do work with dogs and cats but most of my work is dealing with wildlife of all kinds.

 

Animal Hospital also send me animals to nurse that they have taken in.  For instance Ronan phoned me one Saturday and asked me to come in and collect an animal.  It turned out to be a bat with a broken wing.  I watched as he took a cotton bud and cut off the two ends, split the plastic shaft down one side and opened it to form a splint for the bat’s wing.

 

Another time he produced a small roll of cotton wool from his top pocket. The “house martin” was held in his “swaddling clothes” by a rubber band.  Ronan had found him in cow doo doo on  a farm.  He washed him and kept him warm until he could hand him over to me.

 

Another bird stray involves “Mr Goose”.  Mr Goose has lived at H.C. since he was 3 days old and he is now 22 years +.  The other day he got a fearful doing from one of the dogs and I was in a dreadful state over it.  I phoned Ronan, who was out at a difficult calving and told him about my problem.  He told me to go wait at his home and he would meet me there rather than at the hospital as the hour was so late (11pm).

 

A friend and I took Mr Goose over to Castlebar and Ronan saw to his wounds and then turned to me and remarked that I looked rather shaken and he was sure that I had not eaten.  He sat us down and gave me a toastie and a very stiff Irish coffee.

 

I may add that I have often seen him deal with older people and he is so kind and thoughtful.  For instance he makes tea for old folk who have had a pet put down and often phones me to see if I have a dog or cat to give them if they want another pet.  He is also great with children.

 

I often have young children who visit the animals and they go along to Animal Hospital with me.  Without exception they all love “Uncle Ronan” (as we call him).  He explains what he is doing and why and makes their visits very interesting.

 

I teach young people who are intellectually disabled and he is great with them too.  He lets them hold the animals while they are getting treated and he shows them the dogs, cats etc who are in hospital.  My gang go back to the centre to report on all their doing, very pleased with themselves.

 

Ronan is good with all animals but he really pulled out the stops when he saved “Paly the Pine Martin”.  She arrived into Animal Hospital stiff as a board and hardly breathing.  He sponged her down several times with warm water and then wrapped her in tin foil and “baked” her under a red lamp.

 

By the time I arrived the 4 day old pine martin was drinking and slowly moving about.  He did not hold out much hope for her.  I am pleased to say she is in great shape and never looked back.

 

His alltime favourites are otters.   He seems to bring them back from the jaws of death almost always.  Two years ago I was laid up for 10 weeks flat on my back and an ottie came in and there was no way I could care for it.  Ronan kept it at Animal Hospital by day and each evening he took it home so as to be able to feed it during the night.  During this time he would phone me to see that I was OK and that the animals were being seen to.  He and his girl friend would pop over and see if I needed shopping etc.  Not many people would bother.

 

There are so many stories that I could go on for pages and pages but I will add just one more.

 

A few years ago someone from Sligo brought in a mallard duck and eggs.  Needless to say the duck wanted nothing to do with the eggs after she was disturbed.  Ronan kept the eggs going on a  “hottie” until I could collect them and pup them into an incubator.

 

Ronan is not just a good vet.  He is a person who cares.  He will help an animal be it 2am or 2pm and he will help the human to help the animal.  He is not afraid to share his knowledge.

 

It gives me great pleasure to nominate Ronan Curran and I trust he will do well.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

 

MEATH

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Noel Foley,  Animal Hospital/ Smith & Foley,  Ivy Cottage, New Lane, Abbeylands, Navan,

Co Meath  tel 046-9023854

 

Reason for Nomination:

Noel has been looking after all our pets for over 13 years, starting with one dog and, at one time, three dogs and nineteen cats, all rescued from, in some cases, death’s door..

 

He has always shown such professionalism, diagnostic expertise, care, compassion and understanding, that it is difficult to find the right words to show the respect and gratitude both myself and my husband have for him, both as a person and a much valued vet.

 

Many times he has seen us with an injured or rescued pet out of hours, even to the extent of telling us to take one of our cats that had been hit by a car to his house at midnight on a Saturday night, he was not on duty that night and unfortunately the cat was already dead, although we hadn’t realised that, he was very understanding and never made us feel we were putting him out at all.

 

One time we had managed to get a badly injured cat in a carrier, he was wild and couldn’t be touched but he had an awful injury to his back leg, it was literally hanging off, we first took him to an emergency vet who said that the leg would probably have to be amputated, but we asked him to make the cat as comfortable as possible and the next day took him to Noel, who spent ages operating and thanks to him the cat is in great condition and you would never know he had anything wrong with his leg.

 

Last year was a bad year for us, we lost two of our dogs and five cats.

 

Our beloved dog Katie was over 15 and Noel had looked after her so well that I know he helped give her such a good life, but the time came when we had to make the right decision.  Noel dealt with the situation with such care and compassion at the same time reassuring my husband and myself, both of us in bits, that we had made the right decision, that he made a difficult situation more bearable.

 

The five cats all had things like cancer and one stray had feline aids, but Noel dealt with all these situations, and us, with all the professionalism and care he has always shown.

 

Recently we had to have our second dog put to sleep, he was 13 and had been blind for years, but had also gone deaf and he was going downhill fast.  Noel came out to our house on his weekend off to put Skipper, our dog, to sleep.  He treated him and us with all the care and understanding that the has always shown and would not even charge us.

 

As I said in the beginning, it is hard to convey how much we appreciate Noel Foley and I know of many people who feel the same way and really hope some of them take the time to nominate him for this award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

SLIGO
Veterinarian Nominated:
Niamh Lee,  Mc Dermotts/St Benedicts Veterinary Clinic, Pearse Road , Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
Practise/Surgery Telephone:071 9142435

Reason for Nomination:

I have been showing    dogs since 1978 and occasionally I breed a litter of pups.  My breeds are Dachshunds and Tibetan Spaniel.

 

Since taking early retirement from my job in 1994, I have been running a Boarding Kennels for Dogs and Cats. Mc Dermotts, St Benedict’s Veterinary Clinic, Pearse Road, Sligo has been my veterinary practice for at least 12 years.

 

All the staff in this practice deserve a nomination, (Vets:  Brian Mc Dermott Snr:  Brian McDermott Jnr:  John Robinson: Niamh Lee  and receptionists Olive Carolan and Birte  Leistenscneider )       but as I must choose one, I am nominating Niamh Lee as it was Niamh who nursed me and my 10 dogs through a most difficult 4 weeks last October/November.

In order to understand how traumatic these 4 weeks were for me, I must begin my story in December 2001. In December 2001 I was diagnosed with a form of cancer that necessitated a minimum of 6 weeks Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy in a Dublin Hospital.  As I live alone, my anxiety was for my dogs.

 

My dogs are not just show dogs to me, they are also my family and most of them live in the house with me. I then had 12 dogs (3 young dogs starting their show career, and the remainder ranging in ages from 3 years to 14 years). Good friends and family “fostered” all of them. Before they went to their foster homes I wished to have them examined by my vet. I also had to arrange veterinary cover for my dogs while I was in Hospital.

 

I phoned Brian Mc Dermott told him my story, and to save me the trauma of having to transport 12 dogs to his practice he sent one of the vets John Robinson to my home, which is 16 miles from Sligo. I was also assured that the foster homes could contact him at any time if they had any worries while my dogs were in their care. Knowing that my dogs were in capable hands I concentrated on my treatment.

In March 2002, I came out of hospital, began my recovery, got my dogs home reopened my business and resumed showing. By the end of 2002, the 2 home bred   mini long dachshunds litter brother and sister “Heidi” and “Zack”were Irish Champions and the Tibetan spaniel “Holly” was winning also.

 

One of the Vets John Robinson got married and his wife Niamh Lee joined the St Benedict’s Practice.

 

From early 2003 Niamh Lee was the vet who treated my dogs on a regular basis. I had great plans for the future – 2 home bred champions, lots of queries for stud and plans to breed from the Tibetan spaniel ” Holly” and the M/L dachshund ” Heidi”.

In mid October 2003 began a harrowing 4 weeks for me. A few days after returning from a show in Dublin the dachshund ” Heidi” displayed symptoms of canine flu. She rapidly got worse and within hours of the first symptoms appearing she had a temperature of 105, rapid heart beat, coughing, lung congestion, sneezing, swollen throat glands. A visit to the vet at midnight, a virus – what can one do only treat for possible complications and wait? Thankfully she recovered, but both Niamh and I knew that this was going to rapidly spread and it did.

 

12 dogs and every 2 to 3 days another dog would come down with this virus-always at different times of the day and night. Always Niamh was at the end of a phone and many times she travelled from her home to meet me at the surgery. My big worry was that my Tibetan spaniel was due pups and also to prevent this spreading to the boarding Kennels. My Boarding kennels are some distance from my house and my own dogs and thankfully it was contained to my own dogs.

 

The Tibetan had 5 healthy pups and 3 days after the pups were born she got sick and of course the pups came down with the virus. After 2 weeks of nursing dogs day and night I was very exhausted mentally and physically, I was bringing the pups the 16 mile journey sometimes twice a day, then Niamh gave me her private telephone no so that I could phone her for advice when she was off duty.

 

There were times when I felt like giving up. However Niamh persisted with her treatment and encouraged me not to give up- all adults and 3 pups survived the virus.

 

Then when we thought we had put this episode behind us, the champion male dachshund “Zack” became ill. Niamh very quickly suspected that he had something seriously  wrong with him and an x-ray together with exploratory surgery showed that he had an inoperable tumour in his abdomen and was put to sleep. I was gutted. I had fought so hard to overcome my own cancer and now one of my beloved dogs at 3 years of age had died from cancer. Niamh and all the staff at St Benedicts were very kind and sympathetic and looked after the cremation of “Zack”

In nominating Niamh Lee, I would like to mention another case that did not involve my own animals but which involved my business. One of my customers, an 80-year old widower who lived alone had a cat “Molly” 16/17years old. He was going into hospital for Tests and contacted me to board the cat “Molly”. He mentioned on the phone that Molly had not been so well, but because of his own ill health had not been able to get her to a vet.

 

When I went to his house to collect Molly, I saw how ill both the cat was and suggested that I bring it to a vet. He agreed and understood that euthanasia could be a possible outcome. He was very distressed and said his goodbyes to his beloved cat. He had hoped that this would not happen before or while he was in hospital. I brought Molly to St Benedict’s. Niamh Lee was on duty and surgery was almost over for the night. I explained the case to her. She examined the cat and diagnosed an Abscess/possible tumour in the cat’s mouth on one of the teeth  —hence the reason why the cat could not eat and possibly why it was so thin.

 

After much discussion on the benefits to its owner of the cat being treated and palliative care provided to it, Niamh decided that she would stay on after the surgery closed and see what she could possibly do for the cat.  A few hours later Niamh rang me to say that she had lanced the abscess and the cat was on a drip and comfortable. She also rang the owner who was being admitted to hospital the next day to tell him the good news.

 

Molly began to eat food again and was returned to her owner when he was discharged from hospital. Molly was on medication, which had to be administering orally, and as he could not manage this himself, he brought Molly to Niamh at St Benedict’s every day. He told me how kind she was and very patiently listened to his concerns while administered the medication—-All part of the service Niamh explained to me. Not only has the animal’s welfare to be attended to but also the owner’s.

 

Sadly the tumour was malignant, but by then owner was mentally strong enough to make the correct decision and have Molly put to sleep

I hope that the judging panel consider Niamh Lee for this award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

WATERFORD
Veterinarian Nominated:
George Kinsella, City Vets, Matties Hill, Waterford      Telephone:051 371155

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to posthumously nominate George Kinsella of City Vets for the  Stronghold Pet Care award.

 

George was an outstanding and compassionate vet who did everything within his powers to look after the animals in his care. The first day I met George was when Poppy became ill very suddenly and as I was new to Waterford I rang the first vet I came across in the book.

 

Though it was a Sunday lunch hour, George immediatly came to meet me in his practise, then at Philips Street. It turned out that Poppy had Leptospirosis and with George’s care and his pratice of homeopathy alongside conventional medicine, Poppy fulled through. Since that day over 10 years ago I have always came away from a visit to see George having learnt something new and feeling that my animals were in the best hands.
Last Christmas we had to make the awful decision to put our older dog, Jessie, down after she broke her hip. The children were with me in the surgery and George was very patient and kind towards them, in being part of the decision and in coming to terms with what was happening.

George Kinsella died this summer and is a huge loss both to animal care and as a friend.

 

He has left a gap in all our lives. As a vet he was unequalled and was always striving to further the field of animal care.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Pat Morrissey, Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co.Waterford

Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Hooch is very special to us – as our son brought him for us in 1996.  Alas my son passed away in 1997.  So therefore Hooch is extra special, as he is our only link.  He is treated as a child by both my husband and myself, as we had already lost our daughter in 1991.

 

In February 2003 Hooch got very sick – I was attending another vet, who recommended I take him to Pat Morrissey for x rays and scans.    When Pat x rayed him, he was fearful of stomach cancer.  I was in bits.  But Pat reassured me he would do everything humanely possible to save the dog and if the worst was realised, we would all face the situation together.

 

He operated that afternoon and thankfully it was only displacement of the stomach together with a twisted gut.  He kept Hooch for a week and the care, attention and sympathy we all received will never be forgotton.    Pat himself kept in touch up to 3 times per day to tell us of Hooch’s progress.  We visited him every day, with a fresh blanket !

 

As luck would have it, Hooch then developed a heart murmer.  Pat now looks after him on a regular basis as he is on daily medication.  Pat is always compassionate no matter what time I call him.   We had a family wedding last year and no way would we put Hooch in a kennels.  Pat offered to take him into his pet hospital and look after his medication etc till we got back.  We all felt safe once Pat was at the helm.

 

It’s a great consolation to know that if I am in trouble or nervous over Hooch at any time, Pat and his staff are only a call away.

 

While other people might think we are overboard about our dog, Pat has always acknowledged the special bond we have with Hooch and how Hooch has helped our home survive a very sad situation.

 

I can never thank Pat Morrissey and his staff enough – for the care and compassion we all receive.  He is certainly our life-line and is truly worthy of this award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

WEXFORD

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbank, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford  tel 051-425400 & The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Rosslare Road,Wexford

 

Reason for Nomination:

Pwsan, my cat was hit by a car !  We took her to Annette Quegan;  I did not think that she would survive.  When Annette saw her she wasn’t too hopeful.  She took her in and treated her for shock.  The next morning Annette gave me a ring to let me know how she was.

 

I thought it would be bad news, but no.   She told me Pwsan had a ruptured diaphragm and a broken pelvis.  Any of the other vets around here would have put her down.  Not Annette.  She said the cat only had a 50:50 chance but she would operate on her.  I could tell from the way she spoke that she was determined to save Pwsan it if was in her power.

 

A few hours later she rang me to tell me that the operation was a success (I call it a miracle)……Pwsan is now recovered, except for a light limp, which goes worse when she wants sympathy or if I tell her off.

 

Annette kept her in for 10 days, and during this time kept in touch to report on her progress.  Annette said that the only problem she had was that the cat only understands Welsh, so she had a few problems in communication.

 

Another thing that I don’t think Annette wants anyone to know is that as she knew that I was a pensioner, the bill was made extremely reasonable.  She knows that Pwsan was a much loved cat both by me and my neighbours.  The neighbours were very concerned about her and during her recovery brought her tins of salmon, one neighbour brought her some holy water from Lourdes !

 

We are delighted with Annette and recommend her for the award she fully deserves it.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, Millbank, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford 

tel 051-425400 & The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Rosslare Road,Wexford

 

Reason for Nomination:

During the 4 years which I have known Annette, she has always shown the utmost care and attention to my animals.  Never showing that she is in a hurry or that she has not got time for them.

 

Annette showed great skill and concern when my cat had an accident and suffered a deep cut under her chin and a broken jaw bone.  I felt another vet may have suggested putting the cat down as her injuries were so bad.  However Annette operated on her with great success.

 

Over the years at one time or another whenever the dogs have had a problem from a rash on Wexford’s nose or Alana with a limp, Annette has always considered the best course of action for them.  I thank her and all the staff at Barrowside.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Mr. Peter Comerford , Veterinary Surgeon, The Mill , Knockduff, Ballycanew Road, Gorey

Tel 055 21877

 

We would like to recommend Mr Peter Comerford because he is very helpful, thoughtful and nice.

 

He has a real charm for animals, we have a little Yorkshire Terrier called Penny, and she is now getting on in years and recently has suffered some setbacks.

 

We got Penny about a year and a half ago from an elderly lady who was unable to look after her.

When we got Penny she was in very poor condition and was very traumatised with the loss of her owner.

 

The poor little animal used to do the most unusual things such as suddenly hiding in a corner for no apparent reason. She also used to behave as if she was unworthy of her food, looking at it in disbelief almost, like someone being awarded a prize but being afraid at the same time someone would snatch it from him or her. The only time she would eat was when we were in bed asleep. At some stage Penny must have suffered trauma, she would get terrified at the sound of papers rattling, and run into a bedroom and hide. She was especially terrified of men folk.

 

These are just a few examples of the turmoil the poor little animal was suffering, however with the help of kind and sincere advice from Peter she made a full recovery, which is rare for a dog so old.

 

Our first encounter with Peter was when Penny broke a toenail shortly after we got her, we were at our wit’s end because she was very distressed and we did not wish to cause her further suffering because of her fear of strangers especially men.

 

Believe it or not the minute she laid eyes on Peter her condition improved, we were expecting major upset but no, she relaxed, wagged her tail as he spoke to her she kissed his hand. Peter examined the paw and said “oh dear you are not going to like this but the only way around this is to cut it right back”. She was responding as if she knew Peter was meaning her well. “Snip” the nail went, with only the slightest reaction from Penny. A dressing was applied and an antibiotic injection all without any fuss.

Next day she was good as new.

 

A few months later she started to yelp in pain when eating or trying to drink, you would think someone was after hitting her or something. She would go mad if you tried to open her mouth to look inside.

I do not drive and I depend on my husband to bring us everywhere, it was a Monday I remember and my husband’s only days off are Saturday & Sunday.

 

There was no way she would survive until Saturday without attention. I rang up Peter and told him what was happening and asked if he could see her and explained it would be after 7o’c before my husband could bring us in. Not a problem he said just ring when you are ready to come in.

 

By evening time Penny was huddled in a ball having gone all day without food or water. When my husband came home I rang Peter who told us to come on in as soon as we were ready. The same performance as before, her condition improved as soon as she laid eyes on Peter. Not the slightest bit of nerves, she must have understood he meant her well.

 

Peter was able to open her mouth without any commotion; he put in his finger “ah” he said there is the problem, a bad tooth.

 

Now he said there is two ways of doing this, I can give her a general anaesthetic but that is not a good idea with old small frail animals or if you are willing to hold her I will try to extract it as it is rather loose.

We chose the latter option and before I blinked the offending tooth was in the bin. Not even a whimper from Penny.

 

Next Peter de-scaled the plaque from the rest of Penny’s teeth and gave her an antibiotic in case of infection. My husband asked if there was anything available to help Penny’s teeth and Peter gave us a tube of special toothpaste, which Penny now loves.

 

Life would be so good if the medical profession would treat people with a fraction of the kindness and helpfulness shown here to a poor little dog.

 

On the day’s we were at Peter’s surgery it was easy to see his wholehearted dedication to his career and his love of animals. When you arrive in his yard you are greeted by a well behaving good natured “motley crew canine welcoming party” which contribute to the good vibes you get on entering the yard.

The selection of dogs of different breeds behave impeccably, and I am sure represent comfort and welcome to any unfortunate ill animal in need of reassurance and comfort.

 

There are a selection of sheds around the courtyard which are wards for various horses, ponies and farm animals in recuperation which further enhances the atmosphere of care and commitment.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarians Nominated:

Dan Gubbins & Brian O’Shea,  The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Road, Wexford Town

tel 053-45755

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Over the many years I have dealt with them, they have shown great dedication compassion and humanity.  Especially in how they care for Bijou, a 14 year old Yorkshire terrier who is my 82 year old mother’s sole companion.

 

He suffers from epilepsy and heart failure and is on a lot of medication, which thankfully is working very well.  A few months ago I was away for a day and my mum rang me, very upset, to say Bijou seemed very distressed.  I immediately called the vet and he was up with her within 10 minutes.  He could see how distressed both my mum and the dog were and he took Bijou down to the surgery partly to give my mum a rest as she too has a lot of heart problems and he saw how upset she was seeing Bijou ill.

 

He put his arm around her and told her not to worry and she should go to bed for the afternoon.  When I returned home and went down to collect Bijou, he had been given treatment and was back to his old self !!

 

Earlier this month my husband and I went on our first holiday  since our honeymoon (6 years ago).  We hadn’t been away for more than one day before as I have to give Bijou his tablets every day as my mum can’t manage it.  The veterinary centre arranged for a vet to call every day to give Bijou his tablets and check up on him.

 

One of our own dogs, Ben, was a stray and is not very strong.  Anytime he has been ill the vets’ have been very thorough in investigating the problem.  Ultimately, I feel both Dan Gubbins and Brian O’Shea show a great love for animals and appreciate the feelings of the owners and only for them Bijou would not be as well as he is today, and at this moment running around with his ball and truly living up to his kennel name Gurtbawn “Forever Young” !!!

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

WICKLOW

 

Veterinarians Nominated:

Entire Practice of Brayvet Animal Hospital Old Conna Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Tel: 01-2821909

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I would like to nominate the entire practice of Brayvet who have looked after my dog, Shelley, with such loving care for the past nine years.

 

Shelley, now thirteen, has suffered over the years with a wide variety of complaints – some chronic – so, we have both been frequent visitors to BrayVet where we feel very much at home.  Shelley is well known to every member of the staff – from the receptionists through to all the vets, not to mention the resident cats.

 

The reception area is wonderful where clients intermingle constantly with staff members, who while passing through, are never in a rush and always have time to gently enquire as to the health of each animal and to have a reassuring chat with its owner.

 

I think Shelley regards BrayVet as her second home.  She rushes in, tail wagging, extracts pets from all and sundry – staff and clients alike – and then welcomes every newcomer with gusto.

 

I will not go into the details of Shelley’s various illnesses .  Suffice to say that she has always received top class attention from all the staff who, if requested, will instantly supply additional information down-loaded from the internet.  I really cannot praise BrayVet enough.

 

Regarding myself, BrayVet has taught me how to manage Shelley’s chronic illnesses.  It took a while but now life is easier for all of us.   With various remedies at hand at home, I can now administer to Shelley with confidence when any minor hiccups arise and, more often than not, succeed in nipping her chronic illnesses in the bud.

 

Just to add a little footnote:   When my sister died suddenly earlier this year, I was overwhelmed by the kindness and support of the BrayVet staff.

 

Brayvet is a wonderful example of how a practice should be run and is most deserving of any award that may come its way.  I am privileged to be one of its many clients.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Andrew Byrne, BrayVet Animal Hospital, Old Conna Ave, Bray, Co. Wicklow

tel 01-2821909

 

Reason for Nomination:

We would like to nominate our vet, Andrew Byrne, from the Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2004 for the following reasons –

 

Andrew has been our vet for 16 years.

 

Our dog, Holly, has always been afraid of men but she loves Andrew and last week when she was with him, she kept giving him the paw in the hope he would get down beside her and  give her a rub.

 

He is extremely good at diagnosis – last year Holly had to be operated on for cruciate ligaments.  Andrew said it would take 6 months to get her completely well again and it was six months almost to the day when she was able to play ball again.

 

He has 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 and participates in the community
  • He gives tremendous example to people in the treatment of animals and is a wonderful role model for children
  • 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 understanding, kind and helps people to go forward.
  • 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 changes need to be made

 

 

He treated our last dog Muffi over a number of years.  Muffi had many serious ailments and Andrew was unfailingly thoughtful and helpful in looking after him.   When he had to have serious dental work, Andrew got his taken care of.  He extended Muffi’s life by many years and when the time came there was no alternative, he put Muffi to sleep gently and compassionately and showed us the same kindness – his goodness to Muffi and ourselves helped us greatly in our grief.

 

We wish to nominate him for this Award because his commitment to animals is far and above what is expected.  We feel he deserves this Award because he is truly a wonderful vet.

 

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Entrant Contact Info

Sharon Russell, c/o Irish Blue Cross  tel 4163030   info@bluecross.ie

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Gillian Hick, Cloverhill Veterinary Service, Ballymanus Lower, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow

tel 087-2868792

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Gillian is one of the Blue Cross Vets.  She attends the Ballyfermot clinic every Wednesday.  She is a very dedicated person.

 

At one of the clinics, a person brought a monitor lizard they didn’t want.  They were just going to let it go on the streets because no one would take it in.  She took it home that evening to Wicklow and found a great home for it.  She would bring cases to Wicklow after the clinic and treat them until 2 in the morning if they were an emergency.

 

She is always willing to help with advice if we have any queries.  She recently had a baby and still manages a heavy workload alongside being a full time mother.

 

Gillian should definitely win an award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Bairbre O’ Malley, Veterinary Hospital, Kilmantan Place, Bray, Co. Wicklow  tel 01-2723857

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Our cat Zeusy was very ill in July and without Bairbre’s skill and caring she would not be with us today. This is our story:

 

Zeusy is a silver tabby we were given last November.  She is a beautiful cat, very affectionate and gentle.  We thought it would be nice to have one litter of kittens before we had her spayed.

 

On Wednesday 7th July Zeusy went into labour.  She seemed to be having problems giving birth, so I rang Bairbre.  She heard her cries over the phone and suggested we brought her in straight away.  She had 5 kittens with Bairbre’s help, one died on birth.

 

Zeusy took to motherhood straight away.  We had to go away that evening for an important meeting so Bairbre kindly suggested leaving them with her overnight.  On Thursday my sister collected the new family from Bairbre, mother and kittens were doing well.    We brought them home later that evening and put them into a warm box with a  hot water bottle benath.  Zuesy was looking sore but in good form.

 

Later I noticed that Zeusy was not eating and lying on the cold floor looking poorly.  By the next morning she looked even worse and there was a horrible septic smell coming from her.  I range Bairbre immediately and she told me to bring her in straight away.

 

When Bairbre examined Zeusy she found that two of her teats were very swollen and one of them had turned black.  Her diagnosis was gangrenous mastitis.  She would have to operate straight away if she had any chance of survival.  Zeusy was given antibiotics to help control the spread.  Bairbre told me that Zeusy would be too sick to take any further part in rearing her kittens, so she told us we would have to hand rear them.  Clare, Bairbre’s nurse, showed us how to feed and clean them.  We took the kittens home and left Zeusy with Bairbre, not sure if we would see her alive again.

 

Bairbre operated that lunch time to find a very nasty infection of pus and sour milk.  She said she had never seen this type of infection this bad in all her years of practice.  She said the smell was over powering and the stench lingered for a few days afterwards even with the windows open.

 

Zeusy survived the operation which removed one teat.  Bairbre did not think she would survive the removal of both teats in one go.  She put Zeusy on strong pain killers and more antibiotics to try and stabilise her.  On Saturday, Bairbre thought the cat was too critical to leave the surgery or give her to an emergency hospital, so she brought her home to give her round the clock attention.  Zeusy cried the whole time for her kittens and made a poor Bairbre’s night sleepless.  Bairbre continued to look after her through the weekend.

 

On Monday Zeusy had made sufficient recovery for the second operation.  This removed the rest of the infection under the 2nd teat.  This left a ten inch scar on her tummy, leaving her looking like a greyhound.  Bairbre again cared for her till Wednesday when she thought Zeusy was well enough to return home with me.

 

I brought in her kittens.  Unfortunately 2 had died and the other 2 were very underweight.  Bairbre assumed the kittens had not received enough of the mother’s milk in order to gain the strength to survive.

 

When Zeusy saw her kittens, to Bairbre’s amazement and mine, she took straight to the kittens, curled around them and began to purr for the first time since before the birth.  She actually kept milk and began to feed the poorly kittens.

 

The kittens had lost a lot of weight despite our efforts.  Unfortunately the smaller of the two died and left Zeusy with one.  Zeusy has since not left the kitten out of her sight and so we called her Shadow as she was never out of Zeusy’s.

 

Zeusy has since made a full recovery and her kitten has gotton as big as her.  We are very grateful to Bairbre for her care and love she gave Zeusy.  She is a wonderful vet and we recommend her to anyone that loves their pets as much as we do.

 

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

 

 

 

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