News & Info

Quotable quotes

You may know that this page of our website has an extensive list of (mainly) animal health related articles in the archives below. We arrange them alphabetically and it has always bugged me that we have no listings starting with Q and X. You are now reading part one of my cunning plan to rectify this!


I have met many interesting characters along the course of my veterinary studies and career, and some of their more colourful phrases have stuck with me. I went through vet school as well as national service in the South African Medical Corps with a bloke who often had me (and others) in fits of laughter. During basic training we spent endless hours marching, all the while being promised that 'the Army would make men out of us'. During a break from drill, this (then) private asked our corporal to promise him something.

'What?' replied the corporal

'That at the moment we become men you tell us, I don't want to miss that moment.'

The corporal was lost for words.

He'd also frequently remind him that next week was English week -the SA army was nominally bilingual- although our corporal like most could barely speak the language and would get all flustered reminding us that he couldn't.

Towards the end of our officers' course he also took great pleasure in reminding the corporals to start practicing saluting us.

While on the subject of national service our Regimental Sergeant Major had many unique insults, however I don't think most of them would be suitable to repeat here. One of his better ones roughly translated was 'I'll swoop down on you like a vulture, rip your guts out and make a candle from them to light your path to hell!' He must have spent hours, maybe years thinking these up. Most of the permanent force warrant officers under him liked to drink Worcestershire sauce on their breaks which they thought made their voices deeper. It did tend to make one think military intelligence was an oxymoron!


In Ashburton I worked with a Kiwi colleague who reminded me a lot of my South African class mate. He claimed that if the police ever came for him he'd make his last stand in the post mortem room where he'd have enough weapons and chemicals to take out at least three of them before they took him down. He also professed to be more willing to commit murder than suicide should someone really hack him off. One day while we were sitting in the staff room one of the receptionists came in to ask if a vet who knew something about worms in sheep could speak to a customer at the front desk. He dryly remarked that no one really knows anything about worms in sheep!


Some of our university lecturers, just about all of them from surgery department thinking about it, managed to come up with some classic quotes. You've probably heard 'When in doubt, cut it out' but how about 'If you see it, you've got it!' or 'To be an orthopaedic surgeon you also have to be a carpenter'? When being taught how to geld stallions we were told to make a 'pre-election cut; bold and full of promise.'


Some of my favourite lines came from staff at a Cape Town Animal Welfare Organisation. I operated next to the nurses' telephone, and could hear one side of the conversations. When someone was giving them flak, one of the nurses would tell them to 'take the pill your doctor gave you, then after you've calmed down, call me back', alternatively 'wash your mouth out with soap, then call me back'. The receptionist, when someone promised to 'pay at the end of the month' would tell them that she had a whole bookshelf of fairy tales at home, and could read those if she felt like listening to fairy stories! Needless to say the same 'chill pill' nurse used to quip that if Isabelle Jones (South African TV's 'Fair Go' lady) ever walked up the driveway, she'd be over the back wall and away.


Lastly I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and all the best for you and your animals in 2020. Thanks for your support!




We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.

Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online

Our new vet, Dr India Martin has started and we now offer an extra afternoon consulting in Diamond Harbour as well as home visits in Little River on Monday & Thursday afternoons for no extra charge compared to clinic visits. We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch  who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?

We have a large of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery has proved very popular, and we've had many repeat customers. Masterpet has taken over the cattery's food sponsorship with BlackHawk cat and kitten food, we'd also like to thank Hills Pet Nutrition for their food sponsorship over the cattery's first 5 years.

We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.

We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.

We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. We can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Animal health information - Archives

Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.

A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust

Becoming a vet, Becoming a veterinary technologist, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn

Calici vaccination update- rabbits

Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette

External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice

First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms

Grain Poisoning

Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke

Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet, I don't vaccinate my animals, Insights from a vet nursing student

Kitten rehoming

Lamb rearing

Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,

Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist

Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards

Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ, Phamaceuticals- the NZ situation

Quotable quotes

Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block

Senior wellnessSheep measles

Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy

Urinary problems in cats

Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler

War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats

Yoghurtised milk recipe