2005 Judge’s Selection

Stronghold™ Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2005

 

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 veterinary teams.

 

This year nominations were received about a wide variety of pets and animals, from hounds to hedgehogs.  Stories were written by pet owners as well as by rescue centres and animal welfare organizations.   Nominations were received for individual veterinarians; for veterinary nurses and support staff; and for entire veterinary practices.

 

The following is a selection of nominations received from members of the public for 2005,  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 2005 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

 

Carlow

Vet nominated:  Tom Spillane, Veterinary Clinic, Tullow Road, Carlow Tel 059-9130988

Puddy…was part of this family for seven lovely years.   He has his own personality and temperament.  We all loved Puddy very much…My heart broke as I searched to find the right answer…I broke down in a flood of tears and said my tearful goodbye to a cherished companion and friend….”

 

Clare

Vet nominated: PJ O’Driscoll, Summerhill Veterinary, Summerhill, Ennis, Co Clare Tel 065-6828215

A vet who can make an animals’ life either coming into the world or ending their life such a healing or tender moments had already won awards many times over in my heart…”

 

Cork

Vet Nurse Nominated:  Lisa O’Donovan, Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital, Togher, Cork  Tel 021-4317019

“My beloved seventeen-year-old cat died some years ago shortly after the death of my husband.  Lisa took me through both bereavements and quite literally saved my life…”

 

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

Tel  021-4893033

John is an innovator, an imaginative entrepreneur, as well as an educator of staff and customers.   His practice is a pleasure to deal with, his care of our animals has been exemplary….”

 

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

Tel  021-4893033

Not only did John and his team reassure my friend, but took her three children on a tour of the surgery….

 

Vet Nominated:  David Smythe, Brookpark Veterinary, Dunmanway, Co Cork Tel 023-45777

On going through the door he said, ‘if you need me tomorrow, just give me a  call.’   ‘Tomorrow’ was Christmas Day..”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:   Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital team, Vicars Road, Cork  Tel 021-4962799

Needing a loose tooth removed and his teeth cleaned as he could not eat, just a few weeks ago, posed a major problem as he would not withstand the anaesthetic.   Pat O’Doherty elected to do his best with just sedation…..”

 

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

…”She was very playful, happy, friendly and full of life until one evening she didn’t come home until late in the night.   We found her in agony dragging herself up the garden path….she had in fact two broken legs…”

 

Vet nominated:  Michael Sexton, Kennys Veterinary, Strand Road, Clonakilty, Co Cork Tel 023-33252

..”He was a tremendous help to us last Sept, when our beautiful mare and foal were both seriously injured in a bad lightening storm….”

 

Vet nominated:  Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary Hospital, Model Farm Road, Cork Tel 021-4343503

I got Suzie from the local pound.  She had a cigarette burn on her head.  She was very underweight and traumatised…….   I was passing our local hospital at 2.30am recently and saw an old English Sheepdog on the road – having been knocked down….”

 

Dublin

 

Practice Nominated:  Anicare Veterinary Group, Botanic Veterinary Hospital, 183, Botanic Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 (also at Clontarf & Blanchardstown)   Tel  01-8375543

We were fostering a rescue pup which we decided to keep.  My brother took her 2 sisters.  Within 4 days….they came down with parvo….”

 

Vet Nominated:  Ciara Feeney,  Animal Clinic, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15    Tel 8383003

Last Christmas Day one of our dogs, Zola, ran into some barbed wire fencing while out for a walk.  She was badly cut on both forlegs….”

 

Practice Nominated:  Animal Clinic team, River Road, Castlknock, Dublin 15  Tel 8383003

My husband has had a lot of illness and as well as our family – our dogs have kept me going and I’m not ashamed of saying that – it’s the truth.”

 

Vet & Practice Nominated:  Ciara Feeney & Vicky, Bonnie, Animal Clinic, Ashton & North Circular Road

We were devastated.  A puppy which seemed so healthy and happy, only had a matter of time…. It was now that we needed all the support…..”

 

Vet nominated: Malcolm Argyle, Argyle & Bainbridge, Overton, Upper Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14   Tel 01-2987510

His calm, kind, good humoured and patient support has sustained us through a car accident, a badly mangled tail, cat whispering a terrified feral kitten and controlling a one in several millions, rare, nasty skin condition…”

Vet nominated:  Eamonn Moore, Blackrock Veterinary Clinic, Proby Square, Blackrock, County Dublin

One morning last summer, I noticed that my cat was wheezing a bit, so I phoned Eamonn.  Fifteen minutes later, the cat was in an oxygen tent, after been treated for suffering acute anaphylactic shock….”
Vet practice nominated:  Castle Veterinary Clinic,  6A Castle Park,Clondalkin,Dublin 22.  Tel 01 4640499
”….after 11yrs of unconditional love I refused to give up that easily on her.”

Vet nurse nominated:    Emma Higgs, Irish Seal Sanctuary & Animal Hospital, Tobergregan, Garristown,

Fingal, Co. Dublin  Tel 01-8354370

Giving 2 years of full time Animal Manager in a voluntary capacity…She returned to qualify as a veterinary nurse.  Having qualified and found herself in a position to earn real money, with the support of her husband Andrew, she again returned to take on yet another season as a volunteer nurse/manager…Emma brings all her veterinary knowledge and contacts to the support of the seals…

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Sandymount Pet Hospital,  Dublin 4  Tel:  01 2695830
I am totally blind and between us we had to work out a way for me to measure the appropriate amount of fluids and administer them whilst maintaining aseptic procedures…..”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Terenure Veterinary Hospital, 30 Whitehall Road, Terenure, Dublin 12

Tel 01 4555362

…”At this point we truly did not think she would recover and it was very upsetting to see a normally bouncy, energetic cat, looking so lethargic and bony…….The nursing staff were also brilliant – they clearly gave Billie a lot of attention and care, even cooking chicken and fish at home to try to tempt her to eat…..She’s out chasing butterflies, climbing trees and lazing in the sunshine again, as healthy pussy cats do

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Clare Meade & Cliodhna Murphy, Terenure Veterinary Hospital, 30 Whitehall Road, Terenure, Dublin 12 Tel 01-4555362
My beloved little terrier Judy, sadly died on the 8th October…. She was 16 years old….Clare gave Judy the injection while she was in my brothers arms….   We were three adults who were distraught at the loss of a member of our family, because that is what Judy was to us, and her caring and compassion for both Judy and indeed for us was beyond belief.”
Vet Nominated:  Aidan Miller, Ark Veterinary Clinic, 46 St Mary’s Rd, Galway  Tel 091-584185

..”Diagnosis:  A collapsing trachea and chronic bronchitis.  It looked like she was losing her battle for life and I was about to lose my best friend and faithful companion.  Aidan worked tirelessly….”

 

Vet Nominated:  Tom Rennick,  Tom Rennick Veterinary, Tuam, Co. Galway Tel 093-24546

This was a very difficult time for me and my husband as we had Bart ten years when I got him from the dog pound.  He was a lovely dog, full of personality and life and everyone loved him….”

 

Kerry

 

Vet Nominated:   Tadgh Horan, Tadgh Horan Veterinary, The Small Sqaure, Listowel, Co Kerry

Tel  068/22335
“…Our oldest pony Annie aged 31yrs got into a 15lb of dog food…It was Valentine’s night the 14th February when Annie ate all the 15lb of dog food, making her quite ill she started to choke and was in trouble….”

 

Vet Nominated:  Paul Treacy, Treacy & Sheehan Veterinary, Market Street, Listowel, Co Kerry

Tel 068-21377

My cat was hit by a car and my mother saw her lying on the roadside and believing she was dead returned to our home to get a box to bring her home to bury her…   The cat would not be alive today if it were not for the extraordinary dedication of our vet who put so much time and effort into keeping her alive….”

 

Kilkenny

 

Vet Nominated:  Richard Brennan, Richard Brennan Veterinary, Dublin Rd, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Tel:  056 7724534
I had received 2 baby labradors for Christmas…Christmas Eve – it was now 11 o clock at night and she was dying.  We were distraught at this stage, and all crying…..”

 

Laois

 

Vet Nominated:  Ann Quinn, Erkina Veterinary Clinic, Ballybuggy, Rathdowney, Co Laois  Tel 0505-46449

…”I found (the rook) one miserable October evening in a field near our house.  Had had been shot in the wing and then just left to die….Only a few weeks ago a swan was found with a hook in its neck….It was a young hedgehog which was very badly injured…”

 

Limerick

 

Vet & Team Nominated:  Hugh O’Callaghan & Crescent Veterinary Clinic,  Dooradoyle Road, Limerick Tel 061-301841

Last year we had a cat got caught in the engine of the car and Hugh and his team worked on him and brought him around to be a healthy cat…”.

 

Louth

Vet Nurse Nominated:  Orla Brennan,   JA Henry & Boyle Veterinary/Bridge House Veterinary Clinic, Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth Tel 042-9328000

…”On one occasion I was very hurried and asked her on her day off to transport dogs to Dublin, which she did in her own car….”

“She goes out of her way for people and has gone to great lengths to explain the care my dog needs….”

“Orla is a very compassionate and caring veterinary nurse…She is so dedicated she even took him home to look after during the night….”

 

Mayo

 

Vet Nominated:  Vivian Hussey, Lisgowel, Breaffy, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Tel 094-90 44832
In March of this year Vivian accompanied us to a cruelty case, making a round trip of 80 miles..thereafter taking in 13 dogs that were covered from head to paw in their own excrement…. Together with 15 cats from the same case that had all been locked in cars, again living in their own filth with severe gastric problems….”
Meath

Vet Nominated:  Noel Foley, Smith & Foley, Ivy Cottages, New Lane, Abbeylands, Navan, Co Meath Tel 046-9054016
April 2004, began what was to be a very painful and heartbreaking time for us, I returned home to find Jessie, our 14 year old collie, lying paralysed on the kitchen floor…she had suffered a stroke…”

 

Roscommon

 

Vet Nominated:  Catherine O’Roarke,  All Creatures Vet. Clinic, Lanesboro Street, Roscommon
Tel 0906-626898
She had been with us since the age of approximately 6 weeks when she was found on the railway tracks near our home. She was clinging to her mother who had been killed by a train….”

 

Sligo

 

Vet Nominated:  Niamh,     St. Benedict’s Veterinary Clinic, Pearse Road, Sligo Tel 071-9142435

Niamh gave me the support I so badly needed as I faced losing a bright and faithful friend….It was a sad situation with an inevitability about it, but made so much more bearable with the help and reassurance of a real vet with a genuine love of animals…”

 

Waterford

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
My dog Heidi suffered with cancer about 18 months ago…..I know my self that if my pets could talk they would not only praise the team for all their work but also thank them for giving Heidi the best chance in life and their friend back home…”

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
Knowledge and expertise…superb range of equipment…cheerful day, night or weekends….kindness and care..”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
The cat, Treacle, was a feral kitten who appeared around our yard with  a badly damaged foot.  We managed to catch her and the leg had to be amputated……now we have a confident, happy, tripod !”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
We are so fortunate to have a practice of this high calibre in such a small town as Dungarvan…”  

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
“The younger vet Donal has even delivered food to my home for the dogs, in his own car and in his own time – again without charge.  As I am a pensioner these gestures of kindness make a huge difference….”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
“Both have been excellent in their diagnosis of Gio’s problems and the treatment and care, including surgery that followed has been outstanding…”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
The second cat was thrown from a car at the top of the driveway – aged about 5 weeks on 10 December last.  He had a severe umbilical hernia and we waited 3 weeks until a little larger before operating….”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
“About six week ago our cat Gizmo went missing on Saturday afternoon…on Monday moring I went out looking for him again at 11.30 I heard a terrible lound meow….The first thing I saw was one of his back legs was completely skinned of fur and swollen about three times it normal size. When I picked him up I realized that some one had tried to set fire to him…..”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
We bought Jenny at the age of 18 months from a breeder. She was thin, undernourished and infested with lice eggs…we found out that Jenny had also been cruelly treated and had her two front teeth missing….”

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  Riverside Veterinary Hospital,  Davitt’s quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Tel 058-44476
 “Even the operating table has central heating !…No medical problem is left hanging “to see” and no physical injury is too much….”

 

Wexford

 

Vet Nominated:  Richard Bramley, Gubbins & O’Shea Veterinary, The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Rd, Wexford Tel 053-45755

“Some months ago, my collie was diagnosed with liver cancer…As her final days drew near, Richard became a wonderful source of support and strength….  Strong though I thought I was, reality is a different matter….  So together, Richard and I helped her on her journey…”

 

Vet & Practice Nominated:  Team at Gubbins & O’Shea Veterinary, The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Rd, Wexford Tel 053-45755

“Podge and Rodge were found in a skip, left to die, at approx 2 days….”

 

Vet Nominated:  Annette Quegan, The Pet Vet, Wexford Road, New Ross, Wexford & Kerlogue Business Park, Wexford Tel 053-26523

..”When I first started to attend Annette I had two dogs, Jack and Prince.  I’d had them since I was nine years old and I adored them, really adored them.  Everybody in the house loved them….Jack was the first I had to say goodbye to.  She had done everything possible for him, but at 16 ½ years, he was unable to go on any longer….”

 

Vet Nominated:  Annette Quegan, The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Wexford Tel 053-26523

“I rescued a cat who had been shot and beaten……”

 

Wicklow

 

Vet Practice Nominated:  BrayVet Animal Hospital,  Old Conna Avenue, Bray, County Wicklow
Tel 01-2821909
”Che our beloved terrier cross developed Diabetes at 10 years of age and he was beautifully managed for  over six and a half years  by the team at BrayVet.  I am a paediatric dietitian and between Che, myself and the BrayVet  team we revolutionised the care for diabetic dogs at the practice, using BLOOD monitoring(instead of urine), giving multiple daily injections, and tailoring his diet using  normal dog food(instead of commercially produced products)…..”

 

 

Stronghold™ Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2005

Judge’s Selection

CARLOW

Veterinarian nominated:

Tom Spillane, Veterinary Clinic, Tullow Road, Carlow Tel 059-9130988

 

Reason for Nomination:

Puddy was a beautiful, male, Persian cat, black in colour.  He was part of this family for seven lovely years.   He has his own personality and temperament.  We all loved Puddy very much.  It was just five weeks ago after a routine visit to our local vet that a growth was discovered in Puddy’s mouth.  Tom, our vet, advised us to leave Pud in and he would remove the growth.  So he did and everything went fine, until a week later I discovered a new growth – not in his mouth, but on his face beside his nose.   I brought Pud back again to see Tom.

 

The vet was so gentle with him and very caring.  Tom decided after examining Pud to give him antibiotics and told me to give it a week, if there was no improvement in this thing on his face to bring him back.

 

Well the growth got bigger by the day and I decided to bring Pud back to Tom.  Tom just couldn’t believe the size of the growth.  He told me he would have to examine Pud’s mouth and because Pud was in pain, he would have to give him an anaesthetic.  When Tom had finished examining Pud he very gently broke the news to me that the growth had got very aggressive and was spreading to Pud’s eye and probably to his brain.

 

He told me that he could try and remove the growth but it would have little or no affect on getting rid of it as it was cancerous and extremely aggressive.  Tom said that I should let Pud be put to sleep and let him go now, rather than waiting as he would be in great pain.

 

My heart broke as I searched to find the right answer.  I didn’t want to let Pud go, but at the same time I knew deep down Tom was right, Pud would only suffer.  As I said yes, I broke down in a flood of tears and said my tearful goodbye to a cherished companion and friend.

 

Tom was so kind.  He explained what would happened during the procedure of putting Pud asleep.  Tom asked me to hold Pud in my arms while he administered the injection.  All the time Tom reassured me that Pud would feel no pain and that he would gently go to sleep.  And that’s what Pud did. Tom gently wrapped Pud up in his blanket and placed him back in his cage.

 

I miss Pud every single day.  The house doesn’t seem the same without him.   I just couldn’t say enough praise and thanks to Tom for being so patient and kind and understanding in all of this.  I personally think he is an outstanding and caring vet and a credit to his profession.  Thanks Tom for everything.

PS    If Puddy could have talked he would have said that Tom was purrfect.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

CLARE

 

Veterinarian nominated:

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

 

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to nominate vet PJ O’Driscoll of Summerhill Veterinary Clinic, Summerhill, Ennis, Co Clare.

On many occasions, I have to call upon the services of PJ at all hours of the day and night.   He was been exceptionally good and willing to give his service in any way he can.   His kindness, care and attention are exceptional.  He never lets me down.  He has played a vital role for me by way of superb care and attention to many various dogs and for always being available whenever required.  He is outstanding at what he does and he really deserves a nomination.  Being a vet isn’t a job to him, it’s a passion and I think the veterinary profession are very lucky to have him in the clinic.

 

A vet who can make an animals’ life either coming into the world or ending their life such a healing or tender moments had already won awards many times over in my heart.  It would be a joy for me to see this kind, professional and deeply compassionate man achieve public recognition and the applause he so wholeheartedly deserves.  This is the only opportunity I am ever going to get to repay PJ for his kindness, so I hope you will give PJ O’Driscoll a good chance of the Award for 2005.

 

My thanks to PJ – as he is an extra special vet – Co Clare Dog Warden, Frankie Coote, Dog Pound, Gort Road Industrial Estate, Gort Road, Ennis, Co Clare

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

CORK

 

Vet Nurse Nominated:

Lisa O’Donovan, Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital, Togher, Cork Tel 021-4317019

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I would like to nominate Lisa, the senior veterinary nurse at Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital, Togher, Cork.

Lisa is the most dedicated person I know in any field.  She is not only gifted with animals, but is the most kind and understanding person to their owners.  My beloved seventeen-year-old cat died some years ago shortly after the death of my husband.  Lisa took me through both bereavements and quite literally saved my life, I think I would have ended up in the river without her.

 

She now looks after the needs of my new cat Fern.  Funnily enough, Lisa is a dog rather than a cat lover and has six dogs of her own, all rescue dogs that ended up in the veterinary hospital that were either dumped in the veterinary hospital or ended up there for one reason or another

 

Lisa’s veterinary knowledge is as good as any vet and she displays the same compassion, care, understanding and patience to every patient and their owner….

 

I would also like to mention that all the team at Abbeyville are excellent.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

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

 

Reason for Nomination:

Over many years, John has cared for our pets, canine and feline, and we are sure of consistently high standards of care.  The practice is exceptionally well organised and, despite many expansions of the facilities in the past few years, the level of personal service has been maintained.  Regular communications keep us abreast of developments in the care of our animals, reminders ensure that our dogs are in optimum health.  This professionalism is obvious in all our dealings with John and his team.

 

We have had some traumatic moments and at times when we have lost pets, John has cared for both animals and humans.   The personal touch that he brings is mirrored by his staff, and our impression of the practice ethos is that highly professional care need not be devoid of humanity, warmth and humour.

 

John is an innovator, an imaginative entrepreneur, as well as an educator of staff and customers.   His practice is a pleasure to deal with, his care of our animals has been exemplary.  We have dealt with him for over 15 years and will continue to do so.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

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

 

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to nominate John and his team for 2 reasons.  First because I will never forget the care and attention John gave me when my pet jack Russell was dying of cancer.    During house calls and visits to his surgery, I got superb attention.  And when my pet finally died, John took the time to visit late at night to see if he could help in any way.

 

Another reason I want to nominate John is because recently I sent a friend of mine who has a treasured family pet to John’s surgery.   Not only did John and his team reassure my friend, but took her three children on a tour of the surgery.   My friend commented on how welcoming and compassionate the staff of this veterinary hospital were to them.

 

As well as being an excellent vet with an excellent team I want to nominate John for his compassionate approach both to his patients and their owners.  I would recommend this surgery to any pet owner.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

David Smythe, Brookpark Veterinary, Dunmanway, Co Cork Tel 023-45777

 

Reason for Nomination:

I love this man.  Let me tell you about one incident.  This happened on Christmas eve some years back.  I had been up all night with a sick puppy.  I phoned David at 7am and he was at the house within 30 minutes.  The puppy was badly dehydrated and was put on a drip.  It was touch and go.  David stayed until the drip was finished and left some medication before he went.

 

On going through the door he said, “if you need me tomorrow, just give me a  call.”

 

“Tomorrow” was Christmas Day.

 

END OF NOMINATION

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital, Vicars Road, Cork  Tel 021-4962799

 

Reason for Nomination:

Gilabbey vets have looked after, and given the very best of care, to my pets since my arrival in Ireland 6 years ago.

 

Casey, my Irish wolfhound, had surgery for a growth on his foot as a youngster.  The nature of this growth was such, that on removal, the tissue broke down and the stitches would not hold.  The wound had to heal by secondary intent and visits for dressings were so frequent, that my vets did not charge me for them.   It took over 10 weeks of treatment before the ulcerated area even started to heal and the care and concern shown to Casey and myself was more than was called for.

 

More recently my two aged whippets Jack and Gizmo have required my vets’ attention on several occasions.  Jack suffered with a huge tumour on his liver – too old for surgery, with his failing heart, he was kept comfortable and monitored by Gilabbey Vets.  Needing a loose tooth removed and his teeth cleaned as he could not eat, just a few weeks ago, posed a major problem as he would not withstand the anaesthetic.

Pat O’Doherty elected to do his best with just sedation.  I was allowed to be with my boy all the time, to prevent over-stressing him.  Pat did a wonderful job and managed to remove the offending tooth, at the same time he was giving me the same level of care !  Jack made a good recovery and has had a few more quality weeks of his life.

 

Sadly Jack has just been put to sleep as he suffered 4 collapses at the age of 16 ½ years.  Throughout this ordeal Tom Conway was a constant source of comfort.  Always made himself available for advice on the phone and finally meeting us halfway to the surgery at 10pm at night to give Jack rest.  Then staying with us while we came to terms with our grief.

 

He would accept no payment for coming to meet us and putting Jack to sleep as he said we had “been through the mill”, with our pets recently.

 

Tom had also put back a dislocated hip on our other old whippet, Gizmo, only last week ! Gizmo is now making a good recovery and as always, Tom’s care and concern for both dog and owner is first class.

The whole team at Gilabbey are the best you will find anywhere, always professional, caring and compassionate, for animal and owner alike.  I owe them a great debt of gratitude.

 

I would like to give the receptionist Louise a nomination, because of her helpful and friendly manner, always putting us at ease in times of trouble with our pets.

 

Thank you Gilabbey.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Vincent Lynch, Hawthorn Veterinary, Western Road, Cork  Tel 021-4271230

 

Reason for Nomination:

We have had the most wonderful cat “Jessie”, better known by her pet name “Kitty” all thanks to our vet Vincent.  Firstly many years ago the late Breda at the clinic gave lots of advice and pointed us in the right direction as to where we would be able to get a cat..  Going on her advice we picked out our cat and when she arrived at the house she was full of character and soon we were all doting over her.

 

She was always communicating with us and was very playful, happy, friendly and full of life until one evening she didn’t come home until late in the night.   We found her in agony dragging herself up the garden path.  At first we thought her back was broken and we brought her to Vincent.   Upon examining her Vincent discovered that she had in fact two broken legs, one which was badly broken.  Amazingly he was able to repair her legs and when she came home she was in splints and needed a lot of TLC which she got and then then became a family member.  She made a complete recovery and thanks to Vincent she was back to her old self, full of life and very playful.

 

For years after that we had the most brilliant pet we could ask for – she was very healthy and only visited the clinic for regular vaccinations until a couple of years ago she developed gingivitis – a nearly always fatal disease in cats.  However once again Vincent came to the rescue and he very caringly treated our cat.  She underwent an operation in which she had all her teeth removed and when she was sent home she once again needed a lot of attention and she had to visit the clinic regularly for injections.  During the time Vincent and all the staff at the clinic were very helpful and friendly and  they answered all of our questions and gave us as much information as we asked for in order to understand what we were dealing with.   We found everyone in the clinic to be very helpful and efficient and thanks to all of these people and our vet Vincent the cat once again made a full recovery and was back to her old self.

 

However this only lasted for a few years as sadly the infection returned last Christmas and recognising her discomfort we brought her back to the clinic where she was once again  treated with kindness and patience.  She was again visiting the clinic regularly for medication and Vincent gave us all the advice he could to help us.

 

After each visit she would pick up and she was good and bad for many months until sadly a few weeks ago after a good spell her condition once again deteriorated rapidly.  She was visiting the clinic every day for treatment which at this late stage was not having much effect, however Vincent and the staff at the clinic remained patient and treated her with the utmost kindness and always did their best to make her comfortable.

 

Eventually the disease proved too much and our vet Vincent helped us to make a very difficult decision and we decided that the best thing was to put her out of her misery.  She had done very well to fight it for all those years, but in the end as Vincent said, it was the kindest thing.     Over the years we found Vincent and his staff to be very helpful and patient and they showed the utmost compassion for the animals and we have no doubts that if it wasn’t for Vincent we wouldn’t have had such a great pet for all those years.

 

PS  They also administered treatment on Sundays when the practice was closed, for which we are very grateful.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Michael Sexton, Kennys Veterinary,  Strand Road, Clonakilty, Co Cork or Fax Bridge Clonakilty, Co Cork Tel 023-33252

 

Reason for Nomination:

Michael is very considerate, kind and caring to all the animals he treats.   He is extremely safety conscious when performing duties and is always aware of the dangers as to where one is standing.  He explains everything he is doing and what treatment is being administered as he goes along, and it means a lot to us to understand what’s happening.  He’s excellent to communicate.

 

He performs his duties so efficiently and with thorough professionalism.    He never fails to answer a call out no matter how trivial or serious.  Nothing is ever too much trouble and you could ask him anything.

 

He was a tremendous help to us last Sept, when our beautiful mare and foal were both seriously injured in a bad lightening storm.  We were devastated to loose our best mare but were eternally grateful to Michael who saved the foal, thank God.  He gave excellent after care to Scarlet on a daily basis until fully recovered, no matter how busy he was, he called.

 

Michael is such a very special person and vet and to me he deserves to be nominated for this award.   This is a perfect opportunity for us to say a big heartfelt thank you to Michael and to let Ireland know ho much our vet Michael means to us.  He is special and unique.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Richard Healy, Westside Veterinary Hospital, Model Farm Road, Cork Tel 021-4343503

 

Reason for Nomination:

I got Suzie from the local pound.  She had a cigarette burn on her head.  She was very underweight and traumatised.  From the start, Mr Healy gave her exceptional care.  He neutered her and gave extra care without additional charge because of her history.

 

I brought her to him last week for booster and although he was busy, he cradled her in his arms for at least 5 minutes because she was so nervous.

 

I myself am a member of the Animal Care Society which is based in Cork city and county.  This is a voluntary society and Mr Healy attends many of our rescued animals with exceptional care (he also gives us a deduction, very important to us).

 

I was passing our local hospital at 2.30am recently and saw an old English Sheepdog on the road – having been knocked down.  I rang Mr Healy and he got out of bed to attend to the dog and bring him to the surgery.  The dog survived and was reunited with his owner.  I think this action by Mr Healy was certainly above and beyond the call of duty.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Anicare Veterinary Group, Botanic Veterinary Hospital, 183, Botanic Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 (also at Clontarf & Blanchardstown) Tel 01-8375543

Reason for Nomination:

In January, 2005 we were fostering a rescue pup which we decided to keep.  My brother took her 2 sisters.  Within 4 days of getting them my brother’s dogs both came down with parvo.  I have been registered with the Botanic Branch of Anicare for a few years as we have 4 cats but never needed them in an emergency.

 

Phoned the clinic on the Thursday and went down to them Thursday evening.  From the minute I walked in the door, they took over the care of our 6 week old pup.  She was on the drip straight away and was getting fluids to help her system.  One of my brother’s pups died on the Friday and the other one came out on the Saturday.

 

Our Jess was still in and went down hill.  I telephoned the vets 2 or 3 times a day and Tanis and the staff always had an update on Jess’s condition.  On the Monday I telephoned and was told that Jess’s eyes were not responding to light which wasn’t a good thing and that a decision would have to be made.  But before then they hadn’t given up and was going to try steriods.  Phoned later on to be told that Jess seemed to be responding.

 

By Tuesday evening they had done all they could for her and it was up to her whether to fight or not.  We brought her home and did all we could for her.  She was back down to see them on Thursday and was much the same.  On Friday we noticed a lump behind one of her ears, got up the next morning and there was one behind the other ear as well and the skin on her chest felt funny.  We brought her down to the vets and were informed she had septicemia.  They drained the abcesses but one had burst.  We spent the next week and a half going down to the vets every 2nd day.  The care that was shown to Jess was second to none.

We dealt mainly with Tanis and she is the only vet I have ever met that picks up animals and gives them cuddles and kisses before examining them which I think helps to put the animal at ease.

When we went down to get Jess her 1st vaccinations Tanis was the one that gave them to Jess and she even said that she never expected to see her get that far.  Without the dedication of vets like Tanis and the vet nurses I can honestly say I don’t think we would have Jess here with us today.

Yes she does bare the scars in that she has a bald patch on her chest as the skin fell off in a sheet but she is a fluffy dog so it’s well hidden.  On her front leg she has a white dot of fur from where all the drips went into her.  They are constant reminders of how lucky we are to have her with us

I would love to nominate Tanis as Vet of the year and all at Anicare for Practise of the year for their time dedication to all the animals that come through their doors and to all the care and attention that they showed our Jess when she was so sick.
END OF NOMINATION
Veterinarian Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, Animal Clinic, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15 Tel 01-8383003

 

Reason for Nomination:

Ciara is such a caring vet.  Last Christmas Day one of our dogs, Zola, ran into some barbed wire fencing while out for a walk.  She was badly cut on both forlegs.   I knew she needed attention.

 

Thank goodness, our own practise was on call.  Ciara met me at the Clinic, took a look at Zola and said she needed quite a few stitches !   She sedated her and started to clean up the wounds.   Ciara was so reassuring to me (seeing my dog sedated was a bit scary) and after about an hour Zola and I walked out of the Clinic.   I was so grateful to Ciara, single handed, she had made Zola comfortable.   This is just one case of how Ciara’s care and expertise has helped us and our dogs.

 

Thank you Ciara.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Animal Clinic Team, River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15 Tel 01-8383003

 

Reason for Nomination:

We have been attending the Animal Clinic in Ashtown since it opened, and attended Sydney Nagle when he practised in Castleknock.

 

I cannot say enough for all they have done for our dogs.  The care and genuine love they give your pet is wonderful.  The last west highland terrier we rescued had a lot of health problems.  They did everything possible to help him – medication etc and Jenny Mackey gave him so much love when I brought him for his check up.

 

We rescued a yorkie type in February and she too is getting the same attention – as did our other dogs.

We have had dogs all our married life and that is 51 years (1954).  We rescued our first little dog from the Dog’s Home, she cost us 10/ (ten shillings) – quite a lot in 1954 – she lived for 15 ½ years.  So we know what its like to have a dog needing a vet’s care.

 

Sydney Nagle – Jenny Mackey – and all at Ashtown Clinic are always so helpful in every way.  We also received a lovely sympathy card on the death of our pets, this means so much.

I’ve heard people say – “they’re only dogs (or cats)” – they are one of the family and the best friend you ever had – they know if you are worried.

 

My husband has had a lot of illness and as well as our family – our dogs have kept me going and I’m not ashamed of saying that – it’s the truth.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian and Team Nominated:

Ciara Feeney, Vicky, Bonnie & Team, Animal Clinic River Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Tel 01-8383003

 

Reason for Nomination:

Ciara and the practice provided exceptional and outstanding care and support with both a personal and professional approach.

 

We decided to get a dog, did all the usual checks and research like temperament, best breed to suit our lifestyle.  We never really considered veterinary care….thought we would be visiting the vet twice a year for a check up.

 

On our first visit to Ashtown Clinic for Roxy’s vaccinations, we were really exposed to above average interaction and education on Roxy’s well being as a puppy.  The standard was a great help to us because then we knew we were in a partnership with this veterinary practice to help us care for Roxy.

 

A routine visit caused Ciara to act and start tests on Roxy.  Further investigations in the Veterinary College with Robert lead to Roxy’s diagnosis.  Roxy was born with two dysfunctional kidneys and it was a matter of time.    We were devastated.  A puppy which seemed so healthy and happy, only had a matter of time.

 

I was now that we needed all the support.  On collecting Roxy from the Veterinary College, Ciara rang us and invited us up for a chat.  She comforted us and educated us on how to care for Roxy in the best possible way.  We called into the practice every two weeks for blood tests to measure the toxins in Roxy’s blood.

 

Even to the extent, Roxy’s skin had got infected from where she was shaved for the ultrasound.

We were going on holidays to Mayo with Roxy and were concerned.  Ciara rang a friend who was based in Mayo just in case Roxy ran in to problems.

 

The practice team and Ciara worked over and beyond any expectations that we had or could have had.  Roxy received the best possible care.  She was a very happy dog and loved visiting her Aunt Ciara, and to be honest, so did we, because we got more and more support each time.

 

It was never going to be a happy ending and Roxy died on February 3rd, 2005.  She was in bad form and we made the decision with Ciara.  Ciara and Bonny came out to the house and for a sick dog, Roxy jumped off her bed and greeted Ciara and Bonny in her normal way. She was delighted to see Ciara and Bonny and that is a definite testament to Ciara’s standard of care.

 

It really upsets me to write this letter because it brings it all back and how much we miss Roxy.  I feel so strongly that Ciara and her practice team really went out of their way to provide an excellent standard of care to Roxy.  We are only one story for this practice.  They would be acknowledged for their work with animals, because I truly believe that Roxy would not have survived for 16 months without Ciara’s care; and that Ashtown Clinic sets their veterinary standards above and beyond other veterinary standards.

 

Many thanks for this opportunity.

 

Please acknowledge this practice for the great work that they have done and continue to do.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Malcolm Argyle, Argyle & Bainbridge, Overton, Upper Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14

Tel 01- 2987510

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I am delighted to nominate Malcolm Argyle for Vet of the Year.   His calm, kind, good humoured and patient support has sustained us through a car accident, a badly mangled tail, cat whispering a terrified feral kitten and controlling a one in several millions, rare, nasty skin condition.

 

Having had dogs all my life we thought about having a cat because we were both working and out all day, but Toby made the decision for us as he was abandoned at my workplace, twelve weeks old.  I didn’t have a clue about cats and only had the confidence that I could care for him properly when a friend gave me a crash course and her old cat carrier.   However the best help she gave us was to refer us to Malcolm Argyle.  With Malcolm’s support and excellent advice I have become a complete cat fanatic and now have three rescue cats and work with a cat welfare charity !

 

Our first cat Toby has a very rare autoimmune skin condition, which is particularly difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to control.  With Malcolm’s constant support we spent the last year and a half experimenting with a variety of diets, living conditions and a myriad of medications in an attempt to provide him with a decent quality of life, as there is no cure for his condition.

 

Malcolm has carried out so much research on our behalf in his own time, contacting colleagues for their opinion and asking them to find out the most up to date information on our behalf when they attended conferences in other countries.  When I downloaded masses of information on the condition from the web, he went through it all in his own time, and went to great effort to locate the experimental medications new to the market.

 

During the times when it seemed as though we were putting Toby through too much, it was our well-founded trust in Malcolm’s knowledge and professionalism, which sustained us through those difficult days and gave us the confidence to persevere with the treatments.  On one occasion when the surgery was particularly busy, he allowed me to come down after surgery so that Toby, who understandably gets very distressed if confined in his carrier for extended periods, could be seen immediately.  Although Toby has seen Malcolm approximately once every three weeks most of his life, for operations, injections, administering tablets (and worst of all, having his temperature taken !!)  Malcolm has shown him such genuine warmth and affection that they have always been the best of pals and part company to the sound of contented purrs.

 

In the midst of some of the worst times, Malcolm would ring me at work between visits, and I recall some very humerous conversations when he would have to fill in the blanks when I couldn’t say certain words out loud in front of colleagues !

 

In the past year we have also adopted a feral kitten, from a colony I feed, who arrived to the practise covered in lice and fleas, absolutely terrified of humans.  With Malcolm’s usual wise support we managed to gain Charlie’s trust and he has grown into a beautiful cat and best pal for Toby .  (In recent weeks Charlie adopted a third homeless waif who has certainly gotten his paw under the table !).

 

Malcolm’s kindness and commitment to animal welfare obviously stretches beyond his clients and during our frequent vistis the practice always seemed to be in the process of treating and rehoming a variety of unfortunate cases.  In these increasingly materialistic times it is most heartening to see the rehabilitation and rehoming of an unfortante, unwanted little creature, put before monetary concerns.

 

The atmosphere in the practice always mirrors Malcolm’s calm, kind and considerate demeanour, with his own pets welcoming the reluctant visitors !   It is a pleasure to nominate this gentleman and vet in a million for the award, I am grateful to have the opportunity to express our respect and warm regard for him.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Eamonn Moore, Blackrock Vetinary Clinic, Proby Square, Blackrock, County Dublin

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to nominate Eamonn Moore for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award. Eamonn has shown humanity and compassion in not only caring for pets but also for their owners as well.

Eamonn recognises that when a pet is brought to him for treatment, there is often a second patient and that patient is the owner. Eamonn always ensures that the owner is informed of the situation in a clear and forthright manner, but without worrying the owner unduly with possible diagnoses and scenarios.

An example: One morning last summer, I noticed that my cat was wheezing a bit, so I phoned Eamonn.  Fifteen minutes later, the cat was in an oxygen tent, after been treated for suffering acute anaphylactic shock. Eamonn had correctly diagnosed the symptoms over the phone and urged me to get the cat to him as soon as possible. This was done and Eamonn did his magic and saved Tick’s life. He was in an oxygen tent for the rest of the day and then Eamonn took Ticker home with him that evening, and gave me his personal phone number, so that I could be kept informed and reassured. This level of personal care surprised me because it is not something that you see or expect in this day and age, but it is greatly appreciated.

Ticker made a full recovery and, unfortunately, got run over by a car two weeks ago. He’s still alive, well most of him is anyway. He has suffered ligament damage in a rear leg and has had a portion of his tail amputated. Unfortunately, the remainder of the tail has not recovered and had to be amputated, which Eamonn did a couple of days ago. I am saddened about the tail but I’m not unduly worried because Eamonn has said that Ticks will be alright. (Indeed as I write, Ticks is recovering nicely and is stalking me, the little fecker).

In short, I trust Eamonn.

As I trundle headlong into middle-age and begin to accumulate the various minor ailments one does, I actually envy my cat, because he has a healthcare service in the form of Eamonn that is compassionate, competent, honest and above all, trustworthy.  I can only dread the day when I am as ill as my pet has been and have to rely on the human health-care system.

By the way, it’s a real pity Eamonn doesn’t do humans. I’ve asked him. He doesn’t.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:
Castle Veterinary Clinic, 6A Castle Park,Clondalkin, Dublin 22  Tel 01-4640499
Reason for Nomination:

All the TIME , EFFORT and LOVE they put into caring for my dog Meg, simply because dogs with problems don’t usually get to see old age. But that is not the case with Meg.

My story starts about 5yrs ago when Meg was not too well. I went to two different vets to see what was wrong and both said old age. I refused to believe that it was age because Meg was a happy, healthy little dog up to that and after 11yrs of unconditional love I refused to give up that easily on her.

A friend recommended Manus Cannon and Michael Cannon in Castle Veterinary Clinic, straight away they sorted the problem.Meg was diagnosed with Diabetes. So with their help for the last 5yrs I have been injecting her with insulin every day. She also went blind over night from the Diabetes and again  Manus and Michael came to the rescue. She had Cataracts removed which gave her a better quality of life.
We had good days and bad days and all the time Castle vet have been there. Meg was a brave little Soldier and a Brilliant Companion, and my very BEST FRIEND.  Sadly a few weeks ago she died of OLD AGE.
She came through an incredible ordeal THANKS to all at Castle Vet Clinic and I don’t think there is anyone more worthy of this award then them.
I can’t thank them enough for all they did for Meg and myself over the last few years, and I think this would be a great way of showing them how much I really appreciate them.
END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Nurse Nominated:
Emma Higgs, Irish Seal Sanctuary & Animal Hospital,Tobergregan, Garristown, Fingal, Co Dublin

Tel 01-8354370

 

Reason for Nomination:

Emma Higges came here 7 years ago as a volunteer, giving 2 years of full time Animal Manager in a voluntary capacity.  During that time she introduced proper veterinary record keeping, ran Ireland’s first Marine Mammal Veterinary Workshop, bringing in top marine vets.

 

She returned to the Veterinary Faculty Hospital and associated practises to work and qualify as a veterinary nurse.   This 2005, always sustaining her association with the seals and continuing to advance knowledge and systems of care at I.S.S.

 

Having qualified and found herself in a position to earn real money, with the support of her husband Andrew, she again returned to take on yet another season as a volunteer nurse/manager for other volunteers, at a time when the Irish Seal Sanctuary was struggling to sustain operations, while developing with Fingal L.A. a National Marine Conservation Centre (with Government support of €2 million).

 

Until this is built, ISS remains totally reliant on voluntary effort and Emma, who has replaced me, brings all her veterinary knowledge and contacts to the support of the seals.  Without this support we could not have attained the high standards for which the ISS is now widely known.

 

Veterinary students could not have gained this experience in Ireland, only for Emma’s initiatives and the seals are the ultimate beneficiaries.

 

It is my great honour and privilege to nominate Emma Higgs for this award in the Veterinary Nurse category, as someone who represents the best of the profession and provides freely her duty of care to those wildlife clients with no way of paying.   The support she attracts for this selfless work from the veterinary community is testament to the high regard in which she is held by all.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Sandymount Pet Hospital, Sandymount, Dublin 4. Tel 01 2695830

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to nominate Sandymount Pet Hospital, because of the care, consideration and time given to both my animals and me.

I have been attending Sandymount Pet Hospital on a continuous basis for 20 months although I have attended on a spasmodic basis for five years. From my first visit there in 2,000, I gained the impression that the practice as a whole seems to have an ethos of caring for the client as well as the client’s animal.

I first attended Sandymount Pet Hospital with my dog, Muffin, in 2,000. Muffin was usually looked after by my vet who works in Trinity College. As he was away, An appointment was made on my behalf with the owner of the Sandymount practice, Richard Lavelle, for my dog, Muffin, to be neutered.

I arrived at the practice and Muffin was booked in and admitted. When leaving I asked the nurse at reception for directions to the bus stop, I am visually impaired and was not familiar with the area. To my surprise, she kindly offered to come to the bus stop with me.

The surgery was straight forward and I collected Muffin that evening. Two days after surgery, Richard Lavelle contacted me to ask how Muffin was. I was very impressed as I was not a client of the practice and all the after care including the removal of sutures, was going to be carried out by my vet in Trinity….

In June 2003 my 14 year old cat Tigger was admitted to the Veterinary College for a week. She was diagnosed FIV infected, Hyperthyroid and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. In the first few days she returned home she required Baytril, daily. As she was not eating properly, the Baytril had to be given by injection. My Trinity vet was able to give the injections for a couple of days but was then away. I therefore took Tigger to Sandymount. Richard gave her injectable Baytril and also gave her additional treatment in the form of a vitamin supplement because she was a geriatric cat. Again I was not a client of the practice. When I went up to the desk to pay I was told there was no charge.

In December 2004 I took on another cat.  He was brought to Dublin from West Cork, had already been diagnosed FIV infected, and had proved difficult to rehome. I called him, Caesar and I decided that Sandymount Pet Hospital was the practice where I would like Caesar to be cared for.

I phoned Sandymount to ask about the procedure to have Caesar microchipped. I had a number of questions and was put through to Richard immediately. He spent about ten minutes in the middle of a busy clinic answering my questions. Again, at this stage I was not even a client of the practice.

In February 2004, I took Caesar for his first vet visit. Again I saw Richard Lavelle. I asked about Biochemistry, haematology, vaccinations  and about having Caesar microchipped. To my surprise, Richard not only discussed each of these in a lot of detail but also asked me several times in each case, why I wanted them done. His main concern was that I wasn’t going to be wasting my money. In the case of the vaccinations, we both agreed that it was probably not in Caesar’s best interests to be vaccinated. In other words, I was being counselled about saving money instead of being encouraged to spend it.

I returned to Sandymount on May 6th 2004 to have Caesar’s biochemistry profiles  repeated. Previously, the Amylase level was on the high side of normal. Richard had advised me that this may indicate a developing pancreatic problem or it may not indicate anything at all.

This time, the amylase was well within normal range but the creatinine and urea were elevated. Caesar had Chronic Renal Insufficiency….

It was through fate rather than design that I saw Derek for the next two appointments. He coped well with me as I asked a lot of questions, had my own ideas and could be the client from hell! I found that I got on really well with him and developed what I think, was a good working relationship. I say working relationship,  because I felt in dealing with Caesar’s developing illness that I was part of the health care team. I did not feel like a by-stander watching somebody else making the decisions and providing the treatment….

….I wanted to be able to give Caesar his fluids myself at home if the necessity arose for me to do so. For this reason Derek spent a lot of hours teaching me how to administer the fluids.

I am totally blind and between us we had to work out a way for me to measure the appropriate amount of fluids and administer them whilst maintaining aseptic procedures. Neither of us knew how I was going to do this….

Derek and I worked out a strategy between us. I would weigh the fluids, Time the flow, then weigh the fluids again after a given amount of time to see how much fluid had been administered. This system worked. At this stage however, as Caesar was only needing the fluids three times a week, I took him into Sandymount for their administration. But Derek always allowed me to give the fluids myself. Indeed not only did he spend a substantial number of hours teaching me, encouraging me and giving me confidence to perform this procedure, he even came in on a couple of occasions when it was his day off, just so that I could give Caesar his fluids myself.

Caesar was of course admitted on several occasions for IV fluids.   On these occasions Derek would contact me regularly to let me know how Caesar was doing, even contacting me on St. Patrick’s day when the practice was officially closed.

On 24th June I took Caesar for his fluids. Derek was away and I mentioned to Richard that I wasn’t happy with Caesar’s condition……..he treated me with kindness, showed that he understood my concern and although it was the weekend, he admitted Caesar for observation.

Caesar came home the following Monday morning and died suddenly at 10.30 P.M. the following night. I took him to the emergency clinic but he was already dead. They sent a fax to Sandymount. The next morning I took Caesar’s body for post mortem…..

During the 18 months that I was taking both my cats to The Sandymount Pet Hospital, I found that the staff work as a team. Whenever I would contact the practice to get information about Caesar, the nurses always knew who my cat was, why he was there, what was happening without needing to go away and find the information. If ever I left information for the vet, it was always passed on. The two vets always seemed to work in conjunction with each other but at the same time were independent in their opinions.

I found that both vets always made time available. When my cats were being treated I always felt a part of the healthcare team…..
END OF NOMINATION
Veterinary Team Nominated:

Terenure Veterinary Hospital, 30 Whitehall Road, Terenure, Dublin 12 Tel 01-4555362

 

Reason for Nomination:

Billis is an 11 year old black and white cat, referred to on her adoption certificate from the RSPCA as a “moggie”.  She has a kind, cuddly and sweet nature and from an initially nervous start in life as a rescue cat, she is now relaxed and confident, happy in her role at the centre of family life.

 

So it was with some concern that in February 2005 we noticed her going off her food and generally being in bad form.  As is usual in these situations, we called into Terenure Veterinary Practice, a place Billy has had regular cause to visit over the years, to deal with the results of various minor scrapes.  While not being very keen on visiting, she has always been given the best of care by the dedicated and enthusiastic staff there.

 

On this occasion however, it was clear that something was seriously wrong.  She showed signs of hepatitis and was immediately taken in to be put on a drip.  This was the start of 7 weeks of serious medical investigation and care in the hospital, as she did not respond to treatment as expected.  Cholangeo-hepatitis was suspected with one of the distressing side effects being that she stopped eating and was losing weight fast.

 

Throughout all of this the staff in the hospital were fantastic – the vets, Fidelma and Clare, were excellent at ringing me to keep me informed of her progress.  They also clearly laid out the treatment options available, always bearing in mind that we did no want to cause Billie any undue suffering, just to give her the best chance at having a good life.

 

The nursing staff were also brilliant – they clearly gave Billie a lot of attention and care, even cooking chicken and fish at home to try to tempt her to eat.  They also went out of their way to make family members welcome to visit, no matter how busy the surgery was, letting me take Billie into their staff room so she could stretch her legs and have time away from the other animals.

 

By this stage Billie had faded to 2.5kg and had been on a drip for several weeks.  Blood tests were carried out but they were not conclusive, as they didn’t explain why she was not responding to antibiotics.   So the next dilemma was whether to put her through the ordeal of a liver biopsy to assess what the true problem was.   At this point we truly did not think she would recover and it was very upsetting to see a normally bouncy, energetic cat, looking so lethargic and bony.   Fidelma’s patience and care guided us through making the best decision for Billie given her age, making the options clear and always bearing in mind that we did not want to cause her any undue suffering.

 

And so we agreed to her having the biopsy on 11th Marhc, which went well.  The results indicated she had a supportive from of cholangeohepatitis requiring treatment with steroids.  Once this diagnosis was made, the change in her condition was remarkable, from not eating anything to devouring 5 packets of food in one go !

 

The day she got home was such a relief for all the family and it has been fantastic to watch her gradually gain her old strength back.    She’s out chasing butterflies, climbing trees  and lazing in the sunshine again, as healthy pussy cats do.  And her weight is back up to a more normal 3.4 kg.  She has to take steroids on a daily basis and is monitored regularly at the vets, where Cliona and co. always give her a fantastic welcome.  The enthusiasm of the staff on seeing her is great, and while it’s still not her favourite place on earth, she definitely likes to see them all and got those extra cuddles.

 

In short, the dedication and care of all the staff have made a huge difference to her successful recovery.  I’m not certain that all vets would have had the patience or dedication to see her treatment this far, as her illness was not a clear-cut case.  It may have seemed like too much trouble for many, particularly given her age.  In times of crisis like this, it’s reassuring to know that we can rely on sound advice and medical expertise, knowing the best interests of the animal are paramount.

 

In addition, we know the staff provided her with the very best of care and attention while she was so ill.  We realise Billie’s condition is degenerative, but we’re so glad to think she’s been given every chance and will hopefully have a few more happy years before she goes to sleep for good.  Hence we hope this nomination goes some way to thanking vets Fidelma, Clare and the practice nurses – Cliona, Lesley and Catriona, for their fantastic dedication and care.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Terenure Veterinary Hospital, 30 Whitehall Road, Terenure, Dublin 12 Tel 01-4555362

 

Reason for Nomination:

My beloved little terrier Judy, sadly died on the 8th October of this year. She was 16 years old. Over the past 8 years while Claire Meade has been a vet at our local veterinary hospital she had seen Judy through various ailments big and small. She had to have most of here teeth removed, she had a liver problem, she suffered with arthritis and she also had a heart problem for which she took tablets every day. Claire was always very kind and compassionate both with Judy on her regular visits to the clinic but also with me and my family as we were always upset when Judy was unwell.

From the 1st October, Judy unfortunately began to become very unwell. We brought her to see Claire on the 3rd of October, and she was seen outside of surgery hours, which was much appreciated. Claire took an x-ray of Judy’s tummy which showed that she had 3 progressive tumours. Unfortunately because of her age, there was little that could be done for her but to keep her comfortable.

 

Over the week that followed Claire took numerous phone calls from both myself and my mum. She answered all the questions we asked and never was reluctant to spend time on the phone to re-assure and advise us. During that week I also spoke several times on the phone to Cliona Murphy who is the veterinary nurse and she too was always most kind and understanding on the phone and always happy to stay on the phone to talk and console me about the siutation. I don’t think there was even one conversation I had with either Claire or Cliona when I did not cry.

Unfortunately, Judy stopped eating and drinking and we had to take the sad decision to put her to sleep as it was clear that she was going to starve otherwise and she was too loved for us to allow that to happen.   The decision was an agonising one and Claire was most sympathetic and understanding. We did not want to take Judy to the surgery as she was quite nervous there so Claire very kindly came to our house.

 

Even when she arrived at our house and we were having second thoughts she was understanding enough to listen and advise yet again. She offered to come again any other day at any time that would suit us and when we had come to terms with the whole situation, however, we knew that although heartbreaking, we had to do the right thing by our beloved Judy.   So Claire gave Judy the injection while she was in my brothers arms. She had a peaceful death and died with dignity as we wanted. She had lived to 16yrs of age and had had a happy life with us.

I cannot put into words how fantastic Claire was to me and my family on that day. We were three adults who were distraught at the loss of a member of our family, because that is what Judy was to us, and her caring and compassion for both Judy and indeed for us was beyond belief. I hope that Claire will be recognised for her kindness, she is most deserving of this award.
END OF NOMINATION
GALWAY

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Aidan Miller, Ark Veterinary Clinic, 46 St Mary’s Rd, Galway Tel 091-584185

 

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Aidan Miller for his exceptional care of “Misty” (my beautiful cross breed terrier) over the last three and a half years.   In particular, I want to thank Aidan for saving Misty’s life last year.

 

In June 2004 Misty developed very alarming and distressing symptoms.  Diagnosis:  A collapsing trachea and chronic bronchitis.  It looked like she was losing her battle for life and I was about to lose my best friend and faithful companion.  Aidan worked tirelessly to get a drug or combination or drugs that she would respond to.  He did and she has never looked back since.  To be absolutely sure nothing was missed, Aidan referred her to the College of Veterinary Surgeons in Dublin for a second opinion.  His diagnosis was confirmed and from there it was all systems go.

 

I would like to thank Aidan for never giving up on the battle to save Misty and for always meeting and greeting us with a warm smile and a positive attitude.  Every detail of her illness and treatment was explained and nothing is ever too much trouble.    Every visit to the surgery is like visiting a trusted friend, you can be sure of a warm welcome, good advice and veterinary care second to none.

 

Thank you Aidan !  We are forever in your debt.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tom Rennick, Thomas Rennick Veterinary, Tuam, Co. Galway Tel 093-24546

 

Reason for Nomination:

I would like to nominate my vet Mr Tom Rennick for the Pet Care Awards because over the past 10 years he has given both my two pets and myself outstanding service.

 

He is a dedicated and compassionate vet and his priority is the animal’s welfare.

An example of this was last Christmas my pet Bart got severe arthritis as result of many fights he had with dogs – part of a terrier’s temperament.  After each of these fights Tom would fix him up and bring him back to good health.

 

However all these injuries caused arthritis to set in, Tom initially relieved his pain by tablets for long periods of time but as time went on he required regular injections to relieve his pain.  However last Christmas his hip got locked with arthritis and he could not walk.

 

Tom did everything to make him comfortable but I knew Bart’s time was limited.  This was a very difficult time for me and my husband as we had Bart ten years when I got him from the dog pound.  He was a lovely dog, full of personality and life and everyone loved him.

 

On the morning of 8th January I realised Bart was in a lot of discomfort and the medication was not relieving his pain.  I knew the only way he would get relief was to put him asleep.  My husband and I took Bart to Tom and told him of our decision.  He knew how difficult this was for us as we had discussed it on our many visits to him.

 

Tom assured me I was doing the right thing, even at this stage Tom’s priority was to keep Bart calm and not to stress him out.  He decided the kindest thing to do was to give Bart a general anaesthetic first to put him to sleep and then to administer the lethal injection.   My heart was breaking but Tom was very reassuring and sympathetic and he also was upset to see Bart drift into the next world.

 

The whole procedure was done in a very dignified and kind manner with Bart in his favourite bed and he wrapped him up in his blanket when Bart had passed away.  Tom’s concern and kindness did not end here, he was concerned if we would be able to drive home ok and a few days later he called us to see how we were getting on.

 

In my ten years of bringing pets to Tom I have found him to be caring, understanding and very considerate vet both to the pets and their owners.  From speaking to other people that go to Tom with their pets they also have kind words of praise for Tom.

 

I feel strongly that Tom should be recommended for the Pet Care Awards for his many years of caring, understanding and professional service to pets.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Tadgh Horan, Veterinary Centre Listowel, The Small Sqaure,  Listowel,  Co, Kerry Tel 068-22335

Reason for Nomination:

I feel Tadgh is an outstanding vet he’s caring, hardworking and always there no matter what time of day it is. I can recall 2yrs ago our oldest pony Annie aged 31yrs got into a 15lb of dog food, as I have 5 dogs also and one cat which Tadgh has had to care all of them at one time or another.  It was Valentine’s night the 14th feb when Annie ate all the 15lb of dog food, making her quite ill she started to choke and was in trouble.

 

I called Tadgh’s office in a state of panic it was 10pm.   He was to our home in 15mins and started to work on the pony after a while she started to come round the care that was given and the hard work that went into helping Annie saved her life that night and thanks to Tadgh she is still with us now age 33.   Without him we would have lost her that night .

 

I feel their hard work goes unnoticed and they do work all hours.  Without vets like Tadgh in country areas our animals would be left without.  I would like to thank him and his office for all the years of service.

 

With thanks.

 

END OF NOMINATION

Veterinarian Nominated:

Paul Treacy, Treacy Sheehan Veterinary, Market Street, Listowel, Co Kerry  Tel 068-21377

 

Reason for Nomination:

Outstanding care and veterinary skills in saving the life of my cat.  My cat was hit by a car and my mother saw her lying on the roadside and believing she was dead returned to our home to get a box to bring her home to bury her.   However, when she picked her up she discovered the cat was still alive and phoned her vet to have the cat put down.

 

When I took the cat in Paul Treacy said her jaw was broken top and bottom and while she was unconscious and badly injured, he would like to give her a chance to live.  He sedated the cat and told me he could operate on her.  He wired her lower jaw and stitched the upper part of her mount and for 4 days kept her at his surgery, attending her day and late in to the night.  Under his guidance I brought home the cat and fed her using a small syringe to put a food and liquid concentrate into her mouth.

 

During this time my mother felt the cat was not improving and asked our vet (Paul Treacy) to put the cat down.  However, he asked her to persevere for a few more days.  At this stage my father dug a grave for her in the back garden.  On the eight day after her accident she crawled out of her basket and started to drink milk from her dish, but was so weak she could not get back into her basket.  However I knew then she would survive and she began to improve slowly but surely.   With the help of my mother we continued to give her some food through the syringe and after three weeks, through she was extremely weak and thin, she began to take some kitten food.

 

The cat has made a full recovey and is out hunting and catching birds again, though she is very frightened of cars or the sound of cars.

 

The cat would not be alive today if it were not for the extraordinary dedication of our vet who put so much time and effort into keeping her alive.  It was a remarkable feat to have enabled the cat to survive.  She is now known in the neighbourhood as Lazarus and many people in the town of Listowel know the story of the cat and how she survived.  He is truly dedicated to his profession and showed remarkable compassion to a small animal of no monetary value.  He is rapidly gaining a great reputation in dealing with small animals.

 

I would love to see my vet get an award for this and I nominate him for the Pet Care Award.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

KILKENNY

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Richard Brennan,  Richard Brennan Veterinary, Dublin Rd, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny Tel 056-7724534

Reason for Nomination:

I had received 2 baby labradors for Christmas & named them Fin & Derval (from the film Flight of the Doves), they were only 7 weeks when I got them. Fin was boisterous & Derval, meek and gentle. I had taken them to my own vet for their first vacinations & health check about a week before Christmas.

 

All was going well, we adored the puppies and spent night and day with them, until Christmas Eve. Derval became very sick, she was violently vomiting and diarrhoea and seizure like activity, we were so devastated but wouldn’t give up on her. I rang my own vet a number of times, left messages and no one answered.

 

It was now 11 o clock at night and she was dying.  We were distraught at this stage, and all crying. We decided to contact Richard Brennan in Thomastown and chance asking him to see her. We explained the circumstances and without a word he told us to come up straight away. When we arrived she was in deed dying and not given much hope but Richie said he would take Derval home to his house and keep Iv fluids into her and Antibiotics. She had the Parvo Virus.

 

Needless to say we never slept all night but Richie rang us before 8 Am on Christmas morning to say she was still alive and contacted us a few times in the day to let us know her progress.  He had put her into bed with his daughter to mind her overnight and stayed with her for 2 more nights. The vomiting and diarrhoea stopped Stephen’s night and our beautiful baby puppy came back to us the next day.

 

Richie Brennan insisted on charging us only e40 euro, we were shocked, he had being amazing and all that he had done was above the call of duty. We are so thankful to him. Derval recovered slowly but steadily and her sister Fin even apporached Derval gently until she was better. We adore our dogs and owe it to Richie. When telling our friends and neighbours our miraculous story, it was amazing the amount of similiar stories that we heard back about Richie’s Kindness, dedication and sheer love for animals.

 

It wasn’t just that he treated Derval, it was the such kind approach to her care, it was heartwarming to think that Derval wasn’t in a shed alone on Christmas Eve but tucked up in bed with people and the element of the Christmas Story within our tale proved that people still can carry out selfless thoughtless acts.
END OF NOMINATION

 
LAOIS

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Ann Quinn, Erkina Veterinary Clinic, Ballybuggy, Rathdowney, Co Laois  Tel  0505-46449

 

Reason for Nomination:

Ann Quinn is a dedicated and wonderful vet.  She goes way beyond just caring and treating the pet.  She bends over backwards to be accommodating and readily does house calls regardless of the moveability of the creature requiring her attention.  Her rates are reasonable and no matter what the problem she is always on hand 24-7.  I shall give you a few examples of what she has done for us and all our much loved pets.

 

Our rook, named Rookie, I found him one miserable October evening in a field near our house.  Had had been shot in the wing and then just left to die.  So I captured him and brought him home.  Having inspected him I realised that he had been shot in the wing and was in a sorry state, but would take food and water, so was fighting to live.  I had no idea who I could phone for help.

 

I knew our previous vet would not be impressed with treating a “crow” so I contacted someone in the ISPCA and they recommended a young vet called Ann Quinn.  I phoned the number I was given though it was 7pm or so  by that time.  I got through immediately and explained the situation to her, also saying that I felt that the rook had been traumatised enough already and would prefer a house call.  Ann probably thought that I was a complete nut case !

 

But she hopped in her van and came straight away  (we live in the countryside, approx 5 or 6 km from Ann’s practise).

 

Ann gave Rookie several injections, swabbed his wing and made sure there were no pellets still in him.  She did it all with little to no fuss, like she treated wild birds everyday of the week.  She laid Rookie on his back during his treatment and he was completely relaxed.  She checked him over when she had finished treating his injury and apart from the wing, he was in good health.

 

That was approx 3 years ago now and Rookie is still going strong.  His wing is useless, but did not need to be amputated or anything like htat.  He has some movement in it but unfortunately cannot fly and so we were unable to return him to the wild.

 

Ann was and is brilliant.  She explains everything that she is going to do and exactly what is wrong with the pet she is treating.  She clearly explains any follow up treatment like giving tablets at home etc.

 

She has a busy practice but fits everyone in, working long hours and she is always cheerful and friendly, just gets on with the job with no fuss.  She has a definite “way” with animals too, they seem to like or trust her immediately.

 

We have so many pets that I could go on and on and on singing Ann’s praises, but I shall just relate one more of Ann’s experiences with us…..

 

Shortly after Rook’s problem at about 10pm (like humans accidents and illness do not always conveniently occur between 9am – 5pm ! so being able to contact Ann day or night is just brilliant)

 

Anyway we had a very old St. Bernard dog named T-Bear (T short for Teddy) at the time.  We had had him since he was a little bitty pup.  He was a fabulous dog, so gentle with the children and a fierce guard dog too  (very protective of his family!).

 

I was going to bed and as always went to give our dogs their “line up time” – a piece of bread each/ dog biscuit treat.

 

T Bear refused his treat – which was extraordinary for him (he was very greedy).  So I looked at him and checked him over and thought his tummy felt a bit tight….I went to get my husband and when we both inspected him we realised his tummy was swelling up and looked very bloated.

 

I phoned Ann.  She had gone to bed, but told me to bring T Bear in immediately.  She explained that he needed an urgent operation, basically his stomach had done a complete flip-over.  Ann operated on T Bear that night and phoned us back as she had offered and we had asked, some 3 hours later when she was done.  She saved T Bear’s life and for weeks and weeks afterward, she did house calls to change his bandages.  Some stitches didn’t hold and he had to be re-stitched.

 

Ultimately Ann gave us another year and a half with our much loved old dog.  Sadly old age finally caught up with T Bear and we had to have him put to sleep.  Ann came to our house and with compassion, tenderness, great care and kindness she put our old T Bear to sleep.

 

I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Ann Quinn to anyone who has a pet and indeed I have recommended her to many of my friends who have pets……all whom I have told about Ann have switched to her expert care and now go on to recommend her to their friends as well.

 

In a nut shell, Ann Quinn is a brilliant vet and she deserves to win this prestigious award.  I sincerely hope she does.  There are vets who are very good vets, but Ann Quinn is outstanding, one in a million.

 

Thank you

 

PS  I didn’t know how much to write.  I hope I havent’ written too much !  I could tell you a whole load more wonderful stories of our experiences with Ann, if you need any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me

0502-34002

 

PPS  Decided to write some more !  See pages 4 on.  Thank you for your patience.

 

In the countryside it’s really hard to find a really good small animals vet, that’s genuinely interested in small animals.  It’s next to impossible to find one that has a 24-7 service.

 

Most vets will treat all animals, but the attitude in the countryside towards pets seems to be “well, it’s only a dog/ cat”.  This sort of attitude is I believe slowly changing, especially with more and more people and their pets moving from the cities to the countryside.  However the large animals/ livestock vets are still much in demand and kept very busy.  So when there is a vet such as Ann Quinn wanting to expand, improve and get more equipment etc for her small animal side of her practice, this is wonderful, very much needed in our area and, I believe, should be encouraged in every way possible.

 

Perhaps I should mention one of Ann’s more unusual experiences in brief…

 

Recently, only a few weeks ago, a swan was found with a fish hook in its neck, which was successfully removed by Ann’s veterinary skills.  The swan made a full recovery and has been returned to the wild.

 

Ann is also very popular with transition year students seeking work experience.

 

My daughter also did a week’s work experience in Ann’s veterinary practice and was given a full range of experiences of what it’s like to be a country vet (also what it’s like to be a woman  country vet !).  They get a substantial amount of teasing from some more old fashioned farmers and individuals who are sceptical about the abilities of women vets.  However once they have seen for themselves how brilliant Ann is, they soon have a change of attidude.  But for Ann and indeed other women vets, it must be difficult at times to regularly have to overcome this prejudice.

 

Though Ann has never mentioned it, I discovered this through my daughter when she was relating her experiences over the course of her week’s work experience.

 

Ann Quinn is a young woman, married and has 2 toddlers and she has her veterinary practice.  She is a very capable, dedicated young woman and I have the greatest regard for her.

 

I sincerely hope that you will be able to judge for yourselves what a brilliant vet she is and award her your prestigious award.  If all her patients could vote, they would certainly all without exception give her their Number 1.

 

PS

 

Just had to include last night’s events to you before I post……

 

11pm I was on my way to bed and was in the back yard with our dogs.  They raced over to something on the ground so I went to see what it was that they had found.  It was a young hedgehog which was very badly injured.  It was, however, still alive.

 

So I picked it up and raced into the house, we found a small box for it and I phoned Ann Quinn.  As usual (although I’d say she had been asleep) she was cheerful.  I explained the situation to her and she said she would meet me in the surgery in ¼ of an hour.  She also warned me that hedgehogs are usually riddled with fleas and that she would give me something for our dogs so we wouldn’t have a flea infestation.

 

With this unpleasant thought in mind, my husband and I put the hedgehog in its box into a large paper carrier bag and sealed it with cellotape…..didn’t want my car full of fleas !!

 

Anyway raced over to Ann’s surgery in Rathdowney by now it was 11.30pm.  Ann was there ahead of me checking on some of her other patients and wouldn’t hear any of my apologies for the lateness, announcing that it was no problem at all.  Unfortunately, after thorough examination, the hedgehog had to be put to sleep as its injuries were too extensive for it to have any hope of recovery.

 

Ann chatted away and gave me some tubes of drops to put on our dog’s back for the fleas and also explained that I should check them for any cuts or abrasions on their skin as they could get ring worm from contact with the hedgehog.   She kept the hedgehog for incineration and I went home.   And yes, as soon as I went home I put the drops on the dogs as I could see fleas !!…Yuck !!

 

I applied the drops and so we are again now flea-les once more !

 

Ann insisted there was no charge for the hedgehog as it was wildlife and refused anything for being called out so late.

 

So the whole incident is yet another example of Ann’s compassion (that the hedgehog couldn’t be left suffering overnight), thoughtfulness about the consequences of fleas/ ringworm for our dogs and consequently our house, etc etc.

 

Poor little hedgehog, but thank goodness for Ann. The quality of her care goes way beyond exceptional.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

LIMERICK

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Hugh O’Callaghan, Crescent Veterinary Clinic, Dooradoyle Road, Limerick  Tel 061-301841

 

Reason for Nomination:

We have been dealing with Hugh O’Callaghan and his team Michael and Leane for a few years.  We have known Hugh since his involvement with Scallard Murphy.  We have found him to be a very cool, caring and excellent vet.  His love for animals is excellent and now that his is geared towards small animals they are fortunate to have such a caring vet.

 

Last year we had a cat got caught in the engine of the car and Hugh and his team worked on him and brought him around to be a healthy cat (Manx).  After that we had another cat that had a broken leg and once again Hugh and his team installed a pin and in a few weeks the cat was perfect (Wanderer).

 

Just a few weeks ago our dog wasn’t well and we are glad to report that he is in perfect health again.  With medication and a slight operation he is in the best of form (Mutty).

 

During the past two years we have had cats neutered and wormed and we even get the recommended food to maintain them.  The receptionists and nurses are so friendly and are always so willing to help and they cooperate in every way possible as do the vets themselves.

 

No words would describe the excellence of this practice.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

LOUTH

 

Veterinary Nurse Nominated:

Orla Brennan,  Bridge House Veterinary Clinic/JA Henry & Boyle Veterinary,  Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth Tel 042-9328000

 

Reason for Nomination:

Orla has shown a caring and unselfish approach to her job.  She is great with the public.  I am an inspector for the Louth SPCA have called upon her at out of hours times and she never moans, just ready to help.  She has even housed animals for me until the practise is open.

 

On one occasion I was very hurried and asked her on her day off to transport dogs to Dublin, which she did in her own car.  She will also find time to groom our animals free of charge.  She has made up information packs on puppy handling for new owners.  She helped us draw up our fostering forms.   She works long hours  but is always polite, caring and understanding.  She has a great way with the animals and will always look for solutions when the rest of us may give up.  In the practice she runs it very efficiently.  She is relied upon by everyone.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Nurse Nominated:

Orla Brennan,  Bridge House Veterinary Clinic/JA Henry & Boyle Veterinary,  Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth Tel 042-9328000

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Orla has a lot of time and patience with animals and explains everything to us.  She is a very caring person and loves animals but is very professional with clients.  She goes out of her way for people and has gone to great lengths to explain the care my dog needs.  I find her a very trusting person.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Nurse Nominated:

Orla Brennan,  Bridge House Veterinary Clinic/JA Henry & Boyle Veterinary,  Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth Tel 042-9328000

 

Orla is a very compassionate and caring veterinary nurse, who has looked after my children’s pets and is so comforting when our dog was sick.  She is so dedicated she even took him home to look after during the night.  We have complete trust in Orla and could not fault her in her nursing skills.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

MAYO

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Vivian Hussey, Lisgowel, Breaffy, Castlebar, Co. Mayo  Tel  094-90 44832

Reason for Nomination:

As a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals we have been dealing with Vivian hussey for 5 yrs, during which time he had already provided outstanding services for all our rescued animals.   However, he started his own practice in January, 2005, and has worked alone since then.

 

For the first time ever, we do not have a problem contacting a vet as Vivian will visit the animal in question with no charge for the visit, just the treatment.   This has made the largest single difference to obtaining urgent medical treatment for our emergency, sometimes life threatening cases, it doesn’t matter if it is 10.30 pm on a sunday evening and involves a round trip of 50 miles, Vivian arrives, gives the best treatment at the most affordable price.

He has tempted dogs that had been so abused they had given up wanting to live, and simply refused to eat, by taking his ‘sunday roast’ into surgery.   That was a dog huddled in a shop doorway with 4 broken ribs and abrasions all over, she survived and made a beautiful dog.   The cat who was so depressed at the treatment it had received that he went and purchased a tin of red salmon to tempt it to eat and thereafter to make a full recovery.

In March of this year Vivian accompanied us to a cruelty case, making a round trip of 80 miles (charge 40 euro for spending 2 and half hours at the scene) thereafter taking in 13 dogs that were covered from head to paw in their own excrement that they had been forced to live in for 2 years, some for 7 years, cleaning and clipping, treating skin abcesses, de-fleaing, worming, assessing their chances of ever being normal, which involved keeping them for 5 days in his surgery.   Together with 15 cats from the same case that had all been locked in cars, again living in their own filth with severe gastric problems.

 

The gard involved in this case was actually vomiting at the stench, but Vivian lived with it for days, his compassion and care being the call of any duty.

The kitten at 6 weeks old with a smashed leg.   He pinned and saved the leg, kitty making a complete recovery and now enjoying a great home.

The labrador whose leg was smashed by a vehicle that deliberately ran him down.   Vivian pinned and repaired the leg, the dog is fine.

The cat near death whose sternum was dislocated – Vivian wired it and the cat is now recovering.

The discounted rate he gives to our Society for neutering and spaying, which has made a huge difference to unwanted litters in the County.

We asked him to judge a dog show we held in June – he arrived late – we didn’t know his Wife had just given birth to a baby girl.   He just got on with the job in hand !

He makes visits to Schools, spends time with children and at pet stores educating people and giving advice on the care of small animals.

He sends people to us that may offer a good home to a rescued animal after losing their own pet.

Uses the latest vaccines, checks, worms and flea treats every animal we take into him.

If we’re stuck for where to put an animal he’ll keep it and take a dog for walks with his children, encourages a kitten or cat that is frightened to be stroked and gently handled.

Gives excellent advice on correct diet for the animals we take in suffering from severe malnutrition.

Scans every animal we take in for a microchip, in order to repatriate lost/stolen animals with their owners.

I really could write a book about this man, his caring and compassion for all animals, but the service he has given to us is excellent, we feel priviledged to know him and can treat more animals for less money, deal with more emergencies and save more lives thanks to him.
END OF NOMINATION

 

MEATH
Veterinarian Nominated:

Noel Foley, Smith & Foley, Ivy Cottages, New Lane, Abbeylands, Navan, Co Meath  Tel 046-9054016

Reason for Nomination:

It is so difficult describe the appreciation and respect I have for our vet, Noel Foley. He has taken such excellent care of our dogs since we moved to Meath eight years ago, he has always shown overwhelming compassion for our dogs and appreciates that they are as important as any member of the family.

 

Our dogs are so precious to us and Noel has been a huge support to us in recent times. I always refer to him as Saint Noel because I believe he is truly a gift to all of the animals and their owners that have been fortunate enough to find him.

April 2004, began what was to be a very painful and heartbreaking time for us, I returned home to find Jessie, our 14 year old collie, lying paralysed on the kitchen floor, she had suffered a stroke, we took her straight to the clinic where she was given injections and sent home without much hope, after three days, she was, albeit very shakey, back up on her paws and able to walk around again, about five months later, she had another stroke and again there didn’t seem to be very much that could be done, but after two days, she was back up and about again.  Never once was there a suggestion of euthanasia, she was cared for and treated against all hope, with respect and kindness and she still lives to tell the tale.

Within two weeks of Jessie’s first stroke, Troy, one of our two nine year old Rottie’s started to cough and within days he was literally dying as we looked at him, he was treated for bronchitis initially but after a couple of days Noel insisted that further investigations were needed because he was fading so quickly, he ran blood tests and we discovered that Troy had lymphoma.

 

We took him to the Veterinary Hospital to see what could be done and we strongly considered chemotherapy but after a great many tears we decided that given his age and the stage of his illness, the kindest thing to do for him was to give him palliative care for as long as we could.   We were told that his life expectancy was two weeks at the most.

 

Noel was so supportive and caring during this difficult time, he was available at all times to answer questions, adjust medications and advise us on what was best for him.  Troy lived a very spoilt, comfortable, pain-free and happy life for eighteen weeks after his diagnosis and when the quality of his life declined and the time came to say goodbye, Noel came to our home and we sat on the floor and held our little darling as he slipped away in our arms gently and without any fear.

And now, not one year on from losing our precious boy, his brother, Jake has become ill.  It started with what appeared to be a kidney infection and when after two days on antibiotics I rang Noel and said that I didn’t feel that he was right, he said “bring him straight in” He had a hectic surgical schedule that day but took us between procedures.

 

He told me that he always listens to the instincts of his patient’s owner and did a blood test there and then. I waited anxiously with Jake for the results, fearing the worst news, Noel called us in and told me that Jake was a diabetic and he would need insulin injections, a special diet, and a very strict routine from there on.

 

We had to return each day for blood tests until he was stabilised.  Jake is now 21 days on treatment, we are still trying to find the correct dose of insulin for him, ‘Saint’ Noel has been in daily contact with me since, he has even phoned on a Saturday evening, to see if we need to adjust his insulin he has assured me that I can call him at any time should we need him.  Once again he is our pillar of strength and is providing us with the hope that we will have much treasured extra time with Jake.

Words cannot describe the comfort there is in walking out of Noel’s consultation room and feeling completely confident in the advice and treatment that you and your dog have been given, and in such a loving and caring manner.  I never fail to smile when Noel plants a kiss or a big pat on my dog’s head and tells him that he’s lovely.  He has so much love for his patients and it certainly shows in his work, it is no wonder that the surgery reception is always full of thank you cards and flowers from grateful owners who he has saved from the devastation of losing a much loved family member.

Noel Foley is one of the kindest and most compassionate people I have ever met. He has a rare appreciation of what a dog can mean to a person, the way that he listens, encourages and enables the owner to be instrumental in the care of their dog during their latter years and indeed their final months makes the tough times just that little bit easier to bear.  In my mind and in the minds of my four-legged family, he is the ultimate Saint to Animal’s!
END OF NOMINATIONS
ROSCOMMON

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Catherine O’Roarke, All Creatures Vet Clinic, Lanesboro Street, Roscommon Tel 0906-626898

Reason for Nomination:

 

During the month of June 05 our beloved dog, Dottie was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. We were devastated. She had been with us since the age of approximately 6 weeks when she was found on the railway tracks near our home. She was clinging to her mother who had been killed by a train.

 

We had loved her dearly every day of her life and she had given us so much love. During her life she had a ligament replaced in her leg and she had been ill a few times.  All our other pets are grieving for her, especially her best buddy Jack who cuddled up to her every day as did our cat Millie who slept with her at night.

Catherine our vet was aware of how precious Dottie was. She visited our home several times rather than disturb Dottie in her final weeks. We were given all her drugs and taught how to administer them and this gave us a sense of being involved in Dottie’s palliative care and therefore helped us to feel that we were making her comfortable. Catherine rang to check how it was going several times.

In Dottie’s last week, Catherine saw her daily and when the time came to make that decision, Catherine came to the house and put Dottie gently to sleep. She was kind compassionate, unobtrusive and she quietly slipped away when we were holding our darling for the last time.

A few days later, Jack was not eating and Catherine saw him immediately. She advised us to give him special attention as he was missing his best friend.
I feel as if we have the best vet in the world. I have had bad experiences with a vet in the past. Having lived both abroad and always had pets, I am aware that not all are concerned with pet animals. I feel confident that I have only to pick up the phone for Catherine’s advice at any time of the day or night.
I would also like to mention that Elvis one of my donkeys was abused before he came to our family and he is terrified of having his hooves trimmed. All Creature’s vet, James comes regularly to sedate Elvis so he does not have to suffer that fear.

I sincerely feel that our family has the best vet in the world.

END OF NOMINATION

 

SLIGO

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Niamh Lee, St Benedict’s Veterinary Clinic, Pearse Road, Sligo  Tel 071-9142435

 

Reason for Nomination:

When my westy, Spud, got very ill with fibrosis of the lungs, Niamh gave me the support I so badly needed as I faced losing a bright and faithful friend.    With Niamh’s help we kept Spud as well as possible for as long as possible.  However one morning as I watched helplessly, I rang Niamh as I felt desperate having no control of the situation.   Niamh reassured me and suggested I bring my dog to her for the day and she would observe him.

 

On collecting him that evening he was still ill but in good form and Niamh said he was surprisingly bright.  A short time later, my Spud died and I felt a bit stronger and able to face it.   Niamh throughout all this time told me if any time I was worried about him I could ring her and she would see him for me.

 

It was a sad situation with an inevitability about it, but made so much more bearable with the help and reassurance of a real vet with a genuine love of animals.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WATERFORD

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476
Reason for Nomination:

I have 3,dogs and 2, cats  each a very well valued member of my family,  as any human my pets also deserve the best health care that I could possibly give them.   To me that is Riverside.

 

I feel that the whole team at Riverside gave my pets the highest care that I could ever give them.

 

My dog Heidi suffered with cancer about  18,months ago.  We took her to Riverside she was immediately taken into their care, she was throughly checked and any tests that she needed was done without any delay. She was also treated as if she was their own pet and to ease the seperation from us while she was having tests we could call in at anytime to see her.

 

No matter if it was out of hours we knew we could phone and anything that we were worried about we would be given the answers straight away.  We were so upset when she was diagonsed with cancer but the team did everything in their power to reassure us and keep us positive.  We were also worried about the costs as everyone who owns pets knows it can become very expensive.

 

But Riverside were amazing they  gave so many options on payment that the worry just wasn’t there, we could concentrate on Heidi rather then how we was going to pay for her.   During the time that Heidi was in Riverside’s care every precaution was made that Heidi was comfortable and happy.   I think that the care and dedication from Riverside’s team helped Heidi to recover more quickly and eased our pain and hers.

 

Our other pets have been to Riverside too and they are all well known and are very happy with going there, which is to our advantage and it is all down to the care in which they receive from the dedicated team from Riverside.

 

I would like Riverside to be acknowledged by everyone as in my years of being a pet owner I have never come across the loyality, the dedication, the professionalism and the hard work that I have known since being with Riverside.

 

I know my self that if my pets could talk they would not only praise the team for
all their work but also thank them for giving Heidi the best chance in life and their friend back home,

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE
Pat has an in depth knowledge of small animals, including unusual conditions
EQUIPMENT
The practice has on site a superb range of equipment e.g. ECG, Blood tests, ultrasound, Xray, modern anaesthetics etc.
AVAILABILITY
pat and his team are always available (and cheerful) day, night or weekends
KINDNESS AND CARE
Pat and his team are all willing to help with animal hospital or home care.  They also play a key role in dog rescue locally
QUALITY OF CARE
Always first class, quick, accurate and effective.

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I have as you can see, a wide range of pets.  Pat (vet) has treated, 2 weeks ago, Sparky a dog who was poisoned.   He and Helen, nurse, acted swiftly and with great care to save him.

 

Donal (vet) has been wonderful with my horses.  He has great empathy.  Dino 18 hh was nervous and difficult to handle and Donal gained his trust.  Helen (practise manager) is always so kind and helpful and friendly.

 

All my animals have been attended by the practise at sometime, except Freeebee, who came from the practice.  She is a lovely young cat who had  been taken to the vet to be put down.  They, of course, wouldn’t do it and I rehomed her – hence the name Freebee as she cost me nothing !

 

The cat, Treacle, was a feral kitten who appeared around our yard with  a badly damaged foot.  We managed to catch her and the leg had to be amputated.  Again, the whole team were wonderful and now we have a confident, happy, tripod !

 

I couldn’t pick out one member of the team as they are all great.  I always feel confident that they are there for me and my animals and will help speedily, kindly and with great professionalism.  If any practice deserves an award, they do.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

They are an amazing team.  We are so fortunate to have a practice of this high calibre in such a small town as Dungarvan.  Why are they so great ?

1)         From the receptionist, to the practice nurse, to both vets, all are skilled, efficient, caring and compassionate

2)         Their clinical care and expertise is outstanding

3)         Their attention to hygiene and post operative care is excellent – in 10 years and numerous accidents/ injuries to our working dogs, we have NEVER had to deal with secondary infections

4)         They are ALWAYS accessible

5)         They show great empathy in distressing circumstances

6)         It’s to THIS practice that all the strays, road casualties and unwanted pets are taken.  They are cared for, operated on and rehomed by the practice

7)         We have had animals for more than 50 years, experienced numerous good vets but NEVER such a team as this

** They are great !!!

** Oh yes, they’re very up to date too

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

Without exception the whole team has shown great concern for the dogs, both in gentleness and medical treatment and general care.

 

Towards myself (the owner of the dogs) they are always courteous and helpful.   Advice and guidance about the care and management of the dogs is readily available (without charge) as have offers to pick up and deliver dogs back to me on the odd occasion when I was unwell.

 

The younger vet Donal has even delivered food to my home for the dogs, in his own car and in his own time – again without charge.  As I am a pensioner these gestures of kindness make a huge difference.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

I have brought my pets to the Riverside Veterinary Clinic over the past 10 years and have always received the best veterinary care and service from the entire team.  They all show a genuine heartfelt interest in the welfare of each indidivual pet and are always forthcoming with practical advice on how to care for my pets – be they sick or unwell.

 

Vets Pat Morrissey and Donal O’Mahony have handled every pet “emergency” or treatment with great professionalism and expertise.  Their obvious enthusiasm for animal welfare is contagious.   I always have 100% confidence in their ability to treat my pets.  Both vets are ably supported by nurse Helen Gould and receptionist Helen Walsh.  The clinic benefits from the latest in pet care technology and is a one stop shop for everything my pets need – from grooming to dietary advice.

 

There are so many reasons I would like to nominate my veterinary team, but the main reason is that I would like to thank them for all they have done for me and my pets over the years.  Thanks lads !

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

Our Yorkshire terrier dog named Gio has had poor health and as a result was seen quite frequently by several vets and even a specialist consultant in the UK.  We have now moved to live in Ireland and Gio has been looked after by the Riverside Veterinary Hospital since then.

 

Both Patrick Morrissey and Donal O’Mahony have been excellent in their diagnosis of Gio’s problems and the treatment and care, including surgery that followed has been outstanding.  They are of course very ably supported by their veterinary nurse Helen Gould and Practice manager Helen Walsh.  As a team they always seem to have the time and skills to attend not only the pet’s needs but the concern of the owner too.  Gio is now in good health thanks to the practice team.

 

I would therefore like to nominate the Riverside Veterinary Hospital “Practice Team” for the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2005

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

The whole approach offered by this veterinary pratice is a very professional one.  All members of staff have found a great balance in showing care for people’s pets and providing whatever information is necessary or required for the client.

 

When our 3 cats were taken sick earlier this year the care and attention they were offered was excellent.  For us, the timing couldn’t have been worse as we were about to leave the country for 5 days.  But Riverside also offer a boarding facility, so the cats were able to stay for the duration even though they were over the worst of any illness.  It also provided us with an affordable solution.

 

I feel very lucky to have the team at Riverside on call whenever we should need them.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

Patrick Morrissy, Donal O’Mahony and Helen Gould have twice saved the lives of the above cats.

 

The first cat, Monty, was found abandoned at our home as a tiny kitten and was suffering severely from cat flu – subsequent vet care over a period of six months means that this little kitten now weighs 9 lbs and is allowed out to hunt at night.

 

The second cat, Meek (who looked like your photo on the entry form) – was thrown from a car at the top of the driveway – aged about 5 weeks on 10 December last.  He had a severe umbilical hernia and we waited 3 weeks until a little larger before operating.  The operation was massive and it required both Donal and Pat working together.  The kitten lost 50% of its insides and survival was questionable.   But today he is a magnificent, 11 lb cat, a great pal of Monty and a superb hunter.

 

All thanks to Riverside.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476
Reason for Nomination:

About six week ago our cat Gizmo went missing on Saturday afternoon he did not return as he usually would for his food. We searched for him all day on Sunday and on Monday moring I went out looking for him again at 11.30 I heard a terrible lound meow out in the back I knew it was Gizmo and there was something wrong. The first thing I saw was one of his back legs was completely skinned of fur and swollen about three times it normal size. When I picked him up I realized that some one had tried to set fire to him.

 

Gizmo’s tail was badly bruned and you could see the bone in his tail in three different places. His other back leg also had been badly injured. He was covered in blue bottle and maggots. I took him immediately to Riverside vets, where Pat gave him morphine for pain and shock before he examined him properly to access his injuries.

 

Gizmo’s leg had been tied by rope the blood supplied to his back leg had been cut off. His leg that was skinned had to be amputated. His tail Pat said he would leave for a day or two to see if it could be saved.His other leg was causing some worries as well there was a hole in his ankle and the pads of his paws were all skinned. Pat said he felt with right treatment it would be ok.

 

Pat took me in to see Gizmo after the ampution.  He was lying on a electrical blanket with a drip on him. Gizmo was there for a number of days I called to see him every day and you could see he was getting better.Gizmos back leg was been massaged by Pat and Helen every hour they were happy with the leg his tail in the end had to be completely removed as it was badly burned and his back side needed reconstruction.

 

Gizmo is now doing fine and is starting to get his independence back again. I believe the care and attention that he was given by Pat and Helan and all the team was remarkable and only for them we would not have Gizmo with us today.

 

I also know I was not charged for all the time they put in looking after Gizmo and I’ve been back for check ups with him and there’s been no charge. When I took Gizmo to Pat the first day he said he would do every and any thing for Gizmo and he did and that’s why I am putting them forward.

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476
Reason for Nomination:

 

We bought Jenny at the age of 18 months from a breeder. She was thin, undernourished and infested with lice eggs.

 

After taking her to a vet to be checked over and treated and a  dog trainer, we found out that Jenny had also been cruelly treated and had her two front teeth missing.  She was extremely frightened of men and very wary of people generally.

 

Now after much TLC Jenny is becoming a healthy, happy and confident little dog with a loving personality of her own.   Jenny has grown so attached to me that I thought I would never to able to leave her with anyone to go on holidays or to travel back and forward to Wales because she doesn’t like travelling by car.

 

Which is where Helen Gould, the veterinary nurse at Riverside Veterinary Hospital, has been a godsend.

 

Helen has a kennels for dogs where Jenny stays when I go away.  Because Helen has dealt with abused dogs before, she understood from the beginning how anxious I was that Jenny would be looked after and given a bit of extra TLC.  When I collect Jenny from Helen she is a happy and confident little dog and I always get an update on her behaviour and how she is improvidng and also advice.

 

Helen also trims and grooms Jenny for me and she also advises me on nutritious food to build Jenny up.  Any advice I need, I know I can take Jenny to Helen for professional and friendly advice.

 

Also 9 months ago, we lost our beloved dog Barney to cancer.   When Barney was ill one morning I took him straight to Helen who looked after him until the vet could operate.  Unfortunately nothing could be done but Helen knew Barney well after treating him at the vet’s for numerous minor complaints.

 

She was very sympathetic and knew how much Barney meant to us.

 

When I am at the vets I have noticed how caring she is with other pets and owners and how keen she is on finding good homes for unwanted pups and kittens.  Helen is very dedicated to her job and obviously enjoys her work very much, as well as being very professional.

 

Helen is a great asset to Riverside Veterinary Hospital and deserves to be recognised for her hard work.  Jenny and I sincerely hope Helen will win an award for her dedication.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Riverside Veterinary Hospital, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  Tel: 058-44476

 

Reason for Nomination:

 

The care and attention is second to none.  We have been to other vets and none come anywhere close to Riverside Veterinary Hospital.  Even the operating table has central heating !

 

Great care is always taken and scans, cauterising etc done with great tenderness (though firm).  No medical problem is left hanging “to see” and no physical injury is too much.

 

Helen (nurse) has shown up the (human) hospital nurses I’ve had to deal with over the years.  Always friendly.  Always attentive.

 

It says it all that when we meet any of the staff out and about, Grainne is the one to show most joy at greeting them.

 

A great team and a great practice, born out of their obvious love for animals.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WEXFORD

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Richard Bramley, Gubbins & O’Shea Veterinary, The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Rd, Wexford

Tel 053-45755

 

Reason for Nomination:

My dog Heidi was 12 years old when we first met Richard in the Veterinary Centre.  On that occasion she was diagnosed with diabetes and then began her routine of feeding and having insulin therapy.

 

She had regular assessments with Richard to monitor her blood sugars.  At all times his kind and caring approach to my dog and to me were paramount.  Trust in your vet and his expertise are part of all healing.  It came as no surprise to find him ringing me to see how she was and how I was coping.

This to me was a new experience and showed a caring beyond the clinic visits.

 

Some months ago, my collie was diagnosed with liver cancer.  A great shock it came to our family, but Richard persevered during her final months to give her a painfree life, new treatment when different symptoms came along and most of all encouragement and support to me when times were hard.   We had always discussed Heidi’s future if her condition became worse, which came to pass on the weekend of the 19th August.

 

As her final days drew near, Richard became a wonderful source of support and strength.  It was a  very emotional time here in our home, as my teenage children, my husband and especially myself had all our unique friendships with Heidi.

 

On Thursday 25th August at 3.30pm Richard arrived at my house.  We had earlier spoken about the timing having come to make the right decision.  Strong though I thought I was, reality is a different matter.  So together, Richard and I helped her on her journey and as he carried her to her final resting place he turned and said, this is the hardest part of my job.

 

A vet’s life is to heal and when illness takes over and death happens, they have feelings too.  Later that evening when sadness has enveloped our home, the phone rang and it was Richard, enquiring how I was coping.  His words were of praise for the way I had taken care of Heidi during her life and especially in the last 12 months, also of encouragement in the days ahead, when our house would seem empty with Heidi gone.

 

On a personal note I feel – and I’m sure there are many other people – are blessed to have Richard take care of our pets.  He has a wonderful knowledge of his chosen career and has a wonderful human side to complement it.  And as the days pass, I won’t be surprised to hear him on the phone again, checking on me.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

Gubbins & O’Shea Veterinary, The Veterinary Centre, Distillery Rd, Wexford Tel 053-45755

 

Reason for Nomination:

I have been attending the above practice for over 2 ½ years and the kindness, care and professionalism and compassion is incredible.

 

Richard Bramley is the vet I nearly always attend with my cats and he is so kind, gentle and truly genuine.   Four of my cats are hand reared by me.

 

Podge and Rodge were found in a skip, left to die, at approx 2 days and Jerry and Stuard at approx 2 weeks, so therefore I would have frequent visits – nothing is too much trouble to him.

 

Richard is a big man i.e. 6’4” approx I’d say, but by God his personality matches his size.  Although he always shrugs off any complements, he is in fact I’d say, a very shy person.  Brian O’Shea and Dan Gubbins have also stepped in to help me when Richard has been on A. L and again, Kindness and care and love, just 100%.

 

From the minute you walk in that door you meet either Michelle or Edel or the nurse Lynn – they’re great.  I’m a great believer in that if you have it 100% at top, it works its way down in a business or whatever.  They all love their job – well they must, because it just shows in their care and manner.

 

I’m not very good at words but believe me, if your committee do not go and meet these people and see for yourselves, you really are missing out big time.  If anyone in this country deserves recognition its Richard Bramley and his co-workers.

 

What more can I say to you all to persuade you to meet them .  I don’t know, but please do.  I love my cats and wouldn’t let anyone be cruel to them or any animal but these people are just ace !

 

Please please go meet them.  Sorry for rattling on.  Thank you and take care.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Annette Quegan, The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Wexford & Wexford Road, New Ross, Co. Wexford

Tel 053-26523

 

Reason for Nomination:

It’s around 10 years ago since I first met Annette.  I brought my adorable dog Prince, a golden cocker spaniel, down to the practice where she worked to have him groomed.  When he was there, she checked him over.  I didn’t know anything about her at the time.  The odd time I had needed a vet previous to that I would have went to a more local one, I was just bringing him to be groomed that day and was lucky enough that Annette was there.

 

The examination she gave him was so thorough and it was all explained to me so well when I collected Prince.  I remember thinking how good the care was and from then on I began to bring all our animals to that practice.  It’s since then that I have seen the most amazing care being given to my animals by Annette.  There have been so many occasions where her expert work and genuine care and compassion for my animals deem her more than worthy of winning this prize.

 

When I first started to attend Annette I had two dogs, Jack and Prince.  I’d had them since I was nine years old and I adored them, really adored them.  Everybody in the house loved them. Over the years then we took in stray kittens and we now have six !

 

Annette has treated all of our animals except one cat called Chesney who hasn’t needed attention yet.  We are so lucky to have her as our vet.  There were times in the early days that Annette wasn’t always available and another vet in the practice would be in duty.  That was fine and we’d be very well looked after by whoever we saw, but as time went on and Jack and Prince got older and more ill, I used to ask specifically for Annette.  I just felt happy once she had seen them.

 

I was very attached to Jack and Prince and as they grew older and their health deteriorated, Annette was just fantastic.  There was one occasion when Prince became ill late at night and I brought him to a more local vet.  That visit made me see all the more clearly how great Annette is.  The other vet seemed more put out that I had bothered him than he was worried about Prince.  He briefly examined him, said it was old age and sent us home.

 

Annette had always been so thorough and kind with Prince.  Jack and Prince both had lots of complications in their old age.   Annette did so many tests on them and kept them going with all sorts of tablets and medicines.

 

Jack was the first I had to say goodbye to.  She had done everything possible for him, but at 16 ½ years, he was unable to go on any longer.  He collapsed on evening and I brought him straight in. I knew it wasn’t good but hoped he’d pull through.  When Annette examined him she told me it was near the end and there was nothing else she could do.  It hit me like a tonne of bricks and I got very upset.

 

She was so kind and understanding.  I asked if we could do anything at all and she said she’d try putting him on the drip, but it probably wouldn’t help.   Once I knew he was in  no pain I told her to try.  She kept Jack overnight and said I could come in early next morning.  I took the day off work and arrived very early.  When Annette examined him there had been no improvement.  He was actually after slipping more.

 

Then I knew I had to say goodbye and I was devastated.  Annette and the girl working with her were so lovely and so understanding.  Annette told me I could have a room to myself so I could bring in Jack and spend time with him before the end.  She explained everything to me so well and never rushed me in any way.  When the time came to say goodbye, it was so hard, but I’m so glad it was her that was with us.

 

Prince was also very old at this stage and had many complications.  I am firmly convinced that if it hadn’t been for Annette, he would have died at least a year earlier than he did.

 

I grew even more attached tto him over the last couple of years of his life, probably because he was so vulnerable and needed so much care and attention.  I will never forget the night I brought him to Annette and she said there was nothing more she could do for him.   During our previous two visits she had told me he was slipping a lot and I knew it was coming, but I was still devastated.

 

That night I was very late coming home from work.  The first thing I did was go in to Prince to give him a cuddle.  When I got to him I knew he was very ill.   He wasn’t moving and I couldn’t get him to wake up.  It was very late so I knew there was a good chance that I wouldn’t get Annette when I phoned the practice.  I really hoped she would be there but she wasn’t  there was another vet doing night duty.  Prince needed help immediately so we left straight away.  Mammy and Daddy came with me as I was very upset.

 

We arrived before the vet.  I was standing in the yard when the car drove in and I clearly remember a wave of relief coming over me when I saw Annette stepping out of it.  I don’t know what happened to the other vet or why Annette was there, but we were glad to see her.  It was such a help knowing that whatever the outcome, Prince was in her hands.

 

When she examined him she knew there was nothing more she could do.  Deep down I knew it myself but when I heard her say it, I was gutted.  He had been a major part of my life since I was nine and the thought of losing him was so painful.  I cried my heart out and I just couldn’t give Annette the go ahead to put him asleep, even though I knew it had to be done.

 

This was around 10.30pm but that didn’t matter in the slightest to her.  She gave me some time with Prince so I could talk to him and try to come to terms with it all.  She was unbelievably kind and never rushed me in any way.   She explained everything to me and did everything she could to make it a little easier.  I don’t know of anyone who would have been more patient.

 

I got to hold Prince in my arms and say goodbye to him as he peacefully slipped away.  I will never ever forget Annette that night.  It meant so much  to have that time and to have everything explained so well.  She was so patient and kind.  I’ve never seen or heard of another vet who showed such compassion.  And she is genuine.  She is a naturally gifted vet in every way.

 

Up to that night, Mammy and Daddy used to be asking me why I always travelled 13 miles to a vet, when there were other vets so close to home.  After being there with me that night they now know the answer to that question.  They saw her for themselves.

 

Since then Annette has gone out on her own.  I was delighted when I heard she had.  Now when I ring to make an appointment I am sure of seeing her.

 

She has also treated my cats and the same level of care has always been shown to them.  There are so many examples I could use to prove her a worthy winner of this prize, but I’d be writing all day, so I’ll just give you one:

 

We found a little kitten outside a couple of weeks ago and he was in a dreadful state.  We brought him to Annette and she said he was one of the worst cases of neglect she had ever seen.  She kept him overnight and treated him for all his problems.  This involved washing twice to start off with.  She put him on lots of medication and he was coming along really well.

 

Then disaster struck last night when he was attacked by a dog.  It was a miracle that he was still alive.  I phoned Annette straight away and she said to come straight in.  It was late into the evening and after a long hard day , it can’t have been very nice to have to come back to a surgery, but she came straight away.

 

She examined the little fella (we haven’t even named him yet) and saw damage straight away.  Some of his little ribs were broken and there was a tear in one of his lungs.  She also felt damage to his stomach.   The poor little thing was also in complete shock.

 

You should have seen how Annette cuddled him under her chin !  She took him home with her and said the next 12 hours would be critical.  We were so worried.  The phone rang a couple of hours later and it was Annette.  She phoned to tell us how he was doing.  He had picked up a little and drank a little for her.  We were over the moon.   It was so good of her to ring.  We would have been wondering all night and even though he still wasn’t out of the woods, there was an improvement.

 

Then this morning I got a text from Annette telling me he was doing fine so far and that she’d be re-assessing him later.  It is so good and kind of her to keep us informed like that.  When you love your animals you worry such much when they are sick and having someone like Annette looking after them is definitely the best thing you can do for them.

 

As I am writing this our little kitten is still under her care.   I was talking to her this evening and she said she’d probably keep him until Friday.  I am praying that he will be okay but whatever happens I know he is getting the best care possible.

 

There are many other times I could write about because each time I bring one of our pets to Annette they receive care and attention worthy of the highest praise.  This is my first time nominating her for this prize and I only wish that I was a more able writer because I know for a fact that whatever I write, couldn’t possibly explain to the person reading this how brilliant our vet is.

 

She is so genuine in her love for animals and I always know that once she has treated our pets they are getting the best treatment possible.

 

I consider our pets to be members of the family and love them with all my heart.  Losing Jack and Prince were two huge losses in my life and I will never ever forget the genuine care they got from Annette during their lives and the patience and compassion that she showed me during the heartbreaking experience of saying goodbye to them.

 

I never thanked her properly for all that she did and continues to do for us, so I would like to use this as an opportunity to do so.

 

THANK YOU ANNETTE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

 

And thank you on behalf of Prince, Jack, Mud, Socks, Emily, Skinny and even though you haven’t met Chesney yet, I’m thanking you on behalf of him in advance, because he is due a visit very soon !

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

 

Veterinarian Nominated:

Annette Quegan, The Pet Vet, Kerlogue Business Park, Wexford & Wexford Road, New Ross, Co. Wexford

Tel 053-26523  / 051-445484

 

Reason for Nomination:

I rescued a cat who had been shot and beaten. I rang Annette and asked her if she could look at the cat for me and explained that I had found the cat. So I brought the cat in and even though this cat was in a lot of pain, all he did was “purr”.  So Annette and her team quickly took the cat in to their expert care.

 

Annette took loads of x rays and discovered that the cat had been badly injured to the extent that there was fragments all through the cat’s body, there was a hole in his upper body and his leg was so bad, that it was in pulp inside.

 

This cat wasn’t mine so I asked her to contact some of the animal health services to see if they would cover half of the expenses and I would have paid the rest, but to no avail.  The cat was so lovely he couldn’t be put to sleep.  So Annette said she would look after all the expenses.

 

She had to amputate his rear leg,, nurse him back, get him walking.  She carried out his operation, she was very worried about his pelvis and she cared for him in her surgery for the next couple of weeks on antibiotics and special food “sensitivity.”  This cat survived his ordeal only because Annette is such a caring and professional person.

 

END OF NOMINATION

 

WICKLOW

 

Veterinary Team Nominated:

BrayVet Animal Hospital, Old Conna Avenue, Bray, County Wicklow  Tel 01 2821909

Reason for Nomination:

It would be unfair to nominate any single member of the BrayVet team as all staff are worthy of nomination.  It is truly a team – based collaboaraive approach to Companion Animal Care with everyone contributing in a most professional and compassionate manner to animals and their owners

Our relationship with BrayVet goes back more than  twenty two years and three pet animals(all dogs) – Bruno and Che who have both since died,and our current pet Fudge.

 

A little story on each:
Bruno was a terrier cross who had a stroke at 13 1/2years  and had to be euthanised shortly afterwards.  The care and respect to our beloved animal, and the compassion to us from Pete (Wedderburn) will never be forgotten. It was our first experience of this trauma,yet it was lessened by the humanity of Pete.

Che our beloved terrier cross developed Diabetes at 10 years of age and he was beautifully managed for  over 6 1/2 years  by the team at BrayVet, appearing on such programmes as Pets have Problems too(radio)and Beastly Behaviour(TV) where we visited  children with Diabetes on camp. It was a wonderful experience with the children asking all sorts of questions about the dog, his injections, his food, and how we would know if he had a ‘hypo’.  More importantly it showed a positive approach to managing Diabetes in animals rather than the often rash  decision to put the animal’to sleep’.We had many scary moments with Che,like the time he ate a box of chocolates(blood sugars and chocolate itself to worry about),or the time he got food poisoning, but always the issues were dealt with calmly and professionally

 

I am a paediatric dietitian and between Che,myself  and the BrayVet  team we revolutionised the care for diabetic dogs at the practice, using BLOOD monitoring(instead of urine), giving multiple daily injections, and tailoring his diet using  normal dog food(instead of commercially produced products)   It was always a partnership with information flowing both ways, and the team  were always willing to take suggestions on board.

 

Che eventually died 4 years ago, and he is still missed but he has left behind his legacy, and the staff still remember him when  we call.

 

Fudge is an 11 year old King Charles Spanniel who is delightful. However, he was recently run over,and,once I realised he was alive, I immediately rang BrayVet.  The calm voice of Mary reassured me to ‘bring him down and Pete would see him immediately’, the concern for my  husband who had witnessed the accident,and the thorough professionalism of Pete in examining a terrriorised animal are all testimony to the worthiness of the nomination for this special vetinary clinic for the award.

Nobody likes having to go to the vets with their sick animal .The focus of BrayVet encompasses the care of the patient(who very often cannot explain what’s wrong)and the carers and is an excellent example of how a clinic SHOULD be run.The clinic is welcoming, supportive,caring and professional – I feel it is a privilege be associated for such a long time

END OF NOMINATION