Pet killers: alarm as quack vets perform surgeries

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Locally licensed veterinarians are speaking out against what they deem cruelty to animals by a slew of unauthorized vets who are performing dangerous and sometimes fatal surgeries on pets.

Pets have earned a special place among many families and Guyana has experienced a cultural shift as a result of heightened awareness of the value animals hold.

These developments have caused many individuals to push for greater means of medical care for their animals in an attempt to secure the wellbeing of a family member like any other.

There have been strong improvements in the field of local veterinary care. However, local vets and pet owners have recently been mourning the loss of many animals due to fatal malpractice by inexperienced, uncertified and sometimes unlicensed vets.

Some of these persons have been making house calls in and around the city.

One such visit was made to 70-year-old Erna Wollenstein of Earl’s Court LBI, East Coast Demerara who lives with and cares for approximately six dogs.

70-year-old Erna Wollenstein

Erna lost her dog, Cara, after a person claiming to be a vet, on the recommendation of a local pet store, removed the ovaries from two of her female dogs.

“I had to take the clamps and hold it open as he got out the womb and ovaries; it was very difficult because she [Cara] was very large and a bit overweight. It was not easy, it was very bloody,” Erna said.

She was not prepared for what she would experience one afternoon after the surgery.

“One afternoon, I heard Cara scream; I ran to look and saw everything that was supposed to be inside hanging outside. The dog had more weight than I have but I still tried to get her into another room to settle down but she could settle due to the pain; the blood was everywhere in the room, on all the walls.”

Doctor Nardeo Bassoodeo of NB Veterinary services has seen years of success as a result of his work with animals. Bassoodeo has been to the gruesome scenes of many failed surgeries performed by uncertified practitioners.

Doctor Nardeo Bassoodeo

“One of the recent patients ended up dying because the person who performed the surgery was not licensed to perform that surgery nor were they working with any senior supervision, so he ended up facing complication beyond his comprehension,” Bassoodeo revealed.

Senior Local Veterinarian Dr.  Dorrean Wilson, who is familiar with the cruel practices by persons, has been actively trying to protect the reputation of certified local vets.

Dr.  Dorrean Wilson

“These individuals portray themselves as vets. What then occurs is that these persons come to the Veterinary Association of Guyana saying that ‘a veterinarian was at my house and my dog died.’ This taints the profession because we as certified and experienced vets feel it. We are trying to save lives while imposters are causing patients to lose respect for vets and the profession,” Dr. Wilson stated.

As a result of the illegal and cruel practices, the recently formed Veterinary Board of Guyana has been constantly approached to formulate and enforce penalties against the quack vets.

News of these requests prompted the News Room to speak with the board’s Chairman, Agricultural Health specialist Dr. Mark Pierre, who spoke on recent actions taken by the body as well as requirements necessary to practice veterinary medicine locally.

Dr. Mark Pierre

“We have consistently written to a few persons [Quack Vets] informing them that their actions are illegal.

“Before practising, vets must first be graduates of a recognized university and hold a minimum of a veterinary degree, and for animal assistance, they must have a diploma in animal health and husbandry which can be obtained at the Guyana School of Agriculture,” Dr. Pierre stated.

Pierre noted that such qualifications can be attained through the Guyana School of Agriculture and must then be approved by him and the Veterinary Board before that individual can perform supervised procedures.

Anyone with evidence and information relating to veterinary malpractice is encouraged to contact the Guyana Veterinary Board on telephone number 615-9875.

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