Veterinary Nurse Michael Twiby
It’s great to know that people care about animals as much as we do!
I always knew I wanted to work with animals.
When I was younger I worked at a boarding kennel, and even started a Zoology degree! But when I started out as a hospital assistant at Putney Animal Hospital I learned I could study to become a vet nurse whilst working - and I’d get to be involved with all different types of animals, cases and operations. And that was too good an opportunity to pass up.
No such thing as a "normal" day
I’ve been working at the hospital for seven years. No two days are the same as we get a huge variety of different cases. The majority of animals are brought in by the inspectorate - victims of cruelty and neglect or injured strays or wildlife - but we also offer a subsidised veterinary service for pet owners who meet certain criteria so we can make sure as many animals as possible are being treated and cared for when they need it.
Dealing with cruelty and neglect
It upsets me when inspectors bring in animals who have clearly been neglected for a long time. How people can’t see that their pet is in dire need of treatment and care is beyond me.
It also upsets me when animals that have clearly been loved and looked after by someone aren’t microchipped - or they are but the details aren’t up-to-date. We try so hard to get peoples pets back to them but this makes it nearly impossible.
Also when we see dogs that haven’t been vaccinated against diseases like parvovirus when they’re completely preventable. If you love your pets, two things you can do to show it are to get them microchipped and keep their vaccinations up to date!
Some days are tougher than others
Some days are particularly tough when there is already a busy ward and then emergencies come in. Recently we had several dogs who were having fits at the same time which proved difficult to deal with as well as prepping our patients for surgery.
Over Christmas, we have staff at the hospital 24/7 just like every other day of the year. We often see animals who need to have foreign bodies removed through surgery at this time of year. The offending items can range from corn cobs to baubles! We’ve even had cats who have eaten tinsel.
We try to let people know to take extra caution during the festivities but we know we’ll get a few of these cases each year.
Why I love my job
It puts a spring in my step at the end of the day when an owner is really grateful for the way you've treated and looked after their beloved pet. It makes all the stressful and busy days worth it.
I also get a kick when an injured stray or wild animal comes in and we’re able to help them get better. If our inspectors didn’t bring them in, and we weren’t here to treat them, they might have nobody looking out for them at all.
I'm so glad I get to do the job I do and I know a big part of it is down to the generosity of our supporters. It's great to know that people care about animals as much as we do!