FREE Pet Webinar: Lizard Nutrition & Husbandry

Water Dragon

I recently delivered the last of my summer webinar series for Pet Webinars on lizard nutrition and husbandry. My other reptile webinars I gave are available on the website as a download for under £1. But Pet Webinars have kindly given me a promo code to allow people to watch this one for free. Follow the instructions below to watch, and let me know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments.

1. Go to…/lizard-nutrition-and-husbandry/
2. If you are a member already then login, if not it doesn’t matter as it’ll make you a new account
3. Click on “Buy Now”
4. Enter the promo code “MCCORMACK” and click Apply, it will take the total to £0. Fill in your address details.
5. Change the payment method to Paypal – you will not be charged and this will stop it asking you for card details!
6. Click Checkout, make sure it says total £0, then click Order.

To watch the recording you will be sent a username and password to access the website, log in and then go to the recording page to watch the video!

Vet Humour Cartoons

I subscribe to a daily vet topic quiz ( which reaches my email each day and challenges me to test my knowledge on the far reaches of my vet degree. I like to think that I could still fare well as a farm or equine vet if I left the comforts of small animal practice now. But in reality I fear I would be as hapless as some of the characters in these cartoons that the daily quiz features to remind us practitioners that we aren’t the only ones despairing at our career choice at times! Vet work is never boring, but often frustrating. Here’s some of the cartoons that have particularly tickled me over the past few years. Maybe only vet staff will find them funny, who knows? Enjoy….

It shouldn't happen to a vet...but it does!

It shouldn’t happen to a vet…but it does!

bull - Copy Dead cat - Copy Flash - Copy OOH - Copy orangutan parrot - Copy parrot lisp spay thermometer untitled1 Vet humour1 Vet humour2 Vet humour3

The snake that became unstuck!

Crystal the Royal python got in a rather sticky situation, when she managed to tangle herself in some loose duct tape that was being used temporarily in her vivarium when her owners were installing new lights. Unfortunately in her bid to untangle herself she managed to rip the delicate thin skin on her neck and caused a full thickness laceration exposing the underlying muscle. Her owners were panicked and rushed her down to see me, travelling nearly 3 hours in traffic to get to the surgery. Luckily it was my turn to work the Saturday clinic that day and my afternoon wasn’t as busy as usual so we managed to see her quickly and fix her up before more damage was done.


Snakes and sticky tape do not mix

Here she is being given some anaesthetic gas and oxygen, after initially being given sedative drugs via intramuscular injection. At this point we couldn’t see the true extent of her injury, but knew it was bad. I was confident however that we would stitch her up and have her reasonably back to normal in no time. I took the opportunity while she was going under anaesthetic to administer pain relief and antibiotic injections to make her comfortable and prevent infection setting in.


Snake laceration wound

Once she was fully anaesthetised I used surgical spirit to dilute the solvent on the tape and peel it off bit by bit, taking great care not to allow any spirit to contact her delicate tissues underlying her scales or to cause further tears. After removing the tape the area was cleaned and disinfected and prepped for surgery, reducing contamination and minimising the risks of post-operative infection. She was kept on a warm heat pad throughout the procedure to enable her cold-blooded body to maintain it’s metabolism and process the anaesthetic and other drugs effectively. Reptile patients are unique in that all bodily functions rely on external heat from immune function, to heart rate and even breathing rate. Therefore it is vital that they are warmed throughout surgery and maintained in thermostatically controlled conditions whilst hospitalised and in recovery.


Suturing snake wound

I carefully sutured her skin back together taking care not to cause too much tension and not to invert the scale edges so that the wound could knit back together efficiently and heal quickly. Good surgical technique at this stage was critical to obtain a cosmetic and functional wound that would repair over the coming weeks without causing future problems with shedding skin for example.


A vet’s work is never done, even on a Saturday evening

Here I am hard at work on a Saturday afternoon whilst all my colleagues (apart from my nurse Sharon assisting on anaesthetic duties) were out in the back car park starting our end of summer barbecue, beers and wine in hand. Now there’s dedication, eh?!


Python in recovery hospital cage

After she was stitched back together I reversed her sedative drugs with another injection and set her up in a warm hospital cage on a heat pad to recover from her ordeal. By this point her meds ensured she would awake pain free within a couple of hours. Things are definitely slower in my reptilian patients compared with dogs and cats.


Snake wound sutured post-op

This was the finished handiwork post-operatively. I am happy to say she went home very alert and happy on the Monday morning to her relieved owners and will come back to visit me to remove her sutures in 4-6 weeks.