News & Info



I’ve met some unusual animals and animal owners in my time; it’s one of the things that keep my job interesting! One memorable lady owned a big black pig that weighed about 200kg, and slept on a mattress at the foot of the bed she shared with her husband. She also owned a rottweiler with a very nasty temperament, as well as an assortment of other dogs and cats.


I had offered to let the rottweiler buy shares in my vet practice, because she single handedly drummed up more work (stitching up her housemates!) than any other animal I’ve come across before or since. The first time I stitched up the pig he squealed so loudly that my son who was 6 at the time wouldn’t go near a pig, or eat any bacon or pork for about 2 years after that. The second time had far more serious consequences; the attack had occurred outside, and piggy decided no way would he again set foot outdoors, so… all his bodily functions happened in the house, mainly the bedroom! This lasted about 3 weeks, the husband must have had the patience of a saint, until just like that Pig started venturing outside again. Pigs ruled in this household, the door knocker was a pig, many pig ornaments adorned the passage and living room, and even mother’s necklace had a pig pendant. The family were vegetarian, and pork was definitely off the menu!


One sad day Piggy choked on an apple, and suffocated before any help could arrive. Mother called a funeral service to attend to his remains, and 4 suited gentlemen gently bore Mr Pig away on a stretcher, he was subsequently cremated (at the human crematorium).


Not long after that pig number 2 arrived on the scene, a miniature pig (something that doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned- when they are babies all pigs are miniature!) He too grew to be about 200kg, occupied the same mattress, and when I left Cape Town was still going strong. My last contact with Pig 2 was when the family moved house. Pig had hired his own trailer and I was called to attend the move by administering a tranquilizer for travel, and ensuring he was safely loaded!


Now that we've had our own lifestyle block for well over a decade we've raised many pigs, although unlike the pigs above these have been for our freezer. I've been converted into a pig person, they are incredibly positive animals, and keep their houses immaculately clean. Their intelligence, and indeed a lot of their behaviour is very similar to dogs, and pigs and dogs get on well as any of you who have travelled to any of our neighbouring Pacific islands may have seen. Kune kunes make great pets and don't get as large as some of the other meat breeds, although they can easily grow to around 100kg, and their feed intake as adults needs to be rationed so they don't end up too obese.


Link of the day

Taranaki's pretty awesome version of Poi E!

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

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 recently 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 moved to 3328 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd near the Birdlings Flat turnoff, watch out for our big sign, you can't miss it. We have a much bigger range of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery is also open and looking great.

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 can also determine mineral levels in down cows. 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 the bulk deals for Eukanuba dog food, 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. Paul can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays.

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, 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

Kitten rehoming

Lamb rearing

Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, 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

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

Senior wellness

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

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