A WANGARA veterinary hospital that opened on Friday will provide after-hours and emergency care for pets in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Poisonings, animals eating “things they shouldn’t”, cuts and occasional snake bites are among the cases Steve Reid, the veterinary manager of the Chokolich Street service, expects to see.
Dr Reid launched EVH Emergency Vet Hospital with his sister and business manager Sue to meet demand for after-hours pet care in the northern suburbs.
“I’ve had it in the back of my head for a while – I think there’s a niche in the north of the northern suburbs,” he said.
The clinic is open all week from 5pm to 8am.
And while emergency work will be their focus, they also have a bird and exotic pet specialist on hand.
Dr Reid said that while working on sick pets alongside emotional owners was stressful, helping them make vital decisions for their loved ones was rewarding.
“You see the best and the worst of people and the animals… you’ve got a very upset owner and an animal that might bite you because it’s really painful,” he said.
“You’ve got all of that to deal with and then you’ve got the veterinary side of it going through your head – you’re thinking, what’s wrong with it, how are you going to treat it and what’s the most efficient way to get an answer for the owners?
“The hard part is you might have a patient that’s not that sick but the owner thinks it is and one that they don’t think is that sick and they’re really sick. So there’s a lot of communication with the job.”
He said having to tell an owner there was nothing more they could do was “quite hard”, but offering euthanasia to stop pets’ suffering was a moral duty for vets.
“Euthanasia is unfortunately part of our job that’s actually very stressful and very difficult, not only for the owners but for all the vets and nurses as well,” he said.
“We do have to make some pretty tough calls.
“It’s very different for every client and how they are with their pet – it could be a canary, a german shepherd or it might be a mouse; it doesn’t actually matter, the owners will regard them as part of their family.”
Ms Reid said animals “stole hearts”, making it essential to have care available when things do take a bad turn.
“General vet practices shut at 6-7pm and if you get home and you notice there’s something wrong with your pet, what do you do? You panic,” she said.