ACS (Barker Road) Student Attachment Programme

We believe in educating our community in animal care and veterinary medicine, especially students who are considering the pathways to be a veterinarian.

In November, a group of Secondary 3 boys from ACS (Barker Road) came to “work” at our clinics. Some are so inspired and eager to learn, they came for extra days!


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“I love dogs. Job shadowing in a vet clinic is unique and interesting, not something I can do whenever I want.” ~ Joel Mathews with Mason at Mount Pleasant Central Vet Clinic (Whitley)

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“The most challenging part of being a vet, in my opinion, is having patience and perseverance.”

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“Having patience in handling pets, especially difficult animals. And having perseverance as the doctors need to take on night shifts and perform surgeries which may take a few hours.”

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“The best part of being a vet is the opportunity to work with animals. They bring joy to your working life!”

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“I’m an avid animal lover. Becoming a vet is a very natural choice for me, having been surrounded by animals since I was born. Through this job shadowing opportunity, I had a feel of what a vet’s life is like and learnt to be a better companion to my pets.” ~ Leon Saint Claire with Sophie at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Mandai)

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“Sometimes, vets face problems which they have to resolve quickly. They have to think fast and not hesitate. Another challenge is the difficult decision of euthanasia – a life is on the line, for better or for worse. Hence, I feel that vets cannot crack under pressure. They must make the right decisions for the well being of the animal, and also the owner.”

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“Job shadowing strengthened my conviction to be a vet. Seeing an animal’s flame rekindled gives you a sense of satisfaction. You feel joyous for helping the family and improving the life of an animal – be it a bird, cat, hamster or dog. Furthermore, a growing stray population may give rise to more animal abuse. By becoming a vet, I may be able to make a positive difference to this predicament. That’s the beauty of being a vet – it is more than just a job.”

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“I chose to job shadow at a vet clinic as I have a strong interest in animals and have dogs since I was born. We had a Maltese. After he passed, we welcomed Bambi and Belle into our family. They are Labradoodles which we personally chose from England after meeting their parents to check for any hereditary issues.” ~ Brandon Au Yong with Guan Wei at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East)

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“I love animals and want to help them get better. I have plans to pursue a veterinary degree in Australia. During job shadowing, I learnt how to take better care of my dogs and how to observe their behaviour for signs that they are unwell. I also learnt how various blood test machines work.”

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“The hardest part was to witness blood from certain surgeries or teeth extractions as I associate blood with pain. The vets do their best to relieve pain and perform procedures as quickly as possible. The best part of this whole experience – I was able to interact with animals and help care for them as well as interact with vets and technicians to learn about the industry and their work.”

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“When I was young, we stayed with my extended family and 10 dogs. I love our dogs and my interest lasted through the years till now when only 2 dogs remained.” ~ Michael Boey at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Changi)

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“Our dogs are old and have had their fair share of visits to the vet. I’m always interested to learn what goes on in a consultation and when animals are hospitalised. Being a vet is one of my dream jobs.”

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“For an animal lover, the contact with animals is possibly one of the best parts of being a vet. I cannot bear seeing any animal sick. I would want to find out what is affecting them and how we can nurse them back to health.”

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David with Sophie at Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Bedok)

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Daniel at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)


Under Mount Pleasant Community Outreach – Education, our programmes include talks at schools and organisations, project collaboration, work experience, student attachments and clinic visits. Email comms@mountpleasant.com.sg to be part of our outreach! 

Thank You Joyce, Grandex, Pong!

“The most useful asset of a person is not a head full of knowledge but a heart full of love, with ears open to listen and hands willing to help.” Today we say thank you to Joyce, Grandex and Pong from Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)!


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“Being a medical technologist by profession, I was more comfortable & adept at working with humans. When I joined Mount Pleasant in November 2009, my perception about animals took a 360 degree turn. I learn to love & appreciate animals more.” Joyce with Janice of Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North).

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“Taking care of animals through my work in Mount Pleasant taught me to be more compassionate & appreciate life more. Loving & caring is not confined to humans. We can also share & give our love to animals. I discovered a deeper, more profound compassion within myself. I even adopted two wonderful furbabies, Adrianna & Alonso.”

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“I am very proud to be called their mom, they are part of my family now. I consider them my furry therapists because they give me a sense of healing every time I feel homesick & miss my Dad so much. He passed away two years ago.”

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“I had wanted to be a doctor, specifically a pediatrician because I love kids. Being with & taking care of kids make me happy. I think it is innate in me, taking care of people. Now I am grateful to be working with a professional & supportive team, happily taking care of these wonderful creatures. I have no regrets!”

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“My family is definitely my inspiration, especially my parents. They love me unconditionally & taught me to be selfless. Those characteristics inspire me to always be grateful, value life & keep on evolving as a better person. I lost my dad 2 years ago. Despite his physical absence, he lives on in my heart. I admire my mom more than ever. I know it is really hard for her losing the love of her life & best friend but despite the pain, she remains strong for me & my siblings.”

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“Only those who are very close to me know I have an artistic side. I love graphic arts & photography. Every time I witness or experience beautiful things or events, I capture it in order to preserve the memories. Now, I always make sure I capture every beautiful moment with Adrianna & Alonso & share it with my loved ones & friends through social media – my platform to spread good vibes & happiness.”

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“I live by this quote: The most useful asset of a person is not a head full of knowledge but a heart full of love, with ears open to listen and hands willing to help. No matter how intelligent a person is, if he or she doesn’t know how to love & care for others, everything becomes senseless. Intelligence is superficial & temporary. But when the love & care we impart to people & animals is paid forward, it becomes eternal.”


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“I grew up having pets & surrounded by farm animals.” ~ Grandex

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“I joined Mount Pleasant in May 2014. It is a very good feeling, seeing pet owners happy when their furbabies recover from sickness.”

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“Some days, we do see stray animals with medical conditions but they have no caregivers to shoulder the medical responsibilities. It is also frustrating seeing animals in a tough fight against cancer.”

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“My parents inspire me a lot. They encourage me to finish my education & inculcate good values in me.”

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“It makes my family happy when they see me enjoy what I do. Through the years, I learn to appreciate what I have & live a simple life.”


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“I love animals & during my childhood, we kept pets & livestock. Letting our livestock out of their pens & keeping them back at night is something I always looked forward to. They always cheered me up.” ~ Pong

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“If I am not a vet tech, I would love to be a farmer with my own integrated farm.”

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“I joined Mount Pleasant in March 2014. Meeting different animals everyday – especially when sick pets get better – makes me smile, no matter how stressful or tiring the day is.”

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“My father is a carpenter. My mom sells rice cakes in our village. They worked very hard just to send us off to school to fulfil our dreams. They always say they have nothing to give us but education. Because education is something that cannot be stolen from us. My parents are my role models in life.”


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The happy Mount Pleasant (North) family, many of whom happen to be wonderful singers! Enjoy this video!

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“REFER A FRIEND” to Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North). When you are next at Mount Pleasant (North) for a consult, you will receive this voucher. Pass it on to a friend & enjoy a free consult when it is redeemed!

Anchor & Guinness

The only fault of our pets? They do not live forever. Our only regret? We cannot change that reality.

As animal guardians and caregivers, we face death often more than once, in the journey with our pets. Life is short. Treasure every moment. And do not leave important things unsaid.

Shirley chats with us about the cats in her life. Past and present.

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Anchor was seen by Dr Kasey Tan at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) for rhinitis (nasal inflammation) & high blood pressure. She is a grand dame at 20 years old.

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Guinness the black cat was found as a kitten outside my office. He had a skin condition which was diagnosed as food allergy. Initially I wanted to bring him to SPCA. But by the time his skin cleared up, I decided to keep him and went to SPCA to get him a friend instead! Guinness ate only the best – no supermarket brands. 

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“When I first met Anchor at SPCA, she was just a kitten, about 6 weeks young. She was every volunteer’s favourite – very playful, loved hide and seek, very manja.”

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I read all I could about caring for cats, in as natural a way as possible, balancing her diet with natural food and only adding some processed food for convenience.

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Just sitting pretty. 🙂

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“Anchor was a great hunter when young. She would catch field mice, birds and lizards. Sometimes she stayed out all night, probably patiently stalking some prey. She only returned in the morning and spent the rest of the day snoozing.” 

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Anchor getting all comfy in the wardrobe!

“Anchor is 20 years now. I am prepared for the inevitable.”

* Anchor lost her buddy last year when Guinness crossed the rainbow bridge at a grand age of 19.5 years. He was the oldest cat at the clinic. Shirley also adopted another handicapped cat named Stella.

Choose To Be Happy

Having a pet is a lifetime commitment. And that means, no matter what happens, no one gets left behind.

Happy came into Winnie’s life 9 years ago. Having grieved the passing of 3 dogs, Winnie was not prepared for a fourth. But her soft heart changed Happy’s future. She became family.

However, the past two years have been quite a challenge.

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“My daughter Jia Min’s classmate found Happy & her brother discarded in a box. They were still tiny puppies. The classmate’s father drove Happy to us in a box. I am still keeping the box. I cannot bear to throw it away.” ~ Winnie

About 2 years ago, Happy developed aural hematoma.
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Most dogs developed hematoma from excessively scratching their ears or shaking their head. When blood vessels in the ear rupture, blood pools between skin & cartilage, causing the ear flaps to swell like water balloons. Surgery was performed to open & drain the blood & clots. Sutures were placed to eliminate any space for blood or fluid to accumulate. Happy recovered well. The only difference was her upright ears are now droopy.

Happy then went through a surgery to remove her infected uterus.

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Pyometra is more common in older, unsterilised females. With repeated heat cycles & elevated levels of the hormone progesterone, the lining of the uterus thickens & provides an environment for bacteria to grow. Ovariohysterectomy (spay) is the treatment of choice. The uterus, ovaries & oviducts are surgically removed.

Early this year, Happy’s eyes became cloudy from cataracts. 

“Initially, Happy will knock into walls and even fall into the small drain downstairs. We didn’t realise she couldn’t see. After that, we seldom take her out for walks.”

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After her cataract surgery by Dr Robin Stanley in March this year, Happy can see again. She must be so happy to go for walks with Jia Min!

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Dr Sandhya Nair, Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North), measures the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) in Happy’s eyes with a tonometer. The IOP is within normal range. “Happy is always very calm with Dr Nair.” ~ Winnie

Recently, Winnie noticed a lump on Happy’s neck.
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A fine needle aspirate was done & the sample sent to the laboratory for analysis. The lab report indicated a possible thyroid mass. “A high percentage of palpable canine thyroid tumours turn out to be thyroid carcinomas. Tissue biopsy for histologic evaluation is the next step in evaluating thyroid masses. Thyroid carcinoma is a locally invasive neoplasm with successful excision more likely early in the disease.”

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If the thyroid mass is fairly moveable, it can be surgically removed for biopsy. However, thyroid carcinoma is often adhered to deeper structures of the throat which makes surgery more difficult. Ultrasound & CT scan can help evaluate how invasive the mass is & if it can be removed surgically.

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Happy’s family will discuss about the next course of action.

"Happy was lost in 2009. With the help of Mark, my groomer friend, we found Happy 10 days later. That was one of the happiest moments in my life." ~ Winnie

“Happy was lost in 2009. With the help of Mark, my groomer friend, we found Happy 10 days later. That was one of the happiest moments in my life.” ~ Winnie

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“Happy came into our life on 14 November 2006 & we take that as her birth date. She will be 9 this year. I am very sad that Happy’s thyroid mass may be cancerous. But we will do whatever we can to give her the very best medical treatment.” ~ Winnie

november 2016, happy developed acute glaucoma in her left eye which was not responsive to medications.
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The intraocular pressure in Happy’s left eye was higher than normal. Sometimes, Happy would not open that eye fully. Despite all efforts to save the eye, it was not responsive to medications.

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The left eye become cloudy and blind. Dr Sandhya Nair performed enucleation to surgically remove the diseased eyeball.

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“During the eye checks, Happy was not cooperative. Dr Nair had a tough time examining her in awkward positions.”

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“Some days, I feel sorry that Happy had to go through all these surgeries. Money is not the issue (though I am not rich), it can be earned back. I just want Happy to be well and not in pain.”

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Feeling better and happier a few days after surgery! “I would like to thank Dr Sandhya Nair and everyone at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) – Joyce, Janice, Abby, Karen, Pong, Grandex – for their patience and help given to Happy. We are very grateful.”

Anyone can be happy in a happy place. But to be happy even in challenges, now that is courage. We wish this beautiful and brave family all the very best in life.

Dr Gabrina Goh: No Regrets

They say your first job is quite like your first love. Fresh, exhilarating, rewarding. You willingly give the best hours of your day. Sacrificing sleep and vacation, just to nurture it.

There are many years to grow our career. If we want our “first love” to endure the challenges of time, we may need to pace ourselves. And find other “loves” in our life. 

I have always wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember.  

I literally grew up in the zoo! My father was the marketing director at Wildlife Reserves Singapore when I was young so I grew up amongst people who are passionate about their jobs and animals. I was at the zoo every weekend at the very least and during my school holidays. That was where my passion for animals began, from little furry ferrets to komodo dragons.

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“As I grew older, my passion for animals grew stronger. I survived through school with the aim of becoming a veterinarian!”

AS A KID, I HAVE ALWAYS HAD PETS. 

I had pet hamsters and turtles, along with the occasional frog, butterfly or fish. When I was 16, my parents finally agreed to a pet dog. G.G. and Gust are two beautiful, hyper but loyal Jack Russell Terriers. My dogs have always been a big part of my life.  Studying overseas for my veterinarian degree was hardest because of them – I might have missed them more than I missed my family, friends or local food!

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IMG_5382 “Despite being surrounded by dogs & cats at work, nothing beats going home to my very own pup, Gust.”

I have been a vet for 3 months now. as with any job, it has its ups & downs.

I have learnt about diseases in textbooks and lectures. Seeing real life patients is completely different. It is a challenge not only to deal  with the medical aspects of cases but also the emotional and financial situations of our clients.

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“It is a joy to witness the bond between clients & their pets. I am proud to be a part of the journey, helping each animal to the best of my abilities.”

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Working & celebrating with the family at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)!


We only have one life. It’s completely up to us how we want to live it. 

I strongly believe in having a good work-life balance. Outside of work, I enjoy sports such as wakeboarding, cycling and diving. I also love shopping and chilling out with friends over a couple of beers.

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“I  believe in living life with no regrets. Trying out new things with a gung ho spirit.”

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Diving with wobbegong & grey nurse sharks at Byron Bay in Australia.

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Snorkelling with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef in Australia.

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Dr Gabrina has quite an artistic streak too!

Whenever I can, I volunteer with animals around the world.

I have volunteered with fairy penguins at Phillip Island, turtles in Bundaberg, Asian elephants in Thailand to name a few. I cannot wait to do more! It’s exciting to learn about different species in the wild and fulfilling to contribute to nature, in big or small ways.

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The Surin Project is a new & innovative project focused on finding solutions to the challenges faced by mahouts & their elephants in Surin province in North-Eastern Thailand. It is committed to improving the living conditions of Asian elephants & providing sustainable economic revenue for their mahouts in the local community.”

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Volunteering with “Free The Bears” in Cambodia & fairy penguins in Phillip Island.

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Morili is one of three sister Servals at Werribee Open Range Zoo, hand raised from birth.

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Nothing much. Just hanging out with alpacas on a farm in Queensland, Australia! 🙂

I am quite a self-motivated person & often give myself small or big goals to work towards.

If I do face any setbacks, I know my family and close friends will stand by me, to guide me through. For inspiration, I definitely look up to my grandmother who is always there for me all these years. She has been through a lot and is the strongest person I know. I hope I make her proud.

“When you look back in life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.”
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“I have no idea how the next few years of my life will be. But I know the journey will be an exciting one!”

A Cat Named Spock

Sometimes, it feels like we are helping a needy animal. Other times, a special one walks in. And helps us through a season of our life.

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“Spock walked into our house 3 weeks ago. And never left. She follows me everywhere.” ~ Kris

Notice anything special about Spock?

Notice anything special about Spock?

A normal cat has a  total of 18 toes: 4 toes and 1 dew claw on each front paw, 4 toes on each back paw. This girl only has 2 toes on her front right paw. Hence her name – Spock. Star Trek fans would understand!

SYNDACTYLY – FUSED TOES
Peace!

Two or more toes are wholly or partially joined together, either by skin or a fusion of bones. Because of how it looks, these paws are also called “lobster claw” or “split foot”.

POLYDACTYLY – EXTRA TOES
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Hi-5! A polydactyl cat has one or more extra toes on its paw. Ref: furryanimalloves.tumblr.com

Ref: catwise.net

Too many toes! Ref: catwise.net

Syndactyly and polydactyly usually do not cause any health problems to the cats. They are still able to run and climb like any normal cat. 

Spock wants to see who is the next patient for Dr Jimson Chan!

Spock wants to see who is the next patient for Dr Jimson Chan!

After her vaccination , with Grandex at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North).

After her vaccination , with Grandex at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North).

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“Spock would snuggle close & expect you to drop everything & caress her. She likes to sit & snooze on my belly. I call her the stunned sleeper. Not a very glamourous gal when she sleeps!”

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“We are the lucky ones. Spock found us.”

And if you are still clueless why this special cat is named Spock……

Spock & Mr Spock - "Live long & prosper!"

Spock & Mr Spock – “Live long & prosper!”

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Thanks to Admin Manager Joyce, every Friday is colourful scrubs day at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)! L-R: Abby, Luna, Dr Alice Liaw, Dr Jimson Chan, Grandex.

Today happens to be a Friday. Thanks to Admin Manager Joyce, every Friday is colourful scrubs day at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)! L-R: Abby, Luna, Dr Alice Liaw, Dr Jimson Chan, Grandex.

Introducing Veterinary Acupuncture

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body to cause a desired healing effect. This technique has been used in animals for at least 3000 years to treat a wide range of ailments. The American Veterinary Medical Association recognises veterinary acupuncture as a valid modality within the field of veterinary medicine and surgery.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

A healthy body is said to be in a state of balance or homeostasis. Illness and/or injury can be the cause or result of the body being unbalanced. Acupuncture works primarily through the central nervous system to affect all major physiological systems such as musculoskeletal, hormonal and cardiovascular  to restore the body’s proper homeostatic state via pain relief and numerous other beneficial functional effects.

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Bobi the Goldie has not been eating well for the past few days. Dr Jimson Chan of Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) has inserted an acupuncture needle into the top of Bobi’s nose to stimulate his appetite. The other needle on Bobi’s head helps to calm him down.

IS ACUPUNCTURE PAINFUL?

Acupuncture needles are significantly finer than standard needles used for injections such as vaccination. In companion animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless and there is no pain when the needles are in place. Most animals become very relaxed and sleepy during treatment.

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An acupuncture needle has a rounded (not beveled) tip to slide smoothly through tissues, making it less painful or traumatic.

IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?

Acupuncture is performed with sterile thin stainless steel needles. Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own system of healing. Needle placement is into the superficial muscles only, with depth up to 5mm in a large breed dog.

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HOW LONG & OFTEN ARE ACUPUNCTURE SESSIONS?

The length and frequency of acupuncture treatment depends on the patient and the condition being treated. Typical sessions, including a physical checkup, lasts up to 30 minutes. Dogs and cats are usually treated weekly, with positive responses observable within 4 sessions. Simple acute problems may only require one treatment. Chronic conditions may need 3 to 6 sessions to obtain a maximum response before maintenance sessions are scheduled at regular intervals (e.g. monthly) or as necessary when the symptoms recur.

WHAT CONDITIONS RESPOND TO ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is commonly indicated in cases of functional musculoskeletal problems such as degenerative joint disease (arthritis) and intervertebral disc disease (spinal) resulting in pain and inflammation that can manifest as behavioural changes (irritability, depression), reluctance to participate in normal activities (standing, walking, jumping), limping and paralysis.

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Misty the Siberian Husky was diagnosed with osteoarthritis by her regular vet and managed with monthly Cartrophen injections and weekly hydrotherapy sessions. She was referred for outpatient acupuncture treatment with Dr Pauline Fong at Mount Pleasant Veterinary Centre (Changi). 4 to 6 sessions of dry needle acupuncture at weekly intervals was prescribed.

On the 5th & last session, Ms Tan reported that Misty displayed behaviours not observed in almost 1 year. She is playing with Shiro, sprinting & jumping onto the bed. Most importantly, she gets up to greet Ms Tan when she comes home! Misty is maintained on dry needle acupuncture once every 3 to 4 weeks.

Congo the West Highland White Terrier is responding well to acupuncture for his persistent cough.

Congo the West Highland White Terrier is responding well to acupuncture for his persistent cough.

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13-year-old Snowy was knuckling & experiencing hindlimb weakness – signs of intervertebral disc disease. Due to her age plus kidney & liver issues, she is not a good candidate for surgery.

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Snowy comes to Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East) for regular electro-acupuncture sessions with Dr Audrey Loi. Her right hindlimb is getting stronger & she is able to stand & walk short distances on her own. In electro-acupuncture, electrodes are attached to the needles to produce a gentle current to stimulate the flow of energy or Qi more aggressively.

acupuncture has been & can be used in combination with conventional western medicine to hasten recovery and/or form part of the management of almost any medical or surgical condition.
  • Minor medical ailments : otitis externa (ear infection) and pain/stress relief after routine sterilisation surgery.
  • Major medical ailments: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (blocked urinary bladder) and haemorrhagic gastroenteritis (bloody diarrhoea).
  • Emergency distressing diseases: vestibular syndrome (“stroke”) and resuscitation of collapsed animals.
CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP IN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT?

In conventional Western veterinary medicine, recent studies suggest that obesity causes metabolic dysfunction, resulting in chronic low grade inflammation, thus predisposing the pet to health problems.

In traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, obesity is usually a result of Spleen Qi deficiency resulting in Dampness. The treatment principle would be to expel the Damp and tonify the Spleen. Thus, the theoretical answer is yes.

* Article contributed by Dr Pauline Fong, Mount Pleasant Veterinary Centre (Changi) with additional inputs from editor. 

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“TCM recognises that there is a vital energy known as Qi that flows through the body. Qi is responsible for controlling harmony in the body (health) and maintaining the balance between body, mind & spirit. Disease is a result of an imbalance of Qi in the body. Acupuncture is believed to help balance this energy.” ~ Dr Audrey Loi of Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East) also has an interest in traditional Chinese medicine and is one of the first International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) certified veterinarians in Singapore. Pictured here with Princess the Westie who has since flown off to Hong Kong with her lovely family.

When Should I Start Health Screening For My Senior Pet?

Health screening is not just for seniors. Screening your young pets establishes baseline values for comparison with future test results. It also detects diseases at early stages.

Dogs and cats are usually considered seniors when they are 7 years old. As your pet enters his senior years, frequent health screenings are recommended to detect age-related diseases at an early stage.

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11-year-old little lamb Adriel is here for a Comprehensive Health Screen.

HEALTH SCREENING CAN DETECT DISEASES AT AN EARLY STAGE

Many animals do not display pain or signs of diseases that may have developed. Early detection through health screenings, pain control and treatment can prolong the quality of your pet’s life. Health screening, even when your pet is young and healthy, provides useful “baseline” values for comparison with future test results.

Some common age-related health problems are osteoarthritis, kidney/liver/heart diseases, tumours or cancers, hormonal disorders like diabetes or thyroid imbalance. 

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Regular physical examinations can also detect odd lumps & bumps which are common in old dogs & cats. Fine needle aspirations or biopsies are often needed to determine if the lump is benign or malignant. Lab tech Janice will examine the cells under a microscope after Dr Sandhya Nair extracts a sample from the lump.

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Sunshine was adopted from a shelter by Jeanne Tan. At 12, she still looks young & loves food & outings. However, she is living with degenerative joint disease & generalised muscle wasting on her limbs. Getting up from a resting position is sometimes difficult. Diet, supplements, hydrotherapy & pain relief (when needed) will help manage the condition & prolong Sunshine’s quality of life.

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Veterinary acupuncture is available at Mount Pleasant (North) by Dr Jimson Chan. It can be useful in cases of functional musculoskeletal problems such as degenerative joint disease (arthritis) which results in pain & inflammation,  behavioural changes (irritability, depression), reluctance to participate in normal activities (standing, walking, jumping), limping & paralysis.

SENIOR PETS SHOULD SEE THEIR VETS EVERY 6 MONTHS

Senior pets age more rapidly during their golden years. It is estimated that 6 months of your senior dog’s life is equivalent to 2 to 3 human years. Therefore, your old dog and cat should see the vet every 6 months with a Health Screening done every year.

Anchor was seen by Dr Kasey Tan at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) for rhinitis (nasal inflammation) & high blood pressure. She is a grand dame at 20 years old.

Anchor was seen by Dr Kasey Tan for rhinitis (nasal inflammation) & high blood pressure. At a grand old age of 20, Anchor should be seeing her vet at least every 6 months.

A routine Health Screening includes:

  • Physical Examination
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Blood Chemistry Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Faecal Analysis
  • Thyroid Profile
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A Blood Chemistry Panels helps to detect liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus and other hormonal diseases.

Depending on your pet’s health, X-rays or ultrasound may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. Especially when there are signs of heart, lung, kidney or liver disease.

TO VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE

Most pet owners would agree that routine administration of vaccines has been an excellent control for infectious diseases. What may be debatable is (i) the duration of immunity and (ii) how frequent vaccines should be given, especially for senior pets.

As much as we worry about over-vaccination, under-vaccination is also a real concern.

For dogs in Singapore, vaccines for Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper and Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis) are considered core vaccines. Canine VacciCheck Antibody Test is available at our 9 clinics to measure the amount of antibodies present for these 3 diseases. The test results would help determine if your dog requires additional vaccination.

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Luna & Pong, Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North), collect blood from 13-year-old Miko the Cocker Spaniel for the Canine Antibody Titer Test.

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Upon receiving the titer test results, you & your vet can decide if your dog needs additional vaccination. The decision may depend on your dog’s age, current state of health, lifestyle (e.g. whether she is mostly an indoor dog, socialises with other dogs regularly or is boarding at a shelter)

DENTAL CARE FOR PETS

It is estimated that 85% of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old, which can cause pain and sensitivity in the mouth. Protect your senior pet’s teeth with regular brushing and a thorough dental check-up every 6 months.

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Big smiles for Ginger & Woffles after their dental!

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Older dogs are at higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma & “dry eye” (insufficient tear production). Early detection & treatment can prevent blindness.

"Gracie is 15 this year & blind from cataracts. When you have blind dogs at home, do not move your furniture around as they cannot adjust to it quickly. Also don't leave things on the floor that they might trip over. Sometimes, gracie pees or poos outside of the newspaper. We learn to be very patient with her as she is already old & blind. She is my responsibility from the day i brought her home." ~ wan ling

“Gracie is 15 & blind from cataracts (surgery is not advised due to existing heart problems). When you have blind dogs at home, do not move your furniture around as they cannot adjust to it quickly. Also don’t leave things on the floor that they might trip over. Sometimes, Gracie pees or poos outside of the newspaper. We learn to be very patient & not get angry as she is already old & blind. She is my responsibility from the day I brought her home.” ~ Wan Ling with Dr Kasey Tan

some tips for families with blind dogs or cats
  • Get down on your hands and knees to see the world from your pets’ level to look out for things that can potentially hurt them, e.g. sharp table edges or drawer handles.
  • Keep the floor clear of objects that your blind pets might trip over.
  • Try not to rearrange furniture in the house as it would confuse your blind pets & cause them to bump into things.
  • Put bells on other dogs or cats in the household so your blind pet knows where they are.
  • Keep beds, food and water bowls at the same place every day.
  • Place non-slip rugs at certain areas in the house to let your blind pets know where they are.
  • Don’t startle your blind pets. Use vocal cues to let them know where you are.  Call their name when entering the room and before touching them.
other ways to make life better for our senior pets
  • Provide a quiet space with a comfortable but firm bed for arthritic pets.
  • Divide a meal into smaller portions throughout the day.
  • Provide easy access to litter boxes or garden for elimination (e.g. gently-sloped ramp).
  • Raise food and water bowls to a comfortable level.
  • Provide non-slip floor surfaces to help your arthritic pet get up and walk more easily.