He may first appear to be a man of few words. Get to know him better and you will see the limitless knowledge he carries within. And a big genuine heart that wins over colleagues, clients and patients. In the words of his team mates at Mount Pleasant (Farrer), this man is patient, reliable, humble yet comical. He is not just a colleague but a counsellor, father figure, living encyclopaedia and Captain America! Happy Father’s Day Cary!
Our parents influence not only our life journeys but possibly the journeys of our children. If there is one lesson we can impart to our kids and them to their kids, let it be “Families stick together. We look out for one another.” Congratulations Joel on your first baby to come – Happy Father’s Day!
Why do you choose to work with animals?
I have various animals since young. From fishes, rodents, dogs to cats, birds, turtles. I have reared chickens, goats, cows and pigs back in the Philippines too. The feeling that animals project towards me is very satisfying. They teach me to be patient and caring. I also learn to be an innovative and analytical thinker to make their lives more comfortable.
Brian Herbert once said “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”. I believe education is a continuous process. It does not stop at the four corners of our school but rather, every day is a learning experience.
What are the important lessons from your father that will help you be a good dad?
I have a very religious family and we are inculcated since young to be family-oriented. My father taught me a bible verse that stayed with me while I was growing up: Proverbs 22:6 says “Teach your children right from wrong and when they are grown, they will still do right.”
Being the eldest child, my father always says I am responsible for my siblings while they are away. I take this task very seriously. I learnt a lot from keeping my siblings in line and teaching them the right ways in life.
Bringing a new kitten home is one of the best feelings in the world but there is going to be a lot of hard work too. Here are some tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy for many good years.
Vaccines contain antigens (weakened or inactivated forms of disease-causing organisms). When the vaccine is injected into your kitten’s body, it stimulates a mild immune response and production of antibodies. Should your kitten be exposed to the disease in future, his immune system is prepared to recognise and fight off the organisms or reduce the severity of the disease.
Vaccinate your kittens to protect them against infectious diseases such as feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus. Discuss with your vet about testing for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Feline panleukopenia, or parvovirus, is a highly contagious disease. The virus is spread through body fluids and contact with faecal material. Kittens can acquire the virus when nursing from an infected mother. It attacks the immune system as well as the lining of the intestines causing vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and inappetance. Due to the high mortality rate, this disease is best prevented than treated.
#2. WORMS? bleah!
Roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms are commonly found in kittens. Other intestinal parasites that might infect your kittens include giardia and coccidia. Faecal examinations are done to determine the type of parasites present and the appropriate dewormer or medication given. Speak with your vet about a proper deworming schedule.
Maintain good personal hygiene to prevent the spread of parasites to other pets and family members. Keep litter boxes clear of faecal material. Wash and disinfect your hands after handling any animals.
#3. FIGHT THE FLEAS
Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking parasites that often cause skin problems. Kittens can get infested with fleas through contact with other affected animals or from the environment. Products to prevent fleas include shampoos, sprays, spot-on solutions and oral medications. Other animals in the household should be treated at the same time.
If your kittens are allergic to fleas – due to contact with flea saliva – she will be intensely itchy. Cats with Flea Allergy Dermatitis develop hair loss and infections due to excessive scratching and chewing. Heavy infestations can cause anaemia.
#4. STERILISE PLEASE
Neutered cats (males) are generally calmer and less likely to spray urine or wander out of the house in search of female cats in heat. That means they are less likely to get into accidents or fights with other cats which could lead to infectious diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Neutered cats are also less at risk of developing prostate diseases.
Spayed cats (females) no longer go through heat cycles which greatly decreases the chances of developing mammary cancer and tumours. Because the uterus and ovaries are surgically removed, your spayed cat will not develop pyometra (a serious infection of the uterus) or ovarian cancer.
Some owners think that spaying or neutering makes their pets fat. That’s not the case. It is the lack of exercise and overfeeding that cause our dogs or cats to put on weight. Monitor food intake and provide regular exercise and activities to keep your pets fit and trim!
#5. NO MESH NO CAT
Cats have amazing balance but they do tumble off open windows or balconies when they are distracted, startled by sudden loud noises or simply caught in a clumsy moment. Cats who have fallen from height can suffer severe injuries. Visible injuries include fractured legs and jaw. Other injuries like ruptured bladders or collapsed lungs are less obvious but require emergency treatment.
Besides the pain your cat goes through, treatment can be costly. Some cats require intensive care in the hospital with long periods of recovery and rehab. Others become paralysed or do not survive. Then there is the emotional trauma of guilt when a family cannot afford treatment or disagree on euthanasia.
Keep our cats safe by securing our windows and gates. Plastic meshes are available at hardware stores and easily fixed with cable ties. Other options include more durable metal meshes, customised and invisible grilles.
As the end of the year draws near, some of us may be reminiscing moments lost and gone. Timely are these favourite quotes of Marisa and Gillian, reminding us about ‘following your heart’ and ‘seize the day’. Today, we seize the moment to say THANK YOU to these ladies of Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Changi). Marisa has been with our big family for 20 years!
I have a poster in my room that reads “Seize the Day: Do not grieve over the past, for it is gone. Do not worry about the future, for it is yet to come. As long as it is called TODAY, live this day as if it was your last, and you will find each day worth living for!”. This is what I live by.
I love this quote from John Grogan, Marley and Me: “A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
“It is very rewarding when a sick animal puts his or her entire trust in us. We do not share the same language but with our actions, we hope they understand we are doing them no harm.” Today we say THANK YOU to Thelma and Kerry May of Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Farrer)!
At Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang), we see many patients who require intensive and palliative care which makes it an emotionally challenging place to work in. Today we say THANK YOU to Wei Juan and Madeleine, two strong ladies who see the good in every journey!
“There are many happy new beginnings but also moments when you know the end of the journey is near and you have to let go of your loved ones. For our clients who lose their beloved pets, I comfort them by reassuring them that their babies or kiddos are no longer suffering nor in pain. That they have not really left us. They are up in heaven watching over us right now. Everyone, including me, need time to heal our broken hearts.”
“Working with animals is more than just a job. Our role is not about cuddling cute puppies and kittens as most people think (but some days we do!). We are trying our best to help patients who cannot speak.”
We all love animals. But it takes a lot more to make up your mind, study and practise your skills so you can actually be the one to make a sick or injured animal well again. Today we say THANK YOU to Iresh, Serina and Tricia of Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Bedok) – happy and energetic ladies who are ever ready to help!
“I love all things vintage. In times of solitude, I listen to Matt Monro’s songs and sing when I’m bored, stressed or lonely. When no one is watching, I dance like a hip hop dancer!
My parents guided me through some of life’s hardest journeys. They have always been ready to give me answers to calm my confused mind and encourage me to be optimistic. I will be grateful to them for as long as I live. They are my inspiration.”
“My family, especially my daughter Syrenne Gwencynth, is the inspiration behind all my hard work. I wish to be a supermom to my daughter!
My talents? I’m proud to say I play the keyboards and guitar. I’m motivated by the motto – If others can do it, why can’t I?”
“I always remind juniors we are not just ordinary colleagues. We are family.” Today we say THANK YOU to Andy and Guan Wei from Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East)! Whether you live your life one day at a time or actively change things for the future, these two young men have one thing in common – they follow their heart, set out to help animals and are doing a great job at that!
“We protect only what we love. And we love only what we understand.” To love any person or animal, to create great art of any kind, you first have to be vulnerable. Today we say THANK YOU to Ai Lin and Dionne, two strong and seriously artistic ladies from Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Mandai) who aren’t afraid to open their hearts and use their gifts. For all to see!
It can be difficult to convince owners that sometimes, euthanasia is the better solution. Many people do not understand and reject the idea immediately, convinced it is a cruel and evil thing to do. They do not understand the pain the animal is going through and how we feel when we see the animals suffering. Every minute and everyday.
I am inspired by the quote “We protect only what we love. And we love only what we understand”. A lot of the people I know have gone on to do amazing work helping wildlife and strays in any way they can. Seeing their work inspires me every time.
I read a ton of books when I was young. Apart from my massive Enid Blyton collection, the rest were non-fiction and most were related to Psychology. This year, I decided to pursue my other childhood interest by taking up Diplomas in Positive Psychology, traditional Psychology and Psychotherapy. I’m working towards the Professional Diploma to become a certfied psychotherapist as my way of giving back to society. I had a pretty rough time growing up, so my main field of focus will be on adolescent girls, and both men and women who are struggling with body image issues and eating disorders.
My best friend sent me this quote because it reminded her of me: She believed she could, so she did. ~ R.S. Grey