Monday, October 7, 2013

Feline Medicine without Borders!


Jeremy Campbell BVSc MACVSc (Feline Med) MRCVS (and friend)


One of the interesting things about having an ABVP veterinarian at Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital is that we get to meet and work with a large variety of other veterinarians who love working with cats as they come to visit and study for externships, internships, or just because they want to know more about all-cat practices. 

This past month, we were thrilled to have Dr. Jeremy Campbell rotating through our hospital on a tour of US feline veterinary hospitals. He is very enthusiastic, friendly and very obviously and genuinely cares about cats. We invited him to share a little more about himself, and why he was here.

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Hi, my name is Jeremy Campbell, and I am a New Zealand qualified veterinarian who is spending time at Exclusively Cats to get experience with how things are done in Feline-only practices in this part of the world. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of you and your lovely cats in my two and half weeks here which has been fantastic. Interestingly, my professional career started off at the complete opposite end of the scale both in size and location. I began life in New Zealand working only with horses in a specialty hospital. Over the years as my skills and interests have developed I realised that there was really only one species that presented me with the personal challenges and rewards as a Veterinarian, and that is of course, the cat. 

Why do I like working with cats?
"Cats don't have owners: they have staff." "Dogs look up to us, pigs treat us as equals and cats look down on us." Basically, I love their independence, their ability to train us and the fact that they can convert the most determined/adamant dog-lover (usually men) into a lifelong cat lover with a swish of their tail and a carefully calculated show of affection..... They are such subtle creatures in their manifestations of illness and pain it is a challenge to understand that, then solve their problems. The rewards of making a sick or painful cat better is the thing that motivates me and drives me to enhance my knowledge.

I currently work in a very busy 3.5- 4-vet practice in South London; the practice is 70% cats so I am in my element. However, unlike your lucky cats, ours still have to deal with the day-to-day stress and the constant racket provided by the lesser species! We do have one evening a week which the cats can call their own and this is bliss. Bliss for the cats and bliss for me.

Guppy
Before settling back in the UK two and a half years ago, I spent three years working for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Hong Kong which was a very interesting time with some pretty crazy diseases and manifestations of disease. The SPCA is one of the busiest practices I have worked in with about 21 Veterinarians in total and runs very much like a human hospital being the size of a city block! It was here that I picked up my current cat Guppy. She was dumped on the doorstep of the hospital aged only 3 weeks with a nasty shoulder abscess. I intended to foster her for a short period until she was well enough to be rehomed but (not surprisingly) 4 years later she is still with us.  I have yet to rehome her………although her 3am shouts for attention sometimes tempt me!!

I am spending time in three different feline practices in the US before heading back to London in November (managing to hold the winter at bay for as long as possible…..the other two practices are in Texas!!). I am intending to use this experience as a jumping-off point to doing a speciality qualification in Feline Practice in a couple of years.

Already time is flying as my first placement here at Exclusively Cats is drawing to an end. I have learnt a lot and really enjoyed the warm hospitality and friendliness of everyone here in Waterford and Milford.

Jeremy Sept 2013