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It shouldn’t happen to a Surrey vet!

PUBLISHED: 08:04 15 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:23 15 March 2016

It shouldn't happen to a Surrey vet (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Tomwang112)

It shouldn't happen to a Surrey vet (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Tomwang112)


In a monthly Surrey Life series, as part of our Pet Stories pages, the county’s vets share their funniest stories…

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2016

Coulsdon-based Amy Bergs (aka The Cat Doctor):

I am a mobile cat vet, which means I have the best job in the world – driving around Surrey visiting cats in the comfort of their own home. Most of the time that means happy cats and relaxed owners, but as cats are independent creatures it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

When arriving at a visit, I never quite know what I’m going to find. One cat, Daisy, managed to squeeze herself not just under the bed, but inside the mattress, requiring about an hour and an entire bag of treats to tempt her out again.

Another, Willow, wasn’t having any of it and was found sitting on top of the garden shed, calmly staring down at me as if to say, ‘Go on, it would make my day to see you try to get me down from here’.

Elsewhere, Thomas gained my trust by trotting up to me for rubs as I entered the front door, then made a well-rehearsed dash for the one small hole in the kitchen cabinetry that left me staring into a dark abyss – I never did see him again.

Bella, however, must have seen me coming a mile away. Having lured me into the kitchen, she quietly observed me unpack my bag from across the room. As I turned to greet her, something in her stare told me not to move any closer. I took a step back as she calmly rose and started walking towards me, and with that chilling stare she continued her
approach as I continued to back up with increasing speed. Without so much as a blink, she hissed and pounced – causing me to jump up on the kitchen counter. Undaunted at having narrowly missed her intended target, she shook her head and slowly made her way back under the kitchen table. I could feel those eyes still upon me as I hastily gathered my belongings and retreated outside to the safety of my car.

Ego bruised at having been outsmarted by a feline patient, I consoled myself by deciding that some cats are better candidates for at-home care than others…

For more about The Cat Doctor, pay a visit to her website at


Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2016

Helen Stephens from Hunters Lodge Vets in Guildford:

“Little Charlie came in to see our vet Grant on a Saturday afternoon, after devouring a kebab on a stick,” says Helen. “This dog believed in not taking any chances and chewing his food, as he might get caught, so he swallowed the kebab plus stick whole. Fortunately for Charlie, his owner had seen his actions so was able to get him to the practice straightaway.

“After seeing Grant, it was decided that Charlie would have to have an endoscopy to see if the stick was still lurking in his stomach. In among Charlie’s elevenses, Grant eventually saw the end of a stick-like object in the top of Charlie’s stomach.

“Using a pair of grabbing forceps, he managed to pull the stick back towards the opening of the stomach. As he was removing the stick, Grant found it difficult to pull the stick out and realised that the meat on the kebab was causing the difficulty.

“With a bit of a tug, the stick came clean out… leaving the pieces of kebab meat safely in Charlie’s stomach. As his owner later pointed out, Charlie still got his own way in the end.

“The endoscope proved invaluable in this case. Had we not have had this useful piece of equipment, Charlie would have needed a major operation. Had the owners not witnessed Charlie’s crime, he would have possibly been in a life-threatening situation.

“The great news is that Charlie has made a speedy recovery, but kebabs are definitely off the menu!”

For more on Hunters Lodge Vets, visit their website at


Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2016

Emma Lloret, senior vet at Leatherhead’s Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF):

“After five years training in Spain and a year-long internship, I landed my dream job working as WAF’s senior vet. Nothing in the textbooks prepared me for one of my first patients; a hedgehog inflated to the size of a football. It was brought in by a member of the public and it rolled out of the cage.

“The advice from WAF founder Simon Cowell was: ‘Pop it!’

“The poor thing had developed a subcutaneous emphysema, a condition where air gets trapped under the skin. A syringe was deftly used and the hedgehog deflated like a burst balloon. You could almost see the relief on its face. A day later, it was released happily back to the wild.”

For more information about Wildlife Aid, visit


Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2015

Andrew Ketteridge from Shalford’s Oak Barn Veterinary Centre:

“During my second job, a lovely owner brought in her standard schnauzer bitch, who was feeling decidedly off colour, to see me. She had gone off her food, was quiet and lethargic and had been vomiting for the last 24 hours. Since she was normally such a live wire, it was sad to see her so ill.

When her owner was quizzed more closely, she explained her dog had not been anywhere different and nothing had really changed at home, other than her daughter arriving back from university for the summer. Since then, she had been knee-deep in what seemed like a term’s worth of dirty laundry that she had brought back for mum to wash!

X-rays showed signs of an intestinal blockage and subsequent surgery was performed to remove five pairs of her daughter’s slinky knickers from her stomach and small bowel as well as a conker that she had swallowed too!

She went on to make a great recovery.”

For more information about Oak Barn Veterinary Centre, visit




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