ASIAHOMES TIPS FOR
YOUR PETS TO
Be Kind To Pets.
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The toy Fox Terrier had
a blood-red belly
vet was too young (and therefore inexperienced),"
Mr Wang said. "She prescribed an anti-flea
mediation to be given to this dog at doses recommended
for the bigger dog. And also this cream which was not
He had flown in from Taiwan to care for his
five-year-old toy Fox Terrier which had intense
itchiness in the lower part of his body. I seldom see
"blood red" skin on the inguinal area of the
dog. Usually the colour is less intense and more
pinkish. Not only that, the skin was rough indicating
that the inflammation had lasted a few weeks. The skin
pores oozed out a wet liquid or it could be the saliva
from the dog's continuous licking. The more the dog
licked, the itchier the skin became and this caused the
dog to lick more.
"Some skin diseases are not so easy to cure with
just one or two veterinary visits," I replied. Mr
Wang had retired in Taiwan and had entrusted his dog to
a pet-sitter. Eczema creams for hot spots had been
applied without success. I did not ask further who had
applied what cream as Mr Wang was greatly agitated. In
any case, pet owners used various over-the-counter
medication sold by over 140 pet shops and supermarket
shelves in Singapore. And also Chinese oily and
smelly skin medicine as well.
The treatment would last several weeks if not months
before the first veterinarian gets consulted and then
insulted for incompetence! It happened to me and I
am sure to all vets and therefore it was not something
to get upset about.
Mr Wang just could not import the dog into Taiwan as the
Chief Veterinary Officer said that Singapore had nipah
virus and therefore no dogs are allowed.
"The government website with all its regulations on
dog import was dated in 1999," Mr Wang said.
"I phoned the Chief Vet and he said that the
prohibition of dog imports still applies now." I
asked him to persevere. It was three years ago and
Singapore does not have nipah viruses in its pigs
imported from overseas. Also, there are blood tests for
nipah viruses in the dog if the Chief Vet could be
persuaded to let the tests be done.
"Would it be better if I give my dog to the Society
For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals so that they
can find a home for him?" Mr Wang asked as he did
not want the dog to be confined in a cage in boarding
kennels. The pet-sitter was the taxi-driver he met
before flying back to Taiwan several months ago, but
something happened in the apartment to cause such
"No," I said. "The SPCA has around 10,000
abandoned pets a year and yours would probably be
euthansed within seven days if there was no adoption as
there was just insufficient kennels for so many
Mr Wang said in a stoic voice hiding tears, as grown up
man do not cry, "I prefer that I get the dog
euthansed and not at the SPCA." He was over
sixty years old and Singapore was not the place to do
manufacturing business now. The salaries of Singaporean
workers price them out of employment as the ones in
Malaysia, Indonesia and China would be paid ten times
less and with less bureaucracy and red tape.
"I guess the vet would have recommended a head
collar to prevent the dog from biting its skin," I
asked Mr Wang. He nodded and said, "It is too
uncomfortable and no, I would not permit it."
What more could a veterinarian recommend? It was the
correct procedure but the owner was not adopting it.
Therefore, the dog kept attacking its inguinal skin
daily until it became too itchy and infected to be able
to regrow normal cells to replace the inflamed ones.
I gave the dog the anti-inflammatory and antibiotics
injection and told Mr Wang to come back in two week's
time to review. With his personal and full-time
attention, the dog would recover. In many cases of skin
diseases which do not resolve instantly, the first vet
gets the blame and if this vet has just graduated, the
owner tends to associate him or her with inexperience
and therefore incompetent.
Veterinarians in private practice are not immune to the
demand for prompt resolution of the problems of the pet
In this case, the veterinarian is like any service
provider. He or she must produce the results or the
bottom line would be adversely affected. Eventually the
clinic must close down as the Singaporean employees'
pay, investment in equipment and rentals are very high
in Singapore and revenue generated could not cover the
Fox Terrier with an eye ulcer
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