Principal vet Rachel reveals which animals she likes to treat most, how she once met a dog called Rock DJ and the best piece of advice for budding pet owners.
How long have you been a vet?
I qualified from Glasgow Vet School in June 2008, and started working the following week. Those eight years have passed very quickly.
How long have you worked for Vets Now?
I’ve worked for Vets Now for more than three years now.
How many pets do you have and what are their names?
Unfortunately, my husband is allergic to animal hair (and I’m not too keen on hairless dogs and cats!) so we don’t have any pets. I had cats when I was growing up, as well as several guinea pigs and some rats.
What is your favourite animal?
My favourite animals to treat are cats, but my favourite animals are probably elephants. We don’t see many of them at our surgery in Edinburgh, though.
What’s the most unusual pet you’ve owned?
I had three rats when I was in 6th year at school. They formed part of a biology project to discover whether they could ‘learn’ a maze or not. They were brilliant pets - really friendly, intelligent and interactive. They out-lived the project, so had to stay with my parents when I left to start university. I think they secretly loved having them, though.
What are the most unusual names you’ve heard for a pet?
I once met a dog called ‘Rock DJ’. That sounded funny when the vet called the dog’s name in the waiting room. I like when people use human names for their pets, a couple that spring to mind are a rabbit called ‘Colin’ and a Jack Russell called ‘Sarah’.
What would you be if you weren’t a vet?
If I wasn’t a vet, I’d love to be a musician, playing in an orchestra or band on TV.
What would be your top tip to a new pet owner?
Before deciding to get a pet, research the species and breed thoroughly. Check that the pet’s needs - such as exercising, grooming and feeding - will fit in with your own lifestyle. Also find out if there are any medical conditions that it might be prone to. Finally, when you have decided on a pet, make sure you get it insured. If your pet gets sick or injured, it will be stressful enough for you without having to worry about the cost of the treatment. Having pet insurance gives you some peace of mind, that in the unfortunate event of having to use it, your pet can be cared for to the highest standard, without any financial worries.