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Ok, decided to blog about it & i am fuming!!

July 23, 2010

I’m not sure where i am going to go with this post – i may upset people, i may not…i don’t care though – this is my blog and these are my thoughts.


Last night i watched a programme called Panorama, it’s the longest running investigative TV programme in the UK, the topic was ‘It Shouldn’t Happen at a Vets’ and i am FURIOUS!


I am a HUGE animal lover, this is the main reason i am vegetarian – it is not because i do not like meat. I understand that it is a cruel world sometimes and people treat animals bad but at a vets…really?!


I will not go into too much detail of each case as i truly am upset by what i saw. I have put a link to the programme at the bottom of this post also a summary of the programme from BBC News website.


I am not tarring all veterinary’s with the same brush because of this programme. However the programme upset me as i was under the impression that people work in vets because they unconditionally love animals. In this programme i witnessed nurses and trainees man handling animals very roughly, animals that were petrified, they did not know what was happening or who these people were – of course they are going to freak out – but these morons found it funny, screamed and swore at the animals like they were a piece of meat from the butchers!!! These animals were someone’s pet, animals have feelings and emotions and they get scarred – real scarred.


If someone handled my cat like they handled a cat in the programme, i honestly would do the same to the person – I would give them their pre-med (to sedate and relax them) hours before the procedure so it had completely worn off when it’s time to shave their arm for the anaesthetic. I would laugh as i pinned them to the table REALLY hard – I would then scream in their pathetic face because they made me cut them with the razor and then i would laugh and man handle them when they are all floppy from the anaesthetic – oh and i will leave it a couple of minutes before i even think to put an air tube in!


I HATE the staff in the undercover videos – what upsets me the most is what the undercover cameras did not see – we will never know.


I am sorry to post a negative post – the programme upset me and i need to vent. If i ever have to take my fur baby to the vet for something serious, i don’t care what they say, i will not leave her – i will stay with her and keep her relaxed until she is comfortably under.


To UK pet owners – i would recommend you stay away from MEDIVET. This is the veterinary chain where the undercover filming took place. They have put a response on their website here about the company’s conduct in the programme, please make your own decisions but i do not think they are sorry, they have just made excuses.


Animals are precious – they should be treated with the respect they deserve…



Panorama – It shouldn’t happen at a vets


Undercover: Inside vets’ chain

Panorama sent a reporter undercover for nine months to work as a trainee at one of the country’s largest veterinary chains. Alex Lee worked at Medivet, with an estimated annual turnover of £20m, and found evidence of both questionable bills and unqualified junior staff performing medical procedures.

When we drop off our beloved family pet at the local veterinarian for treatment, whether it is for a routine procedure or something more serious, we make a set of assumptions.

We assume they are cared for by qualified staff. We assume the staff are experienced in their jobs and we assume that official guidelines for care will be followed.

But after working undercover, I now know that these assumptions are at times a long way off from the reality.


I came to the job with neither qualifications nor experience and had not been on any recognised training course.

This assignment came about after a former employee of Medivet approached us to talk about her concerns that untrained staff were being tasked with medical procedures.


  • Panorama: It Shouldn’t Happen at a Vets’, BBC One, Thursday, 22 July at 2100BST
  • Then available in the UK on the
  • After being hired, I did complete three weeks of in-house training at a Medivet branch.

    From that I had assumed that my duties would be limited to cleaning, grooming and feeding the animals in my care.

    In practice, I was quickly tasked with giving injections and a range of other roles that are widely considered to be medical procedures, as were my fellow "trainees".

    On one occasion, I was asked to insert a catheter – a rod inserted into a vein to allow medication or fluids to be quickly administered – into an Irish Setter named Yogi.

    The dog was to undergo an operation on his throat to deal with breathing problems.

    The colleague charged with teaching me how to do this was a fellow trainee nurse who had worked for Medivet just a few months longer than I had and who was not enrolled on a formal training course.

    The dog was scared and put up a struggle as the trainee tried to restrain him as well as tell me what I needed to do.

    More hands came in to help, restraining Yogi with an arm around his neck while he was pinned against the wall. This, in a dog with breathing problems.

    I gave up and my fellow trainee nurse gave it a go, with even less success than I had. Yogi let out a yelp as my colleague broke the skin and she too stopped and I then administered pre-med sedation by injection into the muscle to allow the dog to calm down.

    Medivet isn’t cheap but I wouldn’t expect trainees and people who do not know what they’re doing to do that sort of thing. I was actually appalled by it
    Dog owner Chris Adams

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (RCVS) guidelines on what nurses and trainees like myself should and should not be doing are, at times, a grey area.

    They say "a suitably trained person may monitor an animal under general anaesthetic". At other times, they are more precise, particularly when it comes to who should or should not carry out medical procedures.

    In that instance they state: "Veterinary nurses whose names are entered on the list maintained by RCVS may administer any medical treatment (or any minor surgery not involving entry into a body cavity) under veterinary direction."

    In the case of surgery, the supervision must be direct, continuous and personal.

    During my time undercover, the guidelines around who should be left to deliver medical treatment were repeatedly ignored. Only a small proportion of my fellow trainees were enrolled on a college course at that time, let alone fully qualified.

    After being shown our footage, Yogi’s owners, Chris and Jackie Adams, were upset with the care their dog received.

    "Medivet isn’t cheap but I wouldn’t expect trainees and people who do not know what they’re doing to do that sort of thing. I was actually appalled by it," Mr Adams told us.

    Dog struck

    In one particularly upsetting incident during my time at Medivet, I witnessed a Shar-pei dog named Stanley being struck on the head just hours after he had undergone major surgery to amputate a leg.

    I was asked, along with a kennel assistant, to remove Stanley’s catheter that had been placed for surgery. When the dog began to struggle and howl in distress, a nurse responded by hitting the dog hard over the head and wrestling him into an even tighter grip.

    The nurse involved later apologised to us for his actions and Medivet said it was an isolated incident that it did not condone. The nurse has since been promoted to head nurse at a different Medivet branch.

    I was also involved a case of an owner being wrongly charged for a blood pressure monitor after their cat’s surgery, even though the device was never used.

    After the operation, in which I had assisted throughout, one of Medivet’s senior managing partners and head clinician, Guy Carter, told a fellow vet treating the cat to add it to the bill and medical notes he was typing up.

    In responding to Panorama’s queries about the bill that included the monitor, Medivet stated: "A blood pressure monitor was used during the operation until near the end of the procedure, when its readings became erratic. The two vets concerned discussed its use and decided a charge was appropriate."

    While some might feel that animal treatment is an insignificant issue not worthy of investigation, to Britain’s legions of pet owners – one in four UK households has a pet – they are a valued part of the family.

    For those families, the thought of their pets being mistreated or unduly stressed leaves a very sour taste – even more so when you consider the costs involved in high quality pet care.


    2 Comments leave one →
    1. July 23, 2010 8:05 pm

      Thats awful, its not something I would want to watch as I would end up as upset and angry as you. Some people are sick x

    2. July 23, 2010 9:58 pm

      I remember they’ve done similar documentaries about elderly care. I like to think they were tipped off and knew where to film to find the scandal. You’re right it’s out of order. My best friend’s Mum is a vet and would never mistreat an animal so I really do like to think these occurences are few and far between!

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