From treating a tiny bug bite to finding lost terrapins and doing house calls, the team at the Community Vet Clinic in Pui O has, time and again, proven invaluable to small animals (and their owners) throughout South Lantau. At the helm is petite, camera-shy Dr Queeny Chan who came on board two years ago.
It’s business as usual at the clinic despite social distancing, and Dr Queeny shares that she averages around 50 to 70 cases a week, mostly dogs and cats who come in for regular check-ups and vaccinations. This friendly neighbourhood clinic also provides microchip implants and dog license applications, diagnostic lab tests, digital radiology, surgeries and dental care, as well as pet food retail and pet transport and cremation services.
“We often cooperate with Team for Animals in Lantau South (TAILS) to do rescue jobs, de-sexing, vaccinations and check-ups,” Dr Queeny adds. “Occasionally the volunteers have emergency cases for sick animals and we can provide immediate treatment before they are taken to a bigger clinic.”
The most common injuries Dr Queeny treats are caused by dog fights. “We have quite a number of dog-bite cases because most of the pets here are free range, not kept at home,” she says. Pet owners are advised to keep their animals indoors if they’ve got wounds to prevent maggot infestation – it takes about 14 days for a maggot-infested wound to heal.
Dr Queeny is quick to stress the importance of profilactive treatments. She urges owners to invest in tick collars for their pets and also to stay up-to-date with immunisations, particularly against contagious diseases. “Leptospirosis killed about 10 dogs in the village last year,” she says. “Most of the time they get the disease by drinking water contaminated by rat urine, so we advise owners to keep their dogs on a leash when they take them for walks and to try to keep them from splashing in puddles.”
When it comes to diet, Dr Queeny is well aware that people love to feed their pets what they eat themselves, in addition to store-bought pet food – and she’s a fan of this idea, up to a point. “If you’re going to prepare some homemade meals like meat and rice for your pets, it’s good to add a supplement powder to their food because in the long-term they may lack vitamins and minerals.”
Owners are encouraged to monitor their pets’ bowel movements, as well as their eating and drinking habits, in order to help Dr Queeny identify any problems. “It’s really helpful if we can get some basic information about their daily habits, that way we can eliminate some possibilities and find out what the problem is more quickly,” she explains.
Another thing we can keep an eye on at home is our pets’ dental hygiene. “We recommend regular dental check-ups (scaling) each year but it’s also very important to care for your pets’ teeth yourself, particularly if they are on homemade or canned food,” Dr Queeny says. “You can use a brush, with some cleansing wipe and cleansing solution or, if your pet is not OK with brushing, you can try special prescription food that helps remove plaque and tartar.
“One more thing we want owners to pay attention to is how they pick up their pets,” Dr Queeny concludes. “Most of the time they pick them up by the armpit, but this doesn’t give enough support to their back.” When you want to cuddle your pet, pick her up from the front while also supporting her bottom. Reporting and photos by Jan Yumul
Community Vet Clinic, 3486 6100, [email protected]