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! 

Stenotic Nares In Flat-Faced Dogs

Brachycephalic dogs and cats such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingeses and Persians are bred to have flat or short faces which puts them at risk of airway obstruction, heat stress and even death.

Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS) refers to the upper airway abnormalities that affects brachycephalic dogs. They include stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, hypoplastic trachea and everted laryngeal saccules.

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Mon Mon, 2-year-old Pekingese: A dog with stenotic nares has abnormally narrowed nostrils that restrict the amount of airflow into the nostrils, making it difficult to breathe.

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Rasping breath & snoring is not always “cute”. Your dog may be suffering from respiratory distress.

Air passes from the nostrils through the nasal cavity and back of the throat, and into the trachea via the larynx. A dog with stenotic nares has abnormally narrowed nostrils that restrict the amount of airflow into the nostrils, making it difficult to breathe. Over time, increased airway resistance can cause the larynx to collapse.

Pinch your nostrils slightly with your fingers – experience how difficult it is to breathe. Then imagine breathing this way, 24 hours a day.

SIGNS OF STENOTIC NARES
  • Noisy breathing 
  • Snoring
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Cyanosis (blue gums due to lack of oxygen)
  • Occasional collapse especially after activity/excitement/excessive heat

The increased effort required for breathing can eventually put a strain on the heart.

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  • If your dog is only mildly affected by stenotic nares, the condition can be managed by keeping him at a healthy weight as obesity worsens the symptoms.
  • Keep your brachycephalic dogs away from stressful situations and avoid exercise in hot humid weather.
  • They may also do better with harnesses instead of collars to avoid putting pressure at the neck area.
“nose job”

If the stenotic nares are severe, rhinoplasty (“nose job”) can be done to widen the nostrils. A wedge of tissue is surgically removed from the walls of each nostril to open up the nasal passage.

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Dr Patrick Maguire, Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang), performed stenotic nares repair & soft palate resection on 5-year-old Barney the Frenchie. As seen in the photos, his nostrils are widened to improve airflow & help him breathe better.

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A wedge of tissue is surgically removed from the walls of each nostril to open up the nasal passage. (Ref: vet4bulldog.com)

soft palate resection

Breathing difficulty in brachycephalic dogs or cats can also be caused by an elongated soft palate which obstructs the opening to the larynx.

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Your bulldog’s palate is located at the roof of the mouth – the front part is the “hard palate” & the back part is the “soft palate”. In brachycephalic dogs, their upper jaw has been shortened, forcing the tip of the soft palate into the laryngeal area & partially obstructing the airway. (Image Ref: veazievet.com)

Signs of elongated soft palate
  • Noisy breathing
  • Retching or gagging especially while swallowing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Cyanosis (blue gums due to lack of oxygen)
  • Occasional collapse especially after activity/excitement/excessive heat

This condition can be corrected by a soft palate resection to remove excessive tissue and allow better airflow from the nose to the windpipe.

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“”Mon Mon was not able to breathe properly when the weather is hot. She couldn’t go out for a walk even if it’s just 5 minutes. When she played with her mate, she was panting a lot. Few weeks ago, she was again struggling to breathe, her tongue turned pale. I rushed to the nearest vet where she received oxygen therapy. The vet advised us to bring her for a surgery which can help her breathe better. So I took Mon Mon to Dr Dennis Choi.” [Evaluating the soft palate]

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After stenotic nares surgery & soft palate resection

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“I know Mon Mon definitely has to go through this surgery (to widen her nostrils) sooner or later or else, one day she might just passed on if she can’t catch her breath. She is recovering well. Now, she can play with her little boyfriend Fibio at home!”

Many brachycephalic animals experience significant improvement in their breathing and overall wellness after the surgeries. 

Stenotic nares and elongated soft palates are congenital malformations. Dogs that require surgery to correct airway obstruction should not be used for breeding. We recommend that these dogs be neutered or spayed during the surgical correction. 

St Margaret’s Secondary School: Student Attachment Programme

A very fulfilling morning at St Margaret’s Secondary School’s Professional Career Guidance Day! Dr Joanna Goh from Mount Pleasant (Farrer) shared about her veterinary journey to almost 100 students while Mach the therapy cat distracted all the girls with his charms. Thank you teachers for organising this meaningful event. We could be looking at some bright future vets here!

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Morning assembly with a token of appreciation from the principal of St Margaret’s Secondary School

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Dr Joanna Goh spoke with almost 100 students, sharing the dreams, realities and pathways to be a veterinarian. We could be looking at some bright future vets here!

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We are pleased to have Belinda Chong and her handsome therapy cat Mach from Cat-Assisted Therapy Singapore – CATS who is easily a distraction!

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We believe in reaching out to our community in various ways. One of which is educating individuals in animal care and veterinary medicine, especially students who are considering the pathways to be a veterinarian.

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Showing the students how an ultrasound scan is performed.

Joswara Ming Hui
4E4, St Margaret’s Secondary School

I am grateful that Dr Joanna Goh came to our school to share on a career in veterinary science. She provided us with information related to the educational pathway for this vocation and her personal experiences in the journey.

The visit to Mount Pleasant (Farrer) was an invaluable experience for me and my school mates. We got to see different components of an animal clinic. I was fascinated by the many rooms, each having its purpose, and the different types of medical equipment.

This has been an unforgettable personal experience. More impactful than reading information off the internet or brochures. I am truly thankful for this opportunity.

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Sometimes the best therapist has fur & 4 legs!

Lua Jin Wen
4E4, St Margaret’s Secondary School

Dr Joanna Goh was very engaging during her sharing on being a veterinarian. She was enthusiastic to help us with our questions. Her insightful sharing which included many interesting and meaningful experiences has greatly inspired me to work towards my goal of joining the profession.

I was also privileged to be invited to visit Mount Pleasant (Farrer) where my school mates and I were met by the friendly and helpful staff. The clinic was bigger than it looked from outside and the whole area was well maintained. It was heartwarming to see the clinic making extra effort to find homes for abandoned animals. We got to see how an ultrasound can be used to examine a dog’s kidney. It was an eye-opening experience.

Seeing the way the staff cared for their animal patients was uplifting. If I have a sick pet, I would definitely bring it to Mount Pleasant for medical attention as I know the staff will do a good job caring for my pet.

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Our education programmes include talks, project collaboration, work experience, student attachments and clinic visits. To be part of our outreach, email comms@mountpleasant.com.sg. We will be delighted to discuss further.

ACS (Barker Road) Teacher Attachment Programme

During the June holidays, we hosted a team of teachers from Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) for their staff work attachment programme. Here is what some of them have to say.

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Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Bedok)

“Thank you very much for having us! One important lesson I’ve learnt from the attachment is how human the whole thing is. People tend to think that vets deal only or mainly with pets but truth is, there’s a lot of interaction with people. The team dynamics at Mount Pleasant (Bedok) is really great. It’s like a family here and the work atmosphere is warm. I enjoyed my time with Dr Chan Munling and team and felt really welcomed!” ~ Ang Puay Khoon

Farrer

Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Farrer)

“It is a totally different environment from school but yet there are similar features as both are from the service industry where care, safety and passion are important. At Mount Pleasant (Farrer), I learnt the importance of professionalism. This is a close knit community. I did not feel the existence of hierarchy yet everyone knows their role and could work and support one another seamlessly. It’s like an ant colony – the high degree of professionalism allows for a relaxed but high-functioning organisation.” ~ David Wong

Clementi

Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Clementi)

“I thought it would be interesting to look into an industry of a mixed nature – one that is partly about service, customer relations, yet involves medical knowledge and skills. I have 2 dogs. Adopting a rescued dog from an industrial park was one of the most enriching and meaningful things I’ve done. Through my attachment at Mount Pleasant (Clementi), I learnt that continual improvement is important. One of the conversations Dr Simon Quek had with the other vets was about a food allergy research he was planning to embark on which I thought was interesting. As a vet, or any other professional, it is always important to seek improvement, better processes, explore new research methods and find new solutions.” ~ Samantha Gan

“I always have a keen interest in animal welfare. I used to have a Collie and a Jack Russell Terrier. Presently, I have 3 Morkies (Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier). Through this attachment, I learnt that working in a clinic entails more than just empathy. The team has to be fast, knowledgeable, skilful and up-to-date in animal research. It was a learning experience when I could observe Dr Quek performing surgery.” ~ Alley Eio

North

Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)

“Through my attachment with Dr Sandhya Nair’s team at Mount Pleasant (North), I learnt that vets and technicians require the same dedication as doctors and nurses. In fact, I think they have it tougher as animals are not able to speak about their health problems. Vets also have to deal with many things such as dental and grooming, as well as a variety of animals which can differ greatly. I saw that when the vets and technicians are not attending to animals, they’re constantly learning about medical conditions and mentoring one another. Teamwork is the key to success for every case. I appreciate the kindness the team showed us. They made time in the midst of the busyness, explained to us what they were doing and even taught us medical terms.” ~ Elke Handoyo

East

Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East)

“I have a love and curiosity about animals. We used to have 2 rabbits who just hopped into our house and started burrowing in the garden. We took them in and it was nice having them roam free in the yard. For 10 years, they brought us joy. You cannot do anything without passion for a common cause and that’s what everyone at Mount Pleasant (East) has in common. It is a joy to be around professionals who enjoy their work even though it’s hard. Their passion keeps them going. It has certainly inspired me in my own field.” ~ Kenneth Khoo

“I have had many pets over the the years and am always interested to learn how to better care for animals. Through my attachment at Mount Pleasant (East), I learnt that client care is just as important as pet care. The team works very hard, sometimes with few breaks. They are really a committed lot. I have more empathy for vet staff now as I see what they have to deal with.” ~ Raji Ravi

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Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang)

And here we have teacher Clarise Wong with our team at Mount Pleasant (Gelenggang). While we thought we were givng and imparting knowledge to the teachers, we receive much more in return. Clarise has signed up her Chow Chow Xiong Xiong as a Mount Pleasant Hero to save more lives! Find out how your dog and cat can be a heroic blood donor!

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Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Mandai)

Whitley

Mount Pleasant Central Vet Clinic (Whitley)

Mount Pleasant Gives Back: Christmas 2015

We believe in giving back to community.

Under our new initiative Mount Pleasant Community Outreach – Animal Welfare, we are delighted to give back to the people who are helping our community animals.

Beginning from Christmas month till January 2016, our clinics provided free medical treatment and sterilisation to over 45 animals from independent rescuers and animal welfare groups like Cat Welfare Society, Animal Lovers League, Noah’ s Ark CARES, House Rabbit Society and Purely Adoptions.

 

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Living with 700 rescued dogs and cats at a no-kill shelter running purely on donations, sometimes you have to wait your turn to see the vet. 15-year-old Kiki from Animal Lovers League – ALL Authorised Page had chronic ear infection with an ulcerated mass which has become impossible for the workers to control. Dr Dennis Choi and team at Mount Pleasant (Gelenggang) were prepared to perform a total ear canal ablation so that Kiki can enjoy her golden years in comfort. Unfortunately, X-rays revealed multiple tumours in her lungs. With her old age, body condition and the fact that multiple lung tumours are usually metastatic, we decided together not to put Kiki through surgery. She might not make it through. ALL had been keeping Kiki happy and comfortable, till she crossed the the rainbow bridge in April.

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Mdm Chua has been helping community animals for 50 years. She and her daughter Suan Eng give a large part of their heart and soul to homeless cats and dogs. Kindness beams from their eyes. ❤️ Female cats come into their first heat at around 6 months. Being polyestrus, they continue the heat cycle every 2 to 3 weeks unless they become pregnant. 1 female cat can produce more than 10 kittens in a year so responsible feeding and active sterilisation is very important. Funds are not easy to come by especially when you work silently behind the scenes. Dr Pauline Fong and team at Mount Pleasant (Changi) sterilised Mdm Chua’s rescued cats under #mountpleasantgivesback. Together, we can reduce stray over-population and improve the lives of animals, pet or rescue!

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Cat Welfare Society has been helping community cats since 1999. Strong in their belief that population control is best done through education and ultimately sterilisation – not destruction. “At Cat Welfare Society, we believe every cat should live a life free from fear and suffering. This is why we exist, to help those who can’t help themselves.” Dr Cheryl Ho and her team at Mount Pleasant Central Vet Clinic (Whitley) supported CWS’ mission by providing free sterilisation for community cats. We hope our efforts brought some relief to Thenuga and her CWS team.

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Over 2 months, Dr Cheryl Ho and team at Mount Pleasant (Whitley) sterilised 20 community cats for Cat Welfare Society under Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM). It has been such a blessing to give back! Thank you for trusting us to take care of your best friends.

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Noah’s Ark CARES and Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary have been helping animals in Singapore and Malaysia since 1995. Under Project Industrial Dogs (PID), they help control our stray population through sterilisation. Catching strays for sterilisation can be an emotional affair. Especially when the dogs are fearful like Little Brown and don’t understand your intentions. But the work must go on if we hope to prevent unwanted births and unnecessary deaths through culling. Dr Simon Quek and team from Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Clementi) supported Noah’s Ark by sterilising 5 rescued strays.

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“She is from a scrap metal factory. Previous litter of 6 all died. Many boys were fighting over her. Thank goodness we caught her this time.” Noah’s Ark CARES and Dr Simon Quek’s team at Mount Pleasant (Clementi) rejoice over the news that mommy dog was finally caught and sterilised! No more puppies. Dead or alive. No more injuries from dog fights. One less worry for rescuers. Mommy dog, we wish you a safe and healthy life.

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Since 2002, House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS) has been improving rabbits’ lives through education, adoption and sterilisation. Many bunnies are rescued from a life in tiny cages, along corridors, exposed to the elements. Others taken in from the streets, parks, void decks where they were abandoned. In the joy of giving, Dr Heng Yee Ling and team at Mount Pleasant (Farrer) supported HRSS by sterilising 10 bunnies who are ready for rehoming. It takes a community to help community animals. Rescuers, educators, fosterers, vets, nurses and sometimes Flash the resident cat who watches over the bunnies after surgery.

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Button, ex-breeding farm dog. Dirty, smelly, bad teeth, long nails, dangling teats from having several litters, pus dripping from vagina. She is one of the forgotten ones, rescued from a dreary life, a puppy-making machine. And sadly, she is considered “not so bad” compared to other rescues. Dr Chan Munling and her team at Mount Pleasant (Bedok) supported the selfless work of the rescuer by spaying and treating Button for free. 11 teeth were extracted. Blood tests were done to ensure Button is healthy and ready to be rehomed.

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Last year, Winnie’s adopted dog Happy went through surgery to remove a thyroid mass. Before that, she had surgeries for cataracts and pyometra. Despite the finances committed to Happy, Winnie still cares for community cats. Especially when an elderly strayfeeder passed on. As part of #mountpleasantgivesback, Dr Sandhya Nair and team at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) sterilised Mao Mao, a new cat in Winnie’s community. Spaying helps to control our pet population, prevents diseases of the reproductive tract and reduces the chances of mammary cancer. We appreciate responsible caregivers like Winnie. Thank you for helping Mao Mao and friends!

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Unneutered male cats tend to roam, spray foul-smelling urine and get into fights over females and territories. That’s exactly what happened with Ah Boy. Siew Kheng has rescued and rehomed several community cats. She noticed this new cat with an injured eye and brought him to Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) for treatment. Ah Boy is sterilised under #mountpleasantgivesback and stayed indoors until he was fit to be released to the community. Neutered cats are less likely to develop prostate cancer, perineal hernia or hormone-induced cancers. Thanks to responsible caregivers like Siew Kheng, Ah Boy will live a longer, happier and healthier life!

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When 10-year-old Snow the Cocker Spaniel was given up by her family in December, she had urinary tract infection, bad skin, ears and eyes. With TLC from Purely Adoptions and her fosterer, Snow was already looking much better. Dr Gloria Lee, Dr Kitty Huang and team at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Mandai) performed a cystotomy to remove 2 large stones in Snow’s bladder. “Snow is our rescue case now and we will look for a good home for her. We do our best for every dog.” The new year is the best time for second chances. We are delighted to give back to rescuers like Purely Adoptions and be part of Snow’s new chapter in life. She’s one of the sweetest girls ever.

Qian Xun Says “Thank You Dr Germaine Lee & Dr Lesley Teo”

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Deepest thanks to all the wonderful and passionate doctors, nurses and staff at Mount Pleasant (Whitley) for saving our dearest Qian Xun’s life. Especially Dr Germaine Lee & Dr Lesley Teo.

Despite all the risks and fearing the unknown, we placed Qian Xun’s life in your hands and with caring arms, you’ve brought him back to us, healthy and happier! Is time for 千尋 to say tHAnk yOu 🐾🐾

Watch Qian Xun’s video.

Wendy Tang and Qian Xun

Bam Bam Says “Thank You Dr Nathalee Prakash”

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Bam Bam  is fighting a brave battle against kidney disease. He’s not out of the woods yet. But with such a band of brothers alongside him, he’s already a winner. These boys are so so loved. (L-R: Luke, Bacon, Astro, Bam Bam)

Bam Bam and Family would like to specially thank Dr Nathalee Prakash for all her care and meticulous attention and most importantly, her never give up character. Thank you!

And we would also like to thank all the nurses and vet techs who have helped us in so many big and small ways. It means alot to us. Also thank you for taking care of Bam Bam when he was hospitalised. Thank you. You all are awesome.

Annie Ho and Bam Bam

Mousy Says “Thank You Dr Keshia Being”

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My pet rat Mousy has passed away suddenly from seizure.  Her appetite was poor in past 2 weeks. I fed her baby food, oatmeal, ripe bananas, soft brown rice and yoghurt every 2 to 3 hours. Yesterday, Mousy refused food (still drink fluids), had laboured breathing and was pacing in the cage. I took her out and cradled her to sleep on my chest or lap throughout the day. Mousy was calmer and more relaxed when I massage her belly repeatedly. Had planned to bring Mousy to consult Dr Keshia Beng the following morning but around 9 pm, Mousy woke up from sleep, suddenly had seizure and stopped breathing.

Mousy’s sudden death was upsetting but upon reflection, I take great comfort that Mousy had a peaceful painless death with me cradling her in my arms. Prayers were conducted for Mousy under Buddhism rites and she was buried in the garden.

I would like to express my thanks to Dr Keshia Beng and other vets, technicians, nurses and reception staff at Mount Pleasant (Gelenggang) for the medical care extended to my pet Syrian hamsters and fancy rats Mickey and Mousy. Plus the emotional support to help me better cope with the grief over the past year. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

Jasmine P’ng and Mousy

Hershey Says “Thank You Dr Heng Yee Ling”

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First week after Hershey’s cataract surgery, praise God! She is recovering really well. And beginning to be more active than usual. I love how she walks more confidently now.

Thank you everyone for your continuing prayers and support. Big thank you to Dr Heng Yee Ling of Mount Pleasant (Farrer) for her professional care post-op! We are truly blessed and grateful.

Dom and Hershey