Date:   21 July, 2012  

Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pig & rabbits.

The internet opens the doors...                                             
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
21 July, 2012  
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129


1083. The internet connections open the doors....

"I went to the internet and typed "Singapore Vets," the gentleman told me yesterday, July 18, 2012 as he and his wife came to take the Chihuahua home at 4 pm. "I skipped church as I saw that my dog did not want to eat her breakfast and was sleepy. The internet showed Toa Payoh Vets being open on Sundays and the opening hours and so I came to your surgery. Normally my wife goes to another vet in Ang Mo Kio but she was overseas on that Sunday." 

I told them that the dog was operated by Dr Daniel Sing who had not minded discharging the dog after surgery. But I had intervened and strongly advised the gentleman to hospitalise her for 3 days as pyometra is a serious illness and the daily temperature needed to be monitored at Toa Payoh Vets. There could be stitch breakdown due to the dog jumping at home and unhappiness in having to re-stitch. At least 2 days of hospitalisation and also not to wait till the wife return from the UK to see the dog before surgery as pyometra is life-threatening.

I advised that the dog returned home when the wife came back from overseas and this meant 3 days of hospitalisation which was good for this fierce Chihuahua who growls whenever she sees me. She remembered me palpating her swollen abdomen for the enlarged uterus to confirm pyometra (without X-ray or blood test if the owner didn't want the tests). It caused her pain and she never forgave me.

The dog was visited by the family including the adult daughter and her friend during the past 3 days.

The wife has her favourite vet and so this would be the last time I see the dog as the wife is the one in charge of the Chihuahua's health.
Open pyometra - Chihuahua
Closed pyometra - Cavalier King Charles
Pyometra in a Chihuahua and a Cavalier King Charles operated by Dr Daniel Sing on the same day. Both recovered and went home, the  Cavalier taking 5 days of hospitalisation as she was in a more serious condition.

Vets should never under-estimate the likelihood of death post-surgery in severe closed pyometra cases and therefore, hospitalise pyometra cases 3-7 days, monitor temperature, give IV drips and medication as the owner is unlikely to know how to monitor and nurse the dog at home. Complications include stitch breakdown, traumatic bruises, infections and bleeding post-operation.

The owner of the Cavalier is an old client of mine for some 5 years and I was glad he had retained Toa Payoh Vets' services.  Still, the vet cannot be complacent as competition intensifies over the years.

The internet has opened the door for Dr Daniel Sing to gain a new client. Can he retain the loyalty of the client? A good surgical outcome helps but there is more to make the connections with a new client.

As for me, I have made the connections because the wife asked for my name and then for my name card. Dr Daniel was in Bangkok at this time, otherwise he would be present.

The internet connects open the door. Will Dr Daniel be able to connect with this new client? The veterinary professors have not taught him how to do it as this is not their main job.

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