Vet nurses’ pet drama

Vet nurse assistant Sharon Burrows with three of her dogs Abra, Sorrel and Fera.


Vet nurses from SRUC have been getting hands-on experience of animal surgery – after their own pets fell ill.

Sharon Burrows and Megan Davidson, who are studying for a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at SRUC’s Craibstone campus in Aberdeen, were able to put their learning into practice when both their pets received treatment recently.

When one of Sharon’s six dogs was rushed to the vet with a suspected Gastric Dilation Volvulus – where the animal’s stomach dilates and then rotates or twists – she was on hand to assist.

“I assisted the vet on call with keeping Abra calm for conscious x-rays,” said Sharon, 49, from Noranside in Angus.

“She was then prepped for theatre and I helped as the vet moved the organs back into place and performed a gastropexy to help prevent it happening again.”

Megan, 33, from Aberdeenshire, had her very own pet crisis when her cat needed major surgery.

Luckily, she was able to get Sully treated at Donview Veterinary Centre, where she is doing her placement, before he went on to have surgery at Aberdeen Veterinary Referrals - where she worked last year.

“Over Christmas time my cat Sully wasn’t well and needed major surgery,” said Megan.  “Thankfully, the practice I am at for my placement was amazing in getting to the bottom of his problem and was very helpful and understanding with me having to give extra care to him after his surgery.”

Heidi Douglas, Programme Team Leader for Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing, said: “I am always proud to hear of student successes both in and out of practice. As a qualified Veterinary Nurse myself, it can often be difficult when it comes to treating our own animals but, with the training and knowledge gained from our courses, being able to identify issues early on can be the difference between life and death.

“The Veterinary Nursing programmes offered at SRUC provide students with the opportunity to qualify and become a valued member of the Veterinary team, taking steps towards a long and rewarding profession.”

Veterinary Care Assistant and Veterinary Nursing courses are available at SRUC campuses across Scotland, from diploma to degree level.

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Posted by SRUC on 10/03/2021

Tags: Veterinary Services, Animals, Craibstone
Categories: SRUC and Campuses